Next on the hitlist of places I really wanted to share with Angus before we leave was Dartmoor! When I say “Dartmoor“, I’m thinking granite tors, stone circles and standing stones, ancient woodland. Places sacred and spiritual and deeply nourishing to the soul.
Yeah, I went a little bit nuts on the hyperlinks there. Why? Because this… this is not the Dartmoor I got to show Angus. When your mum is having her 76th birthday? Newlywed and emigrating or no, your own plans take second place!
Including the plan to drive ourselves up there so we could see more of Dartmoor before heading for home the next day. She was being treated to a day out in their beloved Bentley, and apparently this hinged on our coming along too.
First stop was Tavistock. So far from “my Dartmoor” I’m honestly not sure I’d even been there before! I’m not a big fan of granite buildings, but for all that it was a fairly attractive little market town, where we stopped for coffee and very bad cake before a mooch around the indoor market.
I mentioned that I’d been really hoping to show Angus something a bit more… Dartmoor. Preferably involving a walk, as the earlier short saunter along the seafront was very pleasant, but not enough to cure a case of fidgets. Which is how we ended up in some random sheep field, turfed out of the car for a walk while my mum had a nap, and not entirely sure what we were meant to do beyond a token dutiful tour of the field!
It was sodding freezing, it must be said, but the views were still pretty good and at least our sense of humour was still just about holding!
Besides, if nothing else there were some Dartmoor ponies grazing in the field… a little hint of the Dartmoor I still intend to share with Angus someday!
From there it was onto the Horn of Plenty, which my mum has taken to telling people was her treat to the newlyweds having chosen to spend the night here with their friends and her partner’s step daughter instead of attending our wedding…
Still, to be fair, it was at her expense, and I’d totally want my 76th birthday to be about my birthday if it had been me. (I also like to think I wouldn’t have missed my daughter’s wedding, but hey…)
After the meal, we were brought further plates of sweets in the drawing room, where the hotel had thoughtfully acknowledged both events, with a “happy birthday” plate for my mum, and this for Angus and me:
The macaroons were especially good, although by that stage my poor stomach was groaning at the quantity of food I’d inflicted on it!
We passed a very restless night, unfortunately. Though the room was pleasant, the soundproofing was atrocious, meaning we were kept up until gone midnight by the noise from downstairs. When it finally went quiet (or, at least, I put earplugs in), the bed was unpleasantly soft, while the pillows were rock hard. Fair to say we weren’t at our shiniest over breakfast, and not helped by the terrible coffee!
It felt like a very sad note to end our visit on. Fortunately, Angus had a cunning plan for the way home that worked minor miracles in helping soothe the hurt…