Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Friday, January 05, 2007
(Please note - the following photographs might take a wee while to load!)
[Wednesday 3rd] We had a pleasant run down to Devon - although going over the Avonmouth bridge was as hair-raising as ever... (I think my problem with driving over it is because I have wide peripheral vision and I was always very aware of the very high drop to either side of me. It's not so bad when someone else is doing the driving!) Exeter bus-station is about five minutes walk from the folk's place, so getting there was easy.
After lunch dad asked if we'd like to go anywhere. Being in a generally nostalgic mood, and since Kai has never been there, I asked if we could go to Woodbury Common - specifically, the 2,500 year old hill fort on Woodbury Common. When we were sprogs we used to drive down to Exmouth almost every summer Saturday to spend the day at the seaside, and usually stopped off at 'the castle', as it was generally known, on the way back to run around inside (and sometimes have a last ice-cream from the van that used to park there - and probably still does in the summer!)
Inside the hill fort, looking west.
The road runs through the middle of the hill fort, and the bit most people visit is on the south side of the road (on the left on the map, link above.) Despite the erosion caused by a couple of thousand years of weather - and latterly walkers, horses and children playing - the two ramparts with the ditch between them are still impressive -
Kai in the ditch between the ramparts, south side.
Kai loved the place and wants to go back there.
Dad then drove us on to Exmouth... Ye gods the place has changed! Not just the town, which I always liked anyway, but the beach. Apparently there was a severe storm some years back that 'redesigned' the sand, washing away great swathes of it and building up the dunes that you can see in the first photo:
Half-way out on Maer Rocks, looking back towards the estuary and across to Dawlish Warren. The dunes are to the right; the tiny yellow thing you might be able to make out half-way up the hill left of centre is actually a kiteboarder's whacking great kite.
Maer Rocks are one of the most memorable features of my childhood. When the tide was out, they seemed to stretch out forever into the sea, full of pools with crabs and tiny shrimp, and even little fish if you were very lucky. The sun dried the seaweed and made it safe to walk on, and out at the end all you could hear was the surf and the wind.
Kai on the smaller of the old 'ramps', only about half-way out as the tide was coming in at a fair old pace. You can see the waves breaking over the submerged rocks beyond him.
The sea here has always seemed to be higher than the beach to me (and Kai said the same when I mentioned it), creating a very odd optical illusion, as though gravity is twisted here. It added to the magic of the place...
Looking east, away from the estuary: Orcombe Point in the background.
We used to swim in the still water to the west of Maer Rocks as the tide was coming in - the sun had warmed the sand by then and the water was warm and silky. There's now a new 'ramp' (actually and far less romantically the outer covering of a pipeline) running along the west side of the Rocks: what the effect has been on the swimming I don't know...
The waves hit the 'ramp' slantwise, creating a very pretty waterfall effect.
We would have loved to have stayed a little longer, but the wind was blowing a gale and sandblasting our faces, and it started spitting with rain, so - very reluctantly - we made our way back...
We had a dreadful night and got very little sleep (first was someone clattering keys in the lock to our room, not realising she was supposed to be in the other guest room, then starting a very loud conversation with someone on her mobile. After I'd sorted that out, we were far too hot and opened the windows - which made it incredibly noisy (exactly why do the buses start running in Exeter at 4.30 am? I mean, who the hell would be up to use them?!) And the bed creaked, which kept Kai awake. And my mattress made my back ache something fierce... Heh, I ended up just sitting listening to Kood until 8.30...)
[Thursday 4th] I left Kai snuggled up dozing on the folk's settee while I went up to the town centre. It was a bit of a shock: Wendy had said Princesshay wasn't there any more but I wasn't prepared for all the building work! Popped into Harlequins shopping mall, which was just being built the last time I was there, and found the excellent Cook's Shop - which had a grapefruit spoon! I've been looking for a grapefruit spoon for years, you can't find them anywhere these days (not ones I can afford, anyway!)
After lunch I took Kai to Heavitree Park - via the Heavitree Yew in St Michael and All Angels churchyard. It's listed on the Ancient Yews site, but they don't have a photo, so I took a whole load, one of which Ken thinks they may be able to use.
Kai enjoyed the park, but he was still tired, and it started to rain, so we didn't stay very long.
Arrived back in Bristol in the dark, by far the best and prettiest way to experience the Avonmouth bridge - and we both slept very well last night! All told we had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Although I really didn't much like getting stuck in the lift at the folk's place. Fortunately the warden was still there - she was supposed to have gone off duty - and was able to come and sort out the problem without calling for the fire brigade...
My new geta arrived yesterday (I'd ordered them on ebay) and they're great!
Today Ken's taking Kai into town to look for ballast for his railway. And I'm going to try to get some work done!
GoodTwin, thanks for the squid reminder. Ken taped it - I shall watch it this afternoon.