Over the weekend, my two sisters and I went down to Devon to stay with my mum to celebrate her birthday. I am the eldest, Esther is the middle sister and Camilla (Milly) is the youngest. Esther also has a tough Medical French exam today for which she was revising and my mum speaks fluent French, so it was a good opportunity for her to practice.
I arrived on Friday morning and stayed until Saturday as I had to make sure I didn’t miss too much rowing! I got an early train via Paddington, where I popped out to look at the canal, before taking the fast train down to the South West, arriving at 11:30am. I met up with Milly in the centre of town, for a brunch of pancakes and bacon at Boston’s Tea Party. Then we went on a little tour of Exeter’s charity shops, as we’re both charity shop fiends! Milly bought a little bag and I picked up a couple of enamel bowls and a vest top.
Back at my mum’s, we had tea and home made Hummingbird Bakery carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum! Afterwards, we dug out of the loft some journals which my grandfather Mike had made back in the early 90s ( he passed away in 1996). He had sat down with all his photos, drawings and memories and collated them into eight journals, with narrative captions setting out the story of his life. We enjoyed looking through them, seeing photos of my grandfather as a dashing young man at Selwyn College, Cambridge and in the war in North Africa, my grandma looking beautiful at a Chelsea Arts Ball in 1952, my mother and her sisters as children and teens in Cornwall, and then all the grandchildren, including my sisters and me. We also found a scrapbook of my dad’s photos from the early eighties, which was fun to look at too – he looksin some phots like an American archeologist and in others like a hippie Jesus!
In the evening we went for dinner to celebrate my mum’s birthday at On the Waterfront , a restaurant built in the ground floor of a 19th century warehouse on Exeter’s quayfront. We shared some delicious pizzas before heading home to watch a French film about Edith Piaf to help with Esther’s revision!
On Saturday, I got up early to make muffins for breakfast (not having an oven at home at the moment means that I had missed baking!). I made these ones, with no sugar, just honey, wholemeal flour, lots of seeds and fresh fruit. They were very quickly consumed!
Later, my dad came over and Milly and I walked over with him to the Welcome Cafe (formerly the Welcome Inn, which was my grandfather’s, and later, my dad’s local.) We went to the antiques shop on the Quay, and I wished that I could have brought some of the furniture home on the train! My dad had also brought with him a 1960s chart of the Severn which I didn’t know he had kept! We now have so many lovely charts that we’ll struggle to find room to put them all up!
All too soon it was time to make a move and take the train back to Cambridge. I got back to find much progress in the bathroom, and will blog about that soon!