Devon at the weekend is the most amazing place. No, seriously! I went back to Exeter this weekend and went to Beer on the Saturday. Beer is this tiny little working fishing village, all quaint pubs, pebble beach and cliffs. On the drive we took a 'slight' (ha!) detour through Woodberry and East Budliegh because Tom had been there on delivery and thought it was cute. And cute it certainly was. You seriously wouldn't think such places still existed. They look like they are straight out of pre-war England. The house he had delivered to actually backed onto the village green by the memorial, and had a brook which was postively babbling. Enid Blyton would have been proud if any of the famous five had ended up anywhere near as nice as this.
For someone who pretends most of the time that she wishes to be some kind of urbanite, I'm really quite a country girl at heart. I got quite excited when a gate opened at the side of the road and a herd of cows came out. I squealed and jumped in my seat as Tom complained about them holding us up. Bloody Londoner.
In East Budliegh, I was choked by this old man selling hand-tied bunches of his own dahlias beside the road. His old jacket looked bedraggled and as Tom sped on by I was overcome by a patronising urge to go back and buy all his flowers, but I had a sneaking suspicion he would have his regulars. Growing up in the country side you get to know how country people tick. At my Saturday job in my 'formative' years we practically adopted an old man named Jack. He had sat on his stool with his raincoat on, tea with two sugars and his walking frame beside him day in, day out. He had sat there for years before I got there, and four years after I've left, I was pleasantly reassured recently to find on 'phoning the shop that he was still there. He answered the 'phone, and his deafness was as alive and kicking as he was. I had a feeling this man would be the same: an East Budleigh institution. And it made me very happy to know wherever you go in the country, the real country will always be the same.