1st September 2018 - 2nd November 2018

We are back in Dartmouth, we did enjoy it last year and wanted a few easier months in town. We are in town it is about 3 mins to the nearest supermarket and we have a lovely view over the river Dart.

The weather was lovely when we first got here so we walked around town had hair cuts and went to the dentist, Doctor and generally did a little catch up on the things we would have done had we been home in Sydney. We celebrated Ross’ birthday at the Pub on his actual day, and at the Seahorse restaurant, he had chosen a week later, it was fully booked.

Saturday saw me watching Morris Dancers, there was 12 different groups in town dancing in four locations. I got talking (of course) and found out that each group has unique dances but there are also different styles depending from the location in the country. The borders have shaggy costumes and painted faces they dance with staves. The origin being that they were farm workers who put rags in their coats to keep them warm when they went dancing around the villages they turned the coats inside out, so the tatters show, painted their faces and after doing their dancing demanded money with menace using their staves. I must say this is the group I was most impressed with. The groups from the North are clog dancers from working in the mills in clogs, the clogs have bells and the dances use either cotton reels with ribbons and bells or Shuttles from the woollen looms also with wool and bells. The third group while the friendliest and very colourful were not my favourites they were dances from the lords in their areas so wear tabards with the lord’s heraldic symbols. They danced with sticks and then with swords (someone threw plastic hands in the middle of the dance). Different groups danced all day, so I watched for a few hours then came back for the finally. They all danced together at the end - chaos but great fun. I also found out there are no competitions it is all just good fun.

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Rosemary arrived for a short stay, I managed a full length fall in the street as I went to meet her, so she was a little shocked to see blood and gravel rash and a hobbling Clare. The pain did not last longer than the first glass of wine. Rosemary and I saw the Jesse room at the Dartmouth museum, the room is used as an office they take you in if you ask. The Jesse tree, which shows Christs ancestry from Jesse King David’s father to Christ, is made in straw and clay attached to the ceiling and then painted. It fell off in the war and was slightly damaged, I did not notice (not being observant). It is the only one of its type in the world they think. Quite fascinating.

We went to Greenway House (Agatha Christie's holiday home!!) on the train. I had found they had an observation carriage which was an extra cost, but the seats looked better and it was all glass for a better view. The seats were collapsed in the middle so not that comfortable and Rosemary and I chatted so much we did not see much of the view, perhaps we should not have bothered. We had scones as soon as we arrived, jam and cream for Rosemary and cheese and chutney for me. The National Trust has the best cafes. The house is full of stuff her family were collectors!! I therefore saw some new stuff I had not noticed last year. Once we had finished we rang the bell for the ferry and went across the river to meet Ross at the pub, then home on the ferry. Fish and chips for dinner.

Our next guests Steve and Sharon were not lucky with the weather. We booked a coastal cruise that was cancelled due to bad weather. We tried the Jesse room in which they were having a meeting (remember it is an office). Down the pub for crab sandwiches. Steve and Sharon asked had we been to Joe’s Bar because the menu looked very nice for dinner, we had not so it was duly booked. We got to the bar that evening to be escorted around the corner to their restaurant, the Seahorse, how funny is that - Ross’s favourite. We had a super meal, and everyone was very happy. The next day we gave into the weather and caught the ferry to Dittsham, for lunch and a lovely gin and tonic in the pub before ferry home. Poor Steve and Sharon had the worst weather on their way home it took them 8 hours instead of 5 or 6. We stayed in all day and watch everything blow about.

The weather got worse and then much better. We took the opportunity to do the coastal cruise. I goes past Blackpool Sands and Slapham. The coast was amazing very rugged but beautiful. The sea was quite flat so no trial of my anti seasick pills. We did enjoy it.

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The local pub has a curry night on Tuesdays, the chef trained in India as well as many top-class hotels, so we gave it a go. Very good value, we had the choice of 3 curries and rice: Beef, chicken and cauliflower. Then to top it off a dessert (or pudding as the waitress told us). I think Ross makes a better curry, but it is nice to go out.

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This is all my own work, any mistakes are mine please let me know if you think I should change anything or if I have added a photo of you that you would like removed. My apologise if I offend anyone. Please send me a message using the box above and I will action immediately.

Writer: Clare

Editor : Ross Lyon