Broadway and back to Dartmouth

Just filling up the water tanks aboard DD and taking advantage of the time to update our blog while each tank reaches capacity.

My parent’s diamond wedding anniversary weekend was fab. It was great to see all the family, my parents seemed to enjoy it tremendously, the food was excellent, the flowers mum had ordered from the florist were something else – absolutely beautiful. I would upload photos at this point however my MacBook has thrown a wobbly in the photo department and I cannot open the file, so these will follow in a few days time.

We stayed at the Broadway Hotel, where my older brother Tim was also staying. Very comfortable. It was renovated a few years ago and the outdoor courtyard was made into an atrium dining area. I am glad to report that the updating didn’t turn it into a boring modern same-old furniture place. It still has plenty of quirkiness. The breakfasts were excellent too. My parents, aunt and uncle, Clive and I had Sunday lunch there, which rounded of a weekend of celebration and feasting well.

We came back down to Dartmouth about ten days ago, via Frome to see Clive’s brother David, and Axminster to see my old pal JenJen. Breaking up the journey was good as it’s a bit of a trek and it was fun to see JenJen and Wendy Knee en route. Wendy is renovating an old cottage and there’s lots to do still so they’re both renting a converted holiday (half) barn on a small estate which was owned by the Bloomsbury Set (Virginia Wolfe et al) in the early 1900s.

We got back to Dartmouth on the Friday ready for me to have a market stall on the Saturday. I’ve made over fifty felting brooches, and I’d collected some other fabulously colourful and funky items from some of our artist neighbours in Harwich. Rosie MacPosie (felting animals etc), Donna Baldry (bright recycled wreaths and garlands) and Roger Hamer (wearable art). JenJen also furnished my with some pottery tree decorations and I was all set. Clive helped me get the stall ready in the morning, and the footfall was terrible. Hardly anybody came even though it was supposed to be a Christmas Market. Nobody was buying anything. Of seven stall holders, only two had any sales. So disappointing. I was so well organised, I’d thought everything through right down to wrapping items up, petty cash, drawing pins, duct tape just in case (it was needed with the wind), chair, warm boots and thermals. Even Captain Jack and Fergus accompanying me made no difference. Sigh.

I tried again last Tuesday and finally had a sale of one item. Sigh again. There were weekend markets on too but the weather was atrocious, so I was relieved in the end that I couldn’t get a table. I’ll give it another go tomorrow, then back to Harwich on Wednesday and Rosie MacPosie and I will have a stall at the street market there on Sunday. At least then if there’s no customers we can catch up on all the news, while I send Clive home to make us cups of tea. He doesn’t know this yet….

We went to Torquay on Friday to help Jason with his windows which were being delivered. His house is coming on well. Really impressive and considering he is doing it all himself, it makes it even more so. He is being filmed by a crew for a programme I think aired by the BBC, Homes Built Under A Hundred Grand, and they happened to be there too. Luckily a chap Paul with a crane on the back of his lorry, was able to crane all the windows up the cliff side onto the site, which was a relief as the thought of dropping one as we struggled up the winding slippery steps was quite terrifying. By this time the wind was whipping up and the weather was deteriorating rapidly, just in time for the Dartmouth Candlelit Festival and various other Christmassy weekend events all over the UK.

The torrential downpours waited until Saturday evening before setting in, effectively closing the festival – the band (called The Wireless) packed up early which was a great shame as they were excellent. Soggy food stalls, drenched clothes stalls, saturated mulled wine and cider stalls, all threw in their lot at about 8pm.

The wind is still gusting at 50 knots from the west, so though it’s not too cold, it’s brought all the fishermen to our pontoon as the sea is too rough. A battered Beneteau 41 footer T boned our stern this morning while trying to raft onto the boat behind us, adding to the joy of the smell of stale fishing boats emanating from the salty seadogs across the pontoon. It has also stopped ‘We Fit Windows’ from getting started on the crucial leg of Jason’s house build, when he can finally have the house sealed from the weather and in warmth and dry, concentrate on the inside.

The weather brought with it a super yacht, Lady Lara, now moored in the river opposite our pontoon. Made from steel like ours, that’s where any likeness stops. Owned by the sixth richest man in the world, it cost 150m Euros to build at the Lurssen Shipyard in Bremen. His old super yacht, also called Lady Lara, is now on the market for a mere 35m Euros. These Kazakhstani’s have come a long way since Borat…..

Well, the tanks are full, so it’s time to post this blog. Photos will be added in a few days.


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