My First Holiday

As you can probably guess from the title of this entry, Éowyn (and her parents) have just returned from a week’s holiday in Devon as a break for Lucinda’s birthday.  This was Éowyn’s first holiday (we are counting the trip to Colchester as a mini-break) and so an important stage in anyone’s life and the furthest she has ever been from her place of birth.  To ease her (and us) into the idea of family holidays we hired a three bedroom cottage from one of the guys from work.  It is in the South Hams village of Noss Mayo overlooking the Newton creek and Yealm estuary along with it’s twin from across the creek Newton Ferrers.

The Devon and Cornish peninsula always appear (to an outsider like me) to have peculiar microclimates and towns only separated by a few miles can experience very different weather.  This is in no small part to the geography of the area, high moorlands, V-shaped valleys and numerous coves and inlets, providing shelter or acting as a funnel depending on the direction of the winds.  And so it was the case with our trip.  The forecast wasn’t good according to the national weather reports and we feared the worse.  The week did start a little wet but soon gave way to warmer, drier weather.

Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers sit either side of a V-shaped valley and as such walking anywhere was hard work and kept you fit.  There is a voss that links Noss Mayo to Newton Ferrers which is accessible at low tide else it is a longer walk to Bridgend to cross the creek .  Due to the timing of the low tides we only managed to cross the voss once, and then only just.  The tide came in quiet quickly and by the time we had crossed to the other side the voss was completely under water.

We took it relatively easy on our holiday and didn’t really do too much driving once we were there.  We spent a day in Padstow to meet up with a friend of Lucinda’s from university.  Ruth was down on holiday with her boyfriend Rob and their dog Rooney.  It was the first time that they had met since leaving university, although they have kept in touch regularly via snail mail.  They have vowed to keep in touch via letters instead of e-mail/ text message/ instant messaging/ social networking sites and a plethora of alternative ways of communication that permeate modern living.

One of my good friends Andy popped down for a day or so and took the headland walk out of Noss Mayo.  We took it very gently and took most of the afternoon, especially pushing Éowyn in her pushchair.  The views were spectacular and would highly recommend it for anyone spending sometime in the area.  The walk ends at the Ship Inn which is the perfect place to end such an adventure.  The staff were very friendly and the food fantastic, if a little pricey but you could not grumble about the size of the portions!

The only other major excursion we did was to visit Delamore House in nearby Cornwood.  It had an exhibition of sculpture and paintings.  Not usually my kind of thing but some of the sculptures and you can see on the Flickr pages were excellent, especially the work by Oxfordshire artist Daren Greenhow, anyone that can make a Veló-ciraptor out of old bicycle parts (get it? Veló – ciraptor.  Oh, forget it) gets my vote.

Éowyn seemed to really enjoy herself during the whole holiday and, apart from the first night, slept through the night.  This is probably due to the fact that she had both her parents undivided attention for a week.  She also took another big step on her development is so much that we stopped her dream feed.  Now she is regularly taking solids the need for that extra feed disappears but we were still nervous to stop it.  However, there has been no adverse reaction and the fact that she hasn’t woke is proof that she no longer needs it.  She is now an adept at crawling, and has been readying herself for the next stage: walking.  She regularly pulls herself up to her knees but as yet has not found the strength to stand.  Yesterday that changed and for the first time she pulled herself to a standing position using the pouffe.  Her latest entertainment though is to crawl into the kitchen and watch the washing machine.  If it isn’t on she gets quite annoyed and bangs her hands on the floor.  I suppose it is better than being a telly addict…

Unfortunately upon our return we have had some bad news.  Éowyn’s Great Great Auntie Iris has passed away.  She had a bleed on the brain caused by a cerebral aneurysm and although initially it did not seem life threatening she contracted an infection and her condition worsened.  She passed away on the morning of Sunday 24th May 2009  at the age of 88, one week short of her 64th Wedding Anniversary.  Our thoughts are with her husband, my Great Uncle Albert.  Rest well Auntie Iris.

Great-Great Auntie Iris
Great-Great Auntie Iris