Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Trip To Devon

The promised heatwave has hit England bang on time :). Today is just glorious, 28 degrees C already, set to rise a little more AND it's here for the week.

I'm really not a person who likes hot weather but so far it is comfortable and I'm loving the fact that my washing is drying so quickly!

All the double poppies are in bloom at the moment and it looks stunning! I'm savoring each day they are in bloom and not really looking forward to having to clear the bed after they are done. It always seems a bit sad to be left with bare earth after such a display.

The apples are coming along nicely, so-many-apples! I'm hoping to be able to harvest some in August before we leave. I opened our last jar of homemade chutney last week and really want to make some more before we move. BTW, this last jar of chutney is just the best! Chutney definitely needs time to mature and improve. 

Now you may have noticed that I have not been posting a huge amount over the past little while, that's because we were in Devon last week finding a house. Oh my - I have to say it was a little stressful. At one point I didn't think that we would be coming home with a home secured at all. 

We had quite a few house to see. The first one turned out to have been completely misrepresented on the photographs the second was just in an area that was too built up for us and the third, fourth and fifth houses were lovely but all in teeny tiny villages down teeny tiny country lanes that I had no idea existed any more! Honestly - that little quaint England really does still exist - just like you see in the Jacquie Lawson e-cards. It's there people - in Devon!!
Note how narrow the lane is please, enough room for ONE car. Our side mirrors were touching the hedgerows on some lanes - eeeep! Every so often there are little 'laybys' so that you can pull over and let oncoming cars pass, or vice-versa. On one lane we had to reverse for about half a mile to let an oncoming car pass. Our nerves were shot by the end of day 1!

A spacious (by comparison to some) Devon country lane
So although at least one of the houses was definitely 'our kind of house', I was really concerned about the daily commute into Plymouth for DH. More than concerned for what it would be like in the winter in icy conditions let alone if we should have a snowfall, and quite frankly with two teen daughters we need to have quick easy access to places where they can get involved in activities and meet up with friends.

So at the end of day one we were very disheartened. Day two only had one house on the list and being in low spirits we were not optimistic that this would be the one. Monday night I sought comfort in God's Word and the daily reading on my Bible Reading App was taken from Joshua. God encourages Joshua to not be discouraged because God was with him and would lead and guide him. I took great comfort in that passage of scripture and my spirits were somewhat restored.
Picture from  Devon-online.com
The house we were to see on Tuesday was in a small town called Ivybridge (only has a population of 11 000) that we had earmarked as our 'favorite place to live' on our first trip down. It has great {safe} commuter links into Plymouth (only a 15 minute drive with no traffic), fab churches with strong youth groups, lots of local community activities to get involved in and it is set right on the very edge of the Dartmoor National Park.

It has the cutest little town centre which still has an active high street.

Surrounds to die for...

and the most gorgeous garden centre just out of the town (like 4 minutes away) that I am going to spend ALOT of time at :)

Anyhoo, back to the house ... it is more suburban than what we have now and the grounds mercifully are way WAY smaller. It has a beautiful, well maintained and established garden with raised beds for my veggies!! 4 Bedrooms, more compact which is fine as we will save on heating bills, and no conservatory :( BUT... it has a stunning little summerhouse :). And if things just couldn't get any better, the house happens to be across the road from the Dartmoor National Park so plenty of scope for our nature walks.

Now here's the cherry on the cake - I love when God does things like this - the owner of the house, who we met and got on with like a house on fire, is a Methodist minister and is moving to her new parish in Cornwall, hence the reason for them letting it out. There's no way you can say that God does not have His hand in every little detail of our lives - love it!

Only downside is that Devon apparently does not get as much snow as we do further north except in 'Big Freeze' conditions. So I guess I'd better start praying for a few of those over the next few years lol.

Well that about wraps up today's post. Hope you are all having a lovely summery day - see you back here very soon.

PS - don't forget to Like my blogs page for extra tidbits and updates.


  1. It's really interesting to read about someone elses perspective on England's West Country (Devon and Cornwall). I'm sure you'll settle well into the area, although I'm not so sure the locals will thank you if they have snow! :-)

    1. lol I think you are quite right Sandy, the locals would not thank me at all. It's still a novelty for me having moved to the UK from sunny South Africa.

  2. How wonderful to find your new home, it all seems to be going quite well. I am so pleased for you all.

  3. Your new home-to-be sounds wonderful, I'm sure you'll all be very happy there. How exciting :-)

  4. I am so happy for you! I am sure the memories you will be making in this lovely place will be just amazing :)

  5. The photos look wonderful and I am so happy for you xx

  6. How fantastic!!! You are right, it is amazing how these things happen sometimes isn't it, as if it were all meant to be, tied together somehow just waiting for us to come along and pretend that we did it all by ourselves! I hope that you will be incredibly happy in your new home!! xx

  7. As a Devonian I couldn't help chuckling whilst reading your perspectives on our tiny country lanes! I learned to drive in those lanes so I am used to them, but the idea of motorway or city driving is terrifying! It sounds like your new home is in a lovely area, Dartmoor is wonderful.

    1. I was just saying to a friend of mine today that I am sure one would get very used to driving those lanes if you were doing it all the time. But oh-my-goodness! It was hair raising for a country-lane virgin lol. Can't help but admire the beauty of Devon though - most gorgeous county! So quintessentially English.

  8. How wonderful!
    I have just found your blog on IG, and I couldn't stop reading. Then finding this post! Oh how synchronic for me, and so comforting and uplifting right when I needed it. We would LOVE to move to Devon, and we are looking for a house in those teeny tiny villages with teeny tiny country lanes! :) Fun to read your perspective about them, you made me smile as those are the lanes where I purposefully drive over here in the Cotswolds (there are many!). We are all so different... I find this beautiful.
    Now I'm going to explore your blog a little more, and I will certainly be back as I want to know everything about Devon!!
    Thank you for this post, it made me happy.

    1. Oh Monica - I get exactly what you are saying! I would love to live in one of those tiny little villages but with two teen daughters the time is not right for us. Although those lanes are gorgeous I found them terrifying to drive on - although I do acknowledge that that is only because I am not used to them, the terror would probably wear off fairly quickly LOL. But aren't we so lucky to live in the most beautiful country in the world?? I love England so much and feel blessed to be surround by an ancient and stunning landscape. What an amazing country!

      X Shirley
      PS. The Cotswolds are just beautiful. I remember driving through many years ago and just having my breath taken away by the beauty.

  9. P.S. Any place to recommend to a highly- sensitive, introverted, romantic artist that loves silence, nature and quaint cottages?

    1. Stay tuned for that one Monica! As someone who loves all those same things I'm hoping to discover the quiet corners of Devon.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate each and every one left for me.