Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Easter weekend

We had fine spring weather and a good combination of activities and quality relaxation when we spent Easter with Rachel's dad and mum, Fred and Gill - or Grandma and Grandad "Chudleigh" as they are becoming known - recently.

An early getaway on the friday got us to Devon by midmorning in time for the first of a series of Gill's excellent meals. In the afternoon I took the boys to Teignmouth for a buggy trundle along the sea front. Holiday makers were in evidence, the fair was in town and the ice cream sellers were doing a good trade as we made our leisurely path out onto the pier through the electrical noises and lights of the arcades. We returned to the car along the red sandy beach, through gaps in the groynes. I took ten minutes with my eyes closed listening to the waves before just making it back to the slipway ahead of the rising tide.

I was out at 6am the next morning to get a training run in in preparation for the three peaks race. My route followed the river Teign and the Templar Way, down to the sea. I had been looking forward to running along the banks of the estuary, but turned a corner and saw the path dissapearing off into the water! It's only a low tide option really... It was a lovely still sun shiny morning. The sailing club were out racing and I stopped to watch a familiar site from my past as the dingies crept along slowly in the calm. I took to the road and crossed the bridge at Shaldon taking the direct but steep route back to Chudleigh.

Fred made me brews and a sandwich and we spent the afternon watching Cardiff play Toulouse in the Heineken Cup until Rachel and Gill came back from the shops.

Next day, along with many other families, we took a trip to Pennywell Farm. Not entirely my cup of tea, but we had a really nice time - once Gill's excellent packed lunch had helped me to surmount a mild exitential crisis... Highlights were trying to take the double buggy through the willow maze.

Later in the afternoon, Fred and I took the boys out on a ramble through the lanes for a couple of miles. The wild flowers were emerging from the Devonshire hedgerows and the bluebells, wild garlic and dogs mercury covered the floors of the woodlands we passed through. Fred, who was the son of a gardener, has an extensive knowledge of wild flowers. He told me that his dad promised him a pound if he could bring him a flower that he couldn't identify, botanical name and all. Fred got his pound eventually, but as a consolation for ingenuity after designing a composite flower from a number of different plants.

On the Monday morning we went out for a walk at Hound Tor on Dartmoor before hitting the road back to Cheltenham.

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