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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Moos And Shaldon

Monday mid-day in the Shaldon Coffee Rush...


Earlier in the morning our hosts Neil and Halina and son, Thomas, departed for Birmingham...


After our fond farewells we headed down to the ferry to cross over to Teignmouth....

which was packed as usual...

We took a walk along the promenade...



Some familiar faces out towards the end of the pier...



We went into town. I had completely forgotten that this was a bank holiday so a lot of the shops were shut. We heard people talking about "the Mooes" which I later realised translated to Muse, who are giving a concert in the town next week.

The Mooes fever grips Teignmouth...






and to balance the Muse-centric nature of this post, here's an oblique reference to Porcupine Tree!
Meanwhile back on the ferry and over to Shaldon...

Back at the Manor House, food was consumed and wine was drunk, and toasts were made in honour of our absent hosts N & H...


A beautiful evening in Shaldon...







Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meanwhile in Shaldon...

Thanks to Shaldon's most excellent cafe, The Shaldon Coffee Rush, and their super, double-plus good free wifi, I'm able to connect to the wider world and do a little updating here and there.


A superb evening last night eating our catch of the day. There's something incredibly civilized about sitting down with pals, eating and drinking and chatting over several hours.

Thomas G gets a certificate for having landed the first fish of the day and is rightly celebrated by one and all!





My favourite time of day in Shaldon is early morning and dusk...




The beach around us was crowded with lots of folks barbecuing food. The atmosphere of good will about the place was tangible...






"These are precious days" Halina said to me at one point. Indeed they are. More fun planned for today.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fishing In Shaldon

A lovely start to the day in Shaldon...



After a pleasant breakfast chat with Neil, I head off to the The Shaldon Coffee Rush - a fine cafe with even finer free wifi. Later in the morning I’m joined by Deb, Dude and Jim although it’s possible they are more appreciative of the coffee than the wifi.



The plan for today is to get a place on a boat and go in search of marlin. Er, sorry, mackerel. We are having a fab barbeque. I missed last year’s outdoor extravaganza having just returned from the USA and the 2008 King Crimson tour.

Long term readers of this blog may even recall that when we went mackerel fishing in 2007 I caught precisely zip. This year, the only way is up!

With that valediction ringing in my ears we strode off to the beach to catch the ferry over to Teignmouth. The beach is very busy because this is regatta weekend. No matter. When faced with a crisis we Brits do what we do best: we form an orderly queue.



Our transport to Teignmouth arrives...



There are some spectacular clouds attending our fishing trip...


As we queue to step aboard the ferry aquatic fun and games ensue between smugglers and the men from the revenue.




The voice over the tannoy pokes fun at the European parliament and its institutions which draws a loud cheer from the folks who are already cheering the smugglers. Walking around Shaldon there’s the odd house displaying UKIP literature warning people of the evils of federalism, Beaujolais-soaked bureaucrats, ceding sovereignty and demanding “I want my England back!”

Much like the folks attending the Health Care town hall meetings in America crying “I want my America back” one suspects that it would take a fairly short conversation to reveal that their America or England isn’t anywhere I’d like to live.


On board Restless and the excitement mounts as we leave Teignmouth. Graham, Thomas and Neil are in fine hunting mode...



Dude, Jim and Deb are just as excited but manage to contain it slightly better...



Leaving Teignmouth and looking back toward Shaldon, we head for the open seas. Well, OK a couple of miles or so out from shore.





We must have only been stopped about a minute when Thomas hauled up the first fish to be caught on the boat. A round of generous (and possibly envious) applause came up from his crew mates.


Not too long after Thomas' good fortune, I managed to break my bad luck of a couple of years ago and hauled in my first fish. Ryan, who was looking after us land-lubbers, told me it was a red gurnard. We were all highly excited at seeing something so exotic.



Graham probably landed the bulk of our catch thus ensuring friends and family would have their fill.



My total bag came to the red gurnard, a couple of skad, and a pollock. Not a single mackerel.

Back into Teignmouth...

An evening of socialising and barbecuing our booty awaits...

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