stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Surf heaven diary - the journey home

Day three (continued)

In fact the sun did come out again in the evening, and encouraged me to stroll to the village and sit outside a pub in the molten gold evening and sip an iced white wine spritzer. I had given up on getting a wifi hotspot for the laptop to check my emails - when in Saltrock (a trendy surf shop that was open late into the evening) I espied a sign that said "internet access" Hurrah! It was remarkable how detached I felt. It was good to talk again - even if only to the assistant to buy some exotic shells for Youngest Daughter, eat an ice cream, and be part of the wider world again.

I felt calm and happy and suddenly realised I had enough Peace and Quiet and decided to dawdle home the next morning.

Day four

A bright and early start, and it was fun to do the old thing of "following my nose". Just point the car in the vague direction of home and see where the Universe nudged me to go!

A picnic place proved an unpromising start, but it was right on the edge of the moor. I followed a lovely deep wooded Devon valley that cut a curving winding ravine through the high ground. It was quite intoxicating, swinging down the road next to the river - rather like slaloming down a ski slope (not that I ski) - the rhythm was comforting. As the valley widened out at its end I spotted the sign that I had an idea I may see. "National Trust property - Knightshayes Court"

I didnt bother me that the house was closed to visitors on that day, it was the gardens I wanted to wander through. The old stables, that now hold the restaurant and plant shop, were romantic.

The Victorian gothic house stands above colourful traditional herbaceous borders, a little past their best at this time of year, but gorgeous.

And I found a clary sage plant Salvia sclarea "Turkestanica" I think this smells totally divine. You rub it between your fingers and an aromatic oil is given off. Too pungent for most, its citrus/pine/mint fragrance is bliss to me. I grew one once but it only lasted a couple of years. I must try again.

The woods beckoned, cool and inviting. I was reminded of Kew - the huge area with specimen labelled ancient trees, and small intimate lawns hidden around.

I had a funny experience! I was sitting very quietly, hidden deep in the wood, contemplating the forest around me, when I heard the tramping of feet and someone crashing through the undergrowth, very close. I could see male legs through the bushes. Oh dear, some man - couldnt be bothered to go all the way back to the public loo! He enjoyed a long and luxurious pee, while I remained totally still. I stifled a giggle and he turned and rejoined his female companion, totally unaware he had been seen!

I still had an hour or so on the road, and I got caught in some traffic gridlock in a town on the way - but somehow it didnt matter too much.

Dorset was green and quiet in the late evening sunshine - all slanting shadows and cool air. There's no place like home!


At 12:31 pm, Blogger Val said...

Thanks for taking us along on your journey, although I could have done without the interloper. Yuck!

Btw, I just borrowed two more Lisa See novels. I hope they're as good as the Snow Flower one.

At 7:14 pm, Blogger Rowan said...

The garden at Knightshayes Court looks beautiful, lovely to come on it by chance. I've got three little Clary Sage plants waiting to go into the garden, better get them in before I go away!

At 11:36 pm, Blogger Zen said...

Lovely gardens, Glad you did not get "misted" as well

At 12:44 pm, Anonymous tanya said...

You know, sometimes I think I can't read your blog anymore - it just makes me want to run back to England.

Fabulous pictues, and great tales.

At 12:52 pm, Blogger Tabor said...

Thanks so much for the lovely garden tours. England has the garden market cornered it seems!

At 3:28 am, Blogger Kerri said...

What a beautiful place to visit along your way home for a few pleasant hours.
I love that clary sage and have written it on my wish list of plants to look out for. I'm sure that like you, I'd love the smell. It sounds delightful.
Oh my, I'm glad that fellow didn't see you and get a fright. That might've upset his aim :)
Talk about disturbing your peace!


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