April 07, 2012

Dartmoor

Dartmoor was amazing; spectacular and wildly beautiful. We arrived with the best weather you could imagine for March. Nights were cold, mornings were foggy and days were hazy in the distance but unseasonably warm.

Walks along the Teign Gorge and around Fernworthy Reservoir immersed us in Dartmoor but not as much as I would have liked. The wildness and the loneliness are dramatic and compelling. People lived up here until quite recently; we passed the remains of a farm that was only abandoned in 1950-something. There were no roads, no electricity or gas and no running water. Self-sufficiency was paramount and necessary.

Castle Drogo and Belvedere Tower (Lawrence Castle) were very impressive and Max and Angie's wedding at Lawrence Castle was one of the best days I've spent with people I don't know.

We met some lovely people in pubs and tea rooms and visited the Drewe Arms in Drewsteignton; a pub that was frozen in time about 40 years ago. The landlady retired at the age of 99 and died in 1994 at the grand old age of 101. CAMRA designated it a Heritage pub and said it should remain as it is ever after. The chip sauce made by one of the young barmaids was awesome.

Free ELP

When I was about 14 or 15 I bought an issue of NME which said: Next week - FREE ELP (you'll know if you're old enough to remember). So I bought next weeks issue only to find it contained two articles, one about the band Free and one about Emerson Lake and Palmer!

Postscript: Age and understanding does nothing to enlighten - I've just been reminded they were EPs not ELPs (Extended Play)! Even then (43 years ago) I got it wrong.