Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Underwater sightings

Maidencombe is a charming small cove north of Torquay, with red sand and cliffs. We went expecting a day of sandcastles, gentle swims and ice creams but it turned out much more exciting than that. There are lots of weird and wonderful rock formations on both sides of the beach, with lots of channels, overhangs and sheltering places for marine life. We saw a starfish, wrasse, prawns and a huge spider crab which glowed day-glo orange among the thick brown kelp. There are also lots of wonderful ledges, perfect for jumping and diving.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Swimming in the wake of the Queen of Crime

Had a laugh mucking around in silly swimming hats today, to do publicity shots for a charity swim I'm helping to organise. The Agatha Christie Swim, in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance, will take place on September 19th. It follows a gorgeous one mile course between the pretty beaches of Goodrington and Broadsands in Paignton. You swim past intricate little inlets with lovely names - Shell Cove and Crystal Cove to name but two - as well as fascinating geological features including 400 million year old coral fossils. Do please come and join us and support a worthy cause - the Air Ambulance is a vital rescue service which gets no government funding. You can enter here. Photo copyright Neil Devons, Proteus Media

Thursday, 22 July 2010


During a lunchbreak swim at Hollicombe, my feathered companions included ducks as well as cormorants and gulls. Afterwards they had a little siesta on the beach. Shame I couldn't do the same.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Delicious Dart

I'd forgotten how amazing the Dart is....I've been swimming in lots of other places lately and just hadn't been there for a while. Well today I went back to one of my old 'faves' and fell in love all over again. This particular place has two small waterfalls, like natural jacuzzis. I spent lots of time just watching the myriad golden bubbles that foam constantly at the bottom of the cascade. Then I just stuck my face in and shut my eyes; it was like being given a million soft kisses.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Medieval mayhem

It's that time of year when Ashburton 'goes medieval'. The Ancient Ale Tasting and Bread Weighing ceremony goes back hundreds of years - and this year is the 750th anniversary. It is the solemn duty of the dignitaries of the town to visit all the pubs and check the quality of the beer. A special anniversary message of congratulation from the Queen was read out, before general merry making in the streets, including the sinister Grimspound Morris Men.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Carnival commotion

I know it's carnival time in Ashburton when my sleep is disturbed by groups of drunks stopping to chat on the bridge outside our house as they stumble their way home. I love it though. The lights, the glitter, the topical references and the man-made fibres. It's a wonderful home-made spectacle.