A long, long while ago I titled a layout One Day Like This after the crowd-pleasing song from Elbow. It doesn't matter how many times I hear it, I still sit up and listen and my heart soars a little (or if I am out jogging accelerate from turtle pace to faster turtle pace). The lyrics mean different things to me at different times but the one thing that always sticks in my mind after a good day is "One day like this a year will see me right". And that is my long winded way of telling you that this episode of the Summer Bucket List was one such day.
The plan changed several times over the course of the summer and indeed on the day we changed our mind twice. The car was unexpectedly held up in the garage for an eye-watering amount of repairs and so we weren't sure if we would be able to go, the weather has been mercurial this week, anyway we decided to go out to Watersmeet, just outside Lynmouth.
I haven't been for many years and I am not sure Louis has ever been, I know Alex hasn't. So glad to rectify that. We normally go west to the Woolacombe/Croyde/Braunton side of North Devon to the beaches but as the boys age we are looking more to the east and exploring Exmoor.
We started at Combe Park south and above Watersmeet as there is a picnic ground. The boys tore round for ages as Mum and I set up the picnic and then I went off with them for a 'clamble' as Ali put it. I was so proud of Louis for joining in so happily and having fun with Ali. They have been quite close this summer (obviously still fighting like only siblings can sometimes) the 4 year gap is more pronounced at certain ages I have found).
Here is the journaling from the pocket layout:
“Come with us Mum” Ali exclaimed, Louis grinned at me and we followed him down to the river. The water has dark grey and dark brown smooth stones and in some places it is knee deep, but most places it is ankle deep. I love that the worst that could happen is that we get a little wet and yet my heart is hammering and the boys are being so careful, I wonder what instinct kicks in there? Ali is less wary than Louis and I and he scampers on ahead telling us where to put our feet like a juvenile sergeant-major. He chose a path across that I would have said was impassable but it was and we made it. Mum sat at the picnic table and caught some shots of us, when I looked at them we are all smiling and happy. Goal met.Our picnic lunch was two days in the making, a part of the experience was to have an old-fashioned picnic. Ones I remember from my childhood at family days, ones I read about from The Famous Five. One of the plans was to make Ginger Beer and we found a recipe of my Granny's but forgot to do it! We will do that later in the summer or Autumn.
All scrapbooking supplies used from Simple Stories 'Under The Stars' collection with gold foil Thickers. That journaling? A green neon sharpie *love* #yesofcourseiboughtallfourcolours
We also resurrected my Granny's cut-rounds. Loved them, and so did Mum, she has been practicing with help as the original recipe was a bit out of date, so we found out how Auntie Pat now makes them and they are wonderful, Mum has tried them wholemeal and granary as well and all delicious. I have posted the recipe on my fb page if you want to have a go, especially for you Gill and Linds.
I made a gala pie, sausage rolls and cucumber pickle, Mum made manor cake and choc buns, we had homemade cheese dip for crackers and choc dip for fruit. It was all delicious and fed us for three days lol.
So after that we were ready for a walk down to Watersmeet. It was stunning and heart-droppingly steep in places, we sighed as we looked at benches on the way down knowing how happy we would be to see them on the way back up.
I captured a couple of photos for Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt as we got there:
#4 A group of tourists
and #18 A waterfall
This is Watersmeet House, a National Trust property that has delicious cream teas and ice cream for a start. My cousin, the aforementioned Gill, worked there along with my other cousins, her brothers Andrew & Rob. My Mum was recollecting that they used to cycle to work and I would like to know if that is true Gill? Amazing if it is!
We had an ice-cream, wandered around and then headed back up the trail.
Those benches were so welcome, we did manage to not sit on one though and keep going!
On the way down as we turned a corner we came across a pile of logs, Mum and I immediately looked straight at Ali, and he saw it and shouted "Snake's house!" Of course that lovely Gruffalo book goes on and on. On the way up, Louis and Mum went on as Ali and I wanted to go and look at another waterfall (very high and I didn't get a very good shot of it). Ali said that maybe this was "The Deep Dark Wood" from the book. I replied that it did look very like it and maybe he should see if he could find the other animals houses. He asked for the big camera so he could get some photos, he said that the light was very good and made me pose for this photo...
...which is hilarious.
Then he got one of Fox's house and Owl's house and then of course Snake'ssss log-pile housssse.
The best bit, he turned to me and said "You know, you should put this on your website, with, like, a bit from The Gruffalo". "Good idea" I said. As if I hadn't already thought about that.
So courtesy of an original idea by Alexander:
When we got back to Combe Park, Mum sat and read, Ali played in the river and Louis and I chilled out on the picnic blanket until it was time to go home. One day like this a year will see me right indeed.
Now, I appreciate that was a long post, if you could bear it I would love to know whether you can get the video below to load? I make them for family (although of course you are welcome to watch if you like!) but I don't know if they load up well on other peoples screens, if you would be kind enough to let me know whether you can see it properly and if you are watching on a lappy, iPad, samsung, other tablet, phone etc.
Thanks in advance if you can help, please don't worry if you can't, life is short, this post is not.
Watersmeet from Jennie Hart on Vimeo.