Heaven in Devon

Yesterday, cabin fever overtook me after too many days staring at the computer screen, and I thought “blow this for a game of soldiers”. I took the day off, and we went to Dartmoor on a gloriously sunny day. I chose a new place to visit, near Meldon.

Meldon Woods are a glorious sight just now – acres of bluebells in a hazel and beech wood on the valley slopes. Quite magical. (But you cannot hear the 40 ton stone lorries rumbling along the road from Meldon Quarry!)

Meldon woods

Black-a-Tor Copse is a rare relict upland oakwood, which could easily be inhabited by hobbits. As well as the subtle ochre of new oakleaves, there are lots of mossy boulders to admire. These brought a Zen garden to mind, and I chose a subdued colour palette to draw attention to the shapes. Perfect peace here – only the distant sound of a cuckoo, bleating sheep, the water running in the river Okement, and the wind in the trees.

A perfect end to a perfect day: old-fashioned tea in the courtyard, at the Victorian tearooms in the Okehampton Museum of Rural Life. A soft-boiled egg with white bread and butter, a slice of home made jam sponge, and lashings of strong tea. (Note: this was written in the days before it was considered necessary to photograph every meal before tucking in!)

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