I have this view of Totnes Castle through my kitchen window. Its distinctive stone circular keep (with walls 15 feet thick) has stood here since Norman times and can be seen for miles above the town’s rooftops.

At 5.30 am on 1st May I climbed the 50 or so feet up to its inner bailey to watch the Morris Men heralding the dawn, as they do each year on May Day. Ideally we should have seen the sunrise, but – surprise, surprise – all we saw (apart from the distinctive dancing) was rain and then more rain!

I love having the Castle – and Totnes itself – virtually on my doorstep, as their proximity helps me feel ‘in the thick of things’. Yet my small walled garden is usually an oasis of calm where I can imagine myself to be in the heart of the country.

I can also imagine the goings-on of long ago – especially on summer Tuesdays, when many Totnes traders and some residents dress in Elizabethan costumes to bring gaiety and a taste of yesterday to the market place! Which reminds me that it’s Tuesday again tomorrow …


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