DARTINGTON SHOPS

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Today dawned with a clear sky and sunshine, which was such a change after all our recent rain that I decided to make the most of it and walk with a friend along the riverbank from Totnes station to the Dartington shops.

The Dart was in full flow, as you can see, and whether or not its beauty was appreciated by the sheep on the far bank, it was certainly appreciated by me!

There was a lot of mud en route so I was glad I’d worn my old walking boots. I had the impression there were probably more cyclists than pedestrians – especially young parents with two or three children in tow. One little boy fell off his bike quite near to me, but stood up bravely without shedding a tear or making any kind of fuss, much to his father’s obvious pride. Sons are simply not supposed to cry, are they?

The shops at Dartington used to be called The Cider Press, which I think made them a more intriguing destination than their name today.

There’s a great selection of them – all in a picturesque, traffic-free corner of the Dartington Estate. We decided on a coffee in the Venus Café, rather than Crank’s, today. The picture below shows a lovely shop – My Time – on the right-hand side, with Crank’s on the left.

We called in at the Kitchen Shop and then the Delicatessen before walking the 3 or so miles home equipped with some delicacies for tea!

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RIVERSIDE ENCOUNTER

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Look who I met on the riverbank during my walk this morning! He’s a Tibetan terrier – the same breed as my daughter’s 9-month old puppy, Leo. All those (not many, actually) that I’ve met seem to be very gentle dogs – capable of vertical lift-off! I find it quite extraordinary how Leo can jump up to my nose-level straight from being stationary by my feet.

It seems that this might be in his ancestry from when his forebears in Tibet jumped up on to donkeys to ride behind monks across hostile territory. Well, whatever the reason, Leo likes to be above ground whenever possible and his favorite position at home is lying in a lion-like pose on the back of a sofa.

After leaving the riverside I had to contend with the new road system in Totnes, where the traffic flow in Station Road and Fore Street has recently been reversed. This is causing all kinds of problems – not least in remembering to look the opposite way from usual when crossing the road.

But there were problems before, with people using Fore Street and High Street as a rat run – and short-cut – ignoring signs indicating these roads were for deliveries and access only.

We now have a 3-month trial period of this new system while some underground gas-pipes are being renewed in the town. After that, who knows whether we’ll stay as we are or revert to being how we were? I think it’s time to adjourn to the Curator’s Café on The Plains for a lovely cup of Italian coffee, watching from a safe distance while the world flows by!

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