Mary WesleyThere was some excitement in Totnes recently when Mary Wesley’s youngest son, London literary agent Toby Eady, visited Camomile Lawn – the new¬† housing development named after his mother’s famous book – and officially launched two show homes there. He said how impressed he was with the homes and their stunning views.

As many of her fans will know, Mary lived in Totnes until her death in 2002 and loved it here. She would have been a near-neighbour of mine, had I arrived sooner than I did (in 2008) because I can see her old home from my bedroom window. She lived just beyond my back garden’s boundary wall.

Ancient Totnes is a curious mixture of twists and turns, with little cobbled pathways leading sometimes to surprising places. I never cease to marvel at the number of ‘hidden’ properties only found via secret alleys – many of these located behind doors in Fore Street and elsewhere. There’s a private door in the street close to my home that takes you not into a property but into one such alley, locating some of these hidden homes and then going beyond them to the very heart of Totnes.

Here in Totnes it’s best to expect the unexpected!



House in Castle Drogo grounds

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this little house when I chanced upon it recently. Do you agree with me that it’s a house fit for a pixie? If you’re wondering where I was when I chanced on it, the only clue I intend to give is that I was in Devon.

Oh, but that seems a bit mean! So I’ll add that to reach the house (and the rather lovely grounds it was in) I had to pass the pub that’s in the 2nd picture. Still none the wiser?

Well, then, finally I’ll mention that at the time I was visiting a magnificent castle with a history documented in one of my earlier blog posts. Yes, I expect that by now you’ve guessed where to find the pixie house!

So now I can give you the link that could help you win (with The Portrait’s help, perhaps) a $400 Amazon Shopping Spree. Here it is:

Moretenhampstead pub


Totnes MarketFridays are Totnes market days – oh, and Saturdays too! And, now that I come to think of it, on the third Sunday of every month – taking place in the same square – we have Totnes Good Food Days!

Yes, we’re very blessed here with our farmers’ markets and with all the stalls selling a huge variety of things, from fish, fruit and vegetables, meat, game, bread, olives and so on to clothes, crafts, antiques, jewellery and jeans. Whatever the weather, these traders turn out for our pleasure (and their livelihood) week after week and month after month, lending colour and an added sense of community to our very special town.

On the Good Food Sundays every kind of scrumptious fare is available, from hot curries and a whole variety of Asian dishes to home made fish-cakes and actual cakes and gateaux. I seldom cook on the 3rd Sunday of the month. I just walk round the corner (yes, I’m lucky enough to live a short walk from the heart of Totnes) and choose my lunch from the endless choices on offer.

Totnes market days are definitely days to celebrate. And you just never know who you might see there, adding their unique brand of colour (and music) to an already colourful scene!

Street musician (2)


Barrel HouseThe Barrel House, Totnes, is an interesting establishment. Having said that, most establishments in this town are interesting for one reason or another!

Situated quite near to Happy Apple (the shop where, from dawn to long past dusk, you can buy more or less anything food-related) it serves coffees and meals downstairs in a fairly normal-looking environment. Upstairs, though, there’s an altogether different world. It’s a kind of ballroom, with over-the-top chandeliers – and lots of squishy sofas to loll on. They serve food and drinks up there too and people can ‘chill’ to their hearts’ content in a wholly relaxed atmosphere.

Periodically there’s entertainment, though I haven’t really looked into that yet. It’s something I must do, come to think of it!

Oh, I’m nearly forgetting to mention why, for me, today is Good News Day! I received an email from Amazon Kindle this morning telling me that SAM’S STORY: It’s A Dog’s Life is Number One in its category for freebies. How thrilling is that?! Here, if you’re interested, is its LINK.


UKs first cats cafe, Totnes

Just when you think you’ve seen everything Totnes has to offer, up pops the Totnes Cat’s Cafe! It has actually been around for a few months now, but I’ve been too tied up with other things to comment. I haven’t yet been in for a cup of coffee coupled with some feline therapy, but plenty of people have and the cafe seems to be a very successful enterprise already. Here’s some info about it, as displayed in their window:

Feline Therapy Lounge

And here’s the front of the cafe, so that you’ll be sure to recognise it when in Totnes:

Well, it had to happen!

Well, it had to happen!

Personally, I’m more into dogs than cats – as demonstrated via my new novel ‘Sam’s Story: It’s A Dog’s Life’ on Amazon. If you’re interested, this is where to CLICK!


ImageI mentioned in an earlier blog how Totnes is twinned with Narnia!!! Well, I suppose it was only to be expected that sooner or later Narnia in some form or other would raise its head again – and now it has. A great shop has opened in the High Street, selling all manner of items from an earlier era. I think that ‘Narnia’ probably does very well, as its stock keeps changing and is of good quality ‘bygone’ items. Where they get them all from, I can’t begin to imagine. But it’s fun and sometimes fills me with nostalgia for the 1950s and ’60s – before the advent of mobile phones and modern gadgetry!