Today I went with a friend to visit Greenway – Agatha Christie’s summer retreat. We took the ferry from the picturesque Devon village of Dittisham. This involved leaving our car and walking down a steep hill to the River Dart, where a sign told us to ring the big bell to summon the ferryman.
So we pulled (hard) on the rope provided and awaited his arrival from the far side of the river. There was a biting wind, but at least it wasn’t raining (or snowing, as it has been doing today in some parts of Devon). We were soon aboard the small ferry boat and then had a steep hill to climb before reaching Greenway. As well as exploring the house, with its far-reaching views and the artifacts collected over a lifetime (many brought back from Baghdad, where she and her archaeologist husband also had a home) we visited the boathouse – scene of the murder in Agatha’s novel DEAD MAN’S FOLLY.
The surrounding gardens – with their primroses, daffodils, magnolias, camellias and other delights – were where we spent the rest of our time.
How can the heading Murder On The Orient Express possibly fit in to My Devon Diary? Well, here’s how it works:
Next Monday, if all goes according to plan, I shall be visiting Agatha Christie’s former holiday home overlooking the River Dart near Dartmouth. I’ve already tried (twice) to visit it, but both trips had to be aborted for various reasons. Hopefully it will be a case of 3rd time lucky!
Meanwhile, last week – while in Istanbul – I visited the Pera Palace Hotel where Agatha Christie once stayed for three months while writing her novel entitled … yes, you’ve guessed it!
So the heading is valid for this Diary, don’t you think?
Yesterday, with a friend, I made my second attempt to visit Agatha Christie’s holiday home – Greenways, overlooking the River Dart near Dartmouth. Our first attempt went wrong when my friend had to make an emergency visit to her dentist with an abscess.
This time, though the weather wasn’t promising, we were determined to press ahead and set off in torrential rain for Dittisham where we planned to take the foot ferry across the river – reaching Greenways the recommended way. Well, we arrived in the car park and sat in my car for almost an hour, willing the rain to go away. While waiting, we weighed up the wisdom (or otherwise) of walking through the downpour to the little jetty, then ringing the bell and awaiting the arrival of the ferryman – all the while getting soaked to the skin, despite our brollies, given the conditions.
We eventually decided it wasn’t wise – or desirable – to arrive at Greenways dripping wet. So we (temporarily) abandoned our project and went to Blackpool Sands for lunch in the beachside Venus Café instead! Guess what happened then – yes, the sky cleared giving us this beautiful view of the empty beach!