Monday, 26 September 2016

Redeveloped Ice Cream

Overheard in The Old Sawmill in Berrynarbour:

Chairman: "Devon is filled with people from the Midlands."

Simon: "Yes, I heard quite a few northern accents."

Chairman: "Birmingham - northern?"

Simon: "North of the M4 is northern to me."

Ever noticed how eating emporia in different parts of the country promote their locally made ice creams? There's Callesticks in Cornwall and Otter Valley in Devon, for example. Our own local brand is Marshfields. The thing is I've yet to discern any difference in taste between these locally made ice creams - they all taste exactly the same so me.

Spent the weekend with some friends in our usual haunt of Lee Bay in North Devon. There's a 1920s era, derelict hotel there which has the usual story behind it:
  1. Developer gets in quick and buys it, intending to demolish it and turn the site into luxury houses for rich people.
  2. Locals up in arms as new houses (which would probably end up as 2nd homes) would destroy the ethos of the village. They would prefer it renovated into either an hotel, or apartments with a bit of affordable housing.
  3. Developer hangs on the the property for over a decade, allowing it to fall into such a state that they maintain it can no longer be economically renovated.
  4. Local council left with no choice but to allow it to be demolished.
It's a real shame. Here's what the old place looks like now:

Very Poirot or Agatha Christie. This is what they want to build in its place:

While a renovated hotel would provide permanent local jobs, the proposed development would add relatively little to the local economy and simply not fit in with the rest of the architecture in the village. It's basically architectural and cultural vandalism.

Our pool car (as we call it) broke down on the M5 returning home and we had to be rescued by the RAC. The first time in my life I've ever broken down on the motorway and not been able to repair the car myself. We were very lucky, as power just evaporated while in the overtaking lane. Only just managed to encourage the car to cross the lanes (with heavy traffic) and come to rest on the hard shoulder. The RAC engineer diagnosed a faulty crank shaft injection sensor, but I suspected an electrical short, as while we were being towed to a garage I noticed the dashboard instruments all died whenever the indicators were put on. We shall see today. A faulty crankshaft sensor means scrapping the car, as it's only worth a couple of hundred quid.

There were some huge blackberries where we came to rest, although God alone knows what noxious substances being alongside the M5 had covered them in.

We were only 4 hours late in getting home.


  1. The parochial English never ever change do they?

    1. Not on your nellie.

      The charm of the place is its ambience. Should that change with an ugly modern development on the bay front, I doubt I'd ever go back.