The Estuary

The Estuary

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Monday, 23 November 2015

Social Scene

Well we've been living in Devon for seven weeks!!

It feels fairly normal in some respects and completely strange in other ways.

Retiring to Devon means that I don't go out to work. That is strange in itself but it also means a massive reduction in the number of people I interact with and that is very strange...

Reminds me of the early days of retirement back in April.
Feeling a bit aimless.

We are lucky that we have had lots of visits from family members so that has helped keep me fairly sane.

I have been making a big effort to meet new people. Not really my comfort zone and I think I may have over done it slightly - bridge class, bridge club, geology club, walking group.

Of course I have met our neighbours on the estate (still only 4 households) and our neighbours over the back. All very friendly.

We have also met the farmer from over the back who has loads of free range chickens. Paul bought some eggs off him today and they were very good.

The eggs from the white chickens have a very pale blue shell!

We see a lot of the Bovis staff and workmen and have got to know them pretty well.

I might consider signing up for some voluntary work in the New Year but don't want to rush into it.

For now its probably best to concentrate on working in the garden and getting ready for Christmas!

Enjoyed some gardening this weekend.
Set up my bird feeding station and started work on my old wall

Monday, 16 November 2015

Walking Group news

Carolyn and Paul's walking group has continued to thrive in our new location.

We have several favourite local walks and have enjoyed sharing them with our visitors.

Joanne gave me some very useful books about walks and places to visit in this area so plenty of inspiration there.

I am going to mark all the walks we do on my maps including the rather special map that Belinda gave me for my birthday.

The map is centred on Fremington and has our names and van on the cover!

During his recent visit Sam visited, Isley Marsh, the local RSPB reserve just along the Tarka Trail from our house and saw a number of typical estuary birds, e.g. egret, curlew, spoonbill. He also heard the fairly unusual Cetti's warbler.

Drawing of a Curlew from RSPB website

On November 2nd Paul and I walked from Fremington to Instow and back. 7.9 miles and the weather was lovely. We spotted some of the birds Sam had told us about but I really need to improve my bird identification skills.

We had a good lunch at the Instow Arms (recommended in Joanne's book) and I attempted to fly an old kite on the beach (more about that in a future post).

On the way back we spotted this butterfly enjoying the winter sun. It is a Comma - Polygonia c-album

Whilst on the subject of butterflies...later at home I found this moth on the wall of my upstairs room.

Herald Moth

I discovered where he spent the night!

He seemed a bit tipsy and fell on his back,
but his legs were moving so I put him outside on Paul's Rhododendron viscosum.
He was very well camouflaged so should be o.k.  
Last week we became members of  Barnstaple U3A (University of the 3rd Age). We joined the walking group on a linear walk between Bideford and Appledore. Just over 3.5 miles and very enjoyable. We then had lunch at the Beaver Inn Appledore which was very good with fantastic views across the estuary.
We are looking forward to discovering more local walks and getting to know a few other walkers.

Monday, 9 November 2015


Today's post was going to be about birds, butterflies and kite flying, but unfortunately I have been distracted by....BLACK MOULD...

YUK!!!! (The cold room)

New houses have to be well ventilated and fairly evenly heated to avoid the growth of black mould. The humidity level is high due to concrete and plaster drying out. We had been leaving the sitting room cold during the day and keeping one room very cold to store wine and some food. We had also been keeping doors shut and had forgotten about ventilating the under stairs cupboard.

The cupboard under the stairs has its fair share.
 Well we've learned our lesson. I've washed off all the mould and we are keeping all rooms and cupboards warm and ventilated until the house dries out.

Lots of useful information online but we were a bit too relaxed about it. I would recommend anyone else moving into a new build to read this carefully and follow the advice...,31929,en.pdf

Never mind, plenty of time next week to write about more playful pursuits.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Instant lawn!

In place of a muddy patch resembling a ploughed field we now have rolling green lawn...

From this....
to this....

and this...

The turfers rotovated and levelled the ground, and laid the turf all in one day.

We have to try not to walk on the turf for four weeks, so have a number of large boards that we move around to make paths to various areas.

Here is the temporary board path to my temporary washing line.
 We also have to try and keep the leaves off the grass so have invested in a leaf blower and vacuum cleaner. Quite fun and we can make loads of leaf mould.

Happy Halloween!
I managed to attract one 'Trick or Treater' with my Jack o' lantern on the front lawn.