Monday 6th June
After the school run Christine and I resumed our tour of areas most likely to appeal to us to live, and to this end we headed due south, our destination was Lyme Regis. Our plan was to head to Lyme Regis along the main roads and then slowly meander through the lanes and small villages to see what’s what, besides it will make a nice day out.
We hit the road around 1000hrs and arrived in Lyme Regis a couple of hours later; a pretty small seaside town on the Jurassic coast. Lyme also has a remarkable history for such a small place (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_Regis), really worth a read. Of course arriving at this small seaside town along with hordes of other “grockles”, parking was impossible so drove through, turned and drove back, though managed to stop in the car park by the harbour for sufficient time for Christine to “pop” out of the car and take a picture. Originally we planned a coffee break here, but that couldn’t happen so started to head back through the local highways and byways driving through numerous pretty villages until we arrived at one such village, “South Petherton”. Firstly we could park the car and “for free” 😁😁, so had a wander around and was rather impressed. South Petherton is in Somerset, located 5 miles east of Ilminster, and 5 miles north of Crewcerne, but more importantly, it is midway between Hope farm, and the south coast, satisfying both our needs!!
This village was rather distinctive for the traditional hamston (“Hamstone” is the name given to a honey-coloured building stone from Ham Hill in Somerset). construction of many of its buildings. South Petherton was a market town, but these days is regarded as a village
We were very impressed by this well-catered-for village, enjoying the best of many worlds. The bustling high street boasts everything from an award-winning deli to a fishmonger, butcher, and a co-op supermarket . There is also the “Brewers Arms”, a 17th century coaching inn but most importantly, just on the outskirts, is the South Petherton Community Hospital 🤠😍. So far so good!!! Being lunchtime we thought a lunch at the Brewers Arms would be just the ticket, but no, it was closed; oh dear, first black-mark 😩😩 still we found a very nice tea room that had a fairly comprehensive menu for light lunches etc., so had to make do; surprisingly it was very nice, good food, good service and very friendly. Chatting over lunch we decided this place was a definite possibility as a suitable place to live so after we’d eaten we popped over to the estate agents and looked in their window. We couldn’t go further as we haven’t sold yet😢😢. There was one place that could have been suitable but it was going to auction so apart from having a “butches” from outside, we could do no more.
During the rest of the trip back, every place we went through we benchmarked it to South Petherton, and nothing came up to its level.
Back at the ranch, we had a quite evening; Monday night Dave goes out climbing.
Tuesday 7th June
Today was a rather important day as we were taking “Muse”to the stud farm in Devon. Muse is Jane’s mare that has been “Sired” by a championship stallion and she is now close to “dropping” her foal and because Jane doesn’t have any suitable maternity stabling at present, Muse has been sent to the stud farm. This foal will have a great deal of value, so it was important to give her the best surroundings in which to “do-the-business”.
We loaded the “very pregnant” Muse on the trailer, and also put Shone on as well to keep her calm during her journey to Devon.
Unfortunately the stud is in the middle of nowhere, somewhere on Exmoor up a very steep hill. On an earlier visit Jane drove up the hill but today realised that with one very heavy pregnant horse, and one not so heavy, it would be a struggle for “Apollo” (the 4×4 Mercedes) to climb this hill which was also a very narrow lane. If anybody came from the opposite direction and she had to stop on this hill, Apollo would have difficulty starting again. After a ‘phone call to the stud and changing course, we eventually found the route that allowed us to arrive at the stud going down the hill!!!
The owner of the stud has prepared a “maternity stable” for Muse, so we unloaded her. Muse was in good company as there were several “mothers”, some with their foals and some just waiting!!
Back at home farm we unloaded a very disappointed Shone and had lunch. Poor Shone, who had traveled with Muse thought he had arrived at a show ground, but to his horror he was re-loaded for the return trip for nothing!!!
After dinner the four of us played a few games of Marjon.
Wednesday 8th June
Today we had booked a second visit to Sandford Retirement Village specifically to view two, 2-bedroom ground floor flats with private gardens that were coming onto the market in the coming weeks. We had also arranged to drive over to Peterborough for a stop-over with Holly and give Christine an evening with her grandson, Elton, returning the following day.
Our appointment at Sandford was for 1000hrs and we knew from our previous visit that their salespeople are punctual, not a Spanish 1000hrs!!!! Unfortunately this morning Christine had a splitting headache and didn’t feel too good so took a covid test which fortunately was negative but she still felt very bad. After much soul searching, she reluctantly contacted Holly and cancelled our visit; travelling for so many hours in the car for just one night was too much😢🤪.
Jane and Dave’s mother accompanied us to Sandford, Jane to check it out for us!, and Dave’s mum to see if the village was suitable for her.
We duly arrived on time and visited the two apartments. The first one didn’t appeal; the garden was small due to its funny shape and because of all the trees, the flat was dark and dingy. The second one we visited was much better, slightly bigger garden and a much brighter interior, altogether a better prospect but naturally this was reflected in the price!!!
We were now left to our own devices and because all the covid restrictions had been lifted we were allowed to wander about and sit in the lounge and enjoy a cup of coffee whilst we “mulled” over the “pros” and “cons”. As we had cancelled our Peterborough trip, the pressure was off, allowing us to spend time and chat to residents we met whilst wandering, about; all good stuff!
Following our comprehensive visit and Christine not feeling her usual self we headed straight home where we spent the rest of the day relaxing.
Thursday 9th June
This morning Christine was more her usual self, good news but naturally disappointed she hadn’t been able to see Elton. This afternoon Dave is taking his mother back to Newmarket so an early lunch was called for and Christine volunteered to make it.
Soon after clearing up the dinner things, Dave and his Mum left and later at the appointed hour we headed to collect Mia from school. Today wasn’t the usual school collection, no, today Mia was heading straight to a new Gymnastics club in Weston so it was a change of clothes in the car “en-route”. Being her first time there, Jane wanted to be in plenty of time in case she couldn’t find the place as the address said it was in an industrial estate, which it was. We waited patiently until the “boss” lady arrived and opened up whereupon Jane and Mia left us to book in.
The class is for an hour and rather than hang about, Jane wants to revisit where “Granny” (my mother) lived after I’d left home, but driving round and round the Shrubbery area I couldn’t for the life of me remember; well it has been over 50-years!!!!! After failing to find it, we returned to the gymnastics club and watched the last 10-minutes of her class.
Having eaten a proper lunch, tonight we just snacked, and being Jane’s house, we snacked on all the good things, chocolate bars, ice cream and biscuits etc., etc.!!!!!
Tomorrow we head to Exeter to stay with Geoff and Rowena for a couple of nights