Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Holiday Snaps, Vol. 1: Sidmouth

I have some weightier things to blog about in the next few days, but Edie asked specifically for my photos from our trip.  I'll do these in a series of posts, starting with Sidmouth

 We flew last Monday from Philadelphia to Heathrow, hired a car, piled in the luggage and headed southwest.  (We drove right past Stonehenge -- frankly, your average service area off an American interstate highway is set farther from the roadside than Stonehenge is to the A303 -- but didn't stop to take photos.  Y'all know what it looks like, and it actually does look just like its pictures.)

Our first stop was here in Sidmouth, a quiet seaside town in East Devon, pictured above. Ross's reason for visiting Sidmouth was to see where his paternal grandparents retired to.  He had a flat in one of these buildings here -- they too face the sea and must be quite desirable residences now.  Ross remembers it as being a duplex; there's a basement that is at ground level to the rear, where it opens to a courtyard garden.  Grandpa Beresford had wirehaired dachshunds, which he used to go ottering or badgering.  (Pretty much what you would expect: go out at night and find wild animals and, uh, catch them.  Ross's cousin, Philip, joined us in Sidmouth for tea and said that Grandpa wasn't fooling around -- this was no nature walk where Philip and his brother looked for ickle aminals.  Grandpa killed what he caught.  (Ross's sisters were spared this "red in tooth & claw" stuff, although on one walk with Grandpa, he came across a rabbit infected with myxomatosis, a viral infection of some reknown.  Grandpa calmly snapped its neck, to the horror of one of Ross's sisters.

Sidmouth is rather charming in its small, 19th century way:




See that exposed red cliff face?  That's the result of erosion; a real problem along parts of England's coastlines.  Here, it's resulted in the cliff walk being closed off and quite visibly unsafe.

Ross has a photo from his childhood of the beach at Sidmouth, which was even more pebbly then than now. In his photo, there's a shark on the beach, quite dead but also quite scary. Today, the promenade yielded nothing more alarming than these quite tame gulls:

3 comments:

  1. You're making me want to reread PERSUASION.

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  2. Janet W said ... My online book community is going to be reading and discussing Persuasion -- I'll put up a link when it gets a bit closer.

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  3. oohh.. pretty!!

    Green I am.

    Edie

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