Dad had to go to work on Friday morning and I had intended to wait for him to get home before adventuring out in the Saab and getting used to driving in the UK again. However, I woke up bright and early with the taste of pasty on my mind. It was no good, I simply had to go down to Tavy and purchase a cheese and mushroom oggy for my lunch!
It was a little nervewracking manoeuvering the big ol’ Saab around in the drive and getting out into the lane but I managed it and from then on it was plain sailing. No idea what I was worried about. Felt absolutely great to be tootling around and reverting back to gears was like riding a bike.
Parking in Tavistock on the other hand was a complete nightmare! Friday is market day so the town was packed solid. I didn’t even try to find a free space to squeeze into. Instead, I elected to park over in the Bedford Car Park and (when I eventually found a space) squealed in terror at the cost of parking now.
I only had enough on me for an hour so this resulted in me racing around Tavistock like a loon trying to do all my errands and leave room for pasty appreciation.
First stop was the bank where I was finally able to update my details and become Mrs Kay Allen, then onwards to Mainly Stationary for some supplies for Mum. Charlie was in chirpy attendance and said to say hello to Sy and Mel for her. So…”hello Sy and Mel!” Was terribly fun to go shopping and run into someone I know for a gossip and cheery exchange.
I’d hoped to have more of an explore and check out some charity shops but I quickly ran out of time and had to race back to the car, clutching my oggy in one hand of course!
Back at home oggy got demolished and then it was back out into the sunshine with Daddy and Molly for a nice walk over at Pew Tor. We took Mowgs up to the abandoned quarry and let her get nicely wet and muddy. She carried a tennis ball which Dad would throw out to her to retrieve. Sometimes he’d then be a tease and as she had her back turned he’d dart off into the bushes and hunker down. Molls would get the ball, turn around and with no Daddy in sight begin to cry. She’d whine and pine all the way back out of the water and frantically race around looking for the old fart, ignoring me completely. Of course, she always found him and then went back to get her ball for another go!
Dad found one letterbox nestled beneath an outcrop as we were out walking. Named “Woolly Jumper” the stamp featured a sheep. Molly is apparently very good at finding these boxes as she leads Dad to places where people have recently been and investigates.
For those that don’t know (ie, waves at Don and Fran), a letterbox is usually a rubber stamp and a visitor’s book placed in a watertight container (tupperware or sometimes an old army ammo box) and hidden out on the moors. Armed with map, compass and a set of clues people then try to track down these boxes. Once found they write or use their own stamp to record their visit in the book, and then make a print of the letterbox in their own archive before putting it back exactly where they found it for the next person. Often letterboxers have their own personal signatures and become famous in their own right. When we used to go out letterboxing I would be “The Trollenberg Terror” and sign using an inky thumbprint with hands and legs.
This was a result of walking in Wales up in the Black Mountains near our home and being told scare stories by Dad about this Trollenberg Terror who would hide in the clouds looking for victims. He would come up behind a straggler and “tickle behind the neck, tickle behind the legs, and snap you in two”. I think the only thing to fend off this beast was coal tar soap.
Visitor’s books often also contain clues for more letterboxes and so can lead you on a treasure trail.
An example clue would be:
BATTERY MIRE. Tallest stone in circle = 009.5º, Hut = 306.5º, Wall corner = 207.5º. Box plugged on top of mound 3p from small horseshoe shaped peat bank.
Wow, this hobby originated on Dartmoor but I just googled and judging by all the websites Stateside it seems to be going strong in America now too.
With the sun threatening to set we then walked up to the tor before ambling back down to the car as the warmth began to be sucked from the air.