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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Odds and Sods October 2021

Originally published on Blogspot by Gethin Thomas November 4th 2021

I am running a bit behind this time because I had a last minute offer of some quick foot surgery so of course I said yes. Not that I was just swayed by a great offer, I did actually need foot surgery which should have been done later in the month, I don't just shop around for random offers on different types of surgery. But now it is done and the worst is over, touch wood. I am back at my PC posting blogs again, which stops me hobbling around with the risk of stubbing my already sore toe.

Luckily I had been a bit more efficient in October in keeping up with my editing so all I really have to do is upload a selection here and then see if there is anything worth telling you about them.

There is a chance, this month, that you may have seen one or two of these before because we started off in October still blogging on Photoblog which has now gone the way of the Dodo. As a consequence I cannot remember which photos may already have been posted. In any event I have tried to keep most of them new.

This time around there are even a couple of phone images, because I happened to have it handy on a walk when I didn't have my point and shoot with me. My old Canon point and shoot has also now departed (given to a friend because it still has life left in it) to be replaced by a Lumix, which so far is proving a good decision

That explains this phone shot below. I was walking at the top of the nearby hill when I noticed these sheep loitering by the gate on the road so I thought they would make a good subject. They walked off a little as I approached and settled in the perfect spot to make a nice scenic rural idyll, even just looking back over their shoulders to check the threat level. The one is saying to the others, alright girls, just another smart phone, nothing to worry about, keep munching the grass.

This next one is a bit of an oddity. We went to wacky Totnes for a wander around and stopped for the inevitable bacon sandwich and coffee. There was a café we have not been in before because this time we had to park in the lower town as it was busy.

We stuck our heads in and it looked very nice and the lady inside said, I'm sorry you are too late for breakfast. We looked a bit like those sheep above, sheepish, and said we were hoping for a bacon sandwich. She sort of reluctantly said OK as she was not busy she would rustle us up a couple even though breakfast time was over, so we went in and sat down. Sheep and rustling? No wonder they look nervous.

Sheepish - showing or feeling embarrassment from shame or a lack of self-confidence. c. 1200, "resembling a sheep" in some perceived characteristic, from sheep + -ish. The sense of "bashful, over-modest, awkward among strangers" first is recorded 1690s.

Who knew that sheep were perceived to be bashful and awkward among strangers? It must be that history of being carted off to market to be paired with Mint Sauce.

But I digress. We had sat down, whereupon the café lady emphasised she was doing us a favour as she wasn't busy (we were the only customers), normally she said she would be too busy to make bacon sandwiches at that time. So we considered ourselves honoured and suitably put in our place, in a nice and friendly way.

But why am I telling you all this? While we were eating our bacon sandwiches in this café with very low ceilings we noticed that curiously they were held up with old train tracks as ceiling beams. We'd never come across that before. On our way out we remarked on the unusual beams. The reason turned out to be the age of the building and the fact that we had been sitting in the old farrier's workshop. This was an example of some home made alterations or modifications by a farrier, probably a hundred years ago or more. A farrier is a blacksmith that shoes horses.

Still in Totnes I was surprised to see my sister-in-law's husband on keyboard. Only it wasn't him as he was 300 miles away playing a saxophone. The resemblance was uncanny and if he has a doppelganger this chap is it.

Doppelganger - an apparition or double of a living person.

According to age-old German folklore, all living creatures have a spirit double who is invisible but identical to the living individual. These second selves are perceived as being distinct from ghosts (which appear only after death). In 1796, German writer Johann Paul Richter, who wrote under the pseudonym Jean Paul, coined the word Doppelgänger (from doppel-, meaning "double," and -gänger, meaning "goer") to refer to such spectres. (Merriam-Webster)

This is another great example of the English language adopting words from other languages that do an improved job or fill an empty niche. The English language, more than most, appears to be specifically designed to grow in this manner.

Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. (currently Yamaha Corporation) was established in 1887 as a reed organ manufacturer by Torakusu Yamaha in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture and was incorporated on October 12, 1897. In 1900 the company started the production of pianos. The first piano to be made in Japan was an upright built in 1900 by Torakusu Yamaha, founder of Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd. — later renamed Yamaha Corporation. The company's origins as a musical instrument manufacturer are still reflected today in the group's logo—a trio of interlocking tuning forks. (Wikipedia)


The market in Totnes, like markets everywhere, is serviced by fleets of white vans, driven by "white van men". This one is second home to a small furry friend who seemed quite at home and very interested in what was going on nearby on his master's stall.

This is another phone shot of the creek at dusk.

This is Hope Cove. The village of Hope Cove (just out of view) has two beaches separated by that jutting out rock on the left. There is Inner Hope and Outer Hope and I am never certain which is which. One is just a small beach while the other has a large harbour wall. This was the view from the South west Coastal Path, which is a nice gentle walk with great scenic views starting out at the next beach along at South Milton Sands.

This is nearby, just up the lane, and it looks like next years crops are already appearing.

The Pilchard Inn on Burgh Island.

and the neighbouring, Burgh Island Hotel. Art Deco hang out of the stars. It has it's own helipad and a firmly locked gate through which black Range Rovers ferry guests back and forth over the beach causeway at low tide.

At high tide you need the sea tractor.

There have been a lot of boats appearing in the creek at high tide, which are beached, on or near the slipway, for retrieval by a large crane, which carries them up the lane to the boat yard, either for winter storage or winter repairs.

This is Hay Tor on Dartmoor a high point with great views. The tors are outcrops of weathered granite exposed by the weather at the tops of the hills.

One last shot from a side street in Totnes. Just because I like it.

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