If you’ve been following the blog for for a few months, you’ll know that I planted some potatoes back in April. I’ve looked after the plot, weeded it, de-stoned it, shooed cats away from it, fretted as the fox used it as a thoroughfare and watered it during our extended weeks of sun.

I watched as the shoots grew into stems and developed leaves, then flowered. I’ve watched the plants thicken and grow taller, then start to sag. I’ve protected them from snails and slugs. In the last few days, a couple of them have turned yellow and started to die. I looked it up and found that now was the right time to dig them up.

So this afternoon I dug them up! There were more than I remember (I planted 15 seed potatoes) but when I was watering them I was sure not all of them had surfaced. After an hour or so of digging, I have managed to harvest 22.5lbs of spuds. The smallest one didn’t register on the scales, the largest was exactly 1lb. There was no real difference between the trench planted potatoes and the ones in individual holes.

Tonight I will be having pie ‘n’ mash. Tomorrow, sausages and home made chips. Sunday, roast spuds and chicken. Monday, burger and mash. Tuesday, cottage pie with lots of mash. By next Friday, I’ll be having toast and mash and I’m thinking about spud sandwiches, too. I anticipate potatoes playing a large part in my diet for a while to come.

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Holiday 4

We had a chilled morning in the cottage today. Up late, taking things easy, letting the world rush by on the distant A358 in a faint swish while we sat and watched the rabbits in the field next door.

We went to visit the tame sheep and little pony in the top field. All were very friendly and enjoyed having their ears tickled. Then we went to see the hens in their field. We were soon surrounded by them, clucking and cooing and prancing about.

Today we decided to go to Clovelly, a little fishing village built in a rock cleft on the north coast of Devon. I programmed the sat nav and we set off. I didn’t want to go along the north coast road as it had been busy the day before, so I’d specified a route going through Exmoor to Barnstaple. For some reason, the sat nav decided to take me on the narrowest roads and eventually we were travelling on what seemed like a farm track. But despite the efforts of the guidance to get my car lost, we got to the big car park above the village.

Passing through the inevitable visitor’s centre, we headed down the steep lane to the harbour. The little cottages we passed were a mixture of wattle and daub and stone built and were straight out of the 18th century. At the harbour, we stopped for food and I had a delicious Devonshire pasty. It can’t be called a Cornish pasty any more because it wasn’t made in Cornwall, a couple of miles to the west.

We went for a short boat trip off the coast and along the beach. The boat was tiny, only licensed to carry 12 people, and it chugged along as we saw the nesting seabirds and the folds and dips of the rocks and cliffs.

The journey back was on better roads and we decided to call in to Watchet for chips and we sat on the beach at Blue Anchor eating them and watching the tide coming in.

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