Recently, Sue and I, along with one of our grown-up sons and his partner, experienced a microcosm of rural Devon life in one day.

We took a picnic to the park in the nearby small town of Bovey Tracey where they were holding a small fete as part of their carnival week. We watched a demonstration of falconry and then ate our picnic in the shade of a tree before touring the craft stalls. These seemed a little too commercial to me, especially compared to the village shows I remember when I was growing up. In those days, the refreshments were run by the Women’s Institute or a local charity or community group, and the excellent cakes and scones were sold for a nominal sum. No one was trying to build a cupcake business; it was all about community. I’m all for entrepreneurship, but it has its place.

On the way home, we stopped in at the local church in Hennock where they were showing some historical documents and photos. After that, we strolled into the village hall where local volunteers were selling drinks and cakes as well as potted plants, all in return for small donations. Here was the experience I’d missed at the earlier event: a few simple refreshments shared with neighbours.

Below, I’ve included pictures of the church and more. You’ll also be able to see our spiky visitor.

I hope you like the photos. If you’re a member of the site, please feel free to post a comment, and if you’re not a member, please consider joining. It’s free and fun.

A church window display on the theme of summer, complete with painted pebbles, cardboard beach huts and some sunbathing Action Men that once belonged to our kids.

A Lanner Falcon.

A map someone has constructed in the belief that there was a hill fort in the area. This is interesting, but I’m told the survey was conducted by dowsing, so there was none of the geophysics you may have seen in Time Team or Digging for Britain.

The church at Hennock is interesting in itself, so I’ve included a few photos to show the interior and exterior.

Finally, here’s the hedgehog who stopped by for a drink as we sat in the garden that evening. The dish looks a bit green in this picture, but while there’s a little algae on the bottom of the dish, we replace the water regularly so it was fresh. We wash the dish too, of course.

Comments are always welcome.

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