Featured Photos – 15 June, 2022

Featured Photos – 15 June, 2022

Last week, our Labrador, Lottie, was ill. She’s okay now, but things were a bit upside down last week, so I didn’t post any photos.

Today, I’m catching up with some photos from the weekend of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th Jubilee.

I was a young lad during the silver jubilee, but I remember the street party, and I still have the souvenir mug I was given.

For this jubilee, the village party was indoors because of the weather, but people outdid themselves, and I have never seen so much cake in one place.

In the evening, a beacon was lit and we could see others in the chain. I shot a brief video.

A historical moment, and one I shall remember.

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

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Featured Photos – 30 May, 2022

Featured Photos – 30 May, 2022

It’s buttercup time in Devon, and on our regular walk, Lottie is getting bright yellow pollen all over her head as she sniffs her way through the flowers.

There are several photos of our regular walk, and a couple of shots from the Teign Valley where I went for a ride on my hybrid bike. I rode on the road and stopped in the woods to take photos. I didn’t ride along the stony track – I think you’d want a mountain bike for that. Mind you, the roads around here are full of potholes which is not great when you’re on two wheels.

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

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A Second Snippet of the new Devonshire Mystery

A Second Snippet of the new Devonshire Mystery

A second snippet from the upcoming Devonshire Mystery, Accomplice to Murder.

Another little piece from Chapter 1 of the next Devonshire Mystery. If you haven’t seen the first one, it’s here.

Please note that getting to read these sneak peeks in full is a privilege for members of the site. Membership is free and easy to set up, and there are no strings attached.

In this excerpt, we’ll begin to see that despite the glossy setting of Dan’s new job, all is not quite as it seems.

Well, it is a mystery, after all.

This is an advance snippet, so it’s still a work in progress and probably contains errors and typos. There will be changes and corrections over the coming days, and I hope to share more as I tackle the rewrites.

Accomplice to Murder

Sample from Chapter 1

Footsteps ringing out on the polished granite floor snapped Dan out of his reverie, and he looked up to see a besuited man heading toward him. Dan hadn’t heard the lift arrive, and he noticed that the glass door at one side of the lobby was still swinging shut. He took the stairs, Dan thought. A young man in a hurry.

“Dan,” the man called out as he strode across the lobby. “Good morning.”

“Morning.” Dan pulled back his shoulders, hoping he looked more relaxed than he felt as he stepped forward to meet the new arrival. They shook hands, and the man’s grip was firm.

“I’m Joseph Clayton,” the man said. “But call me Joe. We like to keep things friendly around here.” Slim and fresh-faced, Joe exuded self-confidence and energy. His smile was genuine, and there was something about Joe’s manner that made Dan like him right away.

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Featured Photos – 23 May, 2022

Featured Photos – 23 May, 2022

We spent our 30th wedding anniversary in the small Devon village of Clovelly.

The village is unusual in that it is privately owned, and you have to pay to visit. This seems odd at first, but it means that the village has been preserved as a charming seaside village. Since no holiday homes are allowed, the place is a living village with an active community of residents.

The issue of second homes changing the character of small villages is a live one in Devon. Second homes often stand empty for part of the year, and they force up property prices, meaning that local people can’t afford to to buy, especially younger people who want to get a foothold on the property market. This can lead to an ageing population, with no younger people to get involved in the community and keep things going. I mention the issue in Valley of Lies, where Dan views the holiday homes with a different eye now that he’s becoming a local.

The books aren’t my soapbox, but I think it’s important to reflect the reality of modern life in rural Devon.

I hope you like the pictures. I haven’t captioned them as they are all in Clovelly. I think they’re self-explanatory, but if you’re a member of the site, please feel free to post questions in the comments.

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Featured Photos – 20 May, 2022

Featured Photos – 20 May, 2022

A walk in the woods of North Devon.

We visited North Devon for a few days to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, and we had a lovely time exploring the coast. These pictures come from a walk down through the woods, starting at Brownsham, descending the steep valley via the delightful and aptly named Zigzag path, and ending at the secluded Mouthmill beach.

Of course, we then had to walk back up the Zigzag path, but all that running must’ve paid off, because we rather enjoyed it.

The shady forest seems to have defeated my phone’s camera, and some of the pictures are a bit blurred, but I hope they give a feel of what our little excursion was like.

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A Snippet of the new Devonshire Mystery

A Snippet of the new Devonshire Mystery

At long last, I can say more about the upcoming Devonshire Mystery.

Today, I’m sharing the first part of chapter 1. This is just between us, so you’ll need to be a member of the site and logged in to read it.

The photo on this post is from the location in which the scene is set, so I hope it helps to give the flavour.

To read the snippet in full, please join the site – it’s free, easy and fun to do.

This is an advance snippet, so it’s still a work in progress and probably contains errors and typos. There will be changes and corrections over the coming days, and I hope to share more as I tackle the rewrites.

Accomplice to Murder

Sample from Chapter 1

Dan Corrigan adjusted his tie without breaking his stride as he advanced on his destination. Tucked away discreetly behind Exeter Cathedral, Southernhay West was stirring into the type of early morning life found in cities all over the world. Smartly dressed people climbed from their cars and bustled toward their places of work. Vans and taxis vied to be the first away from the traffic lights, and colourfully clad cyclists pedalled past, their backpacks bulging. No doubt they’d be carrying a change of clothes for the office, a pair of smart shoes and a laptop too. Dan had his own small backpack slung over his shoulder, although in his case, the situation was reversed. He’d brought his sports kit in case he fancied a run after work, and he felt a certain kinship with his fellow travellers. With every stride, every urgent turn of the pedals, they proclaimed a sense of purpose. They weren’t here for the shops or the scenery; they were here to work.

A bus trundled by, belching exhaust fumes, and Dan smiled. This was more like it. A sense of energy and purpose buzzed all around him. Everyone was going somewhere, and none of them wanted to be late.

That includes me, Dan thought. But I’ve got plenty of time. Dan had been in Exeter for quite a while already, although his appointment wasn’t for another half an hour. He’d parked down by the quay, and he’d spent the time walking through the city, limbering up. And while he’d pounded the streets, he’d felt his senses becoming heightened, his mind growing sharper.

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Featured Photos – 4 May, 2022

Featured Photos – 4 May, 2022

The season is growing warmer here in Devon, and I’m enjoying the flowers in the hedgerows and the activities of the local birds as they build nests, visit the birdbath in our garden, and generally spend the day singing.

I’ve also finished the first draft of the new Devonshire Mystery, and I celebrated with a Jail Ale from the Dartmoor Brewery.

I hope you enjoy the pics.

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Featured Photos – 25 April, 2022

Featured Photos – 25 April, 2022

Bluebell time in Shaptor Wood.

This lovely wood is only a few minutes drive from our house. We take this walk every year, though I think we were a little early this year. The bluebells will be fully out later, but enough of them were out to create an impression.

It was a lovely walk, and I hope you enjoy the pics.

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Featured Photos – 18 April, 2022

Featured Photos – 18 April, 2022

Another trip to Teignmouth, where the Teign meets the sea.

With the estuary on one side and the sea on the other, Teignmouth has two beaches. The main beach faces the sea, and back beach the estuary.

The back beach is like a mini community, next to, but feeling divorced from the town. There are beach huts and boat huts, and on sunny days when the doors are open, you can stroll past and see that some of the huts have been made quite posh inside, with a kitchen, a sofa, and a dining table. I love the idea of these humble huts becoming a home from home.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to get one. They’d make great places to write.

There was a nice atmosphere on the back beach. It was Easter weekend and families were relaxing, kids playing, adults lazing in the sunshine. I also discovered there were several small huts serving food and drinks, and we were able to get a nice flat white.

I hope you enjoy the pics.

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Featured Photos – 11 April, 2022

Featured Photos – 11 April, 2022

I’ve been gradually turning over the soil in one of our allotments (plots of land owned by the parish council and rented out for gardening). It was a lot of work and there was still a lot to do, but we spied a neighbour who’d brought his small tractor and rotary cultivator attachment to prepare a nearby plot. Much as I would’ve liked to do it all by hand, it was tempting to ask for help, and our neighbour was happy to lend a hand. He did in half an hour what would’ve taken me a long time.

Pics below and more. I hope you enjoy them.

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Featured Photos – 4 April, 2022

Featured Photos – 4 April, 2022

As part of my dedication to the Devonshire Mysteries, I feel obliged to test various ales, just so I can include them in the stories you understand.

The other day I found a few nice ales that are made by Red Rock Brewery in Bishopsteignton, here in Devon. I taught in Bishopsteignton for several years, and I was delighted to find that at least one of my ex-pupils is working in this family-run enterprise. Of course, I had to do some research to make sure Dan Corrigan would like the beer, and I’m pleased to say it was delicious.

Photo below, plus a few landscapes, and I hope you enjoy them all.

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