Leaving Cornwall I have another visit to pay before I return to Dorset. My sister is to have a small procedure for which I can be a helpful driver and overnight companion. Her home nestles in a lovely little corner on the east side of Devon. She is a very private person and her home is a sanctuary upon which I do not encroach with my camera. She is a fabulous needlewoman , a talented watercolourist and an extremely knowledgeable mycologist. She is probably as near as dammit a national expert although she would deny this to be the case. Back in the autumn she took me for a walk along her special lane and we saw chanterelles. She crops her small supply from time to time. Amazingly there are still plenty tucked into the bank but she says they will be water-logged and not worth collecting 😦 They make an attractive sight all the same.
Before I head for home she takes me to a farm shop nearby. Miller’s Farm Shop is an Aladdin’s Cave of wonderful food. Some of the vegetables are grown on the farm, the rest are provided by local suppliers passionate about good quality food. Fresh fruit and vegetables are locally sourced and colourful arrays of seasonal plants are available. You can find Lyme Bay fresh fish, beef, pork and lamb from local farms, local milk and cream, cider from Lyme Bay Winery and Perry’s Cider Mill and sample a variety of local cheeses. Malcolm and Angela travel to France once a week to scour markets in different regions for quality produce for the shop.
On top of all this they have a seductive section where they sell artefacts with a marine theme. Here we spy a range of ornamental table glassware where scallop shells and octopus form the dominant design. There are also sea-themed ‘kissing rings’ decorated with shells, driftwood, other marine invertebrate remains. Liz and I admire the goods and on the spur of the moment Liz asks if I would like the glass bowl clasped by an octopus as my 70th birthday gift. Would I?!!