The River Dart at Totnes
If you have read some of my recent posts, you will know that our washing machine died and we had to buy a new one. We chose a Whirlpool machine this time, quite an up-market model – we have been assured that it senses the load and adjusts the amount of water required to do the wash. There are more programmes than I can shake a stick at, even one for Sport (let’s not mince words: I think this is a euphemism for Sweaty) and one for Baby Items. Why not a cycle for “Old Codgers Clothes” (OK, that’s a euphemism for smelling of wee-wee) for we’re old codgers far longer than we are babies! Sorry, I’m being frivolous, it’s a lovely machine but, sadly, not a thing of great beauty. It is white when I wanted black, but the porthole door is black, as is the control panel. So we’re halfway there. My Bosch dishwasher, by comparison (and a fraction the price) is truly elegant. They face each other across the kitchen. Flying into the realms of fantasy they might even pull faces at each other when my back is turned.
But I digress …
I happened to mention to the gentleman who installed the washing machine that we had a Hotpoint tumble dryer. I knew there had been problems with some Hotpoint machines catching alight and Hotpoint were working as hard and as fast as they could to modify the machines that had been sold. “I phoned Hotpoint,” I explained to him, “and they said our machine wasn’t one of those affected.” His response was that they had added to the list of affected machines and I should re-check online. So I did. And our machine was one of the affected ones and it advised owners to unplug them and not use them until they had been modified. Which was any time between now and forever.
Our decision then was to buy a new machine. We’d had the old one at least ten years (I hasten to add without any problem) and so that was why we fetched up in Totnes this morning. With me so far?
Right. Popped along to the shop from where we bought our washing machine only a week ago and bought a new top-of-the-range silly-price tumble dryer, again by Whirlpool. It will arrive in a week’s time. So far this year we have bought: a new computer (for me), a new dishwasher (Bosch), a new washing machine (Whirlpool), a new vacuum (Dyson rollerball), a new bed for grandson, and now a tumble dryer (Whirlpool). Ouch!
The purchase having been made, we left the shop and walked the short distance to the River Dart, passing the rather attractive houses (above) which have been built in the last 20 years, and ending up at the Steam Packet Inn on the banks of the River Dart where we had had breakfast a couple of weekend’s ago.
We only wanted coffee and perhaps a toasted tea cake, but they didn’t have tea cakes (well, it is an inn, not a café) and the very friendly proprietor suggested we had toast and marmalade. When it came it was a feast – two lovely large slices of real bread, lightly toasted, marmalade and butter, and a cafetierre of coffee and hot milk.
It is an attractive inn, and one we would not hesitate to visit again for coffee or a light lunch. Below is the view from our table, through the window. The River Dart ‘splits’ here, the curved area is known as Vire Island (for Totnes is ‘twinned’ with Vire in Normandy) although it’s not a proper island as it’s attached to Totnes upstream, on the right is the River Dart, and on the left, a little ‘cut’ beside which are old warehouses which have been renovated and made into apartments.
As we sat there we said that this year, unlike in previous years, we really must make an effort to have a steamer cruise down the River Dart to Dartmouth and back again. The journey takes about 50 minutes to an hour and is really pleasant – along this lovely stretch of the River Dart you pass the summer home of the late Dame Agatha Christie at Greenway, and that is another National Trust house that we must visit this year.
And as we mentioned that we must have a cruise to Dartmouth from Totnes, one of the lovely riverboats arrived, up from Dartmouth and turned around ready for the return journey, downstream.
However, we couldn’t sit and sip coffee all morning, much as we’d have liked to, so we made our way back to the car, popped into the supermarket for some flowers (my one weakness … yes, as well as books, scent, magazines …) and made our way home. Having coffee and toast soothed us and softened the blow of yet another expensive purchase.
Back again soon!