Yesterday was the third mild, sunny day in a row, such a treat for the end of February. But as the weather forecast was for rain from today (Thursday) we thought we’d do our shopping yesterday and also have a walk along Torquay sea front so that we could see the magnolia trees which are now in bloom. They flower for such a short period and I knew that once the rain had arrived when we next saw them, the petals would be on the ground, going brown, and not making those beautiful ‘cups’ on the trees, for I think they look vaguely like cups and saucers.
And so off we went to Waitrose (where again our trolley bags were admired by someone – wish I’d a £1 for every time someone has stopped us and asked us where we had bought them!) for our weekly groceries and then, with our ‘free’ Waitrose coffee and a prawn sandwich to share, we drove down to what is our usual parking place, the small car park at Meadfoot beach. It was sunny but very misty, we couldn’t see across the Bay to Berry Head.
But what we could see were those young cormorants which we’d seen, ducking and diving for fish, last week. And after watching them fishing we saw them, in turn, hop onto that rock on the right of this photograph, and spread wide their saturated wings, for cormorants, unlike ducks, aren’t ‘waterproof’ and have to dry their feathers in the sunshine. (We have now dubbed this part of the Bay “Cormorant Corner”.)
From Meadfoot we drove to Torquay sea front, parked the car for 1/2 hr, and had a walk through Rock Walk. This was very overgrown and in quite a dangerous state until eleven years ago when the Council brought in heavy equipment and the whole rock face was cleared of shrubbery and a super-abundance of weeds (sorry, wild flowers).
Photo, 11th February 2008
This was one of the largest (or perhaps that should be longest) cranes in the country that was brought in to do the work of clearing the wooded rock face of Rock Walk.
Now Rock Walk is not quite as ‘romantic’ looking but it’s much cleaner and safer and much more open. It isn’t wise these days to have lots of hidden places, and for obvious reasons.
Eleven years on and the rock face is greening up again, but without the super-abundance of foliage. And of course, it means that those properties at the top of Rock Walk – mainly flats now rather than hotels – have wonderful views with only a few trees in front of them.
And so we walked along to admire the two lovely magnolia trees, one white, the other pink …
Of the two, I like the white one the best, but both are beautiful. We continued our walk until we reached the Torbay Hotel (on the left in the photo below), which is opposite the Victorian fountain which was renovated last year and will soon be filled with water again. Sadly, some children had decided it could be used as a climbing frame and they had climbed into where the water will eventually be and were busily climbing the delicate cherubs, with their parents looking on. Is nothing safe from this kind of behaviour? The Council had spent thousands on the renovation, and now children think it’s a free-for-all. I didn’t blame the little ones but you’d think their parents would have more sense, wouldn’t you, in allowing this? Sadly common sense isn’t common to all. And if the little ones fell, I dare say such stupid parents would be the first to attempt to sue the Council for negligence in not having a barricade around the fountain in winter, or something daft like that.
But back with the Torbay Hotel for a moment … on the wall the Torbay Civic Society has placed a plaque …
The Torbay Hotel must therefore have been one of the first purpose built hotels in the Bay, in 1867.
From the Victorian fountain we walked back to our car, along the promenade, passing the Princess Theatre (not shown here) and the sunken gardens. These gardens used to have borders of flowers, too, but now they’re grassed from wall to wall, making them less expensive for the Council to maintain. You can just catch a glimpse of the pink magnolia on the extreme left of this photo (the sea, out of sight, is on the right.)
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And so to today, Thursday. We awakened to the rain that we’d been ‘promised’ and so I decided to have breakfast in bed, just a croissant with apricot jam, and my book to read (which, thus far, I’m enjoying.)
What a luxury it is not to have to go to work or even get up if one doesn’t want to! I stopped here reading until well gone 10am! Coffee was on the bedside chest of drawers (I had by now removed my overnight water glass – that is what those little mats are for) …
And I also have a look at the two magazines from yesterday, one which arrived via the post, the other bought in Waitrose …
I also stocked up on fruit yesterday, and there is still more in the fridge – apples, tangerines, plums and pears. Making sure of our five-a-day! The daffodils (above) are the ones I bought last Thursday and they are still looking good, and also yesterday, for the first time this year, I found some double daffodils in Waitrose and while they look a little raggedy now, they will be fully opened soon.
I have just popped a cottage pie in the oven to heat through and that we will have for lunch and while there is a pile of ironing to tackle and dust to remove from just about everywhere, I really don’t feel much like doing either this afternoon, so I might just sit and enjoy reading my book.
Until next time.