Only my wife could manage to arrange two hospital appointments, at two different hospitals on the same day. Both in Plymouth thankfully; at least I didn't end up racing over to Truro for one of them. I know what you're going to say about two birds with one stone, I agree. But eight hours apart! That's just cruel.
Now Plymouth's not a bad city, as cities go. In fact it actually has quite a lot going for it, there is a lot of history and a walk on the Hoe is always pleasant, but there are limits. Especially for me.
Anyone who knows me well knows I hate shopping. Anyone who knows me even slightly knows I hate shopping. In fact people who don't know me but might have happened to pass the time of day at a bus stop know I hate shopping. Even someone who may have passed me one wet tuesday afternoon going in the opposite direction on an escalator will probably have a pretty good idea that I hate shopping. In case you're still a little unsure about just how stongly I really feel, let me give you an extra clue... If I were to win the lottery this weekend I wouldn't even drag myself down to the Aston Martin showroom. I'd pick up the phone and order a fleet of them, one for everyday of the week, but there is no way on this earth I would willingly go shop for one. Now that is a man who really hates shopping.
So you can imagine how I felt about the prospect of wandering around Plymouth window shopping. Shopping when I need something is bad enough; shopping to merely kill time? It'd kill me.
So what is a mad Druid to do when his wife starts to linger just a little too long outside shops that sell pretty, sparkly things? There's only one thing he can do...RUN FOR THE HILLS.
Which, when one is in the vacinity of Plymouth, means Dartmoor. Knowing we had to drag ourselves away for a 6.30pm appointment at the Nuffield (who makes an appointment for 6.30, I mean really!) we didn't actually venture up on to the magnificent moors. That brooding, mysterious landscape grabs me by my dangly bits and won't let go. I love it. It calls to me. It whispers to my soul. I could wax lyrical for hours about the magic of the high moor but I'll spare you that for now. Today we contented ourselves with parking up on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park and making friends with some of the locals.
I thought at first this guy was after my pasty but it turned out he'd rather try to take chunks out of my steering wheel. I have quite a track record with Dartmoor Ponies and cars. We parked up in the early hours one night high up on the moor to gaze at the stars and await the dawn, only to be disturbed by an equine vandal, just as the sun gently nudged the horizen, who decided my car was breakfast. I had a hell of a job when the lease ran out expaining the damage to the dealer!
The car survived this time and I was honoured to spend an afternoon in the company of such beautiful, trusting creatures.
I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them.
Hail Epona, Hail Rhiannon