I am fit to burst with excitement at the prospect of your friend buying a retirement home in Appleton Marsh. And how exciting to have a celebrity from the Beeb in our midst. We do love our BBC Radio Devon down here and I am especially fond of Tony Beard aka “the Wag from Widecombe” who presents Dartmoor Diary on Saturday lunchtime.
Estate agents call the area between Tedburn St Mary, Morehampstead and Doddiscombsleigh, “The Golden Triangle” on account of their desirability and short supply. Appleton Marsh is actually outside the Golden Triangle, meaning property in the town is quite affordable yet it is still reasonably desirable and if there were such a thing as a Golden Tetrahedron, we would surely be in it.
I am by nature a glass three quarters full person and I am sometimes accused of seeing Appleton Marsh through rose tinted spectacles but there is much to commend our little corner of Devon. Warm beer, clotted cream and fudge is only the start of it. We have an active Women’s Institute, a Choral Society (or Choral Soc as we call it), a theatre group (the Appleton Marsh Players) in need of new members and a crown green bowling club. A small circle of friends, myself and Flo included, enjoy infrequent whist drives and Scrabble nights and then there’s the Rialto, the town’s cinema. By and large ours is an aging population; as your friend has only retired it will be nice to have an injection of youth. She should think ahead though, we do have an excellent health centre here in the town and there are generous disabled parking facilities on the High Street.
You kindly gave a namecheck to DBLW. So many derive comfort from the thought that they don’t have to travel into Exeter to find that special outfit. Tell your friend that DBLW doesn’t have a credit card but we have just introduced a 3% discount and loyalty card. And if she wants to put her writing talents to good use I do need help re-drafting my DBLW Internship advertisement. We tend not to sell hats, they are such a personal thing and, in my experience, people love to try them on but rarely buy.
Anyhow, back to your friend and the question of a property. I suggest she spends a few weekends in Devon getting a feel for the area before she begins house-hunting in earnest. And when she’s ready, there are several good estate agents I can recommend but, in all honesty, I would begin with the obituaries in the West Country Times; get in before they come to the market is my advice.
I am so pleased that your central heating is fixed. It has been warmer here of late and, as I type, I am down to one bar on the fire.
Have a lovely Easter and I shall think you when I’m frenziedly removing all of that unnecessary packaging around my Easter eggs to get at the chocolate.
With kind thoughts,
We should apply for that program “Who Do You Think You Are?” because we really must be genetically linked. I LOVE Scrabble and spend many’s the night dreaming of ‘jonquil’ on a triple word score. I had no idea you were a player. My sister, the Cackler, and I play on line and I highly recommend it. All the excitement without actually having to brush your teeth, comb your hair, wipe the stains off your cardy and leave the house. Sign up and we can have a three-way. It may help to know that my average word score is 22.54–nothing to boast about, of course. The Cackler’s is 21.21, not that it matters. It’s only a game after all. (she just scored 70 for spelling out ‘heroine’ and I must admit it rankles…)
Mention of a bar heater takes me back to my bleak and chilblained childhood in Belfast where we used to huddle round a three-bar in our Aran sweaters and enjoy the smell of burning dust. Of course, by this time of year, my father would have pulled the plug. We were permitted the comfort of an induction coil only between November and the end of February. How we used to long for a Dimplex–and temperatures in double digits. I was living independently before I went through a winter without a dewdrop at the end of my nose and my hands in my armpits. Now, of course, I seem to have my own internal boiler system and exude heat like a fiery furnace. Beggars warm their extremities at me if I chance to stop on a street corner. If the Itchy Ankle grid ever goes down I’m on standby as an alternative energy resource.
I am sure my friend will be excited to learn about the crown bowling ( I wonder if Prada make bowling shoes?) and that she’ll follow your advice about the obits. Of course, after a career in news, ambulance chasing is second nature to her. She’s probably already staking out the assisted living facilities, stalking anyone taking a turn for the worse.
It’s good to know you have great healthcare in Appleton Marsh. As you may have heard, we have ongoing issues in that area here in the United States. The President has just signed a bill that now makes it illegal for the health insurance companies to deny coverage to a sick child. The country is in uproar, with those who pay for current coverage worried their premiums will rise. Funny old country. God Bless the NHS.
We don’t have any time off work for Easter here (funny old country as I said) but of course the weekend will be coming down with candy and the Blarney family will doubtless paint eggs and roll them, although Gretel is now at at age where she believes every high day and religious holiday should be celebrated at the Mall. Forget pastels and smocking, her Easter dress code will be strictly urban and street-cred. I would send her your way, but something tells me you aren’t big on skinny jeans and graphic tees. Hansel, of course, has foresworn easter eggs, preferring to get his sugar through alcohol. Happy Easter.