Saturday, 28 June 2008

Carnival fete

The fete kicks off Ashburton's Carnival week, reputed to be the oldest Carnival in Devon. Civic bling is on show, inflatable prizes are de rigeur, (this year's 'must have' was a large bat covered in smily faces) and candy floss is readily available. Also on offer: traditional red swing boats, races for the children, and your chance to guess the weight of the lamb (which is still alive and available to stroke).

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Swimming to the sea

The day: Sunday. Our mission: to swim from Aveton Gifford to Bantham, down the Avon estuary. Taking part: a motley crew of women and children armed with surfboards, dinghies, one blow-up armchair and one inflatable banana. The idea was that we would drift in a leisurely fashion on the outward tide, languidly floating down the river. In reality there was a very strong wind against us, and quite low water, so there was much paddling and wading. Highlights: the swallows swooping down on us, flashing their iridescent blue plumage; the herons; and the sand on the bottom swirling through the light as we neared the beach, after our two and a half hour odyssey.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Dancing with hippies

Every other month, at Ashburton Town Hall, an event called 'Dance At' is held. It's described as an alcohol-free 'barefoot boogie'. You just go along and dance, though I find it works best if I go to the pub first. It can be a bit 'Totnes'. There's a lot of free expression, with occasional full-on wafting, and even people being trees (at least that's what it looks like). But don't come along hoping for romantic action - they're all far too PC to chat anyone up.