Caturday In Devon


This is Alfie. He belongs to my university lecturer who has retired and now lives in Topsham (population  5,023) in Devon in the south west of England (near Exeter), a lovely part of the country I grew up in but have barely explored outside of London.

Topsham was once a major sea port and one of its claims to fame is that actress Vivien Leigh lived here when she was married to Leigh Holman before she left him for Laurence Olivier.

WoAi’s university lecturer 25 years on

So I took a short break from all the shopping and Olympics activities in London and drove the 170 miles to spend a weekend with my lecturer and his partner. I hadn’t seen them for several years so it was great to catch up and an added bonus was enjoying a rare treat – a slice of English country life.

A busy Saturday afternoon in Topsham

I have to say it was an extremely nice contrast to the bustling Shanghai lifestyle. It couldn’t have been more different with the slower pace, the fresh air and the lack of people.

They also have vicious cats in Devon

This is one of the things I miss about England – I lovely little pub with simple English food. I had some scampi and chips with peas. Not a big deal if you live in England but try getting it in Shanghai!

The Passage House Inn

A rare phone box

In old times, this is how people used to contact other people if they were out and about. It also provided young people with something to vandalise before there was Facebook to keep them busy.

WoAi the city boy

I hadn’t seen one of these before but my ever knowledgeable lecturer informed me it’s called a “field” and there are lots of them outside the big cities.

So the 3 hour drive from London was well worth the trip and of course it was nice to catch up with a (not so) old friend.

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11 Responses to Caturday In Devon

  1. Lil bro says:

    That phone box thing looks remarkably like the public lavatory that used to be at the end of our street.

  2. WoAi says:

    @Lil bro – It does? I don’t see it! I do remember though when those green phone cards first came out and I bought one and thought it was really cool. I think it had 40 units on it. Calls without coins. Imagine that!

  3. T. says:

    And to think once Dingle (or was it Swiss James?) accused you of never having been farther away from London than the M-25.

  4. WoAi says:

    @T – You have a remarkable memory. I’m sure they both said something to that effect at some stage, mostly because they’re from the north and envy the fact that living in London means you have no need to leave the M25 catchment.

  5. Bittermelon says:

    “simple English food”

    Isn’t that redundant?

    What are those things in the distance inside that “field” thingy? I believe they are called “sheep”?

  6. WoAi says:

    @Bittermelon – You see this is why I wanted to know where you’re from. Now I know you’re American, I don’t have to take that kind of crap about our food from you. It’d be different if you were say, French, then you can mock our food all you like!

    I believe they were “cows” in the background.

  7. Swiss James says:

    We northerners are very found of the M25, or as we call it, “the cattle pen”.

  8. suey says:

    I remember the phone booths were good for something else =p!

  9. WoAi says:

    @Swiss James – We all know you love London and the south in general.

    @Suey – You’re such a tart!

  10. suey says:

    maybe, so call me

  11. WoAi says:

    @Suey – Drunk again?

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