This has got to be the worst winter ever for me. It’s a combination of things, winter blues, Covid, stuck in one place etc. And I didn’t win the lotto this weekend after telling Nikki I was going to win and then she spent hours on the internet looking at houses ……with big garages I must add.

I do struggle with winters, I do like to see the snow but only for a couple of days and if I don’t have to go anywhere. I hate the constant rainy windy days. I need sun in my back, on my face, I need that heat to make me function properly. I know there is a condition called SAD, seasonal affected disorder. Nikki thinks I suffer from this in a mild form and I agree the winter does effect me.

It’s worse this year because of the dreaded Covid. We have been really good and not just going out and about for the sake of it. There are so many peaple we wanted to catch up with while here in Devon but we haven’t seen anybody, I wanted to go surfing while down here, surf my local beaches, walk on the beach etc. But to drive from where we are staying is a twenty mile drive each way so not really a essential journey.

And then you look on the news and see so many peaple just doing what they want, driving miles just to get fish and chips go for a walk on a beach go to their second homes and those same peaple will go home and watch the news and wonder why the infection rate is not going away. Frustrating times.

Ok I am getting off my soapbox now and bring you up to speed on what we have been up to. We had a spell of very wet and windy weather, you know just the sort I hate but we can’t stop it. The small river that runs through the campsite was very high, probably about four to five feet above its normal level. We were in no danger unless it came up another twenty feet so no panic.

Swollen river Mole

I have been out on my bike (allowed daily exercise ) starting from home. Had a great ride the other day up onto Exmoor. Although it was on the road which I don’t really like much preferring off road and bike parks. I stick to the small roads so less traffic apart from the odd tractor and farmers 4×4 I normally make the ride up as I go along or look on google maps before setting off and try and remember a route. So the other day I went out to a place called Landacre. It’s a small bridge over the river and in the summer is a popular place for families to go with the kids and play in the river.

Landacre bridge

That day was too cold for playing in the river. I then carried on to a small village called Withypool. It’s a typical Exmoor village where every one knows everyone and the curtains twitch as you go by and you imagine them sat there rubbing their hands and muttering …..New Blood. The village has one store which serves as a shop, post office, meeting place. Even has an old petrol pump outside which is not used now. I didn’t venture inside, I am brave but not that brave in these times. Opposite the village shop are some old petrol pumps which used to serve the village, sadly not used now but nice to see them still there.

Withypools old pumps

I stopped briefly to take some photos but kept one eye on the surroundings and my bike. I then continued on my bike ride so all in all I by the time I got back to base I had done 28 miles and my elevation gain was 3248 ft. In all that time I probably only saw about six cars and one other person. A great ride out which does me the world of good.

Nikki doesn’t come out on her bike with me unless we just go for a little cruise along a flat esplanade so she goes out for a walk from base. Up into south molton and here there and everywhere, she often pops into the supermarket and gets a few bits. I go with her sometimes. It’s a nice walk up through a woodland then round the old part of the town. If we go on a Thursday the farmers livestock market is on where they sell all the sheep. I love the smell as we walk past there, and the sound of the auctioneer doing his selling, takes me right back to my childhood days when my mum would go into Oxford to go shopping and leave me in the indoor market watching them sell the cows, pigs and sheep. The smell also takes me right back to going to my dads parents farm up in Wales.

The old church in south molton

The above picture of the old church in south molton with Nikki waiting outside. I think she wanted to go in and see if they could change some water into wine or confess her sins. I love the old door, I wonder how many peaple have been through that door over the many years.

Old church door

We had some snow yesterday, not a lot but it did settle but then started melting and the day consisted of snow, hail, sleet and rain and then froze overnight so today looks very dodgy out there. We won’t be going anywhere in the car but will have a walk.

So that’s up to date, sorry about the doom and gloom bit at the beginning but I am sure some of you know how I feel. We are into February next week so will soon be on the road to Wales to start work. That should be an interesting drive. Stay safe everybody.

Picnic anybody