9. 9/2-9/7 Family Visit in Dawlish

This entry is part 9 of 14 in the series Edinburgh-London Trip 2014

We spent our second week relaxing and recharging at Dawlish, a little town in Devon by the English Channel. In addition to watching black swans bickering and having family dinners with Complicated Rain’s parents, we walked along the sea wall, enjoying interesting rock formations, in the woods, studying old thatched roofs, or across the fields, eating wild blackberries from roadside.

There were two highlights, the Devon Cream Tea and my mother-in-law’s rose garden. It might not look spectacular in the picture, but the Devon clotted cream was so good! Once you’ve had it, you’ll miss it from then on. Because of the clotted cream, local ice creams tasted extra nice too, rich and natural, much better than industrial brands.

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4 thoughts on “9. 9/2-9/7 Family Visit in Dawlish”

  1. I think I’d describe the water in Dawlish as a stream or rivulet rather than a canal—although it is heavily re-engineered, it was once a natural watercourse, and no commerce takes place on it (other than swans).

    The swans, you will notice, are black. Originally they came from Australia (outside of Australia, swans are white), but they were brought to Dawlish long ago, and were historically found in exactly two places: Dawlish and Sankt Ingbert, Germany. By weird coincidence, I have lived in both of these little towns.

    Also about the swans, I should clarify that it was us, and not them, that enjoyed the family dinners with my parents.

    About the sea wall: two things. First, it was constructed by the legendary engineer I.K. Brunel, and is integral with the spectacular (and arguably ill-advised) railway line he built along the south coast of England. Second, it was in the news earlier this year—this is where the ‘ill-advised’ comes in (perhaps this link will work: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sea+wall+dawlish+storm&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=696&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=tr4QVOjVDIfhao3CgKAG&ved=0CCAQsAQ).

    About the blackberries: some of them were yum, and some of them were sour. Eating the wild ones is a gambling game!

    About the clotted cream: yum!

    About the roses: although they all have names (which we have both forgotten), you will notice that they are all still plants.

    1. Also about the swans: the existence of these swans rather spoils one of my favourite jokes (which dates back to before they were imported to England):

      Once there was a philosopher, whose lifelong obsession was the proposition that all swans are white. On sunny days, he liked nothing better than to go to the lake in the park and look at the swans. And on rainy days, he used to sit in his study and look at the non-white things.

    2. I think Complicated Rain didn’t know how to pick berries. Most of the blackberries were sweet, so long as they were black enough. They were red or brown when they were not ripe. Even the sour ones tasted better than what you get from supermarkets. As usual, wild berries were much smaller but had more flavor. But despite its small size, it did quench our thirst, as we forgot to carry any water with us while walking in the hot sun for a few hours.

      1. I know the difference between the ripe ones and the unripe ones! I even know how to get the overripe, fermented ones. But some of the bushes are naturally more sour than others. I agree that even the sourish ones are nice!

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