August 8th, Sunday. LEE
Nothing would please the children yesterday but that they must go down to the beach at once so after tea I took them but only had time to go a short distance. We attended service this morning in a tiny crowded church and I was very nearly sick from the heat. We all walked along the coast to some interesting caves and had tea on the beach. This picture should be appropriate to Lee but as there are no bathing machines it hardly applies!
The coast here is lovely, very rugged and rocky and most beautiful in this smiling August weather. We pottered all morning on the beach as the tide was high and we couldn’t bathe. The children paddled about searching for anemones and shells in seaweed-fringed pools whilst we lay about reading books and writing lazy letters all mixed up with crabs and sandflies. When the tide was down we walked round the point to Bath Beach taking our tea and there after a lapse of many years I had a swim. H went to Morthoe to fetch Mabel.
This day was spent in much the same way as yesterday, bathing and basking. It seems to me so extraordinary to be about to sit with one’s hands in one’s lap doing nothing after the rush of this last month. After tea we all went out in a motor boat for a while (see right).
We actually bathed twice today, morning and afternoon, then went up to tea at the Arthurs, after which we walked along the cliff to Ilfracombe, a horrible tripperish place, very second rate and crowded. (The “Arthurs” are in fact Herbert’s brother Arthur Jackson and his family of five children: Kitty, Bob, Philip, Cecilia and Mark. Arthur was a parson. Not to be confused with Arthur Butler, Wynne’s uncle on her mother’s side).
August 12th, Thursday
Grouse day! The hottest we have had so far, perfect for bathing. We undress in airy caves here in a most open way and our sense of modesty is fast becoming nil. The tide was low and the water calm and warm.
This day we went for a long drive away up behind and beyond Ilfracombe to a place called Storridge. Pinkie’s legs were suffering dreadfully from sunburn being swollen, sore and blue looking so to keep him away from the sea Mabel suggested this expedition and off we started in two conveyances, climbing up this awful hill with much exertion. At the other end we descended into a most perfect coomb by a precipice of a road into Watermouth Valley. We there had lunch and walked on to Watermouth Bay where we had tea in a most rocky spot. (The photo shows lunch at Watermouth Valley)
Aug 14th, Saturday.
After lunch we set forth for a tea expedition up the lovely valley which lies below the Manor house. We walked some way along fields, depositing at length our burdens in a shady corner and then explored the perfect wood beyond. Our path first lay through a forest of bracken which grew higher than my head and to our right flowed a little stream edged with masses of loosestrife and meadowsweet. The path eventually crossed this stream and we returned to our tea through the wood. This seemed almost enchanted, the trees met over our head casting a cool green light everywhere and ferns of all kinds and sizes grew like a carpet, a fitting home for the fairies. Down the hill through the breaks in the trees the sun sent great broad beams in which the lazy insects floated in drowsy swarms and one felt the enchantment of it all and that one must not speak aloud. It seemed prosaic to return to tea, noisy children and the usually querulous Arthur who never seems to get on to a green twig on these occasions. After a good square meal we all set off again up the hill. It was a great climb