Showing posts from June, 2009

Blooming Towns!

I moved to Budleigh Salterton in East Devon partly in search of the acidic soil which had eluded me during my working life. I now feel that I live in the Garden of Eden, although ericaceous plants are I what I enjoy growing rather than apples.

Pictured, left, a red rhododendron with a beetle. Both unidentified.

One day I’ll learn about proper pruning of apple trees and how to deal with canker disease and codling moths. But for the moment I’m just thrilled to see the wonderful flowers of my camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons as they spread throughout the garden, to be followed later in the year by blue hydrangeas. I even managed to take layer cuttings of rhododendrons in my first year here. Right: Evergreen azaleas at their most showy in a woodland setting of the garden

So I was excited to learn that Cape Cod is also blessed with acidic soil: another link to be blogged. They have interesting pebbles as well, though they call them “rocks’ over there. I thought Budleigh’s pebbles …

Over the pebbles and far away… Knowle > East Budleigh > Knowle

I’ve been asked to record my favourite walks by the pebble people at I hope that this is the kind of thing they want.

Other people might find it interesting anyway if they want to try a walk that they may not have done before.

This could well be the first of various guided rambles that I’ll post exploring the beautiful countryside around Budleigh. I suspect that I have to make a legal disclaimer to state that I am not responsible if you fall into a rut or a puddle, get scratched by brambles or bitten by ticks. Such is the stupid age we live in.

Also I might get some details wrong, so please let me know if corrections are needed.

This first one is about six miles. It’s also fairly orthodox, following public footpath signs. Personally I prefer getting totally lost and then coming across unexpected views, follies and other weird stuff, but many people don’t like surprises.

Start at the Dog and Donkey (above) in Knowle http:/…

Breaking the cycle in the cause of art

Setting out for a bike ride last Sunday we spotted a notice advertising a two-day art show in Knowle Village Hall. It was 21 June, the final day, and the show was going to close in two hours. We were still on the outskirts of Budleigh, heading north. “The aim of every artist is to arrest motion,” wrote the novelist William Faulkner, and this seemed pretty apt advice. So a quick decision was taken: a turn off the main road through the pretty hamlet of Kersbrook, then back towards Budleigh and in a few minutes we were in Knowle.

Left: Budleigh beach huts, by Janie Heyde

Five artists and their work were on display. All were local, and all very different from each other. Budleigh-based Janie Heyde sells her work as World's End Originals. She spent much of her childhood in Cornwall and was influenced by the St Ives School of Artists.

The coast and scenes in small Devon coastal towns like Budleigh and Clovelly inspire much of her work, which is often, as she says, “quirky, with a liberal u…

Brewster contemplating wind turbines on public land

Could Brewster be the Kobe Bryant of wind energy?
[For UK readers: Kobe Bryant, American baseball star - ]

Sean Tilly, a consultant from Black and Veatch of Boston, thinks so.

“You have a decent wind resource,” he informed the Brewster board of selectmen last week, when he presented the conclusions of a wind turbine feasibility study. The rapid slide show was dense with data.

“Anyway you slice it this project is a slam-dunk,” he proclaimed. “So under the net metering scenario it is a great deal.”

So much so that a one or two turbine project could pay for itself in a little over one month – provided it’s financed entirely with debt.

Black and Veatch’s 157-page report is available on the Brewster town Web site
Above: This is a simulation, somewhat vertically enhanced, of how a turbine at the town pumping station off Freeman’s Way would appear from Route 6, facing west. Photo simulation from Black and Veatch

Black and Veatc…

Paula Rego: The Ultimate Story Teller

"We interpret the world through stories... everybody makes in their own way sense of things, but if you have stories it helps," says Paula Rego, explaining her work.

Paula Rego, internationally renowned contemporary artist, exhibits her etchings and lithographs spanning over 20 years at the Brook in Budleigh Salterton from 12 July to 10 August, with a private view at the Brook on 11 July, when she will be joined by acclaimed British contemporary artist, Chris Orr MBE RA.

Left: Moon Eggs
“Paula Rego is one of the leading figurative artists working today,” says Brook spokesperson Kendra Grahame-Clarke. “She cleverly entwines her own experiences with those of dreams and fantasies. Gleaned from the frailties of life and exploring the struggles between men and women, this series of original prints is inspired by modern and classic literature and the political and social realities of today. Her work knows no boundaries; adept at painting and drawing, her simple and strong images tran…

Changing Times in Budleigh

Bloggers are a rare enough phenomenon in Budleigh to merit mention in the national media, so I was not all that surprised to find myself mentioned in today’s Times

Thank you, Alex. A nice little piece, and it would indeed be a great honour to welcome President Obama to our town.

It’s not quite accurate to describe Budleigh and Brewster as twins however. ‘Sister-towns’ is how they were described when I first discovered their relationship, and I’m happy with that.

Above: A future visitor to Budleigh?
Picture credit: