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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Learning v lessons and another outing for you

The Wanderer telephoned for a chat last night and one of the things she said got me thinking.  She said that she'd been meaning to say "thank you" to me for teaching her about what constitutes healthy eating. She had apparently been chatting to a couple of her friends - girls (no make that young women they are after all both in their early 30's like the Wanderer) who I remember coming to our house and whose parents I got to know when picking up the wanderer from theirs - about diet and losing weight.  The wanderer has always been slim and doesn't need to lose weight (lucky thing!) but these two young women are a little overweight in the case of one and more than a little in the other and the Wanderer was amazed that they didn't seem to know what foods caused their weight gain nor what to cut back on in order to lose their excess weight things she felt she had learned at my knee.

When I had picked myself up off the floor at the thought of my offspring being appreciative of anything I might have done right in the past I thought about what she had said.

I had never been aware of "teaching" my daughter about such things although it's true of course that I probably explained why too much chocolate or too many sugary drinks were not a good idea and whilst I usually cooked from scratch, though that's not to say she was never allowed any junk food at all (for I knew that way lay rebellion and demand for even more and anyway I myself wasn't averse to the odd packet of crisps), and we did have an allotment and grew many of our own vegetables, I made my own bread and we kept a couple of hens for eggs, so that the Wanderer knew about the difference between battery hens and free range eggs and so on from a fairly early age, I never actually taught her any of this and it came to me how we learn things not only from lessons but also by example and from conversations and thus just what a responsibility being a parent is in that we need to be aware of just how much we unwittingly pass on to our children.  What other things have I taught her that are yet to come to light I wonder! 

I thought of my mother and just how like her I am becoming  and how so many of her mantras have become my own - waste not want not, make do and mend, we may be poor but that's no excuse for being common (a heinous crime!), never put the milk bottle on the table use a jug, and many many more including the one I would thank my mother for most which is to be grateful and happy with what we have and to envy no one who has more (this latter I never remember her actually saying but I picked it up from her nonetheless).  And I remember her telling me that her mother (whom I never knew as she died when my mother was just 14) had often sung "Count your blessings, count them every one" whilst struggling with the mangle or blackleading the grate and so on - so maybe she too had learned lessons from her mother in this way.

What lessons do you hope your children will learn from you or have you learned rather than been taught?

 On a totally different tack now - as it was a rest day for the cyclists in the Tour de France Mr M was happy to forgo his usual afternoon ensconced in front of the television watching all those chaps in lycra pedaling furiously, falling off and so on, and probably wishing he was one of them having been a bit of a cyclist in his youth, to go on an outing with me.  We decided to revisit Budleigh Salterton which you may remember I had been to back in June last year on BBB II.  The above photo was taken at Exmouth and shows that when the tide is in the estuary looks so much nicer than the mudflats we had seen on our first visit. 

The sea along the south coast of Devon is red as you can see and I am wondering whether this is due to the winter storms which caused so much damage to the cliffs and washed so much land away last winter or if it is something else entirely - anyone know?  I noticed several of these little pebble paintings along the beach and thought about those artists who create works of art which are ephemeral and last only until the tide comes in or the rain washes them away and that there must be a lesson in there somewhere!

 BS is a working seaside with an area where the fishing boats and tackle are to be found made attractive with this lovely floral boat set in pebbles.

 Another floral planted boat - I loved them.

 We had fish and chips again for lunch - this time from the lovely little Fish and chip shop I had bought from last summer on BBB II and they were absolutely delicious.  What was that I said above about healthy eating?  But these were really good and not at all greasy the batter being light and crispy and the chips hot and not all soggy as is often the case and it is not a regular meal for us and it will probably be another 12 months before I have them again anyway.

 We walked along the sea front towards the Otter estuary.

Where we planned to walk and did wonder whether to walk to Otterton and get a bus back from there but that was a bit difficult as we didn't know exactly how long it would take us and if we missed a bus we'd have to wait another hour for the next and that complicated getting a bus back to Exmouth for the train to Exeter.  Bus pass travel is great but it can be time consuming!

We did manage to get all our connections and even discovered we could break our journey in Exeter and went to M&S for a cuppa and some bread for supper before resuming our journey home.  Another lovely day out hope you've enjoyed coming with us?


  1. I would like my children to care. To care about other people, themselves, and the environment. I also would like them to be happy with who they are and what they have.

    Another lovely day out you have had :)

  2. I totally echo sustainablemum. Caring and contentment are two of life's greatest achievements. I'm also delighted that both my sons are good and enthusiastic cooks - all that messing about with grey pastry paid off!

  3. Isn't it funny how our children are suddenly repeating the same things that we said to them! It makes me smile.

  4. My dad always used to say "As the old cock crows, the young cock learns". It's a nice feeling when it happens, isn't it!
    Re the cycling, is it me or has there been a lot more falling off than usual!!!!
    V x

  5. My Mum used to say don't put the milk bottle on the table too! xx

  6. I see myself getting more and more like my mother too, which is frightening actually.
    Budleigh Salterton looks lovely, I do like the planted boat.

  7. I really enjoy going along on your outings. Some day, I'll get to England and see it all for myself.

  8. Isn't it funny how we become like our Mum's? I feel I never thanked my Mum for all the valuable lessons she taught me, no matter how hard they seemed at the time they were well worth it. I'm sure your daughter appreciates what you've done for her more than you might realize and I am glad she thanked you. I hope my children learn to always respect their elders, no matter how old they (my children) are and to remember there is always someone worse off than them somewhere in the world.

  9. Yes, I'm definitely getting more like my mum too. I noticed it some time ago and was mildly worried, but now I find it quite funny.

  10. What a really lovely post. I hope that my children learn exactly the same things that you and your daughter have learned. Although right now it's not looking promising! But probably something is sinking in, let's hope. Budleigh Salterton looks beautiful, you do go on the most lovely outings. And I'm glad you enjoyed your fish and chips. The occasional indulgence is absolutely a good thing! CJ xx

  11. Oh no, two posts in a row making me yearn for East Devon again. Lovely mill at Otterton with very healthy food and an onsite bakery and craft gallery. Now have to add Budleigh to my list of places to revisit. Please stay at home for a few days watching the tour with your esteemed partner Jane and then I can stop getting envious!

  12. Love these outings and the lovely weather you are having. Just spent a couple of days with my Mum. It's sad to see her memory fading and changing the person she used to be.


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