Never actually made it to the Craft Fair at Bovey Tracey (that's in Devon for all you Anglians) until this year. Thoroughly enjoyable and a really good standard of work on show. High spot for me was the fantastic wire work of CELIA SMITH, a very good friend of printmaker JULIA MANNING. Celia's birds really are quite special; having admired them from afar, I really couldn't resist them in reality and can't wait to see them happily at home here in Norfolk.
Having cunningly missed the rain by going to the preview reception on the Thursday evening, I rounded off the day investigating the merits of a very satisfactory single malt with my old mate RICHARD GODFREY. Devon really does seem very seductive at times!
It is very easy to regard North Norfolk as quiet, but it's only after an undisturbed night's sleep in the heart of the South Hams, you realise just how noisy Burnham Market is - particularly when you are hard on the street. Breakfast in the garden, complete with freshly-baked bread and surrounded by evidence of Richard and Chris's other skills - colour (a riot?) and burgeoning plant growth made it hard to believe that Devon too has been very dry this spring, whilst the new fence replacing the one blown to bits by the winter's gales is testimony to Richard's carpentry. Inevitably, we ended up in the studio, picking out new pots for the gallery and consuming rather too much coffee. It's a hard life.
Moving on, Totnes exerted its usual magnetism and left me wondering just why this town is so vibrant - if a bit hippy - whist Norfolk's market towns still seem to struggle. Having said that, I don't think I could live there... it's just so full. Even out of school holidays, the roads are packed and it certainly feels like everyone's rushing to get somewhere. A quick trip back to the Bovey Tracey fair revealed further delights and established new connections - particularly on the pottery front. Dodging some hefty downpours - they certainly still seem to do these on a more dramatic scale in Devon than we do - ended the day with my good friend Robin Tolson, chewing over the technicalities of what the Judiciary wear on high days and holidays!
Having spent a good few hours looking at pots and talking about pots and potters - it seemed not a bad thing to head for the hills and blow a few cobwebs away. Right on the western edge of Dartmoor, it seemed only appropriate to have a proper Devon ice-cream, if only out of respect for our wonderful printer RICHARD CLOVER's continuing exploration of the art of the cone back in Norfolk. Another downpour of biblical proportions gave way to Turner-esque light over Cornwall and a quick mile and a half walk up the nearest Tor. Not seeing a soul anywhere other than those esconsed in their cars in the car park, it came as a somewhat puzzling if pleasant surprise to come across a crisp £5 note lying on the path. Lots of hungry sheep, a few ponies and a brisk wind - but definitely no people. So where had it come from? Just another of life's little mysteries, I guess.