In Jane’s pen-steps

Woke up feeling lots better. I’ve had a touch of the flu for the last few days and gone through a million tissues. This morning (after first good night’s sleep) feeling much better and coincides with beautiful blue skies. Mirinda slept in till 12.

Today was our trace Jane day. So, armed with a copy of Ann-Marie Edwards’ ‘In the Steps of Jane Austen’ we set off.

Our first stop was Upton Pyne. Ann-Marie reckons this is the inspiration for Barton in Sense and Sensibility. The church, though hard to find, was fabulous. Ann-Marie says ‘…here in the church of St Mary, Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars were married.’ Needless to say there is no record of Jane in the church.

The village is very tiny with no pub and no post office but a lovely, lovely church. John Gay who composed The Beggar’s Opera had an uncle James who was rector there from 1702 to 1720. He (James) and a five year old son who died, is buried under the altar. The church is built using local volcanic stone and has a lovely dusty pink hue. It was mowing day so the wonderful Austen illusion was shattered by the whizz of rotors and chugging of sit-ons.

Next up was just up the road in Newton St Cyres. Ann-Marie claims that the church and mansion here resembles Marianne’s description in Sense and Sensibility. Unfortunately the A377 runs right through it (a particularly truck prone stretch of English road) and seems to be non-stop noise. This tend to spoil the illusion somewhat still, the church was lovely with lots of history and the lightest interior I think I’ve ever seen in a small church.

Although it has the worst pamphlet, it does detail why it’s so light. Apart from the fact that it’s painted white inside, including the vaulted ceiling, the windows are well balanced between modern stained glass and post restoration/puritan plain glass. Whatever…it’s very light.

We stopped for a very late lunch in a small spot called the Fisherman’s Cot at Cadeleigh on the River Exe. Superb! Had a pint of courage. Sat watching the river sluice away towards Exeter before then heading to Honiton and finally back to the farm.

Went to the Salty Monk for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Mirinda had goose which is quite a delicate flavour. This just means almost no taste. I had homemade chicken sausages. I have no idea how one goes about making a chicken at home but something worked. I had a pint of Otter.

After dinner we had a walk along the promenade to aid in digestion. The meal cost £41.60.

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