Level of conviction in own genius: 7
Hours of creative activity achieved in last 24: 2
Reading: Hari Kunzru's 'My Revolutions' & a week's worth of emailsHair day: unsure of motivation
Have had a lovely, get-away-from-valiant-flat-buying-attempts time in North Devon, in Tarka the Otter Land (we stayed in Henry Williamson's house, with his secret writing hut ensconced amongst the trees; everything was called Tarka Trail, Tarka Beer, Tarka Surfing, Tarka Roadworks, that sort of thing; amusingly the local pub's chalkboard out said: 'Probably the pub Henry Williamson drank in' and a Carlsberg sign).
* Sung to tune of Cheek to Cheek, obviously...
- The wondrous Putsborough-Woolacombe Sands, so smooth and vast that at low tide you felt like John Cleese's knight forever running at the castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail upon taking courage and dashing seawards to swim in the wonderfully sudsy sea. Putsborough is the more sedate end, with the usual chintzy charms taking hold at Woolacombe, an impressive cornucopia of pop-up tents, sandcastles, chip vans, rounders matches, metal detector-wielders, parasailors and watersporters, all going strong even when the burly clouds lumbered over and did their worst. Best sights were the elderly surfers, all wobbly-pastry torsos and craggy faces, and parents ingeniously drawing spirally lines on the beach and then racing their offspring around them like kiddie-scaletrix.
- Body-boarding! We did this at both ends of the above beach, looking probably double-takingly like Keanu Reeves and Lori Petty in Point Break and not at all like two waddling seals on My First Gnarly Wave. Most fun though sometimes a little terrifying trying to judge the crest and break of some looming waves, and often getting totally bitch-slapped.
- In Ilfracombe, the Victorians were not ones to let a great hulking cliff stand in the way of their constitutional improvements, so drilled right through it to create some tunnels and a bathing pool from a naturally-formed lagoon. On a coldish, drizzly day, the little beach was a spookily lunar oasis of charcoal-dark shingle and massive rock-shards thunked into the surf, with a wonderfully icy empty pool, later swallowed back up by the tide. So in we went! The bravado was well worth it, a brain-bracingly chilly experience in which I tried to remember that the unknown things brushing my legs were seaweed fronds and not the tongues of terrifying seapool critters. Ha.
- Getting enough freckles to make it look like the sun had just sneezed violently all over me.
- The Best Cream Tea Ever at a National Trust cafe on Baggy Point, following a rain-lacquered walk, with warm scones as pleasurable as putting your face into a kitten: clotted cream good enough to lay bricks with, peppy jam and strawberries, little red explosions of joy.