Silent Sunday: Sunny Sidmouth

At last…the sun shines. We took advantage of it with a glorious family stroll on Sidmouth beach.

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Sunday bliss!

Lxx

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Express & Echo: Feniton will fight to save its village

In case you didn’t know, last week I wrote my first column for the Express and Echo. I’m delighted to be contributing to the paper, but for those of you who may have missed it here it is…and make sure you pick it up tomorrow (Thursday) to read the next one!

This time of the year for me is the equivalent of other peoples’ ‘Spring Clean’.

Finally, Halloween (which, by the way, was bigger than ever this year!) is over and now we are hurtling towards (dare I say it?) Christmas.

Suddenly, my thoughts turn to organising my home. I like to clear out the kids’ toys before the new ones arrive, courtesy of Santa, and of course I then have to hunt around the house looking for those ‘January bargains’ – Christmas cards and decorations, bought in the sales when I thought I was being oh-so clever!

This time of year also means I have to start organising my diary with military precision, there are Christmas functions, meals with friends and plenty of children’s’ parties for me to play taxi for.

In fact, last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the exclusive launch of Rolex at Michael Spiers in Exeter. It was held at Exeter Castle and was exquisitely hosted with delicious food from Topsham caterers Posh Nosh and a wonderful firework display to end the evening.

Unfortunately, I didn’t leave with a Rolex, but the whole night was great fun and the watches and jewellery on display was nothing short of jaw-dropping.

But, my week’s antics didn’t stop there. On Saturday a dear friend of mine, Lucie-Grace, hosted a Halloween-themed party to raise money for The Eve Appeal. Sadly, she lost her mum a few years ago to gynaecological cancer, so the cause is one that is close to her heart.

Held at Payhembury Village Hall, plenty of locals donated their time and efforts to help arrange the kids’ party which featured a disco, face painting, glitter tattoos and a raffle. On the day around 100 children boogied away to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and raised £300 for The Eve Appeal.

Not content with spending nearly every evening out, I showed my support by attending an emergency planning meeting held by Feniton Parish Council on Monday. Feniton, in case you are unaware, is currently one of a few East Devon villages under siege by zealous developers – and also my home.

Unfortunately, Feniton is one of the worst affected, and recently – following a failed appeal – building for 50 new homes started and now the village faces a ‘Super Inquiry’ in January, when the Planning Inspectorate will hear a case for development in three other areas – increasing the size of Feniton by 40%.

The meeting was well attended, and more than 180 residents came to ‘have their say’. It was announced on the night that Feniton Parish Council has hired the services of a legal professional to help in the fight to prevent more mass housing – at a cost of £10,000. Remarkably, following the end of the meeting there was a queue forming for villagers to pledge money towards the cause, with £2,000 being raised on that night alone.
I don’t think there can be a stronger, or clearer, message sent to the planning inspector and the developers that Feniton will fight to save its village.

Lxx

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The Christmas countdown has begun…with adverts

It is official, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Lidl and an array of other festive tv adverts have found their way onto my radar – kicking off Christmas 2013!

This is the one we’ve all been waiting for…

 

However, not to be outdone, this magical advert from M&S is something rather spectacular…

 

I defy, even the grumpiest Grinch, not to raise a smile at these heartwarming offerings!

L xx

Silent Sunday: A boost for business in Budleigh

This weekend Budleigh Salterton welcomed visitors to its inaugural Food and Drink Festival, organised by Budleigh in Business.

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Three days of cooking demonstrations, local food and drink produce, socialising and plenty of kids activities, the event was wonderfully organised and, I think, a real asset to the town.

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I’m really inspired by the local towns around our corner of Devon fighting back and encouraging people to ‘Buy Local’.

Just one of the delicious offerings at the festival, a Caribben curry…

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This year we’ve seen the inaugural Ottery St Mary Food and Drink Festival, and next year we can look forward to the first Honiton Sausage and Cider Festival in May.

A welcome boost to the local economy and a clear display of the fighting spirit I’ve come to love from Delightful Devon!

L xx