Wonderful food, a warm welcome and a beautiful location.

A Day on the Dart

[This is one in a series of blog posts written by Charlotte the Intern.  Tune in daily to find out about what she’s been up to, what she has been learning about, and all of the crazy things she does as part of the Manna from Devon team.]

What a strange feeling I had today.  The food festival is over, this morning I turned in my thesis, and there’s not a loaf of bread to be baked.   I found myself suddenly, and completely, without anything in particular to do.  You know that moment when you’re sitting at your desk, poised to do something useful, and you pause for a beat to think, “ok….now what?”  That was me this morning at around 9:00.

So we had a day out.  This morning, after pressing the “send” button, David and I took the canoe up to Totnes, where we saw seals lying about on pontoons and swimming around upriver, herons gliding gracefully across the water, and little boats puttering about.  It was so peaceful out on the river, and it felt good to be out in the fresh air with nothing really to think about but paddling ever-forward.  When we reached Totnes, Holly met us and we all drove up to the Riverford Field Kitchen for an excellent lunch of lamb and lots of deliciously prepared veggies.  Afterward, we spent a bit of time shopping around in Totnes before heading to Paignton to catch a showing of “Captain Philipps”, an entertaining if not at all relaxing film about Somali pirates capturing an American container ship.  Lovely!

I’ve written on the blog before about how important I think it is to take time to appreciate all of the amazing things we have around us, but I had definitely let that escape me in the last couple of weeks, with the leadup to the food festival and my impending thesis deadline pushing constantly into whatever free mental space I was able to clear for myself.  Today was a perfect way to forget about it all, and to just immerse myself in all of the things that I have loved about living in Devon: the beauty of the River Dart, the joy of living right on the water, nice little towns, great food, great people, and access to a movie theater that screens movies in English.  What’s not to love?!

In truth, it was all a bit bittersweet for me today.  Sunday I will leave to return to Italy, and though that will be wonderful and exciting in it’s own way, I must admit that it’s difficult to think about leaving Kingswear.  I’ve only been here for two months, but it seems like not nearly enough time at all, and I will be sad to leave all of the friends I have made and this place that I have really grown to love.  I’m going to sign off before I get all weepy and emotional, but I really want to thank you all for making me feel so welcomed and at home for these last two months.  I’m not ready to leave!


Seals doing some relaxing of their own on a pontoon.


Hot chocolate break! I was not actually as cold as I look in this photo. I was definitely as happy as I look in this photo.