One of the benefits of working in a school is the extended amounts of holiday that, unfortunately, are not shared by the rest of the hard-working world. I may never be one of these fortunate employees, luxuriating within the education system. However, as my employment hasn't yet resulted in any actual work I have been participating in these extra vacations along with my teacher boyfriend and his teacher friends.
This weekend marks the end of the first half-term break of the school year - a week long holiday occurring during the middle of each term. Owen and I have taken full advantage of this break, enjoying a week of events and travel. Last Friday the local theatre hosted an amateur production of The Producers, which was entirely amusing and enjoyable. Sunday we joined Owen's mum and some family friends on a trip to Norwich, where we had a lovely (post-night out) brunch and spent the day wandering the city.
Tuesday morning we headed down to the southern coast, in Devon, for a mini-break further away from Hertford. Our home base was a sweet B&B in Paignton. This is a kitchsy seaside town with a fun-pier and an entire street of arcades, tourist shops and family-friendly restaurants. I can imagine how packed the place is in summer. We spent three days exploring Torbay (home to Agatha Christie and the setting for many of her novels) and the surrounding areas. There really was so much to do. I don't think we were prepared. I could easily plan out a weeks worth of activities just in the Torbay area. As it was we visited some pre-historic caves, walked the coastal paths in Torquay, went on a shrimping boat expedition to the Atlantic and explored a tiny, quaint village just outside of town.
Slightly disappointed by the crazy golf course on the pier... Not to worry though. There was a massive one further down the beach.
Photos of the tiny and adorable village of Cockington. The village has an old manor house with stables that have been turned into studios for artists who do things like glass blowing and iron work. All of the other houses and buildings in the village had thatched roofs. We stopped for some rest and cream teas in that little shop.
The caves we visited were just on the other side of these hills. They were inhabited by humans and their ancestors as far back as 40,000 years ago, and were home to other species before that.
Our trip ended with a relaxing morning in a gem of a cafe in Paignton. A California-style book cafe boasting a collection of interesting reads, a unique and flowing menu of coffee drinks and a range of vegetarian and vegan goodies. I wish I could find more places like this in the UK, especially in Hertford. I'm still having a hard time finding a local coffee shop that measures up in terms of both taste and atmosphere. Maybe I'll just have to open my own...
It was a wonderful trip, but it's nice to be home again. My working life is very slowly falling into place. I had an interview for a second job today (fingers crossed!) and I finally recieved my completed background check, which means I could be starting work with the National Autistic Society soon. More on that to come!
Love and good travels!