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Blog: A Weekend In Devon

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After work on Friday The Trains On My Track and I headed off for the long voyage SOUTH to Devon, where we were going to go and see our pals The Wilsons. The train was PACKED - RAMMED, even - and we had to change seats three times as people with reservations got on and off at various points. Still, we arrived in Good Humour and were met by the aforesaid Wilsons who took us off to their house in Picturesque Buckfastleigh, where we had CHIPS and went to the PUB, drank WHISKY and then RETIRED for the evening. DELIGHTFUL!

Saturday was a day of ACTION - Buckfastleigh is not a big place, but it is FULL of STUFF. We wandered down to the South Devon Railway, five minutes from their house, to see the TRANES. It was GRATE - a little diesel came in that could carry about 200 people, and I couldn't help by notice that a sizeable percentage of these were STAFF. Surely it doesn't take TEN people to drive a single carriage diesel 5 miles? It was almost as if they were having FUN.

We then walked down the river, waving at canoeists, to Buckfast Abbey, the place where they make the BUCKFAST WINE of ill repute. As we arrived a lady told us The Monks were about to sing, so we went in for the service. This also was GRATE - not just because of the singing (which was, well, just like on the telly really) but because it was so BRIEF. They did three songs (in ENGLISH, surprisingly, although because of the way they were SUNG it took a while to realise this), then a READING. My heart SANK at this point, with that feeling of DOOM i remember from SCOUTS, when you had to go to church and knew it was NEVER GOING TO END. HOWEVER, this reading too under a minute, there was one more song, and then they were off. NO ENCORES!

It all took ten minutes - i think The Church Of England could learn a LOT from this. If ALL Church Services were so a) short b) pleasant c) CALMING then attendance would ROCKET.

We had a bit of a stroll around, went to the cafe, then had a big old country walk featuring HILLS. I'm not very good at hills, it was KNACKERING. We eventually found ourselves at Holy Trinity Church, which was SPOOKY. It's WAY up the hill away from the Village and has MANY LEGENDS around it, not least the EVIL SQUIRE who sold his soul to THE DEVIL and is buried there. It's in RUINS now, as it was burnt down by satanists/arsonists (depending on where you read it) in 1992, and it's very strange to wonder round these old ruins, and then realise they were actually standing as a normal church less than 20 years ago.

We had a look at a LIME KILN nearby, walked along a thousand year old LANE (featuring wild CHIVES and wild GARLIC, which i ATE) and then down a path which gets filled with BATS in the summer and then down 196 steps to the village. With all that walking and LOCAL INTEREST i was DONE IN by the time we got back, so sat down and had a BEER.

During this extended seating I went down to Phil's home studio/GEEK LAIR to listen to his NEW ALBUM! I'd been hoping to get a listen to it, but was also a bit worried - what if it didn't sound very good? I need not have been afeared as it was BLOODY GRATE. I mean REALLY REALLY BRILLIANT - my favourite song was "I Own It" (a demo of which has been taken off his myspace, i've just seen - it was good too!) and i sang along with GUSTO, but ALL of it sounded FAB. I got quite excited about the whole thing - it's coming out on Slumberland Records too, which should mean it gets a bit of publicity, which would be GRATE. Mr Wilson is one of the Great British Songwriters, he deserves to be HEARD!

After all the excitement we had a BIG CURRY and then watched Wholphins, which is like a DVD magazine thingy from those McSweeney's types. It was GRATE! We watched an HILARIOUS one called "Heavy Metal Jr" about a 10-12 year old Scottish Heavy Metal Band (I will never forget the Dad saying "Your attitude defines your altitude") a touching and ALSO hilarious one about a class of Chinese kids having their first ever election (we BOOED CHILDREN) and then a slightly SAD and ANGER making one about a girl in Yemen getting THE HASSLE from pretty much everybody telling her to wear a veil and stay indoors.

And THEN we watched a film about The Undertones which a) was GRATE b) made both myself and The Talking Heads In My Documentary think "I never knew they had so many hits!" and c) featured an occasional Commentary Track from Phil and Pam, who KNOW most of them. This was ILLUMINATING, also FAB!

And then i went to BED - i was EXHAUSTED. Next day we breakfasted and got the train, UPGRADING as we did so, and relaxed after a long, tiring, but LOVELY weekend. When I got home i bought an Undertones Best Of!

posted 22/2/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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