A Knight’s Tale (107: Instow Part 1)

According to Wikipedia ‘Instow is a village in north Devon, England. It is on the estuary where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet, between the villages of Westleigh and Yelland and on the opposite bank of Appledore. There is an electoral ward with the same name. Its total population at the 2011 census was 1,501.[1]

There is a small river beach and sand dunes, that home some rare species of orchid including the pyramid orchid.[2]

The Tarka Trail passes through Instow, providing an easy means for people to arrive by foot or on bike. This section of the Trail is also part of the South West Coast Path, offering longer walks along the coast.’

From 1985 Jessica, Sam, Louisa and I enjoyed many annual holidays there with various family members.

Sam and Louisa, Instow 1985 3
Sam and Loiusa Instow 1985 2
Sam and Louisa Instow 1985 1

On that first visit Sam clambers over a stout, cemented, stone wall in the garden of our borrowed house.

Louisa then received a nature lesson from her mother, Jessica,

Jessica and Louisa 1985 1
Jessica and Louisa 2
Jessica and Louisa 1985 3
Jessiac and Louisa 4

seated on that wall, introducing her to the wonders of nature. An insect perches in our daughter’s hand; tall violet irises stand proud while yellow roses ramble along the stones.

Jessica and Sam 1985

Sam took his turn, too.

Jessica and Louisa 1985 2

Here Jessica admires sculptures at Marwood Hill Garden near Barnstaple.

Sam on donkey 1985 1
Sam on donkey 1985 2
Sam on donkey 1985 2

We took the car to Mousehole in Cornwall for one day. Sam loved donkey riding. A peculiarity of this ancient fishing village is the main road through to the harbour. Sam’s donkey stands on it, and is perhaps a more convenient way of manning the steep, cobbled, ascent. The granite strips among the setts provide steps between the houses. It is not suitable for vehicles, other than the shallow wooden sleds used by provisioners to deliver their produce.

Jessica, Sam and Louisa 1
Jessica, Sam and Louisa 1985 2
Jessica, Sam and Louisa 1985 3

The harbour has a similarly stout protective stone wall that can be ascended by substantial steep steps, such as those Jessica, Sam and Louisa are scaling. Jessica seems a little perturbed by our intrepid daughter’s purposeful strides.

Travel Challenge Reveal

The 10 day travel challenge required no explanation of the chosen pictures. Now is the time to elaborate a bit.

Day 1 featured a splendid toyshop in, I believe, Monpazier, one of southwest France’s Bastide towns, which I visited with friends Maggie and Mike in September 2003. More about such towns, with photographs, appears in https://derrickjknight.com/2018/01/13/more-bastides/

The woman in the red cardigan clutching her handbag appeared on Day 2. In September 1982 she paddled in the seawater on Bréhec beach in Brittany during a holiday Jessica, Sam, Louisa, and I took with friends Ann and Don. More can be see here: https://derrickjknight.com/2016/09/26/going-for-a-paddle-2/

On Day 3, Jessica stands on Place Fell in Cumbria on 18th August 1992. More images of this trip are found in https://derrickjknight.com/2017/03/12/i-felt-more-than-somewhat-queasy/ with evidence of the reason for my title.

The sunset appearing on Day 4 lit the Atlantic Ocean off Barbados in March 2004 while Sam was completing his epic row. A group of us were following Kilcullen, a support boat for the Ocean Rowing Society’s annual race, first featured in https://derrickjknight.com/2016/02/22/atlantic-sunset/

Further images from that trip and something about the race appear in https://derrickjknight.com/2015/12/02/the-young-gun-and-the-old-grey-wolf/

While on holiday at Instow in Devon in the summer of 1985 we took https://derrickjknight.com/2016/09/04/a-day-trip-to-mousehole/ where the photograph appearing on Day 5 was produced. Sam leads Louisa and Jessica up stone wall steps.

Day 6 features a disused slate mine outside Cerrigydrudion in North Wales where Matthew, Becky, Jessica, Sam, Louisa and I stayed in the summer of 1983. There is more on https://derrickjknight.com/2016/05/21/before-gaeddren/

My uncertainty about Monpazier mentioned at Day 1 shows that my knowledge about where I’ve been can become a bit hazy when I haven’t kept notes. My Day 7 picture is a case in point. I needed an alert reader to point out that this was my first visit to Mousehole, made on honeymoon with Vivien in March 1963. The significance of this photograph is explained in https://derrickjknight.com/2014/05/02/not-lost-after-all/

Day 8 features Port St Charles, Barbados, in March 2004, where Sam is mooring his boat, Pacific Pete. In the background can be seen building work. This is the relevant original post: https://derrickjknight.com/2016/01/22/port-st-charles/

During the years I travelled to London to visit my friend Norman I regularly walked across Westminster Bridge where, in July 2013, I was approached by the five women who were on holiday at Day 9. The encounter, and others, is described in https://derrickjknight.com/2013/07/17/that-was-worth-fighting-for/

Jackie and I enjoyed our honeymoon in Ockley in March 1968. In Day 10’s photograph she looks down on the Surrey countryside from the top of https://derrickjknight.com/2015/02/16/leith-hill/

I am aware that this series may present some confusion to more recent readers who may not have read https://derrickjknight.com/2014/01/05/my-branch-of-the-family-tree/