Saturday, 2 April 2011


A magical day. We're in Clovelly; a tiny village literally clinging to a North Devon cliff. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited, and we have been blessed by absolutely stunning weather.

Clovelly has a tiny little harbour, with an incredibly tall, ramshackle harbour wall, which you access by a series of wooden ladders. I suspect it hasn't changed for a hundred years.

Clovelly harbour wall

Celia's grandfather was the postman here, and used to walk up and down the incredibly steep, cobbled streets with a donkey.

We went onto the pebble beach where we found a waterfall tumbling down the cliff, which you could actually stand behind. On the way back up, we discovered a slow worm basking on a sunny wall, which quite happily slid onto Nathan's hand and sat there for some time.

Running through the waterfall at Clovelly
I'm told Charles Kingsley of Water Babies fame once lived here.

The whole place is absolutely idyllic; the perfect spot to bring a group of children on a perfect early spring day.

The night before last, I went to the Questor's Theatre in Ealing to see my adaptation of Alice Through the Looking-Glass performed by a youth group. It was quite a treat to hear those old familiar words again, although I couldn't believe how surreal my interpretation suddenly  seemed! Afterwards we went back stage to meet the cast, and I had to sign about 40 programmes, which felt rather strange. I don't normally get asked for my autograph!

350 years ago, Pepys took his wife and sister-cum-servant to his father's house, where they were due to stay for a few days whilst the workman turned their own home upside down.

Pepys found his mother on her own, weeping bitterly about the argument she'd had the night before. Ever the understanding modern male, he immediately whisked Elizabeth out of the house and took her to see her own mother, who was not well.

Pepys rarely, if ever, went to see his  mother-in-law and it seems that he merely deposited Elizabeth and went off for a stroll.

He found himself in St James' Park, where he witnessed, for the first time, the Duke of York playing a game called Pelemele... A game which would eventually give its name to a nearby road, Pall Mall.

Pepys ended the day at The Dolphin pub, where the two Sir Williams were drinking with one Mr Delabar. Pepys noted how strange it was "how these men, who at other times are all wise men, do now, in their drink, betwitt and reproach one another... Til I was ashamed to see it." To betwitt! I love it!

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