Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The English Riviera

So I've thought and I've thought and I've decided that I can't write everything that I want to write in one post. So I will do a lovely "oooh look at these nice pictures" post and then tomorrow (hopefully) I'll do a lovely "oooh look at what happens when I decide I'm going to drink again" post.

So I travelled down to Torquay this weekend to see my favourite cousin. I hate that I don't get to see her more often - she's the closest I've got to having a sister. Yes, ok, I do actually have a sister, but she's 13 years older than me and we have very different personalities, whereas me and my cousin are only separated by 15 months or so and are pretty much the same person. All I want to do really is look after her, I worry about her you know. I know she's perfectly capable of looking after herself but there's something about our relationship that brings the protective side of me out.

To be honest if she were any old random on the street I'd kind of want to slap her. Stupidly pretty with a grotesquely amazing figure, blonde, a freakin' Doctor, she can dance, she can cook - seriously, anyone else would be getting a poke in the eye round about now. Instead I am stupidly proud of her and would be quite happy to walk down the street with a sign above my head saying "Hey everyone! This is MY cousin!"

But. She lives at the other end of the universe. Also known as Devon. So I have to content myself with seeing her a couple of times a year instead.

This was my first time down to Torquay in particular and I had high hopes, but the weather gods decided to literally rain on my parade and it sheeted it down most of the weekend. It wasn't just the weather that I had to contend with though, I had to deal with...

Killer seagulls.
Growing up, I thought I knew seagulls pretty well. I saw them occassionally, heard their call, life was good. Until I went down to Exmouth to visit a friend and came across something that bore a striking resemblance to an albatross or pterodactyl on the beach. I don't know what goes on down south but those seagulls are ridiculously massive. And they scare the crap out of me. I'm pretty sturdy, I don't start flapping and screaming when a flock of pigeons flies within 10 feet of me, but these...things...are enough to bring me out in a cold sweat.

And it got worse. Not just normal seagulls - but baby killer seagulls were all over the place. Don't be fooled by their cute grey feathers - they want to peck your eyes out and feast on your flesh.

We did manage to trip to see the sea on Sunday, dragging our ridiculously hungover asses to Babbacombe, and more specifically Oddicombe Beach.

Things you should know about Babbacombe and Oddicombe Beach:

1. There is a crazily steep road down to a car park by the beach. And when I say crazily steep I mean I was surprised there wasn't an Alton Towers rep at the top, taking £35 off you and reminding you to make sure your harness was fastened securely. It was ridiculous. And actually rendered me speechless until the horror was over.

2. The Buccaneer Arms does not serve guacamole with its nachos - despite saying so on the menu - but it does do good cheesy chips and the loveliest lady ever will serve you.

3.There is a lovely funicular railway that will take you all the way down to Oddicombe Beach and it is staffed by the happiest, friendliest people you'll ever meet.

4. You should probably go to Oddicombe Beach soon because the cliff surrounding it is disappearing fast.

5. People are mental and will still go swimming in the sea even when it's raining. Granted it wasn't freezing, but come on people!

6. You can buy the most brilliant tacky tea towels from the souvenir shop for £1.50. Win.

First impressions of Torquay? Pretty damn good. It would be undoubtedly more charming if the sun was shining and if we didn't spend most of the time wishing the throbbing in our heads would subside, but not even the old lady who was walking in front of us and proceeded to wet herself could dampen (pun intended) my spirits.


  1. Funny you should write about killer seagulls - I used to tell tales to my bro and sis when we were young about murderous ones - and that is why they have their beaks strained red on the tip... :)

    Torquay looks lovely...I think I may have been there when I was young - we did a lot of that area when i was growing up. Looking forward to more! xxx

  2. Those seagulls are bloody massive!

  3. I always think the red bit on their beaks looks like lipstick, it makes me smile!

  4. I love Babbacombe and have spent many a sun baked day (with only cocnut oil for protection!!!!!! well it was the late 1970's!) on that beach - did you know naturists sunbathe behind the cliff fall bit? xxxx

  5. I spent a fortnight every summer between the ages of 12 and 17 at a Pontins camp in Brixham so have been in Torquay many a time. I miss going there!

    My parents continued to go down to Devon on and off for a few years and they mentioned the seagulls - I'm sure they said tat they attacked a baby and killed a dog. Scary stuff!

  6. Worst seagulls ever are found in Whitby!

    Love the photos (not the ones of the seagulls though...), looks a nice place :)

    When I was younger we always swam in the sea when it was raining - you're going to get wet anyway!

  7. I'd go right now if I could. Babbacombe?! Honestly, how cool would it be to have that on your address?? "Where do you live madam? Babbacome my dear, Babbacombe" - does that name make anyone else laugh??!


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