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Lyndsay....an occasional housewife and full time mother. Ours is a life of seaside picnics,cooking & crafts.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Lemon Heaven & Manic Street Preachers

One of the great things about living in Torbay is that,when you think youve seen it all,you havnt. There is always some undiscovered gem of a place just waiting for you to visit. With this in mind,we set off to Brixham. Just 5 miles down the road,we tend to overlook Brixham and have often thought it to be just a fishing town with a few colourful houses. However we were surprised to find that if one takes a detour,there are a number of really lovely beaches on the outskirts of town.

We found one such place where a steep descent was rewarded by a pretty good latte in the windswept beach cafe. The name of the place escapes me now,but it had the added attraction of local seals,one of which appeared in cameo,only to resubmerge once the camera was out! Philip took each girl in turn for an explore round the headland while I chatted to some children who were entertaining the cafe owners soppy dog!

And so on we went to Brixham itself. I often find it to be a strange old place. Theres something distinctly un glamorous about it,despite its obvious charm. Maybe its the smell of the fish...or the mock up of the Golden Hind,I dont know. But theres no way Im ever paying £3 to go on a stationary pirate ship,thats for sure! Soon lunchtime was upon us,and as tempting as it was to sit on a bench with fish & chips,we decided on a cafe called Lemon Heaven (on the recommendation of an old lady who told us of its suitability for kids) Lemon Heaven must have the most varried menu in Torbay. Seriously...if you are a ceoliac,vegan with a nut allergy,this is the place for you.
 Good value too-Poppy had a babychino with marshmallows for 65p!

The mysterious old lady was right about the child friendliness of the place. We had no problems with high chairs or space,there was a little collection of toys and books and the menu was really good. The girls had little pitta bread dippers with a side of fruit and a lunchbox to share-beats me why they always choose the thing in the cardboard box,ever hopeful of a free toy perhaps! I had a nut roast,purely because its something I can never be bothered to make at home. I was dissapointed though as it was really dry. As dry as Ghandi's flip flop,one might say... So I looked on in envy at Philips Goats cheese salad; which delivered far more than the menu suggested.

All in all,Lemon Heaven is a fabulous cafe. There is an obvious desire on the part of the management to run the business ethically and there are lots of community notices around. There are also lots of photographs of  Buddhist monks and newspaper cuttings about the Dalai Lama to pass the time en route to the toilet. We couldnt help but laugh at the stack of notices about switching off lights,minding heads,please ask for this and that. Ironically,the one thing we needed notification about (the lack of facility to pay with debit card??!!) was the one thing they decided not to advertise! I found it impossible to complain in the presence of organic food,so poor Philip was sent out in pursuit of a cashpoint.

Whilst on his travels,he passed a street preacher who was busy belting out an obscure Biblical story to the passers by-Philip thought he was reading from the Gideon bible,but the content didnt sound too New Testament to me. I guess he put his own spin on it! We talked a bit about the frustrations we have with this kind of evangelism. The thing that bothers me is the harm that it can do. Who knows how many of the people who walked passed,had their spiritual journey hindered by the sight of this well meaning but essentially stupid approach? 

Its the same with the Jehovahs Witnesses,who recently graced my doorstep. I have no idea of the numbers of converts they recruit,but I doubt its in any way comparable with the amount of people who stiffen their resolve against the 'Church'. And how on earth are we to bring in His Kingdom when we have lunatics bellowing in the street and pious old ladies knocking on doors? They certainly werent satisfied with my credentials anyway-it seems an encounter with the living God is nothing when compared to the power of their 1970s 'kids- playing- with- lions- in- earthly-paradise' propoganda. But anyway,I digress....

The day was still young so we got back in the car and drove off to Berry Head. Now this place was a revelation! I cant believe we have been here two years and yet weve only just discovered it. A short walk from the carpark is the remains of a fort from a time that I cant recall. Poppy didnt seem too troubled by the cannons still on display so we sidespetted the cafe (for now!) and pushed on to the lighthouse- which Philip tells me is the both the tallest and the shortest lighthouse in the UK. Tallest in that it is the highest above sea level,shortest in that it is just short.

Quaint as it was,it seems the lighthouse was long since resigned to its diminutive stature- it pailed into insignificance next to the amazing panoramic views from Berry Head. I dont think Ive ever been so impressed with the sheer beauty of the sea. (Not since visiting the Gower Peninsular anyhow) From there we could see for miles. Philip loved spotting the cornish and dorset coast. I actually loved the vast stretches of nothingness,save perhaps the occasional miniture boat. Best of all though,if you look closely,you can see the light of Portland Bill,114 miles away! Its hard not to put your life into perspective when faced with such a sight,particularly for myself,born there 31 years ago. I guess you could say I've come a long way,well,114 miles at least..


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