The Coast is Always Changing: A trip to Somerset & Devon


That’s the sound of me stretching my hands, positioning my chair, neatly arranging that cup of tea in front of me, stretching again, trying to remember the URL of my blog, checking Twitter first, having another biscuit, and finally logging in to WordPress to write… a blog post! It’s been a while, bah bah bah, the usual. But hey, I’ve brought something back from the many trips I made in the past couple of months: Stories. And piktchas. That’s what you’re here for, right?

Now, let’s start in non-chronological order with my short visit darn sarf. We went to the wonderful Butlin’s holiday park in Minehead for the Nightmare Before Christmas ATP (curated by Les Savy Fav, which I ended up missing twice in one day, Battles, and Caribou, just in case you’re wondering) at the beginning of December, and, being the ueber nerds we are, somehow did not spend the  whole weekend getting drunk and chasing seagulls (and by that I mean making out with Dutch girls) like my German friends. In fact, we got up early every morning and went on excursions around Somerset and Devon to see some more of the South than just the inside of the chain restaurant and arcade games lined Butlins pavilion.

On the first day, we tried to explore the rather magnificent looking Dunster Castle near Minehead, only to find that it is closed to the public over the winter months (it’s okay, I only cried a little). A short walk around the ‘medieval’ (for some meaning of medieval) village did not bring up any more interesting sights and so we returned just in time to watch the first set of Battles.

The next day, we stretched a little further and simply drove as far west as we could, finally landing in Lynton/Lynmouth on the north coast of Devon. As expected, the town had already gone into winter hibernation – except for the big and cold Arts & Craft centre, where we interrupted the reading pleasures of a lady in a thick winter coat. Back outside in the pouring rain, we followed signs to the Cliff Railway, just out of curiosity. Much to our surprise* the cafe at the top of the cliff was open for business, and we did our best to support the local economy by purchasing coffee and stale apricot cake.

And this was my breathtaking account of a spectacular holiday. The highlight of the weekend was when I got a text of my ex-housemate, who kindly agreed to look after the rabbit: I had dropped the wrong set of keys into his letterbox, leaving the rabbit locked into our flat for the entire weekend with quickly dwindling supplies of hay and water in his cage. Images of the rabbit doing this while trying to survive on a diet of newspaper cropped up in my head. Thanks to our landlord however, the situation was quickly resolved, the ex-housemate got into the flat to feed the rabbit, and all three of them (including the rabbit) just sigh and roll their eyes a little bit whenever my name is mentioned.

* I must apologise for the number of clichés I’ve used in this blog post. This is what happens when you only write scientific papers for months. You lose all ability to communicate and default to clichéd language. Just like all those scientists that write for the Daily Mail. Q.E.D.