How appropriate that on Devon Day our copy of Devon Life magazine drops through the letterbox! And on page 61 a great article on how Beer has reacted during lockdown supporting the local community, the NHS and giving care home residents a lift.
We’re on day ‘whatever’ of lockdown and whilst some restrictions have been lifted the village is pretty much the same. The beach was busier during half term with local families and visitors however overall we’ve continued to be impressed with how local people are behaving – none of the terrible scenes like Durdle Door here thank goodness.
There are still no overnight stays allowed so whilst we’re hoping to be welcoming guests a month from today, we wait to see how the infection rate reduces. Meanwhile we’ve been trying to get Covid19 ready for our visitors. So far we’ve pre-ordered hand sanitisers for a mini welcome pack plus a larger one for use near our key safes, and masks and disposable gloves for our extended cleaning regime between guest stays. We’ve also managed to order some heavy duty surface spray that kills 99.9999999999% of germs in order to keep ourselves and guests as safe as possible.
So we’re playing a waiting game like many others. Some of the cafes on the beach are open for takeaway, IKEA in Exeter opened (to massive queues around the car park!) and some of our shops will open from the 15th. I love a message I saw this week about shops starting to re-open –
“Businesses are now starting to open in the first phase as per the governments plan. If you go into a commercial premises and see some mistakes, don’t start recording or taking photos to upload onto social media. Please speak to the owner. We have to help each other. This is new for everyone and business owners will be trying their best to make it safe and get their businesses running again. Let’s help each other through the transition”.
Day 9 of lockdown in Beer and due to the coronavirus our business is closed for the first time ever. Of course many people’s lives have changed dramatically but cancelled bookings and applying for a government small business grant were things I never envisaged. Despite that there have been a lot of positives over the last week or so.
We’ve vowed to do more to support our fellow local businesses so here’s what we’ve managed so far –
Andy at Steamers Restaurant is making takeaway bread and yesterday we had the most delicious fish pie and greens for lunch that he cooked for the villagers.
Woozies unfortunately had to close however we visited on her last day and bought milk, cheese and other items that would have gone off and been wasted.
Our roast dinner on Sunday came from products all purchased at Colyford Butchers and Stores and Beer Village Stores.
Friday night was taken care of with a takeaway pizza from The Smugglers Kitchen thanks to Rob.
Due to the lovely weather I’ve continued running and now I can’t drive to Seaton Esplanade I’ve run up and down the hills from Garlands to the Axmouth Yacht Club and back without stopping. Barry has been running very slowly with me to motivate me to get up the hills. To be fair he can fast walk as I run but my Fitbit told me I was at 100% peak today so my heart is working hard. Running and doing yoga in my new studio has been a way to keep my mind healthy, so important in times like these.
We’ve kept in touch with our family and friends with Facetime and Houseparty and even did a virtual quiz on Monday which was great fun despite not being altogether. Thank goodness for WiFi – these times have really shown that this is a utility and not a luxury. Speaking of luxury, a bonus of some of the product shortages was that Barry came home yesterday with a proper bar of Imperial Leather soap. This was a luxury item in our family when I was growing up and the smell transported me back to different times and memories.
I’ll admit to have gone a bit rogue – I’m spending most of the day in my gym kit, I haven’t worn make up, I’ve watched the sheep alot in the fields opposite and the whole of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers on the iPlayer in two days. However on the plus side I’ve washed every bit of bedding I can find and the house is the cleanest its ever been since we moved in – I even got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor.
The Beer community has rallied and we have a Beer Action Group (BAG) which is made up of lots of volunteers who are all supporting whoever and whatever needs doing to help people get through these times. The world is certainly a different place and will never quite be the same afterwards.
Beer and our cottages will be waiting for you to visit when the coast is clear. I saw a Facebook post this morning that summed it up nicely – there will be a lot of businesses who will need to get back on their feet afterwards – let’s spend our holidays in England, eat in local restaurants, buy British products, buy local meats and veggies and support local businesses.
Stay safe everyone!
I haven’t written for a couple of months as I was about to launch my yoga business and then this virus exploded and I wasn’t sure what even to say………
Then I saw this photo on Facebook – Beer Needs You, posted in relation to pubs that need custom to stay afloat in this crisis. This message is close to home as my brother runs a small pub in Swanage and for the first time ever this week he didn’t put in a beer order.
I’m reminded of what the late Steve Jobs said when he was sick. He sadly passed away in October 2011 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Despite all his millions and the best healthcare money could pay for, his death couldn’t be avoided, and he said at the time that the six best doctors in the world are -Sunlight, Exercise, Rest, Diet, Self Confidence and Friends. So this morning I thought which of these six doctors do we have in Beer Village?
On Monday we had sunshine, it was 17 degrees outside and the forecast is looking better for next week – TICK!
On Tuesday we walked to Lyme Regis on the wonderful South West Coast Path which is on our doorstep. Fabulous exercise and 23,000 steps – TICK!
Yesterday we had our rest and carried on watching Designated Survivor on Netflix – truly gripping. We have a WhatsApp group of our friends in the village and we’ve shared our viewing recommendations across all the Apps and TV channels. Feel free to message me if you’d like a list. Whilst our book club meetings are cancelled we’re continuing to read and the local library is still open – TICK!
Today we went down to the village and purchased items in Woozie’s to support our shops. Our local facilities are still open – ‘keeping calm and carrying on’. Whilst Barry and I are not the best of chefs, we’ve got time at home to maybe focus on a better diet and cook from scratch – TICK!
Tomorrow my home yoga studio opens with a class of one – my husband. I’ve written six Yoga Nidra sessions and he’s going to be my guinea pig along with the other Breathe and Flow sessions that are coming along nicely. It feels good to have the time to devote to this – mental health is so important and this way I’ll have lots of confidence when it comes to doing private sessions – TICK!
On Saturday we would normally be seeing friends – Beer is such a social village. Whilst we won’t physically be seeing them there’s way more remote contact, each person checking in and offers of help if anyone needs it. There’s been an amazing community response to supporting people who are vulnerable and need support – TICK!
So we are grateful in Beer that we have all six of these doctors. Oh, and what about our business? We’re also still open for business. We’re doing deep cleans between guests and as they are all completely self contained we’ll stay open for the duration.
Stay Safe Everyone………
The Grizzly is nothing to do with a bear! On Sunday 10th March 2019, over 1,600 people will start to run this 20 mile race along the Jurassic Coast, starting on the Seaton seafront and running along some tough cliff paths and beach, through the village of Beer and over to Branscombe (and back). It’s not for the faint hearted and last year was undertaken in a snowy blizzard as the photo from Visit Beer shows.
The race is organised by the well respected Axe Valley Runners Club and is supported by volunteers who undertake all the organisation and marshalling on the day. They describe the race as “twentyish muddy, hilly, boggy, beachy miles of the multiest-terrain running experience”. One part of the race is called the “Stairway to Heaven”; a steep ascent up the side of the cliff………….
If 20 miles seems out of your league there is also a Cub run of 9 miles on the day for the less able runners – over 600 people will do the shorter distance but this is still a tough route. Any surplus cash raised by the race is donated to charities and since the first race in 1988 more than £394k has been donated to local and international charities.
Each year the race is given a name. Whoever makes these up obviously has a sense of humour –
2018 – May the Course Be With You
2017 – Pearl’s A Stinger
2016 – Grin and Bear It
2015 – Dash to Delirium
For all the course names going back to 1988 see here http://www.axevalleyrunners.org.uk/grizzly/history
This is a great weekend to be in Seaton, Beer or Branscombe. There are events going on throughout the weekend including the GrizQuiz on Saturday 9th March at The Gateway and a children’s run. There are stalls during the day and most of the shops have decorated their windows Grizzly style.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a runner – come along and help cheer on and support these dedicated people running for charity.
Being based on the South West Coast Path is a big draw for our holiday makers. Every inch of its 630 miles is stunning coast line and Barry and I can vouch for that as we’re in the process of walking all of it! So far we’ve walked from Minehead to Tintagel (we’ve walked the whole of the North Devon coastline).
We really are blessed to be located in a Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the walks around us are wonderful. Sidmouth Walking Festival starts on Monday and there is a walk for everyone during the week – from completing the whole of the East Devon Way, to a couple of mile walks that all can enjoy.
The Beer Coastal Community Team that I chair produced new walking leaflets for the village that have proved very popular. These cover circular local walks from Beer to Blackbury Camp, Axmouth, Branscombe and Colyton. The two South West Coast Path walks are Beer to Sidmouth, an 8 hour challenging cliff and valley walk and Beer to Lyme Regis, around 7 hours passing through the undercliff formed by a great landslip in the 19th century.
If you are a walker you know that there is no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes. Although I think you might get a little waterlogged if you were out in today’s downpour! I can guarantee if you love walking you won’t be disappointed with Beer. The village is a centre for great walks – come and see for yourself!
I’m sure I bore people when I keep telling them how beautiful Beer village is. I’m always saying there is no place more beautiful in the whole world, however…….stop press……I’ve now been to the Lake District. OMG! How stunning are the Lakes? Really you can’t compare them to Beer, but if you’ve never been, put them on your bucket list.
We were up there for my cousin’s wedding and stayed in the village of Askham near Ullswater Lake. We did Airbnb and had a lovely cottage. Of course we were blessed with the most amazing weather and I’m told that we saw the Lakes at their best as it can often be misty.
For Christmas last year Mum gave Barry and I National Trust membership and we’ve been making great use of it. Our first visit was to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s home. Now there was a woman before her time. After being rejected by many publishers she actually published The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself before Warne and Co agreed to take it on. Her financial success led her to purchase thousands of acres in the Lake District in order that the land did not get sold to developers.
I grew up on her stories, as well as Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven (another blog to follow on this subject). I once tried seven times to make a small plaster cast model of Jemima Puddleduck as her neck kept breaking off as I pushed the mould out. Try, try, try again! I was determined to get it out whole and paint it. I must admit though I can’t like Peter Rabbit now as I have so many wild rabbits in the garden at Garlands and they are quickly munching their way through all our plants. They are so tame now that even my claps and running at them at great speed isn’t frightening them away.
We also visited the gallery of her work in a very pretty village called Hawkeshead and had tea at Wray Castle where she once spent a holiday. A trip on the steam boat from Ambleside to Bowness on Windermere and several long drives over craggy passes (one actually called The Struggles) ensured for an amazing staycation.
So, if you’re not coming to Beer this year (and why not – we only have one week left – 18th August in The Beach House), and you’re still thinking of a holiday destination, I can thoroughly recommend a trip to the Lakes. AND just after junction 38 of the M6 there is the best service station ever – a model of how every UK service station should be. There’s also a sister site on the M5 in Gloucestershire. Google Tebay services!