CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Holness Holds Forth - Pat Holness, South Hams Radio Presenter, on Life in Devon

PUBLISHED: 21:43 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:32 20 February 2013

Pat Holness from South Hams Radio sounds off about aspects of life in Devon that give her pleasure - or not<br/><br/>Listen! If you stand very still and close your eyes you can almost hear the sound of honking...

In this new series, Pat Holness from South Hams Radio sounds off about aspects of life in Devon that give her pleasure - or not


Listen! If you stand very still and close your eyes you can almost hear the sound of honking horns. Sniff and the air's redolent with road rage. Yes, high summer will soon be here. But it's not rough winds that shake the darling buds of May in Devon, it's the visitors arriving in their droves. And it's not so much the droves that is the problem, rather the drivers behind the wheels of their precious cars.


To the indigenous, the vehicle without scratches etched at random on its paintwork is a rare thing to behold, but try explaining this to the visitors from 'up country' and you might as well go the whole hog - lean on a gate and chew on a piece of grass while they nudge one another and laugh at you.


Devon's lanes are narrow. Some are even narrower than that. Others are narrower still. So it's no good anyone imagining that it's possible to drive them without the car looking as if some two-year-old has practised artwork across the bodywork with a nappy pin.


And I hate to say it, but if you want to drive in Devon, you've got to learn to reverse. Going forwards down the lanes is bad enough, but to reverse is worse. It's a process that seems to have gone out of fashion these days in the big cities.


A friend of mine was wending her cheerful way along a Devon lane last summer when suddenly she found herself bonnet to bonnet with another woman driver. Nobody moved. My friend, realising she'd have to reverse a substantial distance to reach an inlet fit for passing, got out of her car and politely pointed out that a metre behind the other driver was a perfect passing place.


"I'm not doing that," snorted the woman.


"Let me do it for you then," said my friend.


"Certainly not!" The woman's face turned a scary shade of puce. "It's muddy. My car wheels will get absolutely filthy."


Unable to think of an answer that didn't contain a smattering of four-letter words, my friend climbed back into her driving seat and executed the necessary lengthy backwards manoeuvre, at which point the woman sailed by in her pristine vehicle without so much as an acknowledgement.


Oh, and while we're on the subject, don't forget the thrills and spills of tidal roads.


I live near the Bigbury tidal road and a holidaymaker asked me one day when the tide would be in.


"Two o'clock," I replied.


"Super!" she cried, leaping up and down with delight. "It's so pretty! Sidney and I will be able to drive back to our holiday home each day at that time after our trips."


"Ah, but tomorrow high tide will be at three o'clock," I said.


"You've just told me two," she replied. "Make up your mind, dear!"


When I reminded her that the tide alters each day, she stared at me as though I was some exhibit in a collection of the weird and not so wonderful.


"Of course," she said at last. "Silly me! Tides alter. You Devonshire folk have such quaint ways."


Summer visitors? Roll on winter, say I!



0 comments

More from People

Fri, 13:13

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
Wed, 11:54

In the latest in her series throughout 2018 profiling inspirational women, KATE HASKELL talks to England Women’s Cricket Captain, Heather Knight

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

There is more to Georgia Toffolo than an award-winning TV show, as HOLLY EELLS discovers

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Striving to be the best in the world, homegrown Devon professional squash player Lyell Fuller is seeking sponsorship to help reach his goal. KATE WILLAMS finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tavistock Rugby Club in Devon is celebrating after being awarded a grant of £2,500 to fund private showers for referees at their Sandy Park ground, as part of rural energy provider Calor’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Devon’s Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, also known as The Black Farmer, tells KATE WILLIAMS about his new book, Jeopardy, encouraging the embracing of risk to enrich life

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As five members of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton celebrate 125 years of collective volunteering, we look back on their time with the organisation

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CAROLYN SEAGER reveals how long after her mother’s death she discovered her amazing career in the service of her country

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

An author known for her novels depicting life on the Channel Islands is nonetheless happiest writing from home here in Devon

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fig Tree Court is a development of 14 apartments in Tiverton for retired and semi- retired over-55s with gorgeous views over the Grand Western Canal

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Alex Green goes behind the scenes on the Dartington Hall Estate to find a community of artists, makers, farmers, and social entrepreneurs living out the legacy of its founders

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Many people know of award-winning Roly’s Fudge, but do they know how much hard work and business insight goes into making it?

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Topsham businessmen Steve Williams and Pete Woodham-Kay take an ethical stance on eating meat | Photos: Nick Hook

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

As llama love grips the nation, we meet a Dartmoor couple who have spent the last 11 years making them their livelihood | Words: Lydia Tewkesbury

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search