UKs first cats cafe, Totnes

Just when you think you’ve seen everything Totnes has to offer, up pops the Totnes Cat’s Cafe! It has actually been around for a few months now, but I’ve been too tied up with other things to comment. I haven’t yet been in for a cup of coffee coupled with some feline therapy, but plenty of people have and the cafe seems to be a very successful enterprise already. Here’s some info about it, as displayed in their window:

Feline Therapy Lounge

And here’s the front of the cafe, so that you’ll be sure to recognise it when in Totnes:

Well, it had to happen!

Well, it had to happen!

Personally, I’m more into dogs than cats – as demonstrated via my new novel ‘Sam’s Story: It’s A Dog’s Life’ on Amazon. If you’re interested, this is where to CLICK!


ImageI mentioned in an earlier blog how Totnes is twinned with Narnia!!! Well, I suppose it was only to be expected that sooner or later Narnia in some form or other would raise its head again – and now it has. A great shop has opened in the High Street, selling all manner of items from an earlier era. I think that ‘Narnia’ probably does very well, as its stock keeps changing and is of good quality ‘bygone’ items. Where they get them all from, I can’t begin to imagine. But it’s fun and sometimes fills me with nostalgia for the 1950s and ’60s – before the advent of mobile phones and modern gadgetry!



Lannacombe hummocksOne of the wonders of life in Totnes is its infinite variety. This morning a group of us walked in a biting sea wind from Start Point Lighthouse along a circuitous route via lanes and the coastal footpath to beautiful  Lannacombe Beach – passing these unusual grassy hummocks en route. Our walk took us two hours and we felt we’d earned our lunch by the end of it.

Then, this afternoon, I strolled into Totnes and encountered … this owl:

Owl in TotnesWhatever next?


Greenway022Today I went with a friend to visit Greenway – Agatha Christie’s summer retreat. We took the ferry from the picturesque Devon village of Dittisham. This involved leaving our car and walking down a steep hill to the River Dart, where a sign told us to ring the big bell to summon the ferryman.

So we pulled (hard) on the rope provided and awaited his arrival from the far side of the river. There was a biting wind, but at least it wasn’t raining (or snowing, as it has been doing today in some parts of Devon).  We were soon aboard the small ferry boat and then had a steep hill to climb before reaching Greenway. As well as exploring the house, with its far-reaching views and the artifacts collected over a lifetime (many brought back from Baghdad, where she and her archaeologist husband also had a home) we visited the boathouse – scene of the murder in Agatha’s novel DEAD MAN’S FOLLY.

The surrounding gardens – with their primroses, daffodils, magnolias, camellias and other delights – were where we spent the rest of our time.



Tragos001There’s a shopping experience virtually on my doorstep that’s like no other! Near to Newton Abbot, a little along the Devon Expressway from Totnes,  Trago Mills is located.  As you can see from its exterior, it is no ordinary shop – and once inside there is almost nothing that you can’t find. Sorry about the double negative, but Trago’s brings out some odd traits in me!

Created by a man totally opposed to the UK being absorbed within Europe, it aims to give endless choices of merchandise – whether it be clothes, furniture, household items, paint, kitchens, carpets or bathrooms – at the cheapest possible prices. And it pretty much succeeds in its aim!

I went there today looking for a bed and ending up with some cut price stationery. It’s all great fun – though I don’t recommend a visit when the whole world seems to be there at weekends!

Here’s another view of it. Oh, and peacocks stroll freely between tables by the cafes in the extensive grounds …






Today dawned with a clear sky and sunshine, which was such a change after all our recent rain that I decided to make the most of it and walk with a friend along the riverbank from Totnes station to the Dartington shops.

The Dart was in full flow, as you can see, and whether or not its beauty was appreciated by the sheep on the far bank, it was certainly appreciated by me!

There was a lot of mud en route so I was glad I’d worn my old walking boots. I had the impression there were probably more cyclists than pedestrians – especially young parents with two or three children in tow. One little boy fell off his bike quite near to me, but stood up bravely without shedding a tear or making any kind of fuss, much to his father’s obvious pride. Sons are simply not supposed to cry, are they?

The shops at Dartington used to be called The Cider Press, which I think made them a more intriguing destination than their name today.

There’s a great selection of them – all in a picturesque, traffic-free corner of the Dartington Estate. We decided on a coffee in the Venus Café, rather than Crank’s, today. The picture below shows a lovely shop – My Time – on the right-hand side, with Crank’s on the left.

We called in at the Kitchen Shop and then the Delicatessen before walking the 3 or so miles home equipped with some delicacies for tea!



Christmas 2012021

Look who I met on the riverbank during my walk this morning! He’s a Tibetan terrier – the same breed as my daughter’s 9-month old puppy, Leo. All those (not many, actually) that I’ve met seem to be very gentle dogs – capable of vertical lift-off! I find it quite extraordinary how Leo can jump up to my nose-level straight from being stationary by my feet.

It seems that this might be in his ancestry from when his forebears in Tibet jumped up on to donkeys to ride behind monks across hostile territory. Well, whatever the reason, Leo likes to be above ground whenever possible and his favorite position at home is lying in a lion-like pose on the back of a sofa.

After leaving the riverside I had to contend with the new road system in Totnes, where the traffic flow in Station Road and Fore Street has recently been reversed. This is causing all kinds of problems – not least in remembering to look the opposite way from usual when crossing the road.

But there were problems before, with people using Fore Street and High Street as a rat run – and short-cut – ignoring signs indicating these roads were for deliveries and access only.

We now have a 3-month trial period of this new system while some underground gas-pipes are being renewed in the town. After that, who knows whether we’ll stay as we are or revert to being how we were? I think it’s time to adjourn to the Curator’s Café on The Plains for a lovely cup of Italian coffee, watching from a safe distance while the world flows by!

Totnes After Floods010