At Dunster Castle (NT) in North Somerset.
Late Saturday morning we leave Exeter in torrential rain and head to the north coast. The road hugs the winding River Exe most of the way, huge beech and sycamore trees spread their branches overhead so it feels like travelling through long green tunnels - with the headlights on.
I expected we'd have to eat our picnic in the car but as we follow another river through the lovely gardens at Dunster Castle the sky clears, we find a bench with a view and the sun shines on our plastic boxes of tuna salad and last night's left over roast sweet potatoes.
I prefer to take food with us when we go out for the day now. Or eat at home. Eating in restaurants or cafes isn't as much fun as it used to be..... too stressful for my husband.....waiting for the food to arrive.....not always sure what he's ordered...the portions too big or too small ....or not very nice......too noisy to talk....nothing to talk about......hard to concentrate....easier to go to the loo....
And usually I could make a much more delicious meal at home.....
This afternoon, before our EFT appointment in Sidmouth we have lunch in a corner cafe. I skim the menu and point out something I think my husband would like - Chill Squid - and tell him he's had something similar at Wagamammas.
He reads the description and asks
What's a Lyme Regis?
I think quickly - maybe the squid is local - caught in Lyme Regis...
Well, Lyme Regis is a place...
No it says here, Chill Sauce with Lyme Regis.
I read what he's reading and it says Chilli Sauce with Lime Wedges.
I explain about a lime being like a lemon and you squeeze it onto the squid......
The plates of food arrive - my husband says he's never had squid before. I say it just looks different because the legs are cut in fat circles....but it's too complicated to go into the anatomy of a squid. After a while I notice he's been chewing for a long time.
Is it tough - the squid?
No he says. It's the lime.
He's eating a whole wedge - skin and all.
You don't have to eat the whole thing, I say.
But I like it, he says.
There are probably much worse things he could do in a restaurant....so today I'm just grateful for the harmlessness of a lime - skin and all.