Reunion Mayhem with the Braunds

Tuesday we took the Braunds to Clovelly. All of us made it down the hill and most of us made it back up again. It was sobering to think about the practicalities of daily living for our Clovelly ancestors – just collecting firewood must have been a logistical nightmare.

In the evening was the needle skittles match. This is similar to bowling but is played with 9 pins and wooden balls – very popular in the West Country. First there was the incident when the Braund Society chairman tried to send a skittle down the chute back to the player instead of the ball – then there were the 2 American visitors who turned up at the wrong venue – to be fair – we did play skittles there last year.

Wednesday was our ‘mystery’ coach tour – so much of a mystery that no one knew where they were going, including the organiser (me).  11.pm the night before we respond to an urgent answerphone message – do we realise that the restaurant we have booked is not the one we think it is but is in a different location entirely? Ah well we do now. Can we bluff this out? Will the visitors actually know where we are? Mmmm they may spot the absence of a river so we do come clean.

Then Wednesday arrives – I helpfully provide the coach driver with the postcode of where we really are going. Oh, he doesn’t have a Sat Nav. Not to worry, I’ll show him on the map – oh – he doesn’t have one of them either!

He just about manages to find Liskeard and I force the other Braunds to admire the sundial over the church porch – carved by my 6 x great-grandfather, Samuel Braund, in 1779.

We then have a very nice meal in the place we weren’t supposed to be, before heading home via another ancestral church.

Thursday dawns, like all the other reunion days it dawns very early – it is the only way I can get things done. Today is Lundy day. There is the slight problem that one ticket has female on it instead of male – will the person concerned mind donning a dress for the day?

On the way out on the Oldenberg, air sea rescue land someone on the boat and winch them off again. This is obviously a practice exercise but I am doing quite well with convincing our guests that it was laid on specially. I probably went too far when I said that it was William of Wales piloting it though.

A pod of porpoises go past – I try to take the credit for this too. Our party now have hundreds of photos of the sea where porpoises were 2 seconds earlier.

On Lundy, 3 of us decide, against advice, to walk the whole way round in the four hours that we have. We stride out. I intrepidly lead the way across a particularly boggy patch, seeking out the best route. ‘Not this way’, I say helpfully as I extract my right foot and leg and knee, from the mud – wondering as I do so which of my boots is the one that leaks.

Back home, I go to write up our activities only to find that my lap top seems to have several letter keys that aren’t working. It is 10pm, I have been up since 5am – I give up.

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