20 years ago . . .

1951 postcard of Ilfracombe pier | Robert Zarywacz | robz @ robzlog.co.uk

20 years ago today Mrs Z, our cocker Felix and I posted the keys of our house in Windsor through the letterbox and drove 194 miles to our new house in Ilfracombe, North Devon. A big move and, while we knew in our hearts what we were doing, we had no detailed plan. People often … Read more

Colossal consequences of crab sandwiches

St James Tea Rooms, Ilfracombe | Robert Zarywacz @ robzlog.co.uk

A crab sandwich from this tea garden triggered our move to Ilfracombe 20 years ago. The chance offer of a week’s holiday for my aunt and mum had brought me back to North Devon, after I offered to drive them down to Fremington with our spaniel, Felix. I stayed over a day which we spent … Read more

My life’s essentials 14: Ilfracombe

Ticket to ride This ticket started me on a journey 50 years ago on Saturday, 2 August 1969. I didn’t know it at the time, but that train journey from Paddington to Ilfracombe, on the north coast of Devon, would bring me to the place where I would live 50 years later. We had a … Read more

Sun or rain, heat or cold, fulfilment or regret?

I paddled in the sea at Woolacombe again this morning, throwing a tennis ball for our dog, before starting work. What a blessed life. But it’s not always sunny. On wintry days, we’re struggling along the beach in wellies with our faces sandblasted by the wind. But still it’s a blessed life. We moved from … Read more

Theatre to make you think: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Whatever happened to serious theatre? By that I don’t mean plays without jokes, but writing with depth that leaves you thinking and searching for answers the next day. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Terrence McNally‘s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at the SPACE in Ilfracombe. Now here I have … Read more

Grateful for a holiday life

Today is the 13th anniversary of moving to Ilfracombe in North Devon. After locking the door of our house in Windsor, we posted the keys through the letterbox and set off in our two cars, with our cocker spaniel, Felix, wondering how our adventure would unfold. Not much went to plan, as we forgot that life … Read more

Take a walk and see a different view

It’s a strange thing, grief. Just when you think you’ve worked through a stage, it strikes again. Fortunately, I’ve got some wonderful people to talk to and, of course, there’s the calming magic influence of dogs. The past couple of days have been tough, but after a deep chat this morning, I decided my brain needed … Read more

What is service?

We went on a special shopping trip to Marks and Spencer in Camberley earlier in the year. It’s a big store and very smart. We went there specifically because it is big and a close family member in a wheelchair wanted to be able to see a good selection of clothes. It was easy for … Read more