SHOULD you need evidence Totnes is different from most other towns, I suggest you pick up a leaflet headed Green Events South Devon.
It is packed with events which might raise eyebrows elsewhere but are part of normal life in Transition Town. Everything from Shiatsu massage (with Frances Rayner) to a Shamanic Drumming Circle (with Louise Dalziel Cheval). Both are available in the town although if you prefer to study Shamanic Insight to Relationships you will have to travel to Penzance, I am afraid.
Yoga, meditation and Relaxation galore; a 'traditional Chinese acupuncturist, aura , spirit guide readings and Crystal Wisdom' (for healers and collectors alike). There is an Angel and Animal Communicator and Healer ('Communication with Lost and Deceased Animals — send photographs and hair sample if possible').
You will need transport, I am afraid, if you want to attend a Faery Fest (live music, camping and more) because that is in Cornwall. A journey too for Zero Balancing, whatever that is, because the nearest workshop is in East Devon. No travelling necessary, however, to join Chamtrul Rinpoche who will teach you the Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism (free of charge. Open to all). It is in Totnes.
Not sure where Sandra Shaw does her stuff. She is an international facilitator who will help you to focus on your life at quiet meditative retreats. An 01845 telephone number suggests it is somewhere near Kingsbridge. And if you prefer Thai Massage and Creative Kinesiology I am afraid you will have to travel to Plymouth.
Finally there is one other offer I hope my good lady does not spot. 'Reclaiming our Sovereignty — a seven-week course for women. Uncovering where we give power away — and reclaiming it'.
On second thoughts she doesn't need any of it. The dog and I know who is Boss in our household.
THE Shaws are a generous lot so we decided to share our plum harvest with the wasps which have been swarming round the Victorias as they turned from red to succulent purple.
Or, to put it another way, we had to pick them a tad early to stop those blasted buzzards from scoffing the lot.
A small, but tasty crop, most of it is now inside us and the rest baked in a tart which will remind us of sunnier days when those winter woes are with us again.
We have never seen so many wasps. According to one nature writer there are huge swarms and have taken in so much fermented juice they are now alcoholics, flying about in a drunken stupor. Unlike our friends the bees, which seem to have survived another crisis, wasps are the least loved of all our insect neighbours, particularly with our dog which found a nest, bravely started to dig it out and acquired a badly swollen nose as a result. Another lesson learned.
BROWSING round some of the stalls at our slightly rejigged village show (no Elizabethans any more but it is still a Fayre) I saw one offering second hand objects for sale, including what looked like a brand new golf bag full of clubs. Everything from driver to putter. Price £45.
We all like a bargain and I felt I had one there. Just one snag. When I took the clubs out to inspect them I found they are for left handers. Although I can play snooker in that cack handed style I doubt if I can manage it on the golf course.
So I was left disappointed in every sense of the phrase. Which is a pity because I would have liked to increase the coffers of South Devon Cats Rehoming who do a grand job.
They even call on man's best friend to help raise the cash they need for their good work. A sponsored dog walk takes place at Ipplepen on Sunday, September 29. Paws off at 2pm and all proceeds will help the growing number of furry creatures who need new homes. If you are interested ring 01803 813099.
KEEP your eyes open and you can often see something unusual. As Akison Seldon did when she was driving home from a day on the beach and spotted an unusual animal calmly sitting by the side of the road, apparently eating something which was probably a road casualty.
It was a small, ferret-like animal with distinctive brown and white markings on its face. A polecat.
A quick check on the internet confirmed its identity and a more extensive search revealed quite a few have been seen in South Devon recently. An old gamekeeper says they were once quite common on Dartmoor, but are much fewer nowadays.
He says their nickname is Fitchie and they certainly keep the rabbits down. A single polecat can work a mile or two of hedgerow in a night.
Trevor Beer, the naturalist writer, says they are often seen in North Devon and he has spotted them in forests at Eggesford and Muddeford.
I have never seen a polecat, but there was a time, a couple of decades ago before I gave up fly fishing, when we used to see mink quite often. Fishing on the Dart by Staverton Bridge one evening I caught a beautiful rainbow trout and left it on the river bank while I cast my line further downstream.
When I returned only the head and a few bones remained. A pesky mink had crept in and had it for supper.
Mink were pretty common in those days. Most of them had been brought to this country, from America and elsewhere, to be bred for their fur.
Some escaped and many more were released by animal rights activists and could be seen all over the place.
It is a long time since I gave up fishing so I don't know whether Mr Mink is still a pest on the Dart and other local rivers. No doubt someone will let me know.