or even for dinner, which was catered to a high standard by the former chef to the Prince of Wales. Others had written that they had waved to the squire and his family as they enjoyed their morning trot on darling palomino ponies. There were many entries after that in which puzzled guests had gone strolling in the grounds and been chased away. Some had even gone to the front door and rung the bell.
The second morning we were there, I looked out of the kitchen window and saw a crew of gardeners unloading fir trees from a trailer. By the time we finished breakfast, our view had become a row of conifers. And that was the end of the view of the house, the lake, the lawn and the tempting front door.
And so to shopping. I’m one of those people who can’t pass a clothes shop without investigating. I rarely buy anything, and am frequently scared away by the prices, but still, I have to check that I haven’t missed a treasure. So I can’t resist these shops, and the owners salivate as I walk in. ‘Aha, a tourist. Flog her all the stuff we’ll never get the locals to buy.’
Exploring Tiverton, I went into a shoe shop. As soon as I was through the door I could see it wasn’t as interesting as I’d hoped, but the owner was watching me from behind a desk, so I picked up a cowboy boot to be polite.
The owner swung into action. ‘That’s the last pair. Try them on. What size are you?’
Where to buy Not Quite Lost