Reclaiming our table from lunch, we enjoyed another alfresco meal. Then I got busy with my drawing. When we had last been here, the old ship next to the barge had been untouched by the water.
Now the River Torridge had surrounded the time-worn vessel in its loving embrace.
It was easy to think of Charles Kingsley's description of the gleaming white houses of Bideford as I worked.
Others no doubt found their surroundings equally inspiring.
After awhile, the cook, who was finishing up his day's labors in the hot kitchen, came on deck and banged a bucket of scraps against the rails. He wanted to attract the attention of the ducks nearby. But if they took note of his signals, they failed to respond. So he dumped his container of scraps overboard.
Needless to say, they did not go to waste.
Is this what you call a feeding frenzy?
Ultimately, my holiday sketching work ethic overcame even my wife's patience, and so finishing my sketch would have to wait until another day. I worked on it, a little each day, until I was satisfied with it.
It may not be the greatest achievement of all time, but it reminds me of my visit to Bideford whenever I look at it. And that, far more than any pride in my artistic abilities, makes me smile.