A Triptych on Dartmoor: patience is its own reward

The third of three

The fire was warm; the chairs were comfortable

Reverend Baring-Gould’s A History of Dartmoor would have looked perfect, lying carelessly on this polished table.

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Indeed, the good gentleman himself would have looked very much at home reposing in one of these wingback chairs enjoying the warmth from the fireplace, possibly fortified with something equally warming to drink.

We very much liked the idea too. Alas, we were not the only ones with that thought.

Mr & Mrs Wingback were wedded to these chairs.

As we left the hotel after breakfast, heading into the January damp for our walk, there they were, reading magazines with a pot of coffee resting on the table.  When we returned in the early afternoon they were still there: with books this time, and tea and sandwiches.  An hour later as we passed through once more, heading for a drive, there they were – though the tea-tray had been exchanged for glasses of something stronger.  Those books must have been engrossing.  In due course we returned – me somewhat muddy – and hastened through the bar to change.  Mr & Mrs W hadn’t shifted.

Now cleaned up and a little more respectable, we joined the other guests downstairs.  Not in the wingback chairs of course since – remarkably – they were occupied.  We chose a sofa and shot covert glances at the chair hoggers.  They’d been sitting in those chairs for the entire day.  Really – it’s just not British.  What happened to sharing?

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Mr & Mrs W were clearly pros.  They never both left the chairs at the same time.  They took it in turns to take a brief stroll and stretch their cramped limbs.  They took it in turns to climb the stairs to their room to change for dinner.  My sense of injustice was mounting: it simply wasn’t fair.  I tried to be patient.  The good Reverend would have counseled patience and warned against covetousness.

We went into dinner just ahead of them and we had them in our peripheral vision.  Maybe, just maybe, we might leave the dining room before them?

It took willpower not to spoil dinner by rushing.  I toyed with the notion of declining desert but I didn’t have willpower enough for that.  But we did get out ahead of them –  just long enough to be settled in front of the fireplace with our coffee.  Settled, I should stress, in those chairs.

Mr & Mrs W took their coffee sitting very primly on a squashy sofa across the room.

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I can’t be sure, but I think they may have shot us a glance or two as we enjoyed an after-dinner tipple.   They didn’t stay long after that; they were probably tired after such a long day sitting.  But we lingered.  The fire was warm; the chairs were comfortable; the Devonian g & t with a slice of orange was superb.

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We raised our glasses to the retreating backs of Mr & Mrs W as a thank you for making us smile.  I like to think the Reverend would have approved.  This week his leatherbound book will be returned to the library store.

29 thoughts on “A Triptych on Dartmoor: patience is its own reward”

    1. I wish! Judging by the number of visits to the bar (them, not us of course!) I suspect they were as human and you and I 😉 And definitely British!


  1. That is so funny! Did they really come all the way there merely to sit in chairs all day? I mean, they are a very nice pair of wingback chairs and I would love to have my time in them, but all day?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems a strange thing to do on a holiday and paying for a hotel, just to sit and vegetate, even if the chairs do look comfortable! I’m glad you “won,” at least for a bit, and had your chair time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know, Sandra. That sounds like squatting and it is so very Indian! Are you sure the couple didn’t have a colonial legacy? Anyway, I am glad you beat them at the cusp of the long day’s journey into night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Uma, you have made me laugh! Clearly this is an international phenomenon and not just restricted to Europe as I had feared 😉 And yes, we got our chair time too, so all was well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh, that unleashed a whole set of memories of train seat schemes. Here’s just one: 10 minutes before kick off at Kings Cross, there was just one vacant seat. Well not exactly vacant. Occupied by a brief case. I asked the man next to it if it was occupied. It was. By his friend. Was his friend on the train? No, but he would be in a minute. “Well, I’m on it now”, said I, handing him his briefcase and sitting down. We never saw his friend. The 50 minutes to Grantham were rather frosty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Derrick, I can just picture that railway carriage! Especially funny since his friend never appeared. Well done you! Having been on enough commuter trains to know, I’m sure you were more than happy to trade the frosty atmosphere for a seat 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahaha – hilarious! I’m so glad you finally got to sit in them – I feel it’s one of those things that would have been a life-long regret otherwise, sending you into a spiral of resentment and bitterness… plus you got dessert! Yay! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well exactly, FF! Had we not had our little triumph, every time I thought back on that little trip away it would have been to gnaw away at the fact that we never got to sit in the %$&*(£ chairs…..

      And I’m delighted to be able to reveal to you that I’ve understood now – the feverish need to stay in that spot…. the numerous drinks… the books…. They are clearly book-bloggers and they had deadlines. No time for relaxing or active breaks – they had to get those books read!

      😀 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad your perseverance paid off – eventually! Gosh, they really were hogging those beautiful chairs in that warm and comfy spot, weren’t they? I’m trying to think what you could have done to dislodge them earlier…. no, setting off the smoke alarm wouldn’t be nice….tee hee

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A great trio of posts – and the tale of Mr and Mrs W is hilarious. I can totally relate. It’s such a British thing, isn’t it – to be all competitive in a silent, covert way. I wonder if they were aware of the strong feelings they generated in others. Some people seem oblivious to others, caught up in their own world. I’m one of the polite sharers who feels duty bound to let others ‘have a go’, but I often wish I was more teflon-skinned with a ‘sod everyone else, I’m doing what I like approach’ lol! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Liz, I’m like you too. I couldn’t possibly have remained comfortable sitting in those chairs all day: I would have felt the eyes on me! It made me smile though – as has your reply: I love the notion of our silent, covert, competitive spirit lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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