scribbles tagged ‘Cornwall’
At 3.30pm, I wandered into the deserted St. Ia bar. The young bar staff who took my order for a cream tea asked:
“are you a party?”
yes please, thankyou
The roads in Devon and Cornwall are a wee bit thin to pass a sheep, or three.
Thomas and I waited while these bleety little chaps found a passing place with sufficient grass to keep them happy.
I love her. Tears streaming down John’s face. I know. Liz reassures him
I didn’t love any of the others. As one of ‘the others’ Liz understands, laugh’s, lowers and softens her tone I know.
Where is she? Liz knows that Maria is skinny-dipping with her new lover, John’s friend, on a beach 5 miles west of the camp site. She can look after herself, where-ever she is, she’ll be alright.
John takes the torch, scrambles out of Maria’s tent and starts stumbling from tent to tent, peering in, stumbling. He’s been drinking. Liz curses the lads for leaving John with the holiday whisky stash.
Where is she? Liz parries ‘It doesn’t matter. Where-ever she is, it’s none of our business. John, ITS OVER, she’s left you, she doesn’t want to see you. Let her go’ John doesn’t appear to hear. He makes his way to his aging MG midget and climbs in. Liz runs to the car and jumps into the passenger seat.
John, you’re in no state to drive, DONT DRIVE. The car lurches over the field’s uneven ground, Liz wishes she was old enough to drive Calm down, where are you going? As he shifts to second gear he says ‘the pub’. Liz tries again Can we walk? John is determined You can walk if you want. The pub is only 3 miles away, the roads are deserted, they could make it. The lad’s are in the pub, support, distraction and warmth. They swerve down the dry-stone-wall lined winding roads.
John seemed to need to move his relationship loss of control and emotional pain to something physical.
A wall mangled the Midget
The anwers are mostly: YES, Hooray! Holiday in September.
This holiday is a secret mission. I can divulge it will be near Cornwall with the aid of mud, dirt, earth and soil. Though not necesssarily in that order or spelking. Blog posts will be coded. Blog post codes will protect the anonymity of people I meet, tail and snoop around.
The Wendy House alert level has been raised to amber. Over excitement is setting in with
- Spates of chaotic packing, unpacking, repacking
- Oubreaks of listing
- Incidents of falling over
- Tears before bedtime
- Turbo injected fiction
I’ll send you some blog post cards with the blog post codes
wish me luck
During our trip to Cornwall Flat Eric made some west country friends, including Jamie Bear, who now sends Flat Eric post cards, care of the Wendy House. Jamie Bear prefers surfing to crosswurdz and indulges in creative spelling,
Looks like curdles aw ’round
Casper the cat rides Plymouth’s number 3 service. The Cornish passengers make sure he get home okay after his ride, just like they did with me. Casper loves Lorry’s and Buses. He’s a very well behaved cat that likes to roam
“He queues up in line with people and just sits patiently in the queue good as gold â€“ it’ll be ‘Person, person, person, cat, person, person.’
A white cat that the bus driver has named Macavity catches the 331 from Walsall to Wolverhampton for one stop to the fish shop
cats, busses and passengers are a recipe for happiness.
Spotty dog and I had confused Helston and Helford. Thinking we were catching a bus to the seaside town of Helford we caught a bus to the inland town of Helston. As we wandered through Helston looking for the coast we stumbled upon the town park. A skateboard park with a coffee bar and dozens of fathers walking their children around the pond. A veritable single-father-fest, no-doubt influenced by the proximity of a substantial military base on the outskirts of town.
I managed to keep my eyes firmly on the duckies.
“we don’t take cards here, cash and cheques only’
Neither of us use cheque-books. We trundled off on a quest for cash-points, only to find that Brett couldn’t help us and we couldn’t have called him for help even if we had his number. Tricky.
The curb stones on the streets of Heltson are made of local granite, the gutters are deep and floored with local cobbles. These gutters can both cope with the not insubstantial rainfall of the local climate, they can look beautiful too.
We counted 7 of these large automotive carrier ships stored in the tiny, otherwise picturesque, Falmouth harbour. The ships are waiting for the automotive industry to either come out of recession or decide to send them to the scrap yard.
At Pendennis castle, a wedding party finished their breakfast then photographic sessions in time for the bride to be whisked away by the whirling winds of passion and tears of happiness mixed with the rain. Beautiful. A groom tackling a kilt would have added a cherry to my experiential cake.
He came out and apologised that his wife, who maintained the garden, wasn’t available to give me a tour of the tiny garden and name specific plants.
Spotty dog and I then accompanied him on his walk down a steep hill to the dentist. On the walk he told us how his house was once a Quaker school and brief histories of several other houses on the street.
Cornish folk are extremely personable.
The locals on Helston bowling green persistently tried to get Spotty dog and myself to join them because they needed what they called ‘young-blood’ especially that of ladies. Spotty dog and myself managed to escape with all our own blood before the games ended
figure hugging fab frocks,
I’ll be wandering over the rocks on the coast.
There will also be the standard Wendy, none-rock chic, outbreaks of:
A bit of paddling
collecting pretty coloured, pocket-sized, pebbles
eating fish and chips wrapped in newspaper for supper
- wearing Sunhats galore (consecutively)
- reading a book about the Medici
- blowing rasberries at the seaguls
- riding the local BUSES on windy cliffside roads
Excitedness levels are already Amber. OH!
person 1: what’s your favourite road?
person 2: yeah, that’s got some nice (demonstrates bends and hillocks with his hands while making excellent sound effects)
person 3: what about the road that goes down to Cornwall?
person 4: Yeah, the A30
The conversation continues in this vien. I feel that I’ve found home. Next time I may mention buses, what do you think?
“I don’t know the way to wiggle”
this statement was made by a very vertically challenged young boy probably as short as 4yrs old. A person that short really should know the way to wiggle. I gave him a demonstration, he wasn’t amused.
“why have you got a handbag?”
Asked the father of above short person and friend since we were both 4 years short. He and said young wiggle-free-youngster failed to refrain from laughing when asking this question. I explained that I was in training to be a real woman and that this involved taking a handbag everywhere. I only managed 2 days in the England before I gave up on the handbag thing, too many short people surrupticiously giggling at me.
“you should be able to climb an E2 without any trouble based on your build and fitness”
I took another swig of wine and grunted. In the UK I only climbed to S (Severe). In the US on indoor walls at 5.8 (equivalent of UK VS, Very Severe). This climber was telling me the only obstacle to my climbing a higher grade was my attitude. Plausible.
“we recognised you from a distance despite the blue hat”
A friend that has known me since I was 5yrs short announced ebulantly. Despite the blue hat? I’d been labouring under the misaprehension that my hats were my most distinguishing feature. Apparantly it’s actually my skinny legs and deportment (wiggly walk). I’d already given up on the handbag thing by now.
“Please kill my fish”
short person while jumping up and down and wringing her hands together. The conversation quickly went down hill from here.
Has curry ever killed anyone?
This excellent question came from my niece and left me picturing people drowning in curry, curry pans falling on people’s heads, people exploding from eating too much curry etc
“I am tall, blonde and tanned”
Having not met or seen photographs of said fellow I was anticipating short and bald with the pants of Khaki Cargo. I made the most of this rare opportunity to feel short again.
“is wearing kharki cargo pants and dark blue t-shirts Microsofts uniform?”
asked by a person unaware of my blog who worked with Microsoft Reading. I replied that its not limited to Microsoft employees…. …I suspect it’s a viral disease… …like overuse of ellipses…
“would you like another cup of tea?… ………..silly question really.”
An old friend who had temporarily lost the plot then regained it after a liberal dose of ellipses.
All examples here use a teabag in a mug with hotwater poured onto the bag. The first photograph is in the kithcen of a Portsmouth home. Using a pint of semi-skimmed milk from Asda and a mug featuring St Georges cross in front of a glass electric kettle.
This is on a beach in Cornwall near Cawsand. 3 mugs of tea and two mugs of chocolate for the short people. An inovative water-boiling-on-the-beach contraption helped ensure the water was the right temperature for tea brewing. Once the tea had brewed sausage sandwiches were made then we finished off with another cup of tea. The perfect way to start and wrap-up a hike to the beach.
This is from home in Bristol. It’s the pre-breakfast table at 7am, my first, second and third cuppa of the day normally come from this productive little pot. That is cup number 2 and I’m about to refill the pot with fresh tea for the biddies as they start to wake up and potter about.
Soon I will be leaving on a whistlestop tour of southern England including Cornwall during March 2007. En route the tour will take regular rest stops in real English tea rooms for comparision with the US versions and graveyards to gather an insight into the passing of life and time.
The excitement levels in the Wendy House are fast approaching hurricane warning levels. Hatches that should be firmly battened down are furiously flappying. Cumulatively this could result in a break in regular service.
* the TT Tour T-shirts have not yet gone to the printers so I reserve the right to extend the name of this tour with another T word after the fact.
Cornwall is a nation. Technically it is part of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain. Geographically it is part of England and labelled on Wikipedia as a ‘county’ within England. Cornwall has maintained a strong independent streak. The national language, Cornish, was spoken within Cornwall until as recently as the 1890s. I once spent a summer holiday listening to a Cornish man tell stories of the Piskies, Sprigans and Knockers. Captivating. Many poets and story tellers have drawn on and referenced these fabulous faerie tales. The most well known Cornishman, of legend, is King Arthur.
Cornwall is internationally famous within the mining industry for pioneering deep mining and steam pumping technologies, the BBC provides online media clips (Realplayer required) outlining the rise and fall of the Cornish mining industry. Along with the frequent visits to castles my parents ensured my childhood was full of visits to Cornish tin mines. I appreciated visits to tin mines. Have you seen those beautiful old steam pumps? These Newcomen engines were even classified as sensual by a picky pre-teen Wendy…. lets watch the pump PUMP! Now breath slowly and draw a long slow mouthful from a large mug of black tea with a liberal dosing of milk.
The gold rushes lured many Cornish mining experts to America, who continued moving west to California, excerpt:
The gold mines of California attracted the Cornish miners … …By 1856 Nevada County had a population of 25,000 and hard rock mining was the driving force of a vigorous economy. How many were Cornish miners is hard to establish since the men moved from strike to strike, often before they could be counted.
The Cornish brought their folklore tales with them. Leading to many familiar stories legends here in the US like the Tommy Knockers. They probably helped secure the awesome showers in Idaho. These Cornish men appear to have mined all over the world. In the US the Cornish were referred to as ‘Cousin Jack’, a reference to the Cornish legend of Jack the Giant Killer.