Sandfly swarm

The live singer in Saltash on New Years Eve was enjoyable even tho’ the mixing desk somewhat overly heavied on the decibels from the speakers. Frankly, her voice was very good and if he hadn’t had the backing up so loud she probably wouldn’t’ve needed a mic. The DJ who was on during her breaks was even more heavy handed on the decibels  – when will these folk realise that music does not need to be that LOUD in a small enclosed environment.

Okay that was the last rant for 2018.

New Year’s Day saw R and I walking at Seaton (Cornwall) sea front. I felt right at home steering R0X down a narrow, twisty windy to the beach and just after we’d parked illegally on double yellows the sun chose to come out to play. The warmth that came with the sun’s appearance must’ve convinced the sandflies that spring had arrived as the damn things swarmed everywhere. LWD was covered, R got one in her eye and I tried desperately to breathe through my blocked nose (I’m now into week 5 of the cold and cough from hell) to avoid swallowing a mouthful. Apart from that we had a great walk and lunch; R did impressively well on her new knee especially as she’d spent a fair bit of the previous evening dancing.

Seaton (Cornwall) January 1st 2019

So an auspicious start to the New Year for me and only six weeks to the start of my next trip … France, Spain, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, France, Germany and Denmark; I figure in the event of a No Deal Brexit they’ve got to find me before they can deport me!

Happy New Year dear regular readers! (I think there may be more than one of you) I hope 2019 will see you and yours happy and healthy throughout.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Cornish quickie.

Daise and I meandered down to Cornwall and to see the VBFs for a long weekend on Friday. We stopped off on the way and met up with J & B (son and partner) for a few hours. Lovely to see them both, even if very briefly, and looking forward to their visit here in a couple of weeks.

The Cornish weather was reasonably well behaved and we had a couple of lovely walks, a couple (or more) bevvies, lots of chat and good food and we Planned. Amazingly enough considering the amount of wine and cider sunk, the plans still seem to make sense. We’re meeting in Abergavenny on the 4th August for the baseline setting 3 week Welsh Coastal Tour (and pub crawl) and then meeting in Malaga at the beginning of February ’16 for the compare and contrast tour in Spain.

One of the walks along one of the Tamar trails took us past an area of tin mining, abandoned in the mid 18th century, and the huge spoil tips the mining created. The spoil was deemed to be valuable when it was discovered that the arsenic by product killed the boll weevil, the bane of the cotton fields, so the spoil was exported to the Americas as a pesticide. Despite the arsenic remaining in the spoil today, there are several badger setts in the spoil heaps.

And along the side of the trail from where we were viewing the spoil tips were half a dozen huge ants nests. The ants have gathered all the fallen pine needles to make their nests on the warm south facing slopes – so glad it wasn’t warm enough for them to swarm!

Back to Berks yesterday and today the Very Special Date became even specialer. R0X1, who got toasted once or twice over the weekend, had a first birthday present of a new hanging decoration, we are remembering Keith with lots of love on his birthday, and K passed her final assessment and viva voce with a grade 1 (outstanding) to become a qualified teacher this morning. (Good job really; I might have thrown a tantrum and demanded compensation for a wasted winter had she failed!!) So to celebrate, we’re out for a meal tonight with some friends  – might also be some bevvies drunk.

🙂 🙂 🙂

[Until]… the breakdown.

So after my walk to Crackington Haven and my relaxing coffee I boarded the 595 towards Boscastle.

The bus was halfway up the hill when the engine faded and the driver said “We’re not going to Boscastle in this bus”. He reverse coasted the bus back down the narrow hill, through the sharp bend at the bottom and into the bus stop on the wrong side of the road (there being no pull in on the other side). Passengers disembarked, most throwing in the towel and getting on the bus ¾ of an hour later, going back the way they came. Two of us waited the two hours for the next bus to Boscastle to arrive. One lass because she had no choice and me because I’m a glutton for punishment.

My abbreviated visit to Boscastle was very enjoyable, a good walk around and the purchase of superfresh locally grown fruit and veg. The runner beans and strawberries had been picked only that morning.

Then there was this chap ….

Poser

less of a Character … and very much a Poser.

It was good to see that almost exactly 10 years on from the devastating flash flood the village is thriving. It’s a shame that a hundreds of years old cottage was too damaged to be repaired but it’s been rebuilt and a storm channel has been incorporated into the repaired river banks. Looking at it on this peaceful day it was almost impossible to believe it’s the same place the television cameras recorded the metres high torrent of water sweeping through relocating trees, all the cars from the car park and anything else that was unable to move out of the way (think the boxing day tsunami).

So … Friday, and it’s goodbye to Western Greyhound; I’ve loved your routes but not always your dilapidated buses (and one particularly irritable driver – you really need to get a different job mate). Goodbye too, to Cornwall. I’ve had a great time.

Hello North Devon, First Great Western and the Tarka Line, equally dilapidated (trains) but hopefully less incidents!

🙂 🙂 🙂

If it’s Friday …

it’s moving day. And today I’ve travelled the long road back to north Cornwall and east a bit. Now a few miles outside Bude. I’m looking forward to visiting Tintagel, according to Hollywood, the home of that famous American, King Arthur.

I have met some really lovely people on my travels so far, Pat and her family at Tregurrion, Linda and Ray at Veryan, and assorted other bods who are only too happy to share their motorhoming/vanning/caravanning wisdom with this rookie. I thank them all and am hoping to see them again at some other campsite on some other date.

Last week was spent very quietly after the infamous SwCP walk but I did take another of the scenic bus route, this time to St Mawes. The mile walk to the bus stop was well worth it as well as being flat … bonus.

St. Mawes

A day at the opera.

I used to regularly opera-go with my great, and much missed, friend Ben. We always wore evening dress and carried opera glasses, he owned not one but two pairs. Ben could have taught elegant dress at graduate level and was the epitome of the well bred gentleman he actually was. We both loved opera and detested the snobbery of some opera goers who go only to be seen and admired. Little did they realise that we were gently mocking rather than admiring them.

Interval in the bar would find us, G&T in hand, bitching about other people’s outfits. Once we raved about the turnout of a Bishop, especially his jewellery,  tho’ thinking about it now it probably didn’t count, him being “in uniform”.

We had very different taste in men and would criticise each others taste in our exclusive Most Fanciable Man of the Evening competition. It was all such fun dahling!

Today the poor love must have been doing the graveyard spin. There I was at the Minack open-air theatre for a performance of Tosca … in the afternoon … wearing T shirt, shorts and, whilst seated, no shoes … can’t have a tan line round the ankles dahling!

Not an opera snob in sight. Mwah, mwah!

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall

Unfortunately, bright and very hot sunshine is not the atmosphere for the dark Tosca and seated in the front row with the orchestra very close on my right was not a good place for someone with hearing difficulties … but it was a fantastic experience … and Ben was very close.

🙂 🙂 🙂

A lot less suspicious than a baseball bat.

Yesterday I discovered the laundry bag to be full. After doing the washing I got out the new portable washing line (think rotary dryer – only it doesn’t rotate and the legs are held down by tent pegs). Bearing in mind that this campsite is on the Atlantic facing cliffs of north Cornwall and there has been what could euphemistically be called a stiff breeze blowing for the last few days, I had some misgivings about hanging out said laundry, not to mention visions of myself chasing round the site in pursuit of my smalls. Despite this I pegged out and settled down to laundry watch. Laundry drying is marginally more interesting than paint drying as there is movement (see earlier comment about stiff breeze). Ultimately boredom set in and the SwCP called.

The Southwest Coastal Path does exactly what it says – follows the coastline of the whole southwest peninsula and in north Cornwall it frequently traverses contour lines in almost perpendicular fashion. If you’re looking for somewhere to train for a Himalayan trek you could do a lot worse. The views are spectacular and well worth the energy spent, bees and butterflies abound amongst the wildflowers and in spite of the shrieking gulls and roaring surf (blown out today for the surfers amongst you) it’s incredibly peaceful. I walked to Mawgan Porth, (2½ miles but seemed twice as long given the closeness of the contour lines) deliberately greeting everyone who passed to check how breathless their responses were in comparison to me.

 Southwest Coastal pathway

Those of you slightly interested in my wellbeing may be pleased to learn that on my walks I carry dear old Dad’s walking stick, duly shortened and re-feruled. It has many uses including the thrashing of nettles and brambles, the support of my ageing person on steep bits and, dear BB, it looks a lot less suspicious than a baseball bat!

The laundry was still on the line on my return.

🙂 🙂 🙂

I’m an Adventurer now

Lots of chat, plenty of wine and wall to wall sunshine at R & S’s, Saltash, Cornwall (the Deep West). Wonderful stay, thanks chaps. Hopefully see you on the road soon!

Now truly off on my own. Terrifying and exciting both.

Newquay (even Deeper West) has greeted me with wet and windy weather and R0X1 is rocking a bit up here on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Should be some good photo ops when the visibility improves.

The fish and chip van has called at the campsite and I indulged – my excuse being that I can’t use the oven as I haven’t yet read the manual and it’s too wet to go outside to search the garage for it. I know, I know, I had to go out in the rain anyway to get my meal ….

but I didn’t have to wait for it to cook after I got back in from the rain ….

and it was beautifully freshly cooked and truly delicious ….

OK, so I didn’t know it would be that good ….

I took a risk ….

but then I’m an Adventurer now! 🙂

 

Saltash, Cornwall