Friday, 11 August 2017

Cornwall 2017 - Part 2

Tuesday 8 August

I had a bit of a senior moment last night.  Not sure if it was old age, my deteriorating lamps or the jug of Pimms that I'd consumed, but not long after we'd had tat wonderful sunset I'd remarked to Herself how low and bright the moon was.

She said nothing.

Many times I glanced up at it, and it was not until just before retiring to bed that I noticed that the moon was not moving through the night sky.  Accompanied by a crushing feeling it dawned on me that I'd been looking at one of the site's lamp posts for the past few hours!

I took the dogs outside and had a few words with myself before bed.

Another great night's kip is had, and despite my over indulgence last night I'm feeling quite fresh as I unzip the awning flaps to let the dogs out and the world in.

No time to hang around this morning as today is Farmer's Market day in Sennen, and we know the lady we are going to see sells out of her produce pretty quickly.  Barging through the crowd we get our order in and come away with lamb samosas, onion bhajis, potatoe and chilli bhajis and some roti bread.

Back at the van the ingredients for a lamb madras are thrown in the multicooker and it's set to do it's thing.

Herself throws some bacon in the pan and we breakfast alfresco.  It's quite nice out, a bit of cloud about, but it's warm enough, and when the sun finds a gap it's like being sat under a grill. We spend a few hours people watching, though I'll be glad when the sun moves a bit so I don't have to stare at this any longer.

The hours fly by, and the dogs are just as happy with our level of inactivity thus far today.  The most I did was check on how much fishing tackle I have with me to lose next time I attempt to cast a line.

By 3pm the sun has moved enough for me to be facing the Atlantic and I watch the infrequent shipping traffic through squinted eyes.

Herself has been hinting around the fact nagging that she'd like an anklet.  I suggest a spin up country to Perranporth.  We arrive and it's packed.  herself has also scanned the shops as we drove through and declared that it wasn't worth stopping as she wouldn't find anything here.

We continue to Newquay and after abandoning Vera we stop at the first jewellers we happen across.  They didn't have what she wanted but she did like the look of a bracelet.

Now I should have seen it coming, Herself has a plan and the cogs were spinning smoothly.  The next jewellers didn't have anything so she suggested I go buy a new hunting knife.  I came out of the shop please with my purchase of something illegal costing £12, then the cogs of the well oiled machine started turning.

"You Know, I think i'll cut my losses and have that bracelet instead."

We retrace our steps and I hold onto the dogs while Herself goes inside with my wallet for company.  Out she trots clutching a bag that is stashed swiftly in my daysack.  I am handed my noticeably thinner wallet back.

Herself asks "Do you want to go for a pint? " so we take an outside table at Berties at the top of the road.  I'm three gulps in when Herself fishes out her new bracelet to show me.  It's not the one I thought she was fancying, but was one next one over which cost a tank and a half of diesel for Vera.  We're unable to stay long as some chav kids have been given some snappitts to keep them amused by their chav parents .......... who seem to think it amusing that our dogs are getting spooked by their antics!

We're heading back to the car and Herself says "Oh look, there's another one there." I get that sinking feeling as the penny drops and I look on powerless through the window as the ever so eager shop assistant insists that Herself tries on every bloody anklet in the place until she's certain that she does not want the most expensive one they had.

My empty wallet is thrown in my general direction, and before I can have a grizzle I'm told "Stop your moaning, you had a new knife!"

There wasn't much conversation in Vera as we headed back to site.

The multi cooker had done its magic again, and teas is a superb lamb madras.

We were not carpet bombed by footballs tonight either.  Maybe it's a rest break between quarter and semi finals or something.  However Herself suggested it may have something to do with me sitting out front in my chair, swigging on a can of Special Brew and scowling at people while I sharpen my new knife.  Who knows?

Gwawr has been a little off sorts today and we've been wondering what's been up with her.  Turns out she was just a little tired and spent the entire evening like this.

We stay up long enough, though it's a struggle, to sit with the dogs through "Magic in the Skies" (not that they even stirred as the big bangs started) before hitting the hay absolutely shattered after a day  of doing not much at all.

Nos dda

Wednesday 9 August

The days are flying by, and I feel sorry for those who can only grab a week of leave to get away.  Another great night of dribbling into my pillow and I'm awake by 7.30am.  It's dry outside, if a little windy as I take the dogs over to Sennen to throw a ball for them and the St Just to the Co-op for a few necessities.

Herself throws together some eggy bread and we discuss options for the day over breakfast.  I fancy a walk and suggest gojng down to Gwynver and then over to Sennen Cove for a few drinks, the catching the bus back up to site.  Herself was keen, I could tell, so we packed our daysacks with drinks and hoodies just in case and made our way down to sea level.

The beach is close to us, but what Google Earth will not tell you is how steep and uneven the path is to get down there.  We are 350ft above sea level an d at times I'm sure it'd be easier to abseil down to Gwynver.

It looks heavenly as we exit the site and start to make progress.

Things didn't stay heavenly for long though.  In the last 12 months the steps have not got any easier, and with each 500mm drop Herself's knackered knees started screaming at her.  With Herself in pain it is inevitable that I am in the firing line, so I turn off my hearing aid and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Past the life guard hut we hobble and start looking for our innermost mountain goat as we contemplate our first clamber  upwards of the afternoon.  Sir Edmund Hillary would have been proud of my efforts though and as the going got easier me heart rate returned to somewhere near normal.

The scenery is fantastic and I'll let the pictures do the talking.

In Sennen Cove we grab a table at The Old Success, and I'm really looking forward to a good few pints of Thatchers before catching the bus back up to site.

I gulp 3/4 of my pint down before Herself starts expressing concerns about getting Gwawr onto a bus, and suggests that the only viable option is for me to catch a taxi back to site and drive Vera back down to fetch her and the dogs.

So, that's my afternoon on the cider in Sennen Cove out of the window then!  I didn't moan, honestly, I didn't.  Just before the taxi arrives Herself asks me to get her another drink that she can sup while she waits for my return.  Talk about adding insult to injury.

I sulk for a while back on site and prepare myself a plate of cheese and biscuits before something strange happened.  The sky turned this funny blue colour and a round yellow circle appeared overhead.  It also got quite warm, so the loungers were dragged out for some personal contemplation time.

Date night tonight, so at 6pm I'm reminded that I need to scrape my chops and have a shower, as we've a table booked at lands End Hotel for dinner.   Herself looked stunning as we walked towards the hotel and I remind myself how lucky I am to have her on my arm, even if she won't take her dog on a bus! .  We just made our 7pm booking, and we are offered a table looking straight out over to Longships.

Mind you the low evening sun bouncing off the Atlantic, whilst warming my chops lovely, produced a fearsome glare, and it's the first time we've sat in a restaurant for dinner wearing sunglasses.  Like sharing a table with Stevie Wonder mun.

Scollops, Sea Bass and a Sticky Toffee Pudding ensure we are full by the time the sun finally drops through the horizon just past The Scilly Isles.

Back on site, the hippies are having a communal hug, probably in appreciation of the sun set gods or something.

Nos dda

Thursday 10 August

Before releasing the blinds I glance at my phone and @DerekTheWeather is promising a used chip fat and sun lounger sort of day.

Before the dun gets too high we need provisions, so early doors we park up in a shaded spot at Tesco and load up the trolley.  All done, we breakfast on poached eggs back at the van before setting up the loungers for an extended period of personal contemplation.

The hours flew by and many rays were caught.  I think my head will sting in the shower tonight!

We are still feeling the effects of yesterday's walk, and my legs don't feel like they belong to me today.  Still they'll loosen up soon enough.

Herself suggests a nice easy stroll along the front in Penzance, interspersed by a couple of drink stops.  We park up and lead the dogs retracing our exact steps of a few days earlier, except today, with no wind it's somewhat more pleasant.

I am however getting some strange looks due to my new charm bracelet, and Mrs Strabucks chirps up on Facebook asking if they're for the dogs or me in the event that I misjudge the "Pull my Finger" game next time around.

Taking a seat outside Te Dolphin we're in a shadow and in a wind tunnel.  Herself is shivering and I know this isn't how she's expected things to pan out.  I go in and fetch the drinks and on my return put a pint of Thatchers in front of her.  By the time I've walked around the table to take my seat she's necked it and is ready for the off!

I followed suit and we made tracks.,  Though I will admit that once out of the wind tunnel and shadows it became warm and pleasant once more.  There was a table free outside The Lugger Inn so we settled ourselves down for drinks looking over the road out onto Mounts Bay.

Back on site I waste no time in getting the BBQ lit to cremate some lamb kebabs that I've had festering in a marinade all day.

Very nice they were too served with some minted lamb fried rice.

With Herself clearing the dishes I throw one of those joking logs onto the embers and settle down to get corned beef legs.  Very peaceful it was too for a while.

We are in a field where every caravan or campervan has at least one dog, and for the most part they've all been very well behaved.  That is until this berk decided to try and train her Lab in the middle of all of us with a bloody dog whistle!

Bloody bedlam it was, but she soon gave up after Herself grabbed one of our whistles and started to blow in to it randomly.  Her Lab didn't know which way to turn and she gave it up as a bad job eventually.

The hippies opposite appear to have older kids visiting them again.  This spell trouble as they lick the football that much harder!  Only this evening they are playing with a Frisbee and one of the adult unwashed is joining them.  It all starts off harmless enough, even if their Frisbee throwing and catching skills would leave them in the "special" group in school PE lessons.

As time wears on, and testosterone levels rise the Frisbee is going AWOL more than it's being caught.  Luckily for me the caravan next door bears the brunt of their lack of skill, while the windbreaks set up out front deflect 5 of the 6 stray Frisbee heading in the direction of our caravan.

I'm sitting tight, vowing to get my cordless drill out after to give one of their tyres the good news, but Herself has been on the ninja juice for a few hours and stands out front scaring the life out of the adult freeloader.

It went quiet for a while.

Darkness and cold descended, and with that "Magic in the Skies" started over at Lands End.  Luckily our two dogs were too tired to care about the bangs and we switched off our lights and watched the fantastic display from the comfort of our caravan.

Nos dda

Friday 11 August

What, Friday already????

@DerekTheWeather is not promising good things today, but my Facebook timeline tells me we've been getting off lightly compared to further up country, and indeed home for that matter, but even so it's a bit misty as I take the dogs to my usual spot to wipe the sleep from my eyes.

We've reached that point of the holiday where I'm fast running out of pants that are wearable.  I only brought two pairs with me in an effort to travel light. Right way round, back to front, inside out and then reverse sees me get 4 days out of a pair, but Herself is starting to grumble so a launderette is required.

There is a launderette on site, but everyone her appears to be queuing to use it, apart from the great unwashed opposite of course.

Over a breakfast some finger swiping on the ipad informs us there are three possible establishments in Penzance.  We pull up at the first one which is adjacent to the arcade on the promenade.

Now, I don't do washing machines, so why Herself thought it a good idea to send me in to suss the place out I'll never know.  In I walk, and yes, there are lots of machines chucking clothes about.  I grab hold of the young attendant and start to quiz her.  She seems quite amused at first by my naivety, but soon gets bored.

She asks "Is your wife with you?"
"Yes" I reply "In the car outside."

She sticks her head outside and confirms with me that Herself is the blonde lady in a Volvo before whistling and beckoning Herself to join me.

They shared much hilarity at my ineptitude whilst feeding a fist full of coins into one of the contraptions.  The attendant said it was OK to leave the machine running and we didn't have to wait ..... probably didn't want me hanging around any longer than absolutely necessary.

We grab a takeout tea and coffee from Zebra Crossings cafe down the road and garb a bench on the prom looking over to Newlyn to waste 30 mins while the machine does it's magic.

I can think of worse places to wait out a washing machine.  I go back  when the time is up and sneak in while the attendant is in the store room.  I empty the washed clothes into a bucket and stand in the middle of the room looking helpless.

She come back out and can't really be bothered to talk to me.  She just grabs the bucket, throws the content into a dryer and demands £2 from me.  She feeds the coins into a slot and the dryer spins into life and I'm told to go away and for my wife to come back in 30 mins.

I rejoin Herself on the bench, somewhat proud of my efforts.

With a bag of fresh smelling clothes we now stop off in B&M Bargains as Gwawr needs a dog bed for the caravan.  The bed was only £10, but somehow we managed to spend £70 in there.  I'm still at a loss as to how that happened.

Herself wants a pasty for lunch, there are numerous pasty selling establishments in Penzance but none of these will do.  She wants a Philps pasty, and these are in Hayle.  We join the back of a slow moving queue at Crowlas and for some reason we crawl at a snail's pace for about 4 miles.

The reason for our lack of progress soon become apparent as we round a bend and spot a steam engine crawling along.

I know it's a novelty, but did he really have to drive it along the main artery in and out of the south west?

Just as we purchased our heartburn inducing lunch a few spots of rain fell from the sky, but didn't come to anything while we ate from the comfort of Vera overlooking the estuary.  Herself suggested the coast road to get back to site.  Now Google and Trip Advisor will tell you that the B3306 from St Ives to St Just is one of the most scenic drives in the south west as the road hugs the Atlantic coast.

We'll have to take their word for it though as good old fashioned Cornish mizzle has closed in, and we can hardly see the road in front of us, let alone the waves crashing on the rocks a few hundred yards away!

We're back on site by 6pm, and the place looks dark and gloomy.  The upside of this of course is that there will be no stray balls or Frisbee coming in our direction this evening.

A beef concoction has been simmering away all day in the multi cooker, but because of our rather heavy and late lunch it's getting dark by the time we eat.

Until next time .....

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