Holiday 2014 – The Return To Cornwall Part 3

Funny Vibe (17/8)

Sunday was a bit of a “funny” day, not in the ha-ha sense but more of “we didn’t really need any of *that* today!” Susan decided that she would like to visit Kynance Cove that day. I had planned going out later in the evening to one of the local pubs who were putting on some entertainment that night. Knowing what the beach was like I thought it something of a bad idea for her to visit as she’s a bit wobbly on her feet. Unfortunately she was adamant that she wanted to go and we had a bit of a “dispute” about it. I nearly let her walk down the steep path despite pointing out that we were taking the easier path downwards.

If ever there was a day that you saw other people having fun and you weren’t then this was it, you just know that something’s wrong. Susan had gone off in a huff back to the car so I let the kids get on with what they wanted to do but my heart just wasn’t in it that day. After slowly walking back to the car I think the kids finally managed to calm us both down to the point that I suggested that we go to the nearest pub and get an evening meal.

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Arriving at Lizard Village as luck would have it one of the local shops was still open so in anticipation that Alex may not get what he wanted I bought a couple of bottles as a standby which got consumed later that evening. We then made our way to the “Top House Inn” and I settled into a nice pint of St Austell’s “Proper Job” pale ale. Alex asked if he could have a shandy with his meal (the licensing laws should allow under 16’s to have a drink with a meal if accompanied with adults) but had to make do with a ginger beer instead. Our meal was really good and just what we needed after what was an unnecessarily stressful day, not to mention another pint!

Once we got home I decided to go out for a walk and took the camera with me and spent some time capturing the landscape as the sun was setting. We actually had a nice sunset this time round as on most days there would be a bank of clouds hovering close to the horizon which would block the view.

 

Sitting on the beaches lookin’ at the peaches… (18/8)

On Monday I figured being our second week that it was time to venture further afield so we went for a day in Marzion (Mars-eye). Arriving at a charity car park just outside town we made our way into the town to have lunch before the kids went to the beach. We made our way to Philps Pasties and I had a Large Supreme Steak Pasty and it was freaking huge, to get an idea of the size look at a typical dinner plate and imagine the pasty was half its size, that’s how big it was. Talk about a self-contained meal it was more like a banquet!

After washing that feast down with a drink we made our way back to the car to pick up the boards and wetsuits and made our way to the beach. The sand at the start of the beach is the golden variety with flecks of black and your foot sinks in with every step you take. As we moved further along the beach the sand changed again and became firmer but was not riddled with a mixture of pebbles and shingle making walking slightly painful. Eventually we made our way to a sandy area in-between the flags set by the lifeguards. The kids took to the water and tried their best to catch a wave but the waters were quite shallow and there was nothing much happening with the boards. The conditions appeared to be better for those kayaking or windsurfing instead.

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While sitting on the beach a small group of people appeared next to us. Among them were two girls who must have been in their teens and were shall we say quite inappropriately dressed for the beach with short skirts. While they were burying one of their party in the sand Susan said “don’t look now” and as I turned my head one of the girls was on her knees with the open end of her skirt facing in *my* direction and the first thing I noticed was that she was barely wearing the skimpiest pair of orange knickers that were firmly embedded in her nether regions. I quickly turned to Susan saying “whoa put that away!”

 

Everybody’s Surfin II (19/8)

Continuing with surfing I took the kids back to Poldhu Cove so they could catch some waves. We had arrived early which was at high tide. While the kids tried to surf they came back saying the water was too rough and decided to wait until later to try again. Sadly even after a few hours the waves were behaving differently and the kids decided they were too cold to carry on.

That evening I decided to climb the hill on my own and try and capture some different views of Mullion and the surrounding coastline.

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I’d managed to find a few nice vantage points to shoot from and spent a while just enjoying the view and checking on the changes in the light as sunset was fast approaching. I could see that a tanker had taken up residence and had berthed itself mid-seas.

 

In the Gallery (20/8)

A few days earlier I had booked a taster session at Gallery Anthony at Mullion Meadows. Last year I had seen some people learning how to work with soluble wax crayons (not the one’s you used at school!) and wet Japanese printer’s paper to create decorative pieces of art. Sadly at that time I had missed out as they were fully booked so I was determined not to miss out this time. The day started nice and bright so I thought I’d walk the 400 yards to the gallery rather than driving and as I had arrived early I sat down outside on one of the benches and chilled out. Making my way in I was greeted by the owner Anthony Smith, who asked a few questions about what my knowledge of art and composition as well as colour theory I had. I’d explained that I have practiced photography and was familiar with the basic compositional rules such as the rule of thirds.

We then started looking at the materials we would be using and cover some basic techniques of colour blending. Working with the materials was an interesting experience which I found to be quite therapeutic. As part of the session students get to create four different pieces of work, one of which it turned into a greeting card to give to someone. I was quite please with the fruits of my labours and know that Susan will be keeping me busy with requests for her Christmas cards!

On my way back I noticed it was a bit cloudy and before I knew it, it started to rain, which got heavier and heavier. I found some brief shelter under a tree but after a few minutes decided to try walking the short distance back. By the time I reached the bungalow I was soaked!

After several cups of tea and lunch we decided to go back out to the Lizard Village and do the tour of the gift shops and see what we could find. I stocked up on some much needed beer and got me & Alex hiking poles while the girls got themselves something to take home.

Later that evening me & Alex took the long steep climb up the hill and followed the coastal path Southward from Mullion towards Predannack Cliffs. We stopped at several points along the way to check out the views and the position of the sun which was beginning its descent and take a few photographs.

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Making our way back as the sun was setting I took a few more photographs before finishing off the roll at the harbour where the sun was setting in between two of the rocks.

 

It’s the final countdown (21/8)

Thursday was the penultimate day of our holiday so we decided to re-visit some of our favourite spots. Today we went back to Porthleven, this time making sure we put more money in the meter so we could have a good look around without worrying about the time. In contrast to the Sunday we last came, today was nice bright and sunny. This time I had my SLR with me so slowly walked around the port sparingly taking pictures of the most interesting subjects and views of the harbour.

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It was also market day so we browsed at some of the wares. There were some really nice pieces of artwork and fused glass on sale but I resisted the temptation.

One thing can be said of the shops there is that there are some beautiful and very expensive items on sale there. We ventured around the corner of one of the row of shops and saw a sign stating there were 2 floors of independent artists present. Climbing up the steps led us into an Aladdin’s cave of handmade items such as hats, paintings and also slate engraving. While looking at “Slate of the Art” Susan got talking to the owner and expecting a Cornishman discovered that Nick was in fact from Chester! He told us that both him and his wife decided to sell their house some seven years ago and move to a place just outside of Porthleven. We also learned about the jobs market in Cornwall and that it was possible to “get by” without a high salary job if you were prepared to take on some extra work.

I also learned that there was some “anti-English” attitudes from the locals but that this was more to do with their desire to become independent from the UK. While I can sympathise with their motives the UK is pretty much a land-locked nation with only notional borders. It was all “food for thought” as Susan has wanted to move back down South for as long as I’ve known her.

I had been contemplating re-visiting Lanyon Quoit but after finding out it was an hour’s drive each way and the weather was starting to look cloudy and overcast I thought we would have to miss it this time. One thing that we did manage to do was to go back to Poldhu Cove and take some sand from the beach away with me. I know it may sound crazy but over the past two weeks I have picked up several quite nice pebbles and a couple of intact shells from the beaches here, I wanted to have some sand to complement them and in a way create my own little piece of Cornwall.

 

My God it’s full of stars! (22/8)

Well the final day had arrived and we decided that we would re-visit Cadgwith again after last night’s rain. The day started off slightly cloudy but they were soon swept away by the cool breeze and replaced with sunny blue skies with fluffy white clouds.

Arriving at the car park we tried to pay but the machine wouldn’t accept the pound coin, on closer inspection I could see that someone had managed to jam both a pound coin and a 50 pence piece in the mechanism. So free parking for us then! That must have ranked as the most spectacular feat of ham-fistedness I’d ever seen!

This time we all followed the coastal trail leading up above Cadgwith and sat on a bench and admired the view. We then headed back down into the harbour and I visited the beach and watched the fishing boats being pulled in with their mornings catch. We had lunch at the “Old Cellars” restaurant and then proceeded to mill around browsing through the few shops there before heading on back up to “Old Todder” and sitting there for some time. Time seems to flow differently there as we just spent time watching the world go by as fishermen went about their business. It really is quite something!

Heading back to Mullion in the afternoon I dropped back into Gallery Anthony to pick up some supplies and was given yet another demonstration of the various techniques that could be used with the materials I had. After a few minutes I noticed out the the corner of my eye that we had an audience which turned out to be my wife & daughter.

In the evening we went out to the Dynasty Restaurant which was on the Penzance road for a Chinese buffet for our final night out. As we approached the restaurant there were two Police cars present and there had been a serious motor accident. It was most likely someone driving way too fast and colliding with another vehicle. None of this dampened our appetite as we went in and got one of the standby tables for customers who had not reserved a table. The food was really good and my plate went back at least five times for more before I decided that my body was too close a resemblance to the Buddha statue they had.

Returning home later that evening it was time to start packing and getting the car loaded up. On the way out I stopped and looked up at the sky and was taken aback by the number of stars there were that night. It was a beautiful sight to behold and I got everyone out to have a look before retiring with a few beers and writing up the day’s events here.

When I left Cornwall last year I felt I had left a small part of myself here to remind me to come back again and while I know I’ll have my own piece of Cornwall, I also know that part of me is still back there waiting for me to return…

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