Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Pictures of Port Isaac/port Wenn

I'm uploading these separately, as the last post was a bit full:

small house is the Doc's house

Bert Large

P C Penhale

In the summer time, when the weather is fine

I forgot to mention that on the Friday evening we went out for a meal. I had wanted to try the Memaid, but they could only offer a table at 8.30 , too late for my liking. So I booked a table at the Beach restaurant. We both had  scallops for starters, I had John Dory, he had fish and chips, then he had sticky toffee pudding and I had a trio of chocolate puddings.
The second Sunday, both of the preachers were from Fore Street Methodist chapel, in the morning, the hymns were all older hymns that we knew, so we could at least sing. The sun had made a good return that day, but after a lunch of lamb shanks we were so tired that we both had a really long sleep. I don't think either of us was sleeping too well at night. Feeling too groggy for church, we later went for a walk around the Island, checked on the car, and then walked back across the beach to the private entrance to the flats. We managed to remember the code number for the door. Whilst on the Island we had seen people on the 'pirates tour', which it seems ends at the Island
The leader

Hayle estuary from the Island
Monday was more wandering round St Ives, then I took a chair and a windbreak down to the beach, and sat for a while in the sun reading, it was a little bit cooler than I had hoped, but when the sun cleared from the clouds it was quite warm and pleasant.
The Tuesday was spent in Falmouth, we parked at the quarry, didn't have to pay. My favourite cafe had run out of crab, so I had cheese and pickle, then walked along the streets, in and out of shops, but not buying. I met up with husband by the new development, and we had an ice cream,and sat outside the cafe eating it. It was a beautiful sunny day. We walked back together, and then drove back the scenic way, via Swanpool,and stopping at Maenporth for tea and coffee. I was suppose to be devising the route back, but must have missed a turning as we were suddenly on unfamiliar roads, and instead of heading for Penzance, we were on a road which was at the back of Carn Brea!


Maenporth beach
That evening was the one I had booked for the Porthminster cafe. The food was quite good, we never seem to get a window table. We had to wait for our main course 25 minutes, which I don't think has happened before. They were fairly busy, lots of people out under the canopy at the back.
I had crabcakes for starters, husband had mackerel fillet, he can't remember what mains he had, I had sea bass, but it was served with rice, which made it very dry. We both had the Valrhona double chocolate tart,with poached kumquats, and  yoghurt sorbet. We skipped the coffee and mints, and had those back at the flat.
The Wednesday dawned cloudy again, and misty, the wifi was not working, I spent time wandering around looking for gifts to bring home, I hadn't had lunch at Bumbles as it was so near the flat, so that day I decided I would. Husband had been for a walk, and unintentionally gone past Clodgy, and along the coastal path coming back through Ayr, not the Scottish town I hasten to add. The sun poked through very briefly, but later the mist came in so close, that we could hardly see the sea. Suddenly the wifi came back, but was a bit patchy.
Thursday was nice and sunny, I went for a walk up Porthmeor Hill. I found St Ia's well, which I don't think I have ever seen before, then I turned left, and walked along that road, then right,and right again into Bowling Green Terrace, where the little Brethren Chapel is. I've not walked the whole length of the Terrace before; then I went back down to the end of Porthmeor, and along the path towards Clodgy. There are so many memorial benches along there now one could almost play musical chairs.
I headed back to the beach and had a baguette at the West bay bakery. It  was granary and huge. I struggled to finish it, but wasn't going to leave it for the gulls. I walked down onto the beach and across the sand. I bought an ice cream from a pleasant young lad who had just started working there for the season, he was so pleased to have got the job, and I was pleased for him. What a lovely place to work.

I had finished my Poldark book, and had picked up a copy of Marley and Me, in the flat, so I went down to the beach and sat in the sun, husband came and joined me and actually dozed off. I found the book amusing at first, but as I got about three quarters of the way through, I began to find it irritating. I had no desire to finish it. Later that evening we watched our final sunset from the flat. We had already done a lot of our packing.
Next day we had our final tour of the shops, I bought husband a ring to replace one he has lost. I gave into temptation and bought a pretty little winter dress for Lydia, then we had lunch, we tidied the flat, I vaccuumed, and husband brought the car round to the underground garage, he had a bit of difficulty as some girls cleaning a flat nearby had parked at the top of the slope and he managed to get wedged against their car, but no damage done, the marks washed off, and he managed to get the front end of the car into the space so that we cold load up from the back. All too soon we were saying goodbye to St Ives, taking the keys back and heading off up country. We always leave on a Friday,as the A30, and beyond can be nightmare  on a Saturday.
We headed for Port Isaac. I have been wanting to go there for years, long before the TV show started. the last time we were going there was about 17 years ago, but we didn't get beyond our visit to Padstow, where we had lunch and then we ended up in Launceston for tea.
We managed to find the Council car park as our ticket was still valid, and walked down a path, to the pretty little harbour, where we could see quite few large vans parked at the harbour.  I stepped forward to take a picture, only to hear a voice say, 'Excuse me love, we are filming, or we will be in a minute'. I looked around to see a camera crew, and sitting nearby was Ian McNiece, otherwise known as Bert Large. A few minutes later John Marquez, or PC Penhale appeared. We watched for a while as they filmed for about 2 minutes, then shouted 'cut'. They did this a few times. we went in search of tea and coffee, but couldn't find anywhere serving it. So we watched the filming for a bit longer, then walked back up the path, got in the car, and drove on. We tried the cafe at Stourton, that was closed, but the petrol station did take away teas and coffees, so at least I had something warm and wet although I'd rather not have my PG Tips in cardboard. We arrived at Taunton Dene, checked in the lodge, then went over to the cafe area for food. The ironmonger in St Ives had managed to get us a cup boiler, but it worked off the car socket I didn't fancy drinking my Ovaltine  in the car, so gave it a miss. I managed to get some sleep, but it wasn't a good night's rest.
Sorry this is so late haven't found time to add the photo's

Monday, 13 July 2015

A castle in the air, (well almost)

Oh dear, I am so behind, but must press on. The Thursday of our first week dawned dull and cloudy. I had already said I would like to go to St Michaels' Mount. It is N T and we haven't been for years. So after a slow start, we drove over to Marazion. We went the back way for a change.
I always love to catch the first glimpse of it above a hedge, rising up out of the sea. When we arrived we parked and then had quite long walk to the jetty. Ferries were going from both jetties at times, but we were directed to the nearest one.
It was quite windy down there, and the waves were being whipped up, the covers were on the boats, they must have been expecting rain, or perhaps spray. It was quite choppy going over, and we laughed and joked with other passengers, in true British fashion. Safely on land, we showed our pass cards, and were given a map of the Island. We followed the map to the cafe, which seemed rather busy and full. I said to husband I'm sure there is another cafe, more in front of the castle. he said he would take the map and check. Just as I was at the front of the queue, he rang and said, 'Yes' there was somewhere else, the sail loft, so I followed his directions, and found the place I had remembered. there was a different menu, but it wasn't so crowded and was waitress service. So we ordered lunch, and very nice it was too. Afterwards, we looked in the gift shop, and used the facilities. I was a bit worried that there would not be any up at the castle, but the map showed that there was.
So off we set, via the old dairy. When I am confronted with a climb like this one. I'm often tempted to think, 'no I'l never do it'. It was about the height of the hill  we had to climb in Swanage last year, but a lot shorter, so much steeper.
I just take it at my own pace, remembering 'how do you eat an elephant? Answer, 'a little bit at a time'. Soon we were passing the Giant's well and the Giants heart, stopping to snap a view here and there. Later the path becomes less even,and more rocky than cobbled. I was wearing soft soled sandals, so had to be careful where I put my feet. The 'Mary Jane' style straps kept them in place, I saw one lady walking up in very strappy gold sandals and though rather her than me. I don't know how the St Aubyn family do it every time.There is a tram, which goes underground but that is only for food transport, and not passengers.
At the top, we took more pictures,and then entered the rooms which are open. I took quite a few pictures, then we were out on the flagged area, and I took some pictures looking down on the gardens. We had a look inside the chapel. Then I used the facilities, and we set off on the path down. We decided to tour the gardens, but then husband thought he would stick to the lower levels. After negotiating more steps and rocky uneven paths, I decided that the garden terraces were too difficult, so went back down to join him.

coat of arms

dining room, even in Monastery days

Add caption


We slowly made our way back to the small harbour, and got on the next ferry. The tide had gone down quite a bit, but it was less choppy. It wasn't low enough to use the causeway, but they are trying to discourage use of that as there was damage in a winter storm a couple of years ago, and it needs to be fully repaired. Not easy when it is underwater a lot of the time.
We were deposited at a different jetty, then walked around Marazion, looking in various shops.We also fancied a cuppa. Eventually we found somewhere, described as a gallery and tearoom, and we sat outside, under a brolly with our drinks. We were glad of the brolly, because there was a small shower, but by the time we were on our way back to the car park it had dissipated.
On the Friday morning I went into town and to the library, to buy a car park ticket for the next week. The Rover tickets are not available at the machines, but entitle the holder to use any Council car park in Cornwall for the duration. I think it was that day, after browsing, and buying a couple of items, including a St Ives sweatshirt, that I decided to go to Beachcomber for one of their jacket potatoes.
There were a couple of men at the next table, one quite elderly. The tables were so close it was impossible not to hear what they were talking about. It was a couple of days after the announcements of the deaths of Chrsitopher Lee, and Ron Moody. The elderly chap had been a friend of Ron Moody, and was saying that he would have hated the fact that Christopher Lee was getting more attention from the media, than he was, he would have thought it should all have been about him. He also spoke of having to go up to London, and having booked a ticket, but whether he was going up for the funeral was unclear. I didn't recognise him as being famous, but he was obviously connected to the theatrical world.
There a few famous people who holiday in St Ives, the only one we have ever seen in person was Les Dawson. Of course if they are filming, such as Poldark, or Ladies in Lavender, they do get visitors.
I remember a couple of years ago a lady saying she'd had Johnny Depp in her shop, They had filmed the departure of the ship in the last Pirates film on Porthmeor I believe. The elderly gent at the next table was obviously living in St Ives.
That afternoon, I left husband watching an old film on TV, and went for a walk, up Tregenna Hill, up the steps, past where we stayed last time. The house has sold, has a different colour front door,and new net curtains instead of blinds, but doesn't seem to be with any of the holiday letting agents. I continued past the flat where we first stayed as a family, then crossed the road, back down past the Porthminster hotel, now renamed, 'The Harbour', down past the bus station, the restaurant built under is still not occupied. Then I walked down Skidden Hill, St Andrews Street, Lambeth Walk, past Soggy the Bear's author's home, then back along the wharf; a nice longish walk, with a soft rain falling part of the time.
The Saturday was more of the same, only mist instead of just cloud, more pottering. Actually,there is a shop right opposite the entrance to Piazza, and I went in there nearly every day for a newspaper, and often milk. It has changed hands in recent years, and is so well stocked. One day we bought fresh eggs, the sort you pick out and box yourself. Out of the 6, 4 were double yoked. that's not something you get in the big supermarkets.

Living statue.
wedding at the Methodist chapel

At around 10 am, the general time when holiday properties are vacated, we moved the car up to the Island car park, to a space which overlooked Porthgwidden Beach. Later, we went down to the underground garage,and were glad we had moved the car. the new occupants had a much bigger car than the previous family. That evening, as we sat reading and watching TV, the sun appeared, just in time to set.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Strolling, just strolling

On the Monday we decided to have a walk around St Ives to see what had changed, and wander in an out of shops. it was bright and sunny again, but still with an underlying coldness.
 We noticed that the shop which had been White's haberdashers and furnishers for years had changed hands yet again. I called in at the bookshop and had a browse of the children's books I had picked up my next 'fix' of Poldark on the Saturday in Penzance. I had also brought ' Who made God?' by Edgar Andrews, which I started quite well, but then lost my place.
Husband decided it would be nice to have a coffee somewhere, preferably near the beach, so we strolled across to Porthminster. I felt strangely at home on that side of St Ives. There are 2 beach cafes selling coffee, sandwiches and snacks, husband decided on the far one. The cafe underneath on the beach didn't do decaff, so I suggested we went into the Porthminster cafe and ordered. Whilst in there I booked a table for the following week for dinner. We sat at a table outside and our coffee was brought out to us. It was very pleasant, and we were chatting to a couple at the next table, who also childmind their grandchildren.
palms near Porthminster

Looking across to Godrevy, two tone sea

Porthminster beach, wonder what the cage is for? Unruly kids perhaps

One of y favourite views
We finished our coffee then wandered off down the path into the Warren. We discovered that there was a craft fair in the Guildhall, so spent some time in there, then husband went in search of a pasty, and I walked round to Pels, bought a crab salad, then found a seat on the harbour. There were plenty of seagulls around, so I was glad my salad box had a lid. St Ives seemed full of German tourists. Suddenly I heard a scream and as I looked round saw that a gull had snatched a sandwich from a young Japanese woman, who obviously hadn't been told about the gulls' bad habits. There seemed to be more flags than ever flying around the harbour, and since I have been home, I have read that  certain flags are there to deter the gulls.
It was very pleasant sitting in the sun, and eventually husband came to join me.Then we went in search of an ice cream, and resumed our strolling around the streets. Later back at the flat we had a doze, then dinner, and watched yet another sunset. That evening I had I small amount of white wine with my meal, I had opened the bottle, as it had been left for us, but husband prefers red. That night I woke up with awful palpitations, for which I blamed the wine, so didn't drink any more.
The next morning, as I went over to the recycling point, I saw the lady from number 3. I asked what they had done about their car, as she had said a few times they were not happy with the parking and she told me they had moved it to the Island. I said 'Ok, thanks, we will probably do that ourselves next week. It's just that we plan to go to Truro, but if you have moved the car then it's not a problem.'. so later, we got in our car, and I was able to retrieve my sunglasses, distance glasses and a hat which I hadn't been able to get to since the Saturday. So off to Truro we went, and managed to park in the Viaduct car park, on the middle level, so that the car was not in the full sun.
I had rung Sainsbury's, but there was no sign of my missing lens, so I had to be ultra careful with my spare reading glasses. I had a prawn salad in Malletts, but they do rather tend to undo the good of the salad by serving it with doorsteps of bread and butter. I couldn't eat it all. Then I looked round the store, we thought a cup boiler might have been useful for making Ovaltine, but no one seemed to do them. The flat lacked a kitchen towel, so I bought a cheap one.
Statue, Lemon quay

I toured my usual shops, buying a pair of sandals in the Reiker shop, then went round to Lemon Quay. There was scaffolding up all over the building where the lovely craft/material shop was, but I couldn't find out if that had moved or closed. I browsed M&S,and wondered how they could have got their 'fashion' so wrong. Dresses in what looked like crimplene, in garish colours, lace dresses, which are impractical for everyday wear, and instead of the usual cotton V neck tee shirts, again they have produced them in a 'slub' material, which looks cheap, nasty, and resembles J cloths.
Husband and I met up again, walked through the pannier market, had an ice cream, then went to Lakeland. We decided to go back to the car, and drive up to Sainsbo's to stock up on food. Once there, he abandoned me to go and look in an Aldi we had passed.
The traffic was getting heavy as we left so I got a map out and devised an alternative route back, which meant that we kept moving most of the time instead of crawling along to the A30. It was slow through Camborne, but quite a pleasant drive.
Our regular visitor, ever hopeful but never fed.
On the Wednesday, we spent the day in St Ives again. this time I ate a crab sandwich in the Yellow Canary cafe, much easier than having to shield it from seagulls. Husband walked past the cafe, but didn't see me, when I tried to phone him my battery died. That was the day I walked around the harbour to Smeaton's light,and right to the end. As I was marveling at the almost turquoise water, I spotted the head of a seal, bobbing about just over towards Lambeth beach. I felt frustrated that there was no one to share the sight with, no one around me seemed aware. Eventually I wandered back to the flat to find that husband was already there. Later we took a stroll across the beach as the tide was out, and he wanted to examine a rock which we could see from the flat.
We spent that evening indoors too, We watched some old Lewis,and another detective series,and photographed what turned out to be the last decent sunset for a few days. I wasn't sleeping quite so well, as the mattress was memory foam, and every time I needed to turn over I woke up.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Watchin' the tide roll away

We were up quite early on the Saturday morning, but didn't actually start off very early. We didn't stop for breakfast till we got to Sourton, where there is a cabin with seating. They used to just serve through a hatch, but now you go inside and order. I had a bacon bap and husband had a bacon and egg  bap. Mine was stuffed with bacon. we don't usually eat like that, just on holiday.
After a coffee, we set off on the rest of the journey. The traffic was quite light, and we arrived in Penzance at around 11. We parked on the harbour car park, and I was walking up Market Jew street, when I realised it was pay and display, and I hadn't, so I shot off down the nearest side street and rectified the matter, Phew! I went into all my usual shops, walked up the pedestrianised area, found that the loos were closed, so walked down the next street where I discovered Penzance Baptist church. I had often wondered where it was.
Penzance harbour

side street where chapel is

I decided to go to a cafe for lunch and Lavender's wasn't far away. So I went there, and also made use of their facilities. I had a salad, best to try and start off well. Then later I walked round more shops and met up with husband. I did have a bit of a panic when  thought I had lost my small camera, and rushed back to Lavender's and a card shop, looking for it. suddenly I discovered I had slipped it into my handbag. I wanted to walk down Chapel street, but he had already been there, so we split up again, and met up at the car. On the way to the car I had a sneaky ice cream.
We set off to go to Sainsbury's which has been built on the site of the heliport. I hadn't been in there long, when I discovered I had dropped a lens from my reading glasses. I retraced my steps several times round the meat and fruit and veg, but could not find it, so reported it to customer services. This is why I always keep a spare pair.
Once the car was packed with the food we set of for the office where we had to collect the key. That done, we drove into St Ives and found the flat. Someone was parked on the courtyard level, and they told us that they were just unloading, but the underground car park space which they were to share with us was quite small.  We opened the gate and drove in. Yes the space was small. There was a staircase which led up to the flats, so we were able to unload the car and get stuff up without too much trouble.
When I opened the door to the flat we had another surprise, the flat was smaller than described online. The bedroom is so small that the bed takes up the whole centre of the room, head at one wall, feet at the other. I don't know how you cope if you are 6 foot 6. There are 2 sliding doors, one for each side of the bed. There is a huge wardrobe with shelves, but not quite deep enough for my skirt hangers. The bathroom was small just a tiny shower cubicle, a toilet, but a huge washbasin, like a butler's sink.
It was very nicely decorated, but the living room dining room and kitchen were all in one, and not a lot of room for food storage. It was quite well equipped, but no washing machine as there is a launderette on site. At the end of the stone balcony, there was storage cupboard with beach chairs windbreaks, a small chest freezer, and, picnic basket, games etc.
There was quite a cold wind blowing, and this became really strong if both the front door and balcony door were open together. When we had unpacked, husband went down to the underground garage, and discovered that despite his parking as near as possible to the wall, the other chap had got his car in but we were unable to get in our car. Husband just about managed to open  the door enough to squeeze his bible out on the Sunday for church.
The housekeepers had left us scones jam cream and milk, and a bottle of white wine, compliments of the owners. We had a tea for me coffee for him and just one scone each, they were huge. Later we walked down to the harbour,and got fish and chips. To my surprise they did grilled sea bass, so I had that with chips, half good and half naughty I thought. Husband had plaice and chips,and we managed to find somewhere to sit and shield our dinner from the predatory gulls. One good thing that we hadn't realised was that Porthmeor is only a short walk from the harbour, so we strolled back, watched some TV on the Smart TV, used the wifi for the internet,and then retired to our 'cabin'. The duvet was a tad thin, but I covered it with the available throw,and we both managed a reasonable night.
view from the flat

the 'cabin'

We awoke fairly early the next morning. The shower cubicle was quite small, and had the option of an over head shower, or a hand held one. It was a bit small for standing back till the water was the correct temp, the knob was very stiff, and when it came on it was the hand held option. I didn't mind too much, as it was hooked up, and I could turn it towards me. If I had used the overhead one I would have got my hair wet every day, but as the water is soft I can go 3 days without washing it there.
We had breakfast, the weather was sunny, but there was an underlying coldness. It didn't take us too long to walk to Zion chapel, and we were greeted by a friendly face at the door.
The minister whose preaching we were not keen on had retired in January. He had been over state retiring age when he took the chapel on. That morning, there was a preacher 'with a view'. he was a pleasant young man, there for a second visit, with his family. The only problem  for us was that everything that was sung was post 1970,and we only knew 2 short choruses in the middle. Everything else was by Stuart Townend, and we had no clue as to the tunes.
After the service we were welcomed by the regulars who remember us, and someone introduced himself as one of the trustees of the chapel, who was there taking an interest in the proceedings of helping call a new minister. Then we spotted a couple of familiar faces, an elder and his wife from the chapel in Dunstable where we have friends. It turned out that the young preacher is a member in one of the churches we know in St Albans,  a church plant from the church we used to go to, and he feels burdened for the ministry in Cornwall.
We chatted with the couple from Dunstable, then the young preacher, but he didn't know our Daughter and family.One of the members there has suffered from ill health for many years, and has been at death's door a few times. It was good to see him out and about, and he has regained the ability to swallow, so  is no longer tube fed.
Back at the flat we had a good meal of steak, tomatoes mushrooms and veg, and I soon got used to the Induction hob. Pans come up to the boil quite fast. We had strawberries and cream, and after coffee, I managed to  get comfy enough on the sofa, which doubles as a single bed settee, to have a long doze.  We were still pretty tired from the journey,as I don't sleep well in travel lodges,and husband had done all  of the driving
We were both groggy after our nap waking quite late. The evening service there starts at 6, so we decided against going. Later we went for a walk to the Island so I could make a phone call. The flats were built from stone, probably granite, and the EE signal was zero. It was quite pleasant up on the Island, if a bit chilly, then we walked back down and saw another spectacular sunset from the balcony. I wasn't getting as much exercise as I usually do, as I usually have to walk from the other side chasing sunsets.