Monday, August 31, 2020

Cornwall and all that.

 25th August

It seems like a life time ago since we came back from our trip to Cornwall. 

Since then we've slept in the camper for eight nights, but only outside our children's houses when we've been to visit. We find it easier than disturbing them and we're in our own "bedroom". We love it.

But just to finish telling you a bit about the last days of the "holiday". 

At first I was disappointed to not be going to Spain as we had intending. Covid scuppered our plans. But so much was gained from our staycation and from being with the family, that it was all worth it. It put into perspective how important it is to be with the grandchildren and get to know them better. In fact hubby and I have decided to make more of an effort  as time is running out for us . Yes, OK , a bit morbid, but true nonetheless and we are making memories for them for when we are no longer around.

One day, after spending the morning with grandkids, we went off by ourselves, Peter carrying a rucksack with his fishing rod in, just in case. Our walk took us along the coast from one cove to another beach about two miles away. Hubby looked  longingly down at the rocks, which, it seemed, were impossible to get to. He did see a couple of people fishing and we wondered how they got down there. And it was indeed  a long way down. I thought maybe they'd walked from the beach, but that looked highly unlikely. 

On the way back, hubster, determined,  eventually found a gap in the hedge where there was possibly a path down. We fought our way through brambles, nettles and overgrowth, getting scratched into the bargain. But then the path became less difficult, except for being steep and craggy and we were soon on the rocks facing the ocean. These rocks wee also hard to navigate as they were sharp and spiky - not sure how to describe then really. 

Peter set himself up and after a few minutes it was obvious the sea was coming. Within half an hour he had to move twice as tide caught up with him. Wanting to get to a safer spot he moved to a corner overlooking the small cove. I settled back to soak in the afternoon sun. And although not comfortable I thought I could relax for the next hour while he fished to his hearts content. You know, get it out of his system. 

"Mazzy!" It couldn't have been more than five minutes later. I turned hastily towards him, wondering why he'd shouted at me?

"Oh my goodness, I think you've got one. Flippin 'eck." i watched as the rod bent and dear hubby teased in his catch. "Wow, you've got a fish. Wow!" I tried to stumble towards him.

"Bring the bag," he commanded. I went back for the plastic bag, which was at the bottom of the rucksack.  He hadn't expected to be successful so was quite unprepared. He landed the mackerel. It wriggled about on the rocks. It slithered through his fingers as he tried to get a hold of it. When he did he bashed it's head over and over on the ground in order to kill it quickly. While Peter got ready to cast again, I imagined having the fish for tea. It's immensely satisfying eating food that you've caught yourself and not paid for. I don' understand why people fish when they can't take their catch home with them. As I'm pondering such things hubby shouts me again. What? Another? That's too good to be true, isn't it. But no, he has got the second one. He goes on to catch four fish within the space of half an hour. It helped that we could see the mackerel were feeding and he just had to throw out the line in the right direction. He stopped after number four because that's all we could eat, but he could probably have landed a fair few more.  


Saturday, August 15, 2020


14th August 2020

Well, I got just a tad bored with regaling you, my lovely readers' with tales of our adventures in Cornwall, wonderful though it was. 
So today I'm going to give you a poem. This piece was  shortlisted for a competition a few years ago and I haven't looked at it since.
Hopefully, I'll read it at the London Writer's Salon Open Mic tonight, but for now it's for you:


There you sit,


 between Rumi and Wittgenstein 

- among others,

your beauty esteemed, cherished  

 my precious jewel.

I lift you down from the shelf,

 reverently, unhurriedly,

my fingers,

Caress your soft leather cover

 Age Worn, flaky,

your Tattered spine

Faded over time,

Steadily trace gold leaf letters.

Your pages- flimsy, delicate

Reveal your antiquity

An old traveller,

A long life,

One hundred and forty four years.

You came to me in 1982.

Written inside, in black ink

With cursive style,

“Mary Louisa Legg,

 with best wishes from N.S.H,

 Christmas 1892”

One instant recorded, 

one person’s history

I love that!

Lent, loved, loaned again

How many homes

 have you graced?

How many absorbed 

your wise words?

I put you to my lips 

 Breathe in your lovers,

Warm companionship

Contented moments


 in Comfortable chairs

I remember cosy evenings

Snuggled under blankets

 with teenage daughters,

Reading, for maybe

 the fifth time,

 the May Queen

a family favourite still.

You continue to be, for me

A treat for my spirit



6th August

20th July  - Monday

Today, to get to Gebe Beach we had to go through the beautiful village of Mawnan Smith. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


5th August 2020

18th July 2020


It's misty this morning, so we won't be rushing off anywhere too soon. Time to catch up with journal and Peter gets his guitar out.

The wind whirled a symphony through the awning during the night, keeping me awake , so I'm happy with the slow start.

And, I'm really miffed that there seem to be no churches open in this part of the world, but we do get Mass online. We miss our usual routine of making visits to churches and getting Holy Mass as often as possible. It's all a little surreal and a bit disturbing that we can't go into churches. We manage our time of prayer every morning , though. 

Soon the sun shines and the sea in Falmouth Bay glints like a mirror. The campers who obstructed our view have now left and we get to enjoy it without moving while eating breakfast.

Today we join Jo, Paul and some of his family at  Porthlevan Harbour, calling at a big Tesco's first as we need some supplies. Going to any supermarket just now is not easy, with the queuing and everything. We wait at least ten minutes to actually get into the store, after which the shopping  takes only five minutes, but then we have to queue again, another fifteen minutes to get to the till.

Porthlevan is a typical Cornish fishing village, with boats in the small harbour, very pretty. 
Paul takes Molly for a boat ride, no not in the harbour, but in a lake, on a large swanboat 
While they're gone we take a stroll around the village, following the small cottages up the cliff path. Looking out to sea from here I am overcome with gratitude for my life, my family and especially my husband. I slip my hand into his and squeeze gently. Without even breaking the flow of his story he reciprocates.

Back at the harbour we sit on the wall we sit and chat. Over the next hour or so there are little purchases at the quaint shops lining the 
round the rest of us sit on the wall and chat, eat Cornish pasties, cake fudge and  ice cream..

In the evening we find a small cove Pordhu, with a beach , so Molly can go for a swim. She loves the water that girl. Raphie finds a stream that runs into the sea . He and George, the dog, run in and out of this shallow water , both delighted to be allowed to scamper freely. 

The day comes to and end. It's been a good one , and before setting off for the campsite,  because the camper is nestled in a lovely area in the dunes we stay and eat dinner here, left over chilli, I think. 

Gillyngvase Beach

3rd August 2020

17th July 2020

Gillynvase Beach 

We wake early, 5.30 am, to runners pounding by us. We weren't moved on. We got through the night, which is always a relief.
Of course, Peter is eager to get the bed put up, the curtain down and look more like we're here for the day.

The morning is sunny and warm, the Bay beautiful with the sea like a millpond.
We put our chairs out under the shade of a pretty tree, where we eat breakfast - porridge for Peter, granola for me -   and have our half hour of prayer/meditation. This is a special time for us which we rarely omit, a time to be in tune with the day, each other, ourselves and with God. It gives us joy and courage for whatever comes our way during the day.

The sea is out, exposing rocks, where we spot some small fish and talk to a mum collecting crabs with her young son. I think of the many times we spent happy days on beaches, regardless of the weather, swimming or scouring rock pools or searching for fossils. One thing for sure, you could never just be still.I miss those days sometimes. `We accompany the grandchildren now, but I'm not as able or active as I once was. 

Gillynvase beach is a short walk up the coast and the sun, even this early ( must be only about 9.30 am) is hot on us, reminding me, with the long stretch of sand too, of previous holidays around the mediteranean.

The sound of children playing, seagulls squawking, young people laughing, you wouldn't think we're living in a pandemic.

Around midday we decide to find our campsite so we can set ourselves up for the next four nights. I look forward to not worrying about finding a convenient wild camping spot. 

We put the postcode in the sat nav and follow the instructions, coming off the main road, down country lanes, and finally into a small lane (a boreen) with grass down the middle and only the width of a car.
"This can't be right," I say as we continue winding round this lane, which is not a through road and only goes to the farm. 
There are cows in the field opposite the campsite, which is obviously another field for them when it's not holiday season. We see the farmhouse tucked away behind some trees before we see the tents and campers. Ah, that's where we go.
We pull in and notice a sign that tells us to ring this number, which we did. 
"Wait there , I'll be right with you," the lady says. 
We look around and it's then I notice the view. Wow! We are on a hill and I think, it's confirmed later, that what we are looking down at is Falmouth Bay. With the blue water,  the clear blue skies, birds singing and cows mooing in the background, I feel well blessed. 
The farmer  arrives in her  jeep like vehicle, wearing boots, her face rosy and weathered, her dark hair tied back. She takes our envelope with the money in and tells us we can park anywhere at all, except where there is electric hook up, as we've not paid for that. I am so thankful we have our solar panel, which provides all the electric we need, for the fridge, the lights, our phones. It's invaluable when we're wild camping especially. We talk about how everything has to be different at the moment keeping our distance from people and watching everything we do. She is careful to keep at least 2 metres away from us at all times and with the number of people she has to see I don't blame her.

She points out where the toilets are , then leaves us to it.
There is cow smell all around us. This is truly a working farm, the campsite just an extra bit of income. I love it though.
We take a good look round to see where we can put the camper and the awning to get the benefit of the wonderful  view. 

"Ah, that's it, put the door going that way round," I say as we get to grips with the canvas, trying to work out which way round we've got the awning.
"Perfect," I  stare down at the sea, imagining having coffee, reading, eating breakfast while enjoying such a glorious picture.

Unfortunately it was short lived as later that day we get six cars with their tents park in front of us. So disappointing. But hey, that's life. Oh well.

After a quick lunch, finishing off the bread and the feta cheese, we amble back down the lane. a mile or so,  to find a map the farmer told us about. I'm keen to walk from the campsite into Falmouth. After all it's only a couple of miles, well, three at most.  Of course, it never happens. 
We find the map but can't make head nor tail of it. A lady with a large lawnmower turns up and helps us work it out, saying, "have a good holiday" as we go on our way.

We carry on to the village, Budock water, which is about a mile along the windy road.  

There's a pub with customers sitting outside, the familiar sound of "normal" chatting and laughter, echoing through the street. Lovely to see. If there's somewhere to sit we'll stay,have a drink, but no, they are full. Nobody allowed inside yet.
We pass the village shop, two older ladies queue outside next to a sign that says "Only one person allowed in at a time. Sorry for the inconvenience." Where do the villagers do their catching up these days , I wonder.
A little way on we see a woman up a ladder on the outside of a building that looks to me like a church, but turns out to be a restaurant and the lady is putting  cutlery around a clock face. You'd have to see it.
It is a church building and still has many of the features - windows, choir loft etc, which the owner has converted beautifully. Peter wants to come here for dinner before we leave. We don't, not because I won't spend the money, which could easily be the case, but simply because I couldn't enjoy it with cold sores on my lips. So painful when I eat.
We chat with the owner who tells us how to get to Maenporth Beach by the backpaths. It gets my hopes up, but , as you know already we don't do it. 

Dinner for us this evening is a bean chilli using up any vegetables that are getting a bit tired. Delicious. 
When we've cleared up we sit with our glasses( plastic, of course)  of wine and watch he sun go down over the Bay. Red, orange, even purple, the colour of the sky this evening. 

We read in bed for a while , using our head torches.


Monday, August 3, 2020


3rd August 2020

16th July 2020


I have to say I'm not sorry to be leaving Perranporth today. Not saying I haven't loved it, but can't wait to get to the south coast and explore the small coves and fishing villages. 
After breakfast and prayer, we pack up the awning - in the wind. We need to get used to our awning, which we completely under utilised on maiden voyage. As We pack it away, I try to think how we can use it better. For instance, a table and chairs and storage boxes with extra items in to make the holiday easier ( not sure what they might be). We'd have to curtail the wild camping, which we love to do. Anyway, lots of food for thought. 

 We're not hurried, although we do, theoretically have to be off the campsite by 11.00 am or was it ten? No matter.
We meet Jo at the gate an say our goodbyes, them off in the direction of Mullion and us heading towards Falmouth. 

"I'll text you. We can still meet up. WE won't be that far from each other ." We hug. We get funny looks from other campers wandering into the shop. Bloody corona virus, giving people the freedom to judge how each other behaves. Somewhere along the way I feel freedoms have been lost.

Our next campsite are insisting we have the correct amount of cash in a sealed envelope ready to hand over to them. Another result of Covid times. It means we have to work out how where we get it. 

Ah, that's the answer, go buy some petrol, we need some anyway and all petrol stations have ATMs, don't they? That'll be a no. Now we have petrol but no cash.
However, we don't actually need it till tomorrow. We will find cash later when we find the shops. Tonight we'll be wild camping. 
As we drive towards Falmouth the view of the river and boats catch my eye and I wonder just where will we be tonight. 
I ask the Lord to help us  find somewhere without too much difficulty.

Oh my word, we love the picture before us.

We park a mile or so outside the town (which we din't know at the time),  next to the River Fal and feast our eyes on the loveliness as we near the harbour, the deepest natural harbour in Western Europe, apparently. 

We slow or stop every now and then to take it all in. Peter particularly likes the boats , and there are so many of them. 

The town is quaint, with narrow streets.
Fortunately the high street is blocked to traffic between the hours of 11.00 am and 16.00 pm, which is just as well with so many people visiting. It looks as if it's part of their safety in this pandemic time. 
But even with no cars it's difficult to keep distanced from others especially when some, mostly the young, I have to admit, don't give a fig.

The place is buzzing, definitely lots of holiday makers here. We find seats on the quay and I go and buy chips, one portion for us to share - £2.50. They were nice but I'm not sure they were worth that much. I'm trying to be more receptive to these spontaneous moments that my lovely hubby likes so much.
Getting over my reluctance to spend when we don't need to and just for the joy of it is still alien to me.
I'm hoping it will get less painful with time.

Taking a look at the parking on the quay, it looks as if we could possibly park here for the night. £1.50 after 5.0 o'clock and free from midnight till 9.00 am. There is nothing to say we can't stay for the night, but later we discover that all council car parks have a "no sleeping in your vehicle" policy. Shame, it would have been great to wake up in front of the harbour.

We find a terrific place in the end, right on the coast road out of Falmouth. Others are  already parked up and we think we've found the spot listed in park4night, though not sure.

After eating dinner earlier, sausages with all the left over salad, we're now ready to set up for the night, going incognito as Peter doesn't want us to look as if we're camping. To hide we have to put a screen, the purple blanket,  between the back and the front chairs, helping to make us look less suspicious. This , unfortunately has the disadvantage of making the inside of the camper hot, especially as we obviously don't have the top up.

We go to bed early and spend a long time listening to the conversations of the many passers by. Will we be moved on, we wonder.


St Agnes

31st July 2020

15th July 2020

Today is a bit different, in that the plan is the woods rather than the beach. The weather looks a bit iffy,but to be fair it has started like that everyday so far and most times ended up sunny and warm. 

We meet up with Paul's family again. They know the place well. Three dogs run happily, two children ride bikes another is pushed in her buggy, while the adults enjoy each others company, chatting in small groups. 

The aim is to have coffee and cake ( I probably won't have cake) in the cafe in the middle of the woods. Unfortunately when we get there we find it closed. Another irritation in this Covid dominated time. It's a beautiful area with swans swimming on the pond, the water glittering, so we sit for a while on the benches outside the closed doors. Even the outside toilet isn't open.

"Come back to ours for coffee then," says Paul's mum, "it's nice enough to go in the garden." no going in the house at this time. I say nothing, but think maybe it'll be nice to do something on our own , have our coffee in the camper, go exploring. 

"Where shall we go then?" Peter waits, hands on steering wheel, ready now to drive wherever we decide.
"I'd really like to go to St Agnes, see if we can find the tins mines. It's just a few miles down the coast from  the campsite" 
"OK, let's go."
We drive to St Agnes to find the tin mines. 

Apparently Cornish tin has been produced and smelted in Cornwall for over 4000 years. 

The town of St Agnes grew up around the tin mines. It's boom years were from the 1830s to the 1870s, when the price of tin dropped and many small mines were forced to  closed.The three largest mines in the area,Wheal Kitty, Polberro and Wheal Friendly merged and as one company continued into the  1940s

St Agnes is an unexpected treasure for us. We park about half a mile outside the village and walk in, which is just as well as the roads are all so narrow and windy and there's very little parking. Also, ambling along gives us a chance to take in the beauty of it.

Coming down the hill we get a view of a tin mine in the distance.

Going further, the road down to Trevaunance Cove takes us past some lovey cottages.


We get to the cove, it's small ans busy, with surfers braving what looks to me like a rough sea. 

We find a place to sit and watch. We listen to  crashing waves compete  with squawking seagulls for which could be the most noisy - or so it seems to me.

We take these precious minutes to just be, to enjoy each others company, a rare moment just for us. We reminisce about old times when we'd have all the children in tow and sitting taking in the world around us was impossible. He holds my hand, I lean into him, grateful for our life. 

But we came here to find the mines , so we go back to the camper and drive a little way down the road to find a car park on the cliffs. From here we can see way out to see and also, apparently quite close, the tell tale chimneys of some tin mines. 


The views along the cliffs are stunning, with a dramatic coastline that takes mt breath away. Although we try to capture it in photos, they never do it justice. 

I stand in the wild heather, its colour, its glory , thrilling to me. 
We take a long, sometimes difficult,  walk along the cliff and all the while I'm lifting up my heart to the creator in thankfulness for such astonishing beauty. I can hardly contain my joy, it often brings me near to tears. And it's not only the scenery, but thinking of people, family,  friends, chance meetings, all of it gives me cause to be grateful. 

It's our last night on the campsite with Jo and Paul and we've been asked to come and have pasta with them, probably our last dinner together this holiday. We chill out, me reading and Peter playing the guitar until the children are asleep and they are ready for us, about 8.0pm. 
When we get arrive it's clear Jo has forgotten that she asked us for food, but quickly Paul gets pasta and sauce organised. We have a drink and for a couple of hours make the most of being together.