Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Minack

22nd August 2021

The Minack

"Anyone want a cup of tea?" I call out, lifting the kettle to fill it anyway. I wince at the pain, my hands aching after spending a couple of hours scraping old embossed wallpaper from walls in the hallway. 

"Please..." they all - hubby, daughter and son in law -  shout back in unison.

We sit unceremoniously around the large farmhouse table, four mugs, two plastic beakers containing water for the grandchildren - Raphy must have the dark blue one and Molly the pink- and snacks of biscuits and fruit to keep us going. We're all tired and I promise after my cup of tea I'll read some stories to the children, after all we have been neglecting them a bit. And I didn't say it but I'd had enough of scraping the walls. My back, my legs, my hands... Yes, even if I have to read Grimwort's Ghosts for the twentieth time, at least it'd be a rest for my body.

"Mum and Dad, we've got a surprise for you," Jo was eager to tell us her news. Paul sat there with a smile on his face. 

"What surprise?" I didn't like surprises. Must be my incessant desire to control every environment that I'm in. I tried to muster up some enthusiasm. Maybe I should have said, "A surprise, how lovely, what is it?" Easy to know how to react in retrospect. My query was, on the contrary, tinged with suspicion. Am I even going to like this surprise?

"We've got you tickets for the Minack Theatre for next week."  The Open air theatre, really? What if it rains? What if it's cold? What if I hate the performance? So many negative thoughts circling in my head. Yes, I know, you think I'm ungrateful. Probably I am.  And it must have shown on my face. I didn't mean it to. I tried for it not to.    

"You don't have to go. Me and Paul can use the tickets and you guys can babysit," I heard the hurt in her words. She was deflated.  Paul looked confused. I mean it was a present they were giving us.

"Well, I'd love to go, Jo. Thank you very much." said my dear hubby. 

"No, we'll go. What's on anyway? It's just, you know, I don't like surprises." Was I  making it worse. 

"Shakespeare's, "A Winter's Tale" , you'll love it mum." I hoped I would. I decided if I didn't get wet or cold, that would be a win.  

Porthchapel Beach

When the day came for our visit, we decided to make a day of it and get to see some of the area around the theatre - beaches, coast path, etc -   especially as it was meant to be really beautiful and we    wouldn't get back there again on this trip. 

After 9.30 Mass in Camborne we set off for Porthcurno, Penzance. As far as I recall the sat- nav predicted the journey would take about forty minutes. The last part of the journey took longer than expected. I  kept thinking we were nearly there, and that the sat-nav must be wrong, only to find more narrow roads to negotiate.   


After checking out where we had to go later and speaking to an official,  who told us the Theatre car park would be open at six o'clock, we headed off to find another car park we'd spotted back up the hill. which had a big sign saying   "All day - £3". 

"We'll just park there, then we won't have to worry," Peter said. I agreed. 

We set off for a walk, bringing nothing with us, not even beach attire. That was a mistake. We also had no water. Another mistake. 

It was a long walk, maybe half an hour, including the climb down, to Porthchapel Beach. It was beautiful. After an hour enjoying the sun and talking to a family Margate - yes, what are the odds? - I started to worry about hubby being hungry and more importantly needing fluids. 

Porthchapel Beach

On the way back up we asked a few people if they knew anywhere that sold food and drink, a cafe or something. Two options, both the same distance as going back to the car, and that's only if we found them. 

"I've actually got  something for dinner in the fridge," I said. "And I'll make coffee. It'll be easier."

"Ok, if you want," he'd have preferred to find a cafe, but didn't say anything. 

He handed me an empty plate. 

"I thoroughly enjoyed that," he said. 

"Yeh, it was good, wasn't it?"

A few new potatoes, some salad and a pork chop. What could be better?

He played  his guitar while we drank our coffee.

We had another walk along the coast path in the afternoon , but in the direction of Porthcurno Beach. We didn't make it down. We were quite happy walking. Every now and again someone would stop to talk to us. 

Porthcurno Beach

When we got back to the camper we had another cup of coffee and some raisins, before heading off to the theatre.

"Where's your raincoat?" hubby was packing a rucksack with items we might need.

"Under the seat," I said, "and have you got the blankets?"

"Of course."

Off we went to queue, both carrying a cushion each. 

During the performance, which I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed, we watched seasoned theatre goers with their picnic baskets - cheese and wine, Cornish pasties, soups. It was amazing. If we get to go again we must be more organised.  

The theatre company, a small touring group from somewhere in London, were phenomenal. 

I've never read that particular play of Shakepeare's. Seeing that performance certainly made me want to. 

we will be back, that's for sure. 


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

I'm Back - Maybe...

 18th Aug 2021

I'm Back - Maybe...

Having not posted anything on my blog since 30th April, the last day of the Poem a Day in April challenge - is it really that long?- I was surprised to find that in July I had over 12,000 visits and this month already, with a little way  still to go, there are over 700.

How interesting to find that people are finding my blog when I'm not even pushing it. 

Total visits now stand at over 86,000. That's not bad, really, is it? 

Thank you to everyone who looks me up and reads my words. 

Today I'm here , on the blog that is, because I'm avoiding working on my memoir.  After a break of more than five weeks, I'm finding it excruciatingly difficult to get started again. 

So, this is writing, right? Giving those writerly muscles a workout - yes? I mean, I need it. I haven't even been doing my morning pages!! I know !! How can I even admit that!!

Why, you may ask, has there been such a long break? 

Well, mainly, it's because hubby and I have been in Cornwall. No, no, no, not touring in the camper. That would have been nice. No, we were with our daughter and her family. We helped them move to their new(?) house, with the idea that hubby would put in a new bathroom for them. Shouldn't take long, I thought, maybe a week, then we can have a bit of a holiday. No chance.

 Eventually, after nearly four weeks Peter and Son in Law finished said bathroom to  triumphant shouts of joy from the rest of us. I hadn't even washed my hair in all that time, or had a shower. I didn't mind too much. We are used to wild camping, after all.

I was kept busy all this time helping with "decorating" (code for stripping the wallpaper off the walls in the hallway-a mindblowingly slow process), cooking, entertaining the children and going for walks on beautiful beaches. 

Unfortunately, and the reason why I didn't write, they hadn't yet got internet at the house and even the phone signal was poor. So, not only didn't I write but I also didn't keep in touch with anyone by phone. 

But now we're home and hopefully I'm ready to go...