Sunday 29 August 2021

July in all it's Glory.

 July started with us still in semi-lockdown. Himself had announced earlier in the year it would be a good time to finally clear the conservatory of the boxes that have been in there since we moved in and make it somewhere habitable. I'm sure I've said before we have never bothered to unpack properly  because we only planned to be here for a couple of years, apparently it's now 5 years later (I still refuse to believe it's that long even though I've seen calendar proof) So fair play.   

This meant coming up with a plan for all the stuff which was to go through it all, repack and store it in the garage, simple you might think but no...  

The easy bit was to buy clear plastic stacking boxes with lids which would become our new storage solution. Before anything could move though, whilst out on our evening walks we had to locate, and liberate, within easy carrying distance of the house a couple more pallets for them to stand on. That took a bit of time. Himself also had to put some sort of lock onto the garage door as the current one is broken. This also turned out to be more complicated than we had hoped and involved drilling into the brickwork on each side and adding a bar that could be padlocked.Of course none of what was needed for that was easily available in a shop and had to be ordered online, then the battery of the drill wouldn't charge so Himself had to walk down to my brother's house to borrow his but eventually it was done.

That left me with the task of the actually clearing out and cleaning. 

I have been through the boxes a couple of times since we have been living here, each time a fair bit went to charity or into the bin and we'd have a bit more space. It took a couple of weekends to do that again and some more stuff did head to the charity shop. The rest was cleaned/washed and repacked into the storage boxes before being garaged, all bar two boxes of Christmas bits and some other things we need regularly that is. I also washed down the wall and windows, scrubbed the floor, carried the papasan chair through from the kitchen where it had become a dumping ground rather than a chair to sit in, and moved my plants around a bit. 

That's not even all the plants in there, you can see why Himself calls it the jungle room! The cushion with the monkey was a jumper I knitted myself in the 80's and couldn't bear to get rid of when I stopped wearing it.

I had a couple of days off work to do some heavy duty gardening which was much needed and also caught up with my train buddies* Liz, Carole and Simon for a long overdue lunch with lots of prosecco. It had been over 2 years and lots had happened in between. (*we all used to work at the library and caught the same train to work each morning.) 

July was flying by and all of a sudden it was my birthday weekend! 

I finished work on the Thursday and we grabbed a quick dinner before walking over to Nephew Number One's house for a drink and a catch up with him and his partner. He and I are both big spiced rum fans so I took over the bottle I bought in St Ives.

It's the second one in from the left and sadly it wasn't great so I won't be in a hurry to get any more. As you can see we did give it a thorough taste test!

On the Friday my friend Charlotte came over. It had poured with rain up to then but the Friday was glorious so we went for a lovely walk and then had lunch in Prezzo because I had a voucher for a free bottle of birthday prosecco. We sat out on their balcony and ate and ate before waddling back here and collapsing in the garden loungers. It was so lovely to catch up in person, to actually see each other face to face, so we literally talked ourselves hoarse! 

She bought be the most awesome Snoopy tea towel which I can't possibly use, and this very cool book.

Saturday was my birthday so after presents and breakfast in bed, boiled eggs and bucks fizz in case you were wondering. I wore the dress from St Ives complete with this amazing necklace from lovely Mim.

It was ridiculously hot and due to get even hotter the next week so Himself ordered a new fan and we popped into town to pick it up. Despite leaving the windows and curtains shut in hot weather this house is always like the fiery pits of hell by the evening when the weather is hot, I think it's because it's a really well insulated house and it's south facing. Our bedroom is unbearable to sleep in at night so we have a floor standing fan up there which points across the foot of the bed and aids with sleeping. Working from home has been hard though when the weather is toasty so the new fan was for the kitchen. 

After we got back we just retired to the garden moving our loungers round with the sun to keep in the shade. My Mum called in with prosecco and some birthday pennies,

 Followed by my brother and then my sister in law after she finished work (they bought me this fab bag!) so more chairs were added and more corks popped. A blissful lazy day.

I was thoroughly spoiled

among other things with books, a sample above and this lovely necklace.

The following weekend was my Mum's birthday so we liberated Dad from his care home and headed to Prezzo again for a family dinner. This time there were 8 of us for lunch and a good time was had by all. We wheeled Dad down one side of the shopping precinct and up the other so he could have a look around, his first chance in about 18 months before delivering him back. 

Sunday was Mum's birthday so we headed over to my brother's house before going to pick her up and take her out for Sunday lunch, after which we went back to Mum's for the rest of the afternoon. I was super excited to see Bobby the cat again but he was certainly NOT excited to see us! It has just been him and Mum for so many months now he was outraged at having his house invaded and sulked, though never very far from Mum. Wherever she is he is.

I'll leave you with some garden pictures. 

I have been loving all the baby birds, in particular this little fella who has been well trained by his red breasted parents and follows me everywhere when I am out in the certain knowledge he will get treats! 

The veggie containers have been going great guns, we have had so many courgettes! Also beans, carrots and radishes. I really must stop growing tomatoes though, they always get blight so I currently have bowls of green tomatoes all over the kitchen which may or may not ripen inside. 

I also tried growing dalihas from seed along with Monty from Gardener's World and despite the best efforts of the slugs who chomped them to the point of extinction I finally had my first flower.

I tidying and re-potted most of my pots and tubs and they have paid me back with a wonderful show. I do keep finding new things to buy, the last time we moved one whole van load was my plants I think it would be more than that now!

Monday 16 August 2021

The Seaside Town with the Most Beautiful Light in Britain.

 So it's no surprise St Ives gets as busy as it does. We had deliberately chosen to go when the kids were still meant to be in school in the hope it would be quiet so it was disappointing to find it was busier than we had hoped it would be. Mind you by sheer fluke I did manage to miss the G7 summit by a week which was a huge bonus I had no idea that was due to be a skip and a hop down the road when I was looking at St Ives as a holiday destination! 

As it happens that did have a knock on effect for a lot of people because there had been a couple of positive covid cases. Meaning they had had to trace who they had been in touch with, and then where all of those people had been eating. This basically resulted in about two thirds of all the restaurants in St Ives being closed due to staff shortages as they all had to isolate! As it was pre-restrictions being lifted you had to book places to eat in advance so suddenly there were a LOT of people frantically trying to find somewhere else to eat. Ironically we were fine because Himself hates fish, so we had gone for Italian and pub food meaning none of our reservations were cancelled!

We do want to visit more of Cornwall but as it was still lockdown we decided we would go somewhere we knew, as we had both fallen head over heels for St Ives it was a no brainer. We even went back to the same B&B because despite the downside of being up an insane hill, it was lovely. This time though I booked the room with the sea view, we were not disappointed. 

No Pimms with the landlady this time and no cooked breakfast either, but there was a bigger kettle as well as a toaster in the room, then cereals, milk, bread, butter, fresh fruit, snack bars and biscuits downstairs. You just helped yourself each day. We bought eggs at the Co-op in town as we had brought our electric egg boiler with us so we could have a more substantial breakfast prior to the walks we had planned each day.  

We arrived at about 4.30pm did a hasty unpack and went straight out to reacquaint ourselves with this gorgeous place. Seeing what had changed, which shops had closed and which ones were new and just generally unwinding after a 5 hour train journey. 

Crazily we had left in a torrential downpour but this was the weather when we arrived. Bliss.

We had a late dinner reservation so we mooched about the harbour and two of the beaches before going back to sit in the bay window of our room and drink in the view, I swear I felt myself getting lighter by the second as I forgot about work and all that shit. We changed and heading out for dinner which was the first of our two Italian dinners and delicious. We walked back via the beach so

night time beach selfie! 

I took my denim jacket with me which became a bit of a nightmare as I haven't worn it since I broke my shoulder. Denim jackets have no give in them and even with help I had to wrestle myself into it each time we went out, lesson learnt there.

Now there is a view I would happily wake up to each morning, minus the iron obvously! 

Our plan for the day was to walk most of the Pilgrim's, or St Michael's Way. We had a leisurely breakfast before walking down into town and out the other side to catch a bus towards Marazion, our idea being to walk the route backwards. It's too long to walk in one day, but our plan was to miss out the bit we had already done between Lelant and St Ives which made it a more manageable 12 mile walk. There is a hill you can climb in the middle which give stunning views in both directions so that was also part of the plan.

Look at this gorgeous view, it helped make the fact the bus was cancelled and we had to wait 45 minutes for the next one a bit easier to take. As it turns out we should have taken that as a sign for the rest of our day...

We got off the bus about two miles from Marazion and walked from there down to the beach to start our route from the beginning of the causeway to St Michael's Mount, sadly the sea was in so we couldn't start from the island itself.

From there we headed to Marazion Marsh, the walk cuts across the marshes but we had a mooch around there first so I could look at the bird and plant life. Weirdly there was a sign on the post next to these steps saying the pathway was closed for construction work, yet there was no other indication anything amiss so we carried on. We tried to find the road where you could join the walk but got lost so we went back to the marsh and followed the path there. 

A little way in there was another sign, one of those big yellow ones you see next to road works, again saying the pathway ahead was closed but as it was just a grass footpath through marshes and woodland we couldn't figure out what they were for. Well we finally found out, two miles into the walk we reached where you have to cross the train tracks and here was where the construction work was clearly taking place! 

There was no one there and you could see from the way one of the barriers had been pulled back and bent someone else had clearly ignored the construction and carried on. We decided it wasn't worth the risk and turned back as in theory there was another place to join the walk in the direction of Penzance so we headed that way. Would you believe it not one, not two but in three places the coastal path that links Penzance and Marazion was closed for some sort of construction work. I couldn't help feeling that they had had the whole of the spring and early summer when everything was in full lockdown to do the work but instead they wait until the holidays are just beginning. By the time we had made it round these closures it was way too late to continue with the walk as we had to get back in time for a dinner reservation and we would complete the 12 miles in time. So we decided to walk into Penzance and have a mooch about but by the time we got to the outskirts by the train and bus stations it was raining. As we passed through the bus station we spotted a bus to St Ives just about to leave so we took it as a sign and dived on it.

We ended up walking over 6 miles just trying to get started! but as I said to Himself we still had a lovely day out until the weather changed and it's a reason, as if we need one, to come back again and actually complete the walk.

We got in, got changed and went straight out for dinner as we had a fairly early reservation, our second Italian which was not as nice as the previous night but very entertaining courtesy of the people from the Peak District at the table next to us waxing lyrical about "Not only Mr Tom Cruise but also Mr Harrison Ford" being in town for filming. 

From there we went to the Co-op and bought a bottle of wine which we took back with us to drink sitting in the bay window watching the night fall. Bliss.

The next day was warm and started bright but slowly became more and more grey and overcast.

We walked the coastal path towards Zennor, going further this time than before but we still couldn't go all the way. It's a very challenging part of the South West Coastal path, involving scrambling over rocks which I knew I couldn't do with my shoulder.

I don't know if it was due to the lovely warm early spring weather, followed by all the rain this year but the abundance of flowers on the cliffs was breathtaking. 

There were so many orchids too.

When it started to get challenging we headed back. First port of call when we got into town were for some chips after which we just mooched round doing some shopping, visiting a craft fair and whatever else took our fancy. 

I bought a new rum to try and a gorgeous handmade elephant necklace, as well as gifts for Mum and Dad. I was also going to buy a dress for myself but Himself whisked it off me and bought for my birthday in July instead.

 We bought an ice cream and took the scenic route through the graveyard by the sea back to our b&b. It was so peaceful and again the flowers here were lovely.

There were even orchids growing all over here too, so beautiful.

Dinner was at a pub that came with great reviews. I had the most delicious piece of fish with homemade tartar sauce because unlike Himself I adore fish. 

The weather was starting to turn but not enough to stop us walking round to Porthminster beach and back barefoot along the beach and through the harbour as the sea was right out.

Over night it started to rain and by morning was pouring so we ended up having to kill time in a couple of cafes before picking some sandwiches and drinks for our train journey home. Not that it dampened our love for the town one tiny bit. It was a blissful break and did us both the world of good.