Friday, 15 June 2012

Chapter Forty four.

The weather has continued to be very mixed down here though I have to say we seem to get the better side of it. What amazes us is how it can be pouring down four miles away yet really hot just here. The storms of the last week died away and we ended up with sunshine, but still with blustery winds.
I had two days delivering at Portscatho which I thoroughly enjoyed and that finished the working week off.
Saturday was a warmer day all around and the wind eased off a fair bit. At least it eased off enough to float off the stranded yacht in St Mawes harbour. She got swept over the rocks and left high and dry up on the beach. She was leaning quite casually against the sea wall when I saw her. Fortunately she was relatively undamaged and they got her away on the high tide very early Saturday morning.
Linda and I spent most of Saturday in the garden. I got the lawn mowed and then did what I do best... sat and read a book until I was needed. The garden, as I said before, is very much Linda's preserve and I don't interfere. She has made a superb job of it and it is a treat to be out in it.
I must have been tired for some reason because I fell asleep Sunday morning within half an hour of getting up, and had another four hours shuteye in the armchair. I think its the tablets I'm on but I'm not sure. They do make me tired, but four hours seems a little excessive.
Monday saw us both back at work as normal; yet the evening that was very much less than normal.
Linda found herself at Penzance for the day working with the "Singing for the Brain" people and in the evening she was a special guest at a masonic meeting to receive a cheque on behalf of the Alzheimers Society.
Donning her posh togs, she accepted the cheque and made a short speech of thanks, followed by a little bit of networking, before heading home. It shows how far she has come on in her life because she would never have had the confidence to do something like that a few years ago. She said it all went off very well and that she enjoyed it. I was very pleased for her.
As for me, I donned the usual casual clothes and headed for the 'Kings Arms' at Tregony to join the poetry group. It was really good and I enjoyed myself. I read out two poems I had written, although you can also bring stuff along to read from other poets. I had a great evening and will go back again. Once again I am the only man there.
I learnt a new delivery at St Mawes this week. I turned up on Tuesday to find out I would be doing it blind again; just like the other duty I did two weeks ago. Nothing daunted I found my way around and now, four days later, I am pretty much up to speed on it.
Thankfully, everybody at Portscatho and St Mawes has been very helpful and the task of learning the jobs has been considerably easier than it could have been. Royal Mail wont 'waste' money on tuition if they can possibly avoid!!
Linda hurt herself the other day in the garden. She got something in her eye and it has been sore now for a while. The pain and the weeping has got worse so I took her to A & E at Trellisk hospital yesterday afternoon. The rain was thundering down and all was horrible. I left Linda and shot off to get the shopping. By the time I returned she was ready to leave and all seems to be alright at the moment.
I was of no use to her with her eye as I always feel very squeamish when it comes to eyeballs. . For that reason alone I am delighted they could do something for her. It makes me ill just squeezing drops into someone's eye, never mind having a good look to see what might be in there.
Today the wind has howled across Cornwall and was absolutely relentless. I got out of the car at St Mawes harbour and the wind sent my pen spinning from behind my ear and straight into the sea. Clutching everything else to me I fought my way across the road and into the Post Office.
Everywhere you looked, things not tied down were leaving town. A union jack flag, torn from its place at someones window, sailed over the roof tops and away. Plastic bags joined it in flight; even a beach ball shot down the road and disappearred into the harbour. It was last seen heading for France!!
The delivery was certainly an exciting one today and we had loads of laughs once out. A successful day though...not one of the three of us lost a letter. If any of us had dropped a letter today it would have been in Devon before it hit the ground.
The good news is the wind has shifted an awful lot of rain away and its become nice this afternoon.

Chapter Forty three

Last Wednesday, we got cut off by the tide...and YES!!! it was my fault. It had been a stormy old day; not raining much; but very high winds. I checked the tide tables and discovered that high tide would be at 1930 hours in the estuary. As it was expected to be a very high tide because of the full moon, plus the pressure of the southwesterley wind blowing I decided to check on it.
From our bedroom window you can get a fantastic view of the saltings so I checked from there at about 1920.
It was like a new world out there; dark and gloomy; wind blowing hard; and water everywhere on the saltings. I couldn't get out of the house quick enough and dragged Linda along with me. The lower road beneath us was full of water as normal. It can flood quite a long way along that stretch of road and in parts can reach a depth of six inches...if not more!
This whole stretch was flooded from one end to the other when we got to the bottom of our lane and joined it, so we turned right. Its quite annoying really. The water very rarely hits the houses on the side of the road because they are three or four feet higher than the road. Our house is about fifty yards from the road and about fifty feet higher. Even so; because we all share the same postcode...we have to pay extra for flood insurance just like the lower houses do. If flood water ever reaches our house; and this is highly unlikely; the only view left of the houses beneath us would be glimpses of the odd chimney pot. Drives you mad.
We walked down towards the quay and Sett bridge to see how things had turned out. On a couple of occasions the water has come over the edge of the quay so it is all very exciting. The lane twists and turns as it goes along and we turned one bend to discover the tide was lapping gently halfway across the road.
"Look at that Lin", I said in total amazement, "I've never seen the tide that far in before."
I checked my watch and it read 1945, so I spoke again.
"At least its on the turn now; it'll be going out in a moment."
We skirted the water and continued on. By the time we got to the quay we could see that the water was right across that and the creek was so deep a small yacht with what looked like a huge bearded viking aboard, was moored up alongside. We all said hello to each other as he disappeared below decks to do whatever sailors do down there and we continued around to the bridge.
The birdlife down here is extraordinary and there was a lot of it to be seen. Linda had neglected to bring her camera because she hadn't thught we would be out for long and it was quite gloomy out. She regretted that decision when we spotted a barn owl hunting along the flooded fields. As we watched it suddenly swooped down onto a dry piece of ground; moved around a little bit; then took off with a mouse or vole in its talons.
It was great to watch, although probably not for the little mammal destined to be dinner that evening. We also watched geese, swans, heron; and the like as we walked along.
Sett bridge did not let us down though and the water was almost up to the top of the arches when we got there. I didn't notice the tide going down very much considering it was now after 2015 and I was a little surprised, as was Linda.
"Are you sure you read the correct time in the tide table?
As usual Linda was beginning to think I'd made another mistake with something.
"Without a doubt," said I with the full knowledge that it definetely said 1930 in the book. Bringing my full expertise to the forefront I remarked that the tide might look like its still coming in because of the high wind.
"Its pushing the water in a bit love, that's all."
I believed it anyway and Linda accepted it as well. We've seen it before on our walks and both agreed that was probably it. We headed back to our cottage and retraced our steps along the lane. We were chatting about this and that when we walked past the quay and were still laughing and talking as we walked to the first bend in the lane just along from it.
To say I was a little surprised would be considered an understatement.
"Blimey love, look at that lot."

Before us was a river were once was the road. Now that was a surprise. Bravely I didn't scream or panic at the sight of the water covering the road; I didn't even wimper. I just stood there looking astonished while Linda called me all the idiots under the sun.
"But it shouldn't still be coming in. High tide was 1930; it said on the tide table."
I don't think Linda was impressed with my excuses. Nothing daunted anyway, Linda splashed through three inches of water in her sandals and got to the other side of the lake. I splashed behind her in my trainers and got wet socks as well as soaking trainers. I thought it best to say nothing.
Linda's face took on a funny colour about five minutes later when the road disappeared under an even deeper bit of water just around the corner.
We slopped our way home with me cursing the tide table book and threatening to write to someone about how wrong it was. We both had cold feet by this time and the wind wasn't helping.
When we finally swam into our porch, Linda beat me to the tide table book because I was still trying to get out of my socks. Its amazing how like a second skin they become when they are wet. She brought the book over to me and pointed at the time. Panic stricken I gazed at the page and my terror turned to delight when I saw the time displayed...1930 hours.
Triumphant I crowed at her, "Told you the book said 1930. They must have made a mistake."
My huge grin marked me down as really pleased with myself you understand...then Linda spoke.
"What colour is this section of the page Mully?"
She sounded deceptively sweet at this point but I took the bait.
"It's blue love."
"So it is Mully. In fact it's blue from March 25th until October 28th." She sounded a little smug now as she grinned at me.
"The blue bit is British Summer Time and the white bit is Greenwich Mean Time."
"And your point is?" says I still assuming that I got the whole thing right and it was the book that was wrong. Linda pointed to the large capital letters printed at the top of the page...
I still can't understand how I missed seeing them.
Linda smiled with that confident look that those in the right of it always had and uttered her usual phrase.
"Mully!!! You really are a big ninny".


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Chapter Forty Two

Well there has been a lot of excitement down here over the last little while. It started off a couple of weeks ago when the Olympic flame got carried through Cornwall. I am not that bothered about the Olympics I have to confess but I know that a lot of people are looking forward to it very much. If my dad was still alive I know he would be glued to the television for the entire thing.
Dad never cared what sport it was...he loved it. Main stream stuff like Football, Rugby, or Cricket; less well known, but just as hard fought sports, such as curling, handball, archery, even welly throwing or bog snorkeling, he loved the lot.
Me, I like reading about it. Watching it ; or God forbid; taking part in it, I tend to give it all a wide berth.
In fairness though I did sit and watch all the world cup final in 1966; and United winning the European cup in 1968. I've been known to sit and watch a bowls match as well so I can be quite sporty I suppose.
Having said all that; we did enjoy the spectacle of the Olympic flame going through the Duchy. We never got close enough to see it live, but we did follow it on the telly.
My god daughter, Kacey, rang me as well to say her mum and dad were coming down to visit her for a week so would we all like to meet up. That was great fun and we had both Gerry and Tessa around here for one evening; and we popped across to Summercourt for another evening.
It was good to see them again and the four of us had a great time chatting and catching up. It was good seeing Kacey and family as well. It's amazing that they only live fifteen miles away yet we rarely seem to get a chance to meet up.
That same week was the start of my fortnight at St Mawes. What a beautiful village; I just loved it. The duty they gave me was right in the heart of the place and I loved every minute of it. I even found a hairdresser who can thankfully take over looking after mine. At least he cuts it like Tessa used to, so it looks good again.
The other highlight has been the Queens Jubilee.
I am a royalist and always have been. I'm proud of the Royal Family and enjoy both the history and the pageantry of it all. Linda is of the same mind so we determined to do our bit over the weekend. Two union flags up in the front porch window seemed a good start on the Friday evening. We followed that by having a fish and chip supper at Tregony followed by a long walk on Carne Beach.The weather was glorious and we hoped it would stay like that.
I had to work Saturday but Linda was up at the farm helping out Maria with the animals. The weather remained dry although a little overcast.
It began raining on Saturday night.
It was still raining on Sunday morning when we drove up to Grampound Road to help Maria out with her stall at the Jubilee Fete. Thankfully we had our gazebo with us which we brought along and it gave a bit of cover. Our stall consisted of things to sell and a tombola. Sadly the weather kept a lot of folk away but it was great fun for all that. Maria is hoping to get Charity status for her farm and then she can continue in her rescuing of small animals.
A good day out for the two of us, but it was still raining when we went to bed.
Monday dawned bright and sunny and it was as if no rain had ever fallen in Cornwall. We had the day to ourselves until late in the evening, when we were going to the 'lighting of the Jubilee Beacon' up the road.
We decided to spend the day on another 'Donald Vage' walk and chose the one that goes from Perranzabuloe to Perranporth and return.
We drove across to the north coast, which only took us half an hour and set off from the churchyard.
A beautiful old church, sadly locked up tight, but with an amazing churchyard. In the main it has been allowed to run wild; although in a controlled sort of way; for the obvious benefit of wildlife. The insect population must be staggeringly large. The wild flowers were breathtaking and I never thought Linda would leave it.
We walked through fields and 'green' lanes with the sea always just in front of us. In the village of Bolingey we found a nice pub, although we never went in to prove how nice it was, and we also found the most wonderful thatched white cottage.
So typical of the ideal one has in mind of cottages down in the west country.
 The pub looked really good as well and summed up my idea of village pubs completely.
The walk soon led us into Perranporth and we sat on the wall overlooking the beach and ate our sandwiches. The coffee in the flask had a generous dollop of the old 'Tullamore Dew' in it and that put a spring in the step for the walk back.
 The sunshine shone throughout the walk and we had a lovely time on the walk. There is always so much to see down here and its never boring.
Later that evening we drove up to the field were the beacon was to be lit. It proved a great opportunity to meet up with more of the villagers and the people who make up our community. The other day I delivered all the Roseland magazines for the village as Gary was away. I had a great time and was delighted to help out. Its a fantastic way of meeting up with people as well.n This proved the case at the beacon were we were both recognised by others and made to feel very welcome.
Our beacon was the official one for the Roseland, and by chance the highest point here is this field in our parish. It was a good chance to have a chat; sample some excellent local sausages in bread rolls; and also to try a local home made cider. A very nice if slightly squiffy evening. I loved it and the beacon was a great success. Its amazing what a bit of petrol soaked wood can do at the touch of a burning rag.
   I bet they could see it in London. A nice touch as well was when we all joined in and sang 'God save the Queen'. Young and old alike, it made for a magical moment.
The following afternoon we all met up again at our little village hall known as 'The Reading Room'. There we all sat down to a wonderful spread consisting've guessed it; cream teas for all. Very nice and very tasty. It made a really fitting end to the Jubilee weekend.
And the best news of all...I get an extra day off this week as wednesday is my day off. Yeehah!!!an extra day all for me.

Chapter Fortyone

 It is only right and proper now that I give you all an update on the garden. Linda is the main driving force behind it; I am merely the slave who does as he's told. Actually that's not strictly true. The garden is Linda's passion; her escape; her bolthole. I wouldn't interfere with it one jot. I leave her to work in it and I do the bits she asks me to do. Invariably that is mowing the lawn.
Incredibly she also asks me to do some other little jobs...such as fixing up the hanging baskets. Clutching my drill to my chest; my heart in my mouth; and butterflies in my stomach; I approached the wall and fixed them up there.
It is a mark of my own confidence in myself that I am no longer rushing out to check if they have stayed up. Since this photo was taken, Linda has set out trough's of plants underneath the basket's to good effect.
The view to the right of the baskets is the greenhouse.
This is now a lovely place to sit out in and catch the sun in the afternoon.
The greenhouse has been full of plants and Linda has finally got most of them out in the garden proper. All the veg this year is being grown in tubs so hopefully we shall have a good crop of stuff. Due to the nature of the soil, Linda has planted more tubs this year with both veg and flowers than ever before.

Even that archway I put up seems to have survived the strong winds and the bad weather of last winter.. Hopefully when the roses grow up around it they should anchor it further.

It is so quiet here though that you can easily forget that a world sits out there just up the road. I have been reading the series 'Game of Thrones ' at the moment and its amazing how I can forget the time just sitting out side. I fell asleep the other afternoon when I got back from St Mawes and slept in the garden for almost five hours. That's were Linda found me when she came back home.
I'm afraid the table and chairs out there can be very inviting on a bright, sunny day. The tree in the garden is a pear tree and Linda has taken that under her wing a bit as well. She dug out and got rid of the ivy that was threatening to choke it and it has responded with a huge amount of fruit. It is early days as yet but the tree is covered with tiny pears just waiting to grow and ripen. I'm not a great lover of pears but I'll eat them if they're free.
On the right of this picture is a little fence put up to disguise the gas tank. We don't get gas piped into the house through pipes and have to rely on it being delivered and stored by 'Flogas'. Linda made the fence herself from so old leftover material from the house in Godalming. She trimmed it and staked it out and its doing a pretty good job. There was a little left over and she used that to make a gate into the greenhouse. This has had to go up there to keep Percy and Pippy Chick out of the place.
We don't mind them coming into the garden but we object to them scoffing the young plants. Fortunately they only eat the seed that spills onto the floor from the bird feeders.
Actually...thats not strictly true either. Linda also has a pot of food and will scatter a bit on the ground for when they both come in. This is Pippy Chick standing on our table. We haven't seen her for several days although Percy has wandered into the garden a few times. Linda suspects that she is sitting on a nest incubating some eggs. Hopefully she will survive any predators around here and rear a little family. With any luck they may bring the young ones into the garden as well.

Chapter Forty

I have managed to get the photographs off Linda of the end of the Saints Way. It was a lovely day for walking and the views were very special from the top of the tor. Our walk took us along a silent path from there and we found this mysterious little place alongside it.
Obviously it is well looked after as the whole area has been mown and kept neat and tidy...but there is no mention of it anywhere that we could find. It is hard to tell if it is new or old. Is it prehistoric? Perhaps a site of ancient worship? Is it something cobbled together recently as a small picnic or play area? Or is it just something done for crop circles?
We have no idea and can only wonder at the mystery of it. However; for two people as perceptive as us; we could only marvel at the peace and tranquility of the place and felt no 'bad vibes' at all.
Later on in the walk we came across this standing stone. This does have a bit of history to it and gave a sense of time and permanence to the place.
I could feel the connection as I stood there between these two places. The lovely old church behind us and the ancient standing stone we had just passed. I just had to stop and look back. I know that one of them is a place of worship; could the older one be such as well? It certainly felt like it.
It was later that evening, after we got back to the tor, that my day really got crowned. I wandered over half the site on our last visit with both Linda and I trying to find the 'Logan Rock'. Three tons of granite, it balances on the landscape and will wobble under your feet if you rock back and forth.
Finally we found the thing, and yes, it can make you feel a little queasy as it rocks under you. Even more so when you think that if it're going to be falling alongside three tons of very unforgiving rock.
 It rocked quite a bit with just me on it. You can imagine how much it rocked with both of us.
This is us after we both climbed back off the silly thing. We're hanging on to each othe rin case we fall off. Great fun though.