Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Chapter Seventy One

It seems a long time since Easter and here we are now at almost the end of April. In fact it is St Georges Day today although you wouldn't know it by the apathy towards it in this country. We celebrate St Patricks day more in England than we do St George.
Anyway...enough of all of that.
Firstof all..the bad back. Its amazing what an orthopaedic riser can achieve. The thing arrived the day after I wrote my last blog and the relief has been incredible. Not only can I now safely see out of the windscreen and side windows, but there is no more back pain either.
I did report the collapsed seat as did the driver before me. As a proper Health and Safety thing I had hoped it would be sorted out, but it was not to be. Instead I have fixed it myself and I have to was £40-00 well spent. I'm now sitting up four inches higher and can see the bonnet of the van; my back is now straight and not bent into a curve so the pain has gone; and I can get in and out of the vehicle without struggling.
Its knocked over thirty minutes excess time off the duty just on that alone. Incredible. I would reccommend the company (Ivybridge) to anybody.
The last few weeks have been very mixed with the weather, although predominately dry. There has been a lot of sunshine about but the wind has been very cold at times. We've even had a little bit of frost on the odd morning.
I couldn't resist taking this photograph. Its not every day an oil rig comes into Falmouth. It was quite a surprise looming out of the mist the other day.
This is the first year in ages were the ends of my fingers didn't split or crack during the winter. Instead it has happened in the last couple of weeks. They got so sore and painful that it hurt doing the most normal of things. I couldn't even type on the keyboard. Thankfully now, the prodidious use of vast amounts of vaseline on them has gpt my hands back in line.
All is going well with the NCI and I am enjoying myself hugely. Classes are a huge boost and I am learning a lot. It all backs up the tuition I am getting from my mentor (Bob), and I hope to be a fully operational Coast Watcher before this season ends.
I take a marine radio test in another few weeks time and I'm looking forward to that as well. I already have the Phonetic Alphabet covered and am able to do that quite well. I practice by reading car number plates out loud...VF55KOV...Victor Foxtrot Fiver Fiver Kilo Oscar Victor. It all helps and I'm getting faster at it.
My poetry is going pretty good as well and I am enjoying writing some of that down. I wrote a piece about my dad a while ago and I was well pleased. The group liked it too so that was good. I am also getting a couple of 300 word pieces of prose into the local newspaper each week as well. I've been sending the pieces in to the Country Notebook section of the Western Morning News.
Linda is very busy with her work at the moment and is deeply involved in helping people with Altzheimers. She has a few plans about this which are getting her very excited. I will write more about that as things develop.
Talking of things developing...she is 'Digging for Victory' up at her allotment and very busy with all things horticultural. The garden looks brilliant and the allotment is beginning to take on a wonderful shape. We shall be eating home grown veggies fairly soon I should think.
Lucy gave Linda some odd coloured vegetables for a Christmas present. Things like PURPLE carrots and such like.We are looking forward to seeing these grow...and then eating them.
Add to this the mug that Fiona gave her which reads 'Head Gardener', and both the girls have contributed in one way or another towards Linda's gardening this year. We may let them try a purple carrot each.
Work is going on a plenty and I am still at St Mawes. I have just worked three weeks there without a day off and enjoyed every minute. It really is the best duty I could have ever been given down here. I am driving; I'm working with a nice group of people; and I'm beside the sea. Such a pity I couldn't have brought some of the gang down from Farnham...or some of my Bentley customers.
All of us new entrants have only been given a three month contract this time around instead of our usual six month one. Its a bit worrying.  I shall continue to hope all will be well and shall just wait and see.
This flag was blowing proudly in the wind the other day. It is a cornish flag of St Pirran with a union flag in the upper corner. I have to admit that I like it.
We had a lovely walk the other weekend. I fancied doing the walk between Winnow and Lerryn. Lerryn was were I used to stay when I first came to Cornwall years ago. In our Donald Vage walking books he shows the walk, and there is even a photograph of Mr and Mrs Bennett who used to look after the place.
As usual the walk was very different and we enjoyed it very much. We even had a couple of pints in the Ship Inn before heading back.
One thing made me laugh the other day. I bent a couple of rules to help a customer out. Nothing drastic, but something that most staff would do. Certainly, it was morally right if not within the rules. Anyway...all problem.
Then the one thing you hope never happens...the customer wrote to the management team to thank me for going the extra mile.
I know they meant it with the best of intentions; I know my managers accept I did it for the best of intentions; it is just unfortunate that the road to trouble is also paved with the best of intentions; so I had to get a telling-off.
I don't know who was more upset about it, or more embarassed...but I did feel very sorry for the poor line manager who had to tell me off.
Anyway...the world still turns.
We had a couple of visitors down to our neck of the woods during the last week and that was nice. Farnham posties popping in to say hi and sharing a meal.
First of all it was Gary Horne and his family. I've known Gary for over thirty years and it was good catching up and chatting about old times. Liz is lovely, (far to good for Gary ha ha), and she and Linda hit it off straight away. They also had the children with them and it was nice once again to have the sound of youngsters in the house. Todd is a smashing little chap and Francesca is a delight. They obviously take after their mum...
Our second visitor was Derek Snozwell. Just Derek had come down, and he was staying with an old pal of his for a few days. It was good to see the big guy. Lin and I took him up to Tregony and had a meal up there with him.
We have been without a telephone for a few days now and without signal for our mobiles, communications are patchy at best. It meant we knew Derek was coming but couldn't organise anything...hence the meal at the pub.
We had another meal at another pub this week as well.
All those weeks at the quiz nights across the road had won us a free meal with Gary and Jeanette, Matt and Larissa, and Brian. We all turned up last Wednesday and a good time was had by all. They are a smashing crowd and it was such a laugh. Great fun.
This is the top of the maze

This weekend we visited the Tregothnan Estate for their garden open weekend. They have a tea plantation there and is quite unique in Britain. I had no idea that tea bushes are from the same plant family as the Camellia. There are thousands of Camellia's growing in this neck of the woods so I suppose tea was a logical choice.
Matt and Brian both work on the estate and Larissa lives with Matt. They said to come up and it was well worth it. They even have a camellia maze up looked beautiful with the flowers on it. We weren't allowed onto the plantation bit but they have a small section laid out to give you an idea of what a plantation looks like.
This is what the tea plantation looks like on a tiny scale

A fantastic day out and we enjoyed ourselves.
We are both off work for a week now. Linda is spending a couple of days on her allotment although we did both go to Truro on Monday first. We both had jobs to do and we also wanted to visit the Museum of Cornwall as well.
A fascinating museum and worth the visit.
Tuesday, Linda and I went beach combing on Carne Beach. Linda found driftwood for her model making and I cleared two huge bags of plastic bottles up.
The Poetree group had a small lunch on the day , and because I was off work I was able to go as well...great fun.
And now it is Wednesday and we are going up-country to see family and friends. We are looking forward to it. Tonight we are having dinner with my two girls...and I can't wait.

This is Fiona and Woody.

This is Lucy and Jon.