Sunday, 3 November 2013

Chapter Eighty Three

Linda and I paid a visit to the church at St Just the other day. I don't know why it has taken us so long to go there. I park 100 yards away from it every day when on delivery but I had never been inside.The Sunday dawned bright and clear so we decided to go for a walk. I drove us over to St Just and we walked through the village and followed the footpath down to the creek beside Penpol.
Linda was delighted with the amount of black berries and rosehips still out and has made a note to come back here again. We followed the path alongside the creek, through Tregorland and around to the church. One of my ladies is moving from the area and we had seen a photo taken of her property from the air. It was this photo that made me realise just how much was down here alongside the Bar.
As we approached the Bar, we saw this wonderful old church sitting across the lagoon in all its glory.

  To the right of this picture is the Carrick Roads and it leads in on this bit to the creek at St Just. Between this picture and the sea is a spit of land which is an extension of the ground that the boat yard uses. This spit of land is called 'The Bar' and is what has formed the lagoon in front of the church. Part of the lagoon is full of boats which are either stored here for the winter or worked on from the boatyard.
Sadly the tide is out in this picture but it is still a lovely place.
 I imagine it can be a busy and bustling kind of place in season with holidaymakers walking around the paths and through the churchyard. There would also be the work of the boatyard going on, which must surely be noisy at times. On this day however it was very still and peaceful. The only artificial sound close by was the sound of ropes slapping against masts in the fitful wind. This is a sound I could listen to for hours; so evocative of the sea it overwhelms me as much as the cry of a seagull or the sound of waves crashing onto a beach. Perfect.
Needless to say, Linda and I adopted our usual routine when exploring places like this. Linda moved silently around the place, admiring the nature and the fabric of the place while taking photographs of much better pictures than I can. Meanwhile I absorbed the history of it all and drifted in my mind through the time and place it showed me.
It really was a brilliant afternoon.
I did feel a little guilty though. All through the year, I have been stopped by holiday makers walking through St Just who have asked me where the nearest cafe or pub is. Repeatedly I have told them that the nearest chance of a drink...either tea and coffee or alcohol...is in St Mawes. Imagine my shame when Linda and I finally walked into the church and found they have tea and coffee making facilities laid on for people who call in. All the makings are there and you just put a donation in the box.
I had a red face for hours.
The rest of the next week was taken up with work and so on. My van door finally gave up the ghost and I could not open it from the inside. I had to leave the window permanently open and reach out through it to open the van door from the outside. That was a very long hour and a half I must say. I spent the rest of the week driving a reserve van. This van was resplendent in Royal Mail insignia but was white instead of red. This confused many people who thought it was yet another downside of the privatisation of the business.
Mum also got the 'all-clear' from the hospital concerning her suspected cancer in the stomach. We all know why they were so concerned but it turned out to be a large hernia. Thats a weight off the old mind.
I also received my copy of Tricia's book about St Polycarps in Farnham. It is a wellwritten and interseting book and I have enjoyed reading through it. Needless to say...I am in the book in a photograph. It is the one of me on my first day at school aged five. Its hard to believe it was in 1959.
The innocent days of my childhood had barely three years left before the monsters came...but this photo is a reminder of the happy times I had as a child in 'Wishanger'. Wonderful
Most of the rest of the week was taken up in preparation for the big storm that was brewing out in the Atlantic.
This storm was certainly a huge one and, as it turned out, deadly and damaging to much of the country. People were sadly killed, and there was much damage to property and much disruption. Like everybody else we made all the preparation necessary, and viewed the approach with some misgivings...then it avoided us anyway.
The Saturday was quite a breezy day and it got very windy in the evening when Linda went to work. Fiona and Woody are down and staying in Polgooth and I was concerned for all three of them. Linda had battened down the garden, including making sure the guinea pigs were safe. I helped by rushing out side and saving my three garden gnomes. Linda came in and found all three of them huddled in the porch and safe. Strangely...she was not impressed.
 I shall probably keep them in now until Spring. I haven't told Linda.
The early wind from the storm howled around the house until almost midnight when it suddenly stopped and became quite peaceful. It was still like that when I woke up and got ready for my last watch this season at the lookout.
Linda got home off her night duty and said that it was blustery at Portscatho but quite clear. When I got to the lookout I discovered it was blowing a force 6 or 7 with occasional gusts of gale force 8. The skies were clear however and it was quite dry. It was still like that when Fiona and Woody turned up just before the end of my watch. It was good to see them and exciting in the strong wind...and that was the extent of our storm of the century.
The following morning I awoke to no power cuts, no damage, and barely any wind at all. I left for Truro twenty minutes early so that I would not be to late if there were any problems...and all that happened was, I was twenty minutes early into work. It appears that the main force of the storm didn't really landfall until somewhere further east in the Plymouth area.
It was a narrow escape as all day long I listened to reports of problems from the rest of the country.
That evening Linda and I had a couple of visitors in the shape of Derek and Jayne. They are down for a long weekend and so we met up and had a meal with them. It was as if the storm had never taken place.
I saw Fiona and Woody twice through the week...both times in a pub and both times taking part in a pub quiz. We called ourselves 'Farnham meets Ruan Lanihorne' and it was a good laugh. Sadly Linda couldn't join us as she was working a week of twelve hour days.
My very good friend Fleetwood Butland surprised us the other day. His wife, who I sadly never met, was called Nancy. By all accounts she was a lovely lady and was a nurse for all her working life. I told Fleet' that Fiona and Woody now had a niece born the other day who was also called Nancy. It is an unusual name to be called these days and neither of us could think of anybody else that we might know that was called it.
Fleet was delighted though to hear of a new baby with the same name as his wife and gave me a picture of his Nancy, in uniform, and holding a baby at a local hospital.
 He then told me a little story. He and Nancy had never had children of their own but Nancy had always bought little gifts for babies that she was closely connected too. He told me that he had  looked through some of her things and had found a small silver christening gift that Nancy had bought for someone, but she had died before giving it.
He told me that it would please him very much if Woody and Fiona could pass it on to the new baby Nancy, from his own Nancy. All three of us were deeply touched by this and I know Woody will never forget his kindness. He is a really lovely man and a very good friend.
The week has now drawn to a close and this is my long weekend off work. I did go in on Saturday for some overtime and did the driving duty at Portscatho. It was great catching up with old friends and I had a great day. I must admit though to a touch of sadness as I looked across to St Mawes from St Anthony Head and realised just how much I wanted to be delivering over there.
  Not the worlds greatest picture I know, but it is a good view of my usual delivery.
I felt a little despondant as I drove on and continued on my round on this side of Percuil. I have to say though that my mood lightened considerably when, just a few minutes later, I saw the most amazing sight on somebodies gatepost. I don't know about anybody else but I have never seen anything like this in my life before. I had to smile.
What they are doing and why they are doing it...is a complete mystery to me. Very odd.

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