Pandemic Pondering #283

The sun shone for the last walk around Sutton Harbour and the Barbican of 2020. It also snowed a little.

Our evening went to plan . This is the photograph for our family and friends distance, thousands of miles and many time zones, social media party.

Television watching for two, oh the dizzy heights!

The plan had actually been to go to bed early and show 2020 the disdain it deserves and sleep through its passing but actually it feels only responsible to not only see the year leave but also to make sure it has actually gone and shut the door behind it. For such a responsible observation a far less frivolous drink is required.

A fine cup of decaffeinated Yorkshire Tea and a Cornish Shortbread. Far less giddy than that party pleasing Snowball. Also guarantees a good nights sleep, essential after a year like 2020!

I can confirm 2020 left the building and the door slammed shut behind it.

Pandemic Pondering #283

Christmas 2020 it wasn’t Christmas but it was Christmas because that’s what it was.

The day started early with some ‘Bobbing’ admin.

Tranquility Bay

Mulled cider and mince pies were the actual admin that was required today.

Then it was a swift drive home and festive sandwiches made ready for beach #2 Harlyn Bay.

Harlyn Bay

Don’t be fooled by golden sands, if Tranquility Bay looked like madness, Harlyn was madness+. A great walk in freezing temperatures followed by a convivial two van picnic observing all current regulations for Covid-19 control.

The dogs, of course, moved vans due to the superior picnic being served next door.

To be honest the idea of returning home and then cooking a traditional turkey roast began to feel less desirable the colder we got. A cup of hot tea was about as far as we could stretch when we got home.

Much later a mushroom Wellington made an appearance.

In between walking and talking we zoomed and whatsapped with people near and far.

Christmas Day in a Nutshell with not a cracker in sight.

Our last day with the relative freedoms of Tier 1. Today Cornwall is downgraded , that’s a whole new set of rules to remember! In

Pandemic Pondering #208

What is the meaning of morsel?
A morsel is a small amount of something, a tid-bit, a sliver, a nugget usually of something of high-quality and much desired but not truly needed, like a morsel of dark chocolate or a morsel of gossip. Originally it referred specifically to food. It is something that gives a disproportionate amount of non- essential, exquisite pleasure.

My morsel for Pandemic Pondering #252 is an evening dog walk a couple of fields behind Rame Head. A snippet of the day. Morsel is a word we use, mostly at Christmas time, when the day has already given so much but self control is non- existent and you just desire that little but more of something. Today was unexpectedly gorgeous, fabulous sunshine and not too cold for an autumn day in Cornwall. Long walks on the coastal paths and outrageous laughter with friends as we rested on wooden benches overlooking the sea. Perfect conditions for fifteen minutes, or indeed, a morsel, of time, for a glorious sunset.

Setting out
Dog faces in the gloom
Peak Morsel
Back to the van for supper.

Pandemic Pondering #125

Launceston, the town of happy thoughts. My first happy thought linked to Launceston was unknown to me for many years.

Charles Causley is a poet that attracted me as soon as I met his poems.’ Timothy Winters comes to school with eyes as wide as a football-pool’My first experience and a memorable first line. The rest of the poem is beautifully descriptive in an ugly way.

Launceston was Causleys home town and in this portrait painting he is leaning on another favourite of mine, the highly textured walls of St Mary Magdelene.

Appropriately in a Pandemic Pondering the Charles Causley Trust has the most amazing office tucked above one of the ancient gates of Launceston.

In the current pandemic people are giving up offices in favour of working from home , but surely this one is way too cute to give up.

Happy thought number two happened soon after I moved to Cornwall from Brighton.My dad was a real ale drinker and long before the days of instant research on Google he discovered an off licence in Launceston that sold locally brewed ale by the gallon. Several Christmases running a Christmas Eve ritual for him was to drive to Launceston and collect several gallons for the Christmas festivities.It’s a bit shabby now but worth a picture for a happy thought.

Happy thought number 3 involves the Castle. There is nothing more exciting to a pair of six or seven year old boys than being given wooden swords and a whole genuine castle to defend.

Something my son and one of his friends were able to do if we were lucky enough to be the only visitors to the castle on the days we visited.Today the castle is chained up indefinitely protecting its volunteers from the onslaught of Covid 19.

The map of happy places.One final happy thought . A great extended night out of Bollywood Dancing in the Town Hall with RSVP Bhangra.Extended because the band set off the fire alarms and we all spent twenty minutes outside.

After the final happy thought, a final ponder on the beauty of driving to Launceston. Launceston is at the high point of the landscape, which is why it has a castle, the drive to it in any direction is through beautiful countryside, well worth an excursion.

Continue reading “Pandemic Pondering #125”

Pandemic Pondering #124

When I woke up this morning I had an idea that I knew which way the blog would go today. We were planning to travel north roughly in line with the course of the River Tamar. It has been a wonderful day both weather wise and experience wise , and that will inform later blogs but today was actually completely hijacked by a geological sentence.

Breccicated Beds derived from Downslope slumping.

We took the dogs for a walk on Widemouth Beach near Bude in North Cornwall. In summer, dogs are only allowed on the southern end of the beach, known as BlackRock Beach. The foreshore is marked by black rocks that run into the sea which obviously give the beach its name.

It was the cliffs at the back of the beach that stole the show today. That, and a truly delicious first sea swim for the season.

I’m a bit lost for words with the beauty of these cliffs

I hope these photographs show why the blog had been dominated by rock formations and that delightful sentence from the geological description.

I love these rocks because they look like food, a toasted muffin or folds of meringue for a celebratory pavlova. They also have a feeling of Modernist sculpture. Parts of them also look like rust, one of my favourite textures..

I also found some actual rust. An aged nail standing firm on a sea and sun bleached timber.

Downslope slumping, beautiful stuff.

Pandemic Pondering #121

Pondering since March has strengthened our resolve to shop locally and support local businesses.

Today’s outing was planned with exactly that in mind.

Lavender fields have long been on our wish list of things to visit. Provence springs to mind but in reality when we lived in South London , Kent was closer, but we still never quite achieved it.

We booked an afternoon tea at Great Carnbargus Farm. Perranporth, Cornwall. Home of Cornish Lavender and a warm and fragrant welcome. Set on the slopes of the Perrancombe Valley , the lanes ease you into a rural world , very different from the hurly burly of Perranporth, the beach destination.

What an absolute treat to have afternoon tea with Tina Bee and her lovely family, including three fecund pigs called Petal, Pepper and Twig.

This afternoon tea malarky was not even a thought two months ago. Tina had to plan a significant birthday for her Dad, with Social Distancing in mind she planned the party in her lavender field.

Lavender Dad being saluted with a Lavender shortbread.

The party went so well Tina thought she might open up her field as an Afternoon Tea destination.

We had our own small marquee with indoor seating and a table, bedecked with gingham bunting, and an outside lounging area with comfy chairs and a coffee table.

Afternoon tea with a Lavender theme was our order of today but there were many other things on offer.

The farm also offers a safe field for dogs to go mad in and a wooded walk with Fairy doors to find.

Just beyond the pigs there was an Airstream, another one of life’s ambitions. This one is awaiting Planning Permission before finding its moment of Lavender glory.

We had such a great time enjoying simple pleasures and it’s really exciting to see a business idea at such an early stage.

We do love a bit of retro, so we were also thrilled to see these old Crittall Windows at the farm.

We had eaten a good bit of the Afternoon Tea before I took photos, blogging error for sure but also a sign that relaxing in a lavender field can take your mind off everything.

Afternoon Teas are only available in July or, just as much in life, you will have to wait until 2021.

We booked by phone and Instagram

07909 222260

Or cornishlavender on Instagram

Trust us, you will…


Pandemic Pondering #99

Cornwall is a surfing county. The mythical seventh wave exists in the hearts and minds of many who visit here. The seventh wave is supposed to be the best and strongest wave of the sequence. The science behind the 7th wave is pretty conclusive that it doesn’t exist, even accepting that sometimes it does, because wave strength is affected by wind, tide and the profile of the underlying beach. Randomly that sometimes is the 7 th wave but not predictably so.

Cornwall has done pretty well during the Coronovirus , reporting far lower levels of patients and deaths than the rest of the country. However Science and virus spread modelling suggests that the region might be worse hit by the Second Wave.

But just like the science behind the non existence of a 7 th wave phenomena ,The science behind the existence of a 2nd Wave of Coronovirus is also ignored as people flock to beaches ignoring social distancing advice and the fact that Covid-19 is still out there.

With this in mind I too am abandoning science to explore with gay abandon the world of another wave word. Confident that I am not risking anything by doing so.

An earlier blog mentioned my favourite word in Greek.

Flisvos- the sound of lapping waves.

English has something almost as gorgeous.

Susurration- a whispering sound.

It is also an onomatopoeic word. It sounds as relaxing as the action it describes.

The gentle susurration of the tide.

I’m gifting you the above link of waves on pebbles , firstly as an apology for yesterday’s musical earworm and secondly to gently introduce you to the nautical theme of Pandemic Pondering #100.