Posted by: glenswatman | July 12, 2013

20130701-10 Summer is here -whoopeee

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MONDAY 1 JULY 2013 – We are both fit to burst after a huge breakfast.  Nearby Heartlands tells the history of mining in Cornwall.  Gardens have sections for each continent telling stories of the Cornish miners who worked there.  Many of the original mining buildings still stand and in one there is a lot of machinery and audio’s to enable you to get the gist of how dangerous and horrible it was to work in the mines even recently.  On the coast we really like the small town of Portreath where a few souls brave it on the lovely sandy beach.  A row of houses back directly onto another beach that leads down to a sea pool with the harbour just beyond.  With great walks on the cliffs and only 3 miles on main roads from 2 towns it is rather appealing.  Nearby Treasure Park is a tourist park based on gems and minerals.  Each building has a theme and displays.  In glass cabinets you can see £1m in £5 notes and another £1m in gold bars guarded by a tarantula.  There’s also C3PO, plus cars from “Back to the future” and “James Bonds” Aston Martin.  It would have been nice to have a special meal whilst out but we are really both too full from last night and breakfast and have afternoon tea to come.  My planned treat of a back massage has been cancelled so I just use the gym and pool.  The cream tea is disappointing with dry scones, jam that is so runny it won’t stay on the scone and not enough cream.


TUESDAY 2 JULY – My eggs Benedict breakfast is just perfect and Steve packs in another whole monty.  It’s chilly, raining and misty so we opt to check out Godolphin House (NT £5) en route but there is only one room open and the weather is not nice for exploring the gardens which don’t look great anyway.  We booked a trial visit to River Valley at Relubbus whilst we were still considering a move down to Devon & Cornwall and although we have pretty much kicked that idea into touch the offer of 4 nights in a lodge for £150 is too good to resist and you never know we just might change our minds.  Its a very quiet park and we have a lovely lodge but there are no facilities and it’s quite a drive down narrow lanes to shops etc.  It would be nice to take a picture of St Michael’s Mount but it’s raining too much.  We wrap up and get our raincoats on to walk around Penzance where there are a number of very interesting buildings.  Mousehole is a really pretty little village and famous for the “stargazy” pie but after wandering around and getting soaked we don’t find a single place selling it, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was off season considering the lack of tourists and the weather. Steve can’t resist posing by a newspaper advert stating “hot July ahead predicts met office”!  RELUBBUS, RIVER VALLEY PARK

WEDNESDAY 3 JULY – Beyond Penzance we stop near the little town of Porthcurno to visit the Minack Theatre £4.  Many years ago local lady Rowena Cade saw this as a natural site for an outdoor theatre with a backdrop of the ocean and helped by gardener Billy they transformed it into just that.  Still in use today they put on lots of plays, especially Shakespeare, with seats for 700 on grassy terraces (for £1 you can hire a cushion with backrest).  Land’s End has become like a mini theme park but the landscape is amazing and we enjoy the story of the people who have made the journey from here to John O’Groats.  In June 2003 three brothers drove a motorised skip along the route to raise money for the Anthony Nolan trust because one of them had a bone marrow transplant for leukaemia in 1998.  We lunch at “190 degree west” fish and chip shop where I can’t resist a Cornish sundae – 2 scoops of Cornish ice cream, a dollop of clotted cream, marshmallows, toffee pieces, chocolate and chocolate sauce – delicious.  Continuing along the coast we visit the National Trust Levant Mine where some old machinery is in operation and you can walk down one of the tunnels.  Leaving up a narrow lane we spot a gypsy type caravan in a garden, it is set up so that you can stay in it overnight at £28 pp bed and breakfast. Steve takes a peak but says it is pretty basic.  We miss the man with 7 wives for we next arrive at the little gem of St Ive’s.  There are numerous lovely sandy beaches and as the sun has finally seen fit to come out people are making the most of it.  Ice cream stands are doing a roaring trade and the interesting small streets are bustling.  I know it helps that the sun is out but overall this is our favourite town so far.  Again there are loads of dogs around to the extent that one small bay has more dogs than people on it.


THURSDAY 4 JULY – We’re realising that the better part of the day is in the afternoon so sit out the rainy morning and head off after lunch.  Lizard Point is the most Southerly Place in mainland England with a wonderful landscape.  The Youth Hostel here has amazing views as do the lighthouse cottages behind.  Nearby Kynance Cove is said to be the most beautiful in England.  Unfortunately it is high tide when we arrive so the beach has disappeared and all you can see are grey boulders at the back but it is a lovely setting between two grassy headlands and with nice rock formations.  Poldhu not only has a lovely beach but is also the spot where Marconi sent his first trans Atlantic message.  The information centre fills us in nicely and there’s a monument on the cliff top.  Porthleven is yet another pretty village with a harbour and bustling with tourists.  Certainly this southern part of Cornwall has lots to entertain tourists.


FRIDAY 5 JULY – Time and tide waits for no man so we head out early to enable us to walk across to St Michaels Mount at low tide.  It’s quite a walk across a cobbled causeway.  After a steep climb up to the castle we really enjoy the things we see inside enhanced by the fact it was featured on TV yesterday on “Bargain Hunt” so we know a bit about the paintings and history of the family that still live there today.  It really is an attractive spot and we take loads of pictures.  Below the castle splendid gardens are terraced into the hillside.  At Tesco’s we pick up the meal deal for 2 (bottle of wine, main course, side dish and dessert) and a few other groceries before returning for lunch.  Steve’s chosen to do a lot this last few days so deserves a rest this afternoon before we move on tomorrow.


SATURDAY 6 JULY – On the outskirts of Falmouth Pendennis Castle has a spectacular and strategic location.  The old fortress is impressive as are the World War 1 defence buildings.  It’s a sunny day and lovely to see the yachts sailing in the bay.  There’s a beach nearby and amazingly for Devon & Cornwall there is free parking along the road behind it.  Netty calls to tell me Mum has been taken to hospital after having a couple of falls last night.  She’s in a lot of pain with her back and hip so they need to check out if anything is broken.  Truro is the only city in Cornwall but feels more like a big town with narrow bustling streets.  There are matching hanging baskets everywhere and it is really appealing.  The gothic cathedral is impressive and similar to many in France.  Par Sands is a holiday park in the village of Par, between St Austell and Fowey, and directly behind a pleasant beach.  We’re booked for 2 nights on a try before you buy package.  Meeting up with salesman Steve he invites us to a big BBQ but due to Steve’s health restrictions we have to decline, he then gives us a £30 meal voucher to go and have a meal at The Ship pub at the park entrance.  After a nice lunch sat out in the gardens we return to our static.  Netty calls to tell me Mum is home, nothing broken but lots of bruising and she is very uncomfortable.  This highlights just how far everything is from Cornwall as it would have been nice to pop up and see her but not practical.  We walk along the beach which is directly in front of the park over low dunes.  It’s a pleasant bay with cliffs at the north end and a dock at the south end but in the near future this is to be demolished and replaced with a nice marina.  Steve joins me for a talk with the salesman but is feeling weary so leaves part way through.  I get the full park tour, indoor pool, outdoor sports courts, cafe and pleasant grounds and although this park ticks more boxes than most we’re still not sure Cornwall or Devon will work for us.


SUNDAY 7 JULY – The heatwave is supposed to be here and we wake to clear blue skies so will head for the beach.  We’re listening to Radio 2 in the car and Steve Wright announces events for the weekend.  Our ears prick up when we hear about the “Nudefest” at Newquay this week and quickly pull over to check on the Internet what it is all about.  Apparently a whole holiday camp has been taken over the whole week.  We consider it but with Steve being unable to expose his skin to the sun or be in crowds of people it’s not practical but will be kept in mind for next year as it is an annual event.  Charlestown is only a couple of miles away and heading in we see an amazing sculpture at the end of someone’s driveway.  It turns out be an old tree that has been cut down and carved into Neptunes head.  Charlestown itself has a very narrow dock where a couple of beautiful old ships that are often used in movies.  It’s little spoilt since the days when china clay was discovered here and is really lovely to wander around.  We see a sign advertising “bed and basket” a dog friendly chain of accommodation that provides a basket for a dog as well as bed and breakfast.  Nearby Pogaver Beach is an unofficial naturist beach.  The back area has been fenced off with indications of development so we walk to the far end.  The beach is a lovely sweep around a bay with a small freshwater stream cutting along the back then out to sea.  There are just a couple of naturists, maybe others are in Newquay.   Steve manages to get shade under some rocks whilst I spread out under the clouds that have now gathered. It’s a very nice beach and a pleasant spot but after a couple of hours we know we have a long walk back to the car so Steve can return and watch Wimbledon.  Andy Murray makes history by being the first British player to win in shorts, the last being Fred Perry in long trousers.  It’s been a long time coming but an excellent results.  I call in to see Steve the salesman who has found us a near perfect van the Willoughby Windsor that has been used for just a couple of weeks and could be ours on site with decking and fees for £47,000.  Tempting but having heard that Mum has had another fall it just highlights how far away we.


MONDAY 8 JULY – We head to Fowey (pronounced Foy) and by accident end up driving every single narrow street in the town, at least that’s what it feels like.  Next we park in the pretty village of Lostwithiel and walk along the river bank to the nature reserve and sit in a shady spot.  Returning to the car we decide it’s too hot for playing tourist so settle in the park nearby and buy drinks and cake from the cafe at the tourist information centre.  Late afternoon we arrive in Upton Cross for a return visit to Viv & Laurie.  Viv is home and has granddaughter Lola aged 3 visiting.  When daughter Annie comes to pick up Lola we have quite a chat as she used to be a traveller also, but a real one as her previous partner was a gypsy.  Annie and Lola leave shortly after Laurie arrives then over a tasty pasta meal we discuss lifestyles, costs of living, creating incomes and travelling.  Later on we get on to movies and all agree we love the Australian offerings, like us Laurie could happily live there.  It’s such a balmy evening we sit outside whilst eating our fruit salad, that’s the healthy bit as it is topped off with ice cream, meringue and cream – yummy.


TUESDAY 9 JULY – After Laurie has gone to work we stay on chatting to Viv until mid morning.  There’s so much we want to talk about that the conversation really bounces around.  Think they top us on the budget back packing though as Laurie hates to pay more than £5 a night whereas we now expect to pay at least £10.  Journeying across Dartmoor we get some wonderful views and also an idea how isolated it all is.  In Princetown we visit the prison museum which tells the story of how it was built in the early 1800’s to house prisoners of war.  After they all left it was empty for a time before becoming a prison for convicts and still is today although it has been downgraded to a catergory C.  We learn a lot more including the fact that prisoners are catergoried not by crime or length of sentence but by the chances of them escaping and they can also be downgraded and moved to a less secure prison over the years.  Pottery and things made by the prisoners is on sale and a couple of inmates are working in the grounds and the focus of attention of a school group who are asking them lots of questions.  Leaving the town we get a good view across the valley into the prison and it looks pretty grim.  Our journey across the moor takes us through a few more pretty villages and past a pub that where we were told a fire had been burning since the 1800’s, not today as it has gone out!  Steve isn’t sure what he wants for lunch even after checking out numerous places so we settle on a sandwich meal deal from the Co-op.  Ironically just after pulling up in a lay-by to eat it we arrive at Fingle Bridge, an absolutely beautiful spot beside a stream not only with a nice picnic area but also a lovely riverside pub serving meals.  Mid afternoon we arrive at the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre near Bristol for the 2 day “living with cancer” course.  It’s almost a year since we last visited and this reminds us just how much better Steve is.  After a brief guided tour we all sit down and make a quick introduction.  There are 10 of us in total from all parts of the country.  As with all food here the evening meal is a very healthy one of salad and then fish with quinoa, potato wedges and peas.  It’s nice enough but not very filling and quite a few of us women comment that not only is there no pudding but no shops near enough to nip out for a bar of chocolate, I think even if there was and we did we would feel like naughty school children.  The evening ends with a relaxation session before we head to our rooms to relax and play the gentle music CD which is by all the beds.


WEDNESDAY 10 JULY – Meeting at 8am we go on a “mindful movement” walk around the gardens.  Basically you just take time to walk and really take in your surroundings.  Breakfast is excellent, fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, home concocted muesli’s, porridge, homemade break, and cooked food – can certainly see they intend us to “breakfast like kings”.  The mornings course includes re-enforcing the self help tecniques we learnt last time to enable you to do a lot of help your bodies.  We get to know the group, all 5 women are breast cancer patients (one with secondary liver cancer), an elderly man with secondary terminal cancer and Steve plus 3 carers.  They are all really nice people and we feel quite a connection.  After break there’s a wonderful talk about diet that inspires both of us to change our diet further.  Lunch is (in my opinion) rabbit food, all vegetable based and not too inspiring.  I’ve just finished eating and suddenly get an overwhelming urge to vomit.  I dash off to the loo and seem to vomit forever bringing up everything including breakfast.  I feel really unwell and head to the room where I vomit again and go hot and cold and shaky.  I can’t get hold of Steve so pull the cord and Sarah comes to help me.  By the time Steve arrives I’m in quite a state in a lot of pain under my ribs and down my back, pouring with sweat and unable to stop vomiting.  He puts me in a cold shower whilst Sarah goes off to get some sick bowls.  I feel so stupid considering Steve is the “patient” not me but Sarah says they often see this kind of reaction in carers who are now in a safe place.  Don’t think this is my case considering how well Steve is doing and that we have just enjoyed 5 weeks on holiday.  There is only a nurse here overnight and I don’t feel I want to go to hospital or the Doctors at this point so take some Gaviscon and paracetamol and retire to bed whilst Steve goes back to the afternoon course.  Sarah keeps looking in on me and brings a hot water bottle for my tummy and fan to cool me down (bit of a contradiction there).  Throughout the rest of the day I vomit about a dozen times but feel a little less pain each time and by bedtime am pain free enough to sleep.  Steve fills me in on the parts of the course I have missed, financial health and welfare and meditation.  He tells me that even he was not struck with the evening meal and admits that this kind of diet is a stage too far.




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