Monthly Archives: April 2007

Cornwall photos – 5 – still in St Ives

At lunch, we chatted to a couple who live in Penzance. He was American, she English and they were in their seventies, I should think. We sat outside in the sun, becoming just a little pink.

Afterwards, we went to the Barbara Hepworth gallery and garden. This is wonderful, do go if you’re in St Ives. I remember when she died, it was as a result of a fire in her studio. I love to see sculptures in a garden or house setting, rather than in a formal art gallery. Last year, in the rain, I went to the Henry Moore garden, which many statues are displayed and where his studios have been kept as he left them. They were fabulous.

But back to Barbara Hepworth

Some of the trees are pretty large now

As Martin says, you can’t have too many sea pictures

Cornwall photos – 4 – not flagging yet are you?

The next day, we visited St Ives. It’s on the North coast, but only a few miles.

I was fretting a bit as we’d invited friends in for dinner and I hadn’t got food yet. We’d bumped into our landlady, who was invited, and asked her where she did her shopping “The Co-op, Lidl, Morrison!” she answered cheerfully. I wanted to ask where she bought fresh local food, but didn’t like to seem a bit, well, snarky, since that’s the word that’s been used about me recently (pshaw!) so I didn’t.

On the approach to St Ives, we saw a farm shop and went in. The first thing I saw was aubergines (not grown in England in April!). But they had local asparagus and new potatoes and lettuce and various suitable-for-present goodies, so we shopped there.

We parked near the Tate and my eye was caught by this. Fabulous, isn’t it. I like the anatomy of a house.

The Tate building is very fine. Having been to a lecture about 20th Century St Ives artists – not as well known as the Newlyn group, but excellent and underrated, I had expected a wider range of paintings than there were. I dabble in the periphery of modern art, with little knowledge but some appreciation and I found some things to like, but not to rave over.

Nice views, though

I realise you’re getting an awful lot of sea/beach photos. Sorry about that, but I lived by the sea for 60% of my life and I miss it.

Cornwall photos – 3

On Sunday, we went to Falmouth (found a splendid bookshop there) and the Lizard peninsula. On Monday, we had coffee and then lunch in Mousehole. The café cat liked my sister’s mackerel. He was thirsty, but fizzy water made him sneeze (which made us laugh)

Afterwards, we turned left out of Mousehole and went on down towards Lands End.
We stopped to greet the Merry Maidens.

Then, as ever, looked the other way.

We went to the cliff-top (part of the cliff, in fact) theatre at Minack and looked, marvelling, at the view. Can you imagine this, the sea off England, in April. Wow.

A bit more wowing. You may not be sufficiently awestruck yet.

We bypassed Lands End itself, which is a bit downmarketed and crappy, and carried on up the north coast, but within a few minutes the sea mist started roll in, visibly, like smoke, so we bought sausages, tomatoes and Cornish new potatoes for supper and headed home to Mousehole. As we approached, the sun came out and all was bright. Later, we were told that the weather on the north and south coasts, even if only a few miles apart, can be quite different.

Before supper, we went to the local pub. Nice beer, from St Austell. I can’t remember what it was called, but it may come back to me.

Not for ease

A pleasant, if busy day. But a catch in my throat just now. The Sage phoned Maureen – Peter is still keeping going (I referred to them here). The Sage, who is a good friend to have, went to see them the other day, and – this is amazing to me – Peter, in the last week or two of his life, wants to buy one of the limited edition plaques I referred to here. Sorry to send you hither and yon, don’t blame you if you can’t be arsed.

His whole family visited this weekend – for whom are these valedictory visits hardest? For Maureen, probably. Darlings (even if you haven’t visited before, or never commented or become, yet, a friend, you are included – and if you are in any of these categories, you know you are already) if we have anyone we care about, we may come to this situation. Let us be brave.*

I’m only momentarily melancholy, and brave come to that, so while I am I’ll tell you one of my funeral hymns, for I chose it and another a few years ago. Here it is. Again, don’t click unless you want but, actually, this hymn sums up my subtext, so read it and you’ll know me better (but for ‘smith’ read ‘smite’. Doesn’t anyone check for typos nowadays?) Not for the religious aspect but for the facing up to things and coping bit. Mind you, it seems a bit gloomy for a wedding hymn, which it’s apparently recommended for.

For the other people mentioned, Tim is alive in a hospice, my friend, his brother, has had his operation, which was successful but, so understandably, he feels a bit low. Also, please, think for me about Rosemary and Chris but also, more happily, about Reg and Rosemary, who looks great. Thanks to the British NHS, which can do marvels and is rightly criticised but, also rightly, respected and admired.

I’ll be back, cheerfully, later, with Holiday Snaps**

*As ever, can’t resist a subjunctive. May I be recalled***, blogwise, for ellipses…and for subjunctives.
**Readers leave in droves
***Not that I’m going anywhere

Surely not?

You Are a Snarky Blogger!

You’ve got a razor sharp wit that bloggers are secretly scared of.
And that’s why they read your posts as often as they can!

Thanks to Alan for this. I’m completely surprised by the result though, I’d expected the answer he got (a couple of weeks ago, I don’t think I’ll ever catch up with blogs after 10 days away).

I’m the victim of life’s razor, not its brandisher.

Aren’t I/am I not/amn’t I/innit?

What brought that on, then?

I say “sorry” to the Sage.

Seconds later, I say “sorry” again.

Not long after “Sorry. I hate bloody hiccoughs.”

“Oh damn. Sorry.”


(goes to fetch water. Drinks from the wrong side of glass.)

“*hic* Damn, now I need to go to the loo.”

Return. Fetch more water. Drink from the wrong side of glass. Drink deeply, so that I’m almost upside-down.


Presence, and Presents

What a charming week it’s been. I received a CD in the post from Stegbeetle – thank you so much Steg, a couple of albums at least will certainly be bought, following my introduction to some of your favourite bands. I’ll write and tell you what I think, once I’ve listened enough to let them embed in my mind, but I have certainly fallen for Evanescence (though slightly doubtful if I’ve spelled it right).

And today, I spent the morning in the shop. It was busy, too. Al spends at least an hour on his outside display, but when he’d finished he came and helped Sarah and me deal with all the customers. I was keeping an eye on the door, as I was expecting a Special Customer, but it wasn’t until lunchtime that the great Badgerdaddy walked in.

Such a pleasure to see him and he looked great. He’s always got a laid-back air, but you can see how happy he is with life nowadays. And, bless the dear man, he’d brought me CDs too. Wasn’t that lovely? Poor bugger had to stand patiently and be kissed, which he could probably have done without but which he took, manfully, on the chin (not literally, it was the left cheek. I mean in the boxing – I suppose – term sense).

I abandoned Al – who had greeted BD too, of course, as they knew each other before BD and I met through our blogs – and we went outside to chat. Gorgeous day, by the way, breezy but very sunny and warm.

Later, I went to the butchers. Mark served me. “Ooh, I’ve just seen young *Badgerdaddy*, I said. “You know, the chap who lived above the toyshop, you knew each other from the pub.” Yes, he remembered him. Later, when he was cutting me some cheese, he gave me a look. When I asked, he pretended to be flirting with me, but I wonder if he knows about the blog – BD’s former one, which caused a little local rumpus. You don’t read this one, do you Mark? Nah, you’d have said.

Thanks for calling, BD, it was lovely to see you. I’m glad things are going well and have a really good time in the pub tonight. Just make sure your back is always to the wall…

Cornwall photos – 2

Falmouth harbour

I turned round

The Lizard

I’m not that good about looking over cliffs, and I found the sight of those crosses worrying.

So, of course, I went right to the edge and leaned over, for what’s the use of fear?

Wild garlic and thrift, very pretty

More flowers and seaside tomorrow. Today, I have delighted you long enough

Cornwall photos – 1 – at last

I discovered, when I uploaded them, that there were about 130 photos. Of course, I won’t inflict them all on you, even though they are all delightful, but just a few.

These are all Mousehole.

1- The sound of seagulls was constant. At this time of the year, they are fairly aggressive to other males and pretty randy with the females. I had to avert my tender gaze a couple of times.

2- The view from the window

3- Can you see the pink house, just right of centre? Look past the two houses to its right, and there’s a car. That is parked down a little alley between the houses – our cottage was through the alley into a courtyard – it had originally been a netstore. It was delightful, and well converted, with the bedrooms and bathroom downstairs and the big living room/kitchen (well equipped) upstairs. Our landlords lived opposite, in a slightly bigger house.

4- Neap tides, the week we were there, so there was always some beach for the children to play on. The spring tide came in the night before we left.

5- Another aspect of the cottages round the harbout

Would you believe it?

I put my left eye* in back to front again.

Again, I was completely unaware of it, until, well into the School Governors’ meeting, we had occasion to read a whiteboard. Then I became aware of a slight fuzziness. Once I knew, of course, I could think of nothing else, but I’d worn the lens the wrong way round for six hours quite happily until then.

At a suitable gap in the meeting (the Headteacher went to open a few skylights) I asked to be excused, explaining why. Reactions went from ‘ooh, that happens to me’ to ‘ew, don’t talk about it’. And, when I returned, caring “Are you all right?”s.

Anyway, I said we’ve got an Ofsted next week. We will also, as God made little green apples**, have another in September. The reasons for this have to do with finance – there is some that is due to us, but has to be okayed by Ofsted and it will run out in September, so logic states that the inspection has to come in September.

But, you mention, surely this Ofsted, if successful, counts? Sadly, no, for it is a mini-Ofsted.

Anyway, I am feeling pretty good, for not only do I have a cast-iron reason not to lunch with the inspector on Tuesday, I have also reminded the governors that I said, last September, that this was the last time I’d stand as Vice-Chairman. I didn’t mention that I also said I’d like to stand down as Special Educational Needs governor, but sufficient unto the day…(staking my elliptical claim)

If I can find the lead, I will put up Pictures, later. Mind you, they are mostly of little Cornish harbours and little Cornish flowers. I photograph what appeals to me, and forget the wider audience. Sorry.

*Contact lens, of course, but anything to sound interesting…
**Frankly, I’d expect the Master of the Cosmos to delegate, but I only argue if I Bloody Well Know I”m Right…***
***Hey, if JonnyB has the rights to three exclamation marks (I hesitate to put them, as I am slightly in awe of him****, surely I could claim the right to the ellipsis, couldn’t I?
****What am I saying? Totally in awe.*****
*****Mind you, I’ve got a job and he hasn’t. But no, if you’ve got it…(see what I mean? Ellipses everywhere)

Update Ooh, bum, I’ve just realised my cast-iron excuse is for the next Tuesday, not this one.