Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Cornwall; here we come - and go!

 Was I stiff and sore on Wednesday morning after my first swim in four months!  

I had planned to go for a walk and then have a good old rummage in Bedford; but only managed the rummage. I was exhausted by the time I'd done everything and couldn't wait to sit down and put my feet up. I must have walked miles just around town.  I walked to the Daycare Hospice shop on London Road; then back to the High Street where I visited Cancer Research, Oxfam and the Salvation Army charity shops. I bought new towels in Cancer Research they're very good quality; I'd bought 4 bath sheets there previously. I also bought a pair of jeans by Next in the same shop; to replace my boyfriend jeans which don't fit as I like around the bum. I bought a pink jumper in Oxfam as I possess very little in the way of pink clothing. I then went into and around the bus station area and visited Sue Ryder; Wood Green Animal Shelter, Keech Hospice and the RSPCA. I bought a brown cross body bag in the Wood Green Animal Shelter. Three of the charity shops had closed down permanently; Mercy in Action, Bedford Autism and the Independent charity shop (where I bought the cardigan I'm wearing below 2 years ago). We have a new YWCA shop which has yet to open. I'd also forgotten about the British Heart Foundation shop and the 3:16 charity shop; but had a bag of donations to take another day.  We're back to 10 charity shops in the town centre not 12 as before.  I was still looking for a denim shirt but hoped to find one in Cornwall.


Red jeans by Laura Ashley and navy jumper by Bon Marche. Boots bought online.
All jewellery charity shopped.




I wore my new to me Laura Ashley raincoat from Vinted. It was just the right weather for a raincoat; bright and not too cold. No rain was forecast either. With that in mind I hung washing out when I got home and made dinner. I was delighted to see the 'Great British Sewing Bee' was back for a new series on Wednesday evening. I'd also begun to watch a new series on Tuesday evening called 'All That Glitters' which is like the GBSB  in format but about making jewellery rather than clothes.

As we were going away on Saturday I didn't need to do too much shopping on Thursday. I went to Sharnbrook to buy kindling; to Aldi and to Lidl. After the shopping was put away I decided to go to Kempston and visit the Barnardo's and say hello to my old manager.  She'd asked me if I'd go and see what she had done to the shop since she took it over. First, I put a bulging black sack of donations in the car to drop at the 3:16 charity shop. It wasn't open and to judge by the pile of donations at the door hadn't opened on Monday when the non-essential shops were allowed to re-open. I took the donations to Wood Green Animal Shelter in Kempston instead; where I bought a handmade summer dress for 3.00. Barnardo's had been transformed and looked really fresh and inviting. I had a good look round; congratulated the manager and bought myself a lightweight polo neck top by Zara; which with my discount came to 2.80 - about the price of a posh coffee! I just wore jeans and a top and didn't bother with photos as you've seen it all before. On Friday I went for another swim and swam 38 lengths before I ran out of time. Next time I've promised myself I'll manage 40...

Well, we arrived in Cornwall on Saturday at about 6pm. We had stopped at Hilary's first (in Devon) in a record 3 hours and 20 mins; I was driving. It was so good to see her again; I hadn't seen her in 14 months. We had lunch with her and then set off for our holiday stay which was another 2 hour drive. We stayed at a farm in the bottom half of a cottage called 'Coachmans;' overlooking Praa Sands Bay.  You can see the cottage HERE. There was also a campsite (for caravans and tents) on the farm; there seemed to be one family camping when we arrived. Once we'd settled in we drove to Penzance about 7/8 miles away and picked up supplies at Morrisons. We had a wander around and had an Indian takeaway curry for dinner. I slept well but was woken rudely in the wee small hours (it was still dark) by the alarm on the radio going off! At first I thought it was a bird; but the insistent, perfectly rhythmic sound persuaded me otherwise.


The view from our window in Higher Pentreath, Cornwall looking down on Praa Sands Bay.


We went for a walk along Praa Sands; it's about a mile long I'd guess. I'm very sensibly wearing my walking boots...

On Sunday morning, after a walk along Praa Sands beach we went into Penzance again. It had a lovely sea swimming pool which I'd like to try and is a really nice town.  There were places open to eat but as it was a bit breezy with a definite chill in the air we didn't bother; plus there were lots of people in the queues. I think it's the first time post lockdowns I've seen so many people around.  In the afternoon, we visited St. Ives which was wonderful. Full of quirky streets, lanes, buildings and of course the wonderful light; which has and still does draw so many artists to the area. It was a cloudy day so we didn't see the magical light at its best:

Top left: looking down on St. Ives from the car park. We cheated and caught a local bus to and from the town - it's a very steep walk! Unfortunately, the Tate was closed but the building is quite distinctive (bottom left). There were two charity shops open and I bought a pair East jeans in the Cancer Research shop. On the way back we went to both Helston and Hayle for a look and paid a visit to Lidl in Helston to pick up more supplies. We made dinner in the cottage that evening.


The monument to the Charter granted to Helston by King John in 1201; a game of bowls was in progress on the green behind.


Lots of street  names in Cornwall are unique - I'd never heard of an 'ope' - had you? Another interesting thing was the street names and signs were also written in the Cornish language. Cornwall is known as Kernow and has its own flag called the St. Piran's flag.



On Monday, we went back to Penzance for a good old rummage. I bought a skirt and the perfect sized tin for my solid shampoo and conditioner bars.  We visited about 7 charity shops and then decided to go to Redruth and have a rummage there. In Redruth I bought a ring and a felt hair doodad; which with the addition of a cunningly placed safety pin I can transform into a brooch. Not much to say about Redruth except it was at the heart of the Cornish tin mining industry; as shown by this statue of a 'tinner' in the town centre. The town looked a little neglected and worse for wear, I thought. Lots of empty premises.


In the evening in search of dinner we went to Marazion. We were too late for pub/restaurant food which had stopped serving at six so had takeaway fish and chips instead. They were delicious and well appreciated as by then we were absolutely starving. Marazion was a wonderful place and we made plans to go back and explore further. It's where you can walk  out onto the causeway (just visible in the photo below) to Mount St. Michael.


On Tuesday, I had booked a visit to a National Trust garden called Glendurgan which wasn't too far from Falmouth. It was a beautiful day; warm and sunny and the temperature ranged between 14 and 16 degrees. Glendurgan garden was created by Alfred and Sarah Fox in the 1820s. The garden was set into hilly woodland and at this time of the year there were rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas and lots I don't know the names of. There was very little labelling which I find annoying as I love to know the names of trees and plants.
The garden had a large collection of wonderful trees and a fabulous maze.

The gardens were carpeted everywhere with bluebells and primroses and eventually led down to the tiny fishing hamlet called Durgan; on the Helford River.


We had our first Cornish cream tea here sitting in the sun. I didn't take photos as 1) it didn't last long and 2) it was all in paper bags - it was takeaway only. It was delicious; the scones were made on the premises daily and the jam was made from local produce and from a local supplier. What can I say about the clotted cream except that it was thick, creamy and topped with a yellowish crust. It sounds disgusting but was the opposite! I eat my scones with the jam first and add the cream afterwards - the Cornish way. OH adds the cream first and then the jam; the Devon way. We then set out for Falmouth where we had a rummage. I finally found myself a denim shirt!

Top left; this was once a theatre; the harbour at Falmouth and I don't know the significance of the sheep mosaic which was repeated on all 4 sides of a cup shaped structure; couldn't find out anything about it - but I liked it. We sat in the sun on a bench and ate a Cornish ice cream before returning home. We went for another walk along Praa Sands after making and eating dinner. More people had arrived at the campsite in their camper vans but there were no people camping in tents. We had a chat with a couple who keep their camper van on the site until September and drive up every weekend to it.

On Wednesday, we paid another visit to Marazion and had a good walk around and stopped for a coffee. This quaint building was Marazion's Town Hall.



 A lovely collection of painted pebbles. It became a bit of a craze during the lockdowns, I believe.

Wednesday's outfit. I forgot to bring my tripod with me so had to rely on asking OH to take photos of outfits - when I remembered! Everything charity shopped except the bag from Vinted and the jacket; present from my daughter.


 After our exploration of Marazion I'd booked us another garden visit to Trengwainton Gardens near Penzance, in the afternoon. There was a house but it's not open to the public. You can see it below:


The gardens were very pleasant but apart from the absence of hills the planting was very similar to the garden at Glendurgan. Lots of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas and many, many magnolia trees with the blossoms dropping by the second. My little one at home had only started to open when we left. There was a formal terrace which I expect has a herbaceous border later on in the year. OH was sitting in the small summer house type thing at the end of the terrace. It was a beautifully sunny day with the temperature peaking at about 17 degrees; but it was not to last.

After our visit to Trengwainton (we had arrived early and were allowed in) we had time to visit another place we both wanted to see; Land's End. It was the first time we paid for parking; we'd noticed that wherever we had been there were no parking charges; this was unusual but was clearly Covid-19 related and we were quite happy at not having to pay parking fees! Until that is, Land's End, where we paid 5.00. I didn't complain after our free parking run lasting several days. Land's End was horribly commercialised with most of the 'attractions' closed due to Covid-19. We walked along the coastal path (left) almost to the bay at Sennen Cove (right). About a 2 mile walk.


It was quite difficult to eat out whilst we were in Cornwall because of the need to mostly pre-book and to eat outside. The evenings were quite chilly and not conducive to al fresco dining so we cooked at the cottage mostly. We woke up on Thursday morning to bright sun but gale force winds which continued throughout the day. Our plan was to visit Truro; Cornwall's county town and the only city in Cornwall and centre of administration; and where we also had a bit of a rummage.  I bought a pair of green summer shoes. Truro has a wonderful cathedral but we didn't venture inside.


In the afternoon we drove on to St. Austell town centre.  Once the area was the heart of the china clay industry producing 50% of the world's supply by 1910. The china clay mining left huge deposits of waste which formed peaks and became known as the 'Cornish Alps. We saw some of these driving in.  It would have been great to have visited Charlestown; which was a small town developed specifically for the china clay industry with mine etc; and still had a working harbour but you know what put paid to that. 


I wore this; everything charity shopped. Trousers by M&S, top by Primarni and cardigan as before. Boots by M&S; local FB buy and sell page. 

All jewellery charity shopped.

The bright sunshine but very strong winds continued on Friday. OH wanted to buy gifts for work colleagues so we decided to revisit Penzance in the morning.

The sea was rough!  That's St. Michael's Mount again in the distance. You can see Penzance harbour in the top photo. We walked around the town and found a lovely park with a memorial garden. The other plan was to visit Porthleven which was only a few miles down the road from where we were staying. I'm so glad we did. A lovely little fishing port which still operates a fishing fleet. And as an added bonus on our exploratory walk; we found a community charity shop where we both bought some stuff. There was a box of handmade felt and wool brooches for 25p each so I bought 4!

Porthleven Harbour.
This building is Porthleven Town Hall. Cornwall has some quirky town halls! I liked how the metal bar had been corroded by the salt, sea and wind into layers like the rocks surrounding the harbour. From Porthleven it was a short drive to The Lizard; the southernmost point in the UK. Renowned for its flora and fauna The Lizard has nothing to do with lizards - although they are plentiful in the area - but a corruption of the original Cornish name.
The Lizard.
I wore this outfit. Everything charity shopped except the cross body bag from Vinted.


That was our Cornwall adventure. We had a great time and OH had a really nice break from work but it was slightly strange in that it was difficult to do anything spontaneous such as visiting galleries or museums as most places were shut. It was also difficult to eat out; which is one of the things I enjoy a lot on holiday.  However, these things were out of our control thanks to the pandemic, so not worth stressing about. It was very nice to get home after an uneventful drive back. I started to put away my winter pjs, skirts, trousers and coats when I got back. I won't get the summer stuff out yet; I have enough transitional wear to last a good few weeks unless the weather turns really hot. On Sunday, for the first time in many months I wore shoes and not socks and boots!


It was back to Barnardo's on Monday. I caught the bus in as the car wasn't behaving itself. It turned out it needed a new water pump so OH took it into the garage for me as he still was on holiday; and he picked me up afterwards. I bought this colourful tunic in the community charity shop in Porthleven; it's by Tu and I wore it with navy blue leggings (retail), polo neck top also by Tu; charity shopped and charity shopped boots. Having bought a fair bit in the charity shops in Cornwall; I bought nothing in Barnardo's except a couple of books...


All jewellery charity shopped.

After I'd volunteered  at Barnardo's I went into to town to run some errands. I picked up 3 more Fred Vargas books that I'd reserved online from the library. I went into the library and  collected the books from the reservation section; they had already been electronically checked out. It was just in, pick up, and go!
    


In the evening I went for my 2nd vaccine so I am now fully vaccinated. I must say it feels very good but I won't be doing anything stupid and going to any big crowd events. I will be carrying on pretty much as I have, so far.


Tuesday's foodbank outfit. Busy, busy, busy.
I fancied some pink on Tuesday. The skirt by Kushi was bought from Vinted; the pink jumper by Next from Oxfam.


All jewellery charity shopped.


I went swimming in the afternoon. I wore my fitbit watch and set it to the right pool length; 50 metres. When I got out of the pool it said I had swam 58 laps and just under 3 km! I hadn't; I'd swam 38 laps of 50 metres which is 1.9 km. Another thing with the fitbit watch is that when I go walking I also set the Samsung walking app on my phone; I then compare it to my fitbit watch. The fitbit watch records my walking as about 0.4km less than the Samsung app. Technology; it's supposed to make life easier not confuse us!
 


















17 comments:

  1. I loved all your photos of Cornwall and you stayed in a beautiful cottage. We are going down for the May half term staying near Redruth and a beach that is on my list of place to visit is Praa Sands. We lived in Cornwall for about three years - Daughter S was born there. Although I didn't enjoy living there I love going back for holidays and I don't think we have visited Praa Sands before.

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    1. Praa Sands was lovely; the village is very nice and there is a nice cafe on the beach, too. I'd strongly advise going to Porthleven and Marazion - both lovely places. I hope you have a fabulous break!
      xxx

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  2. Well I felt like I was with you on that trip to Cornwall! I’d visited a few places previously, like Marazion which reminded me of Mont St Michel (France) and St Ives, and yes I remember those exhausting hills! We stayed in Penzance in a hotel owned and run by 60s icon Jean Shrimpton, who was busy working the reception desk and busy generally about the hotel. It’s a shame so much was closed, the art galleries and exhibitions were good, like The Tate and the Barbara Hepworth. But as you say one has to appreciate that holidaying coming out of lockdown presents restrictions, and you had a lovely break and supported the local economy by visiting. Love the stunning first outfit BTW.
    Hugs Mary x.

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  3. P.s. Just followed the link to your cottage, Wow! What a lovely fresh and airy place to stay, and the view from all the rooms is spectacular. That must have been a truly uplifting stay and you must have come away feeling relaxed and refreshed.

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    1. Yes, I'd recommend it - complete with cows lowing and being led in from the fields in the evening...
      xxx

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  4. Welcome back, Vronni! You both look wonderful.
    Some lovely photos of Cornwall. The gardens at Glendurgan look particularly fabulous. It must have been frustrating not being able to just eat where you wanted or visit museums or art galleries but how lovely to get away and see something new - and that view from your cottage looks particularly lovely.
    I've only been to Cornwall once but remember Fowey being my favourite.
    Great outfits as always. It sounds like you found some good stuff in the chazzas.
    All those Fred Vargas books, that'll keep you out of trouble!
    We've got another month until we get our second vaccine . xxx

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    1. I've been on holiday to Cornwall 4 time snow and have had 2 overnight stays and a day trip so it's a place I always enjoy. I can visit the places I missed next time!

      I haven't been to Fowey yet but want to go; I think it's where Daphne Du Maurier lived...

      Hurray for your second vaccine - soon come!
      xxx

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  5. So lovely photos of your cornish holiday!, no wonder so many artists go there to paint these amazing landscapes!, I can imagine there are also lots of tourists (which is not fab!). Glad you could enjoy these places in a quiet atmosphere. I totally understand you about the lack of spontaneity, I also miss it!.
    And so fabulous that you went for a rummage, ten charities are a lot of them (we have just three of them in my city and none is in the city centre!). I love particularly your new striped raincoat, it's so cute and you look fabulous in it, both with red trousers and jeans.
    Also lovely colourful tunic and rocking pink ensemble!, and you know I always admire your jewellery and accessories, particularly necklaces!.
    Glad to see that you're enjoying Fred Vargas' books. They're really peculiar, but I like the atmosphere and characters, they're strange but realistic, in my opinion. And so interesting historical details into the plot.
    besos

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    1. Thank you, Monica.
      It was relatively quiet and peaceful as mid April is not high tourist season, so it was just perfect in terms of not having to battle huge crowds everywhere.

      I am loving the Fred Vargas books and learning a lot of history, too!
      xxx

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  6. your trip to cornwall sounds and looks gorgeous - despite the C-restrictions. its a beautiful corner of your country with this wild coast, pretty towns and lavish parks......
    i´m in love with the pink outfit and the stripey raincoat - so cheery!!
    we have another hard lockdown since monday - don´t ask.
    xxxx

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    1. Oh Beate, thank you so much and I'm so sorry to hear about your further lockdown. Good job you got to the chemist and bought your 4711 in time!
      xxx

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  7. I absolutely loved your account of your trip to Cornwall, bringing back quite a few happy memories of my visits to this beautiful part of the UK.
    I loved Penzance - and once walked along the causeway from Marazion to St. Michael's Mount - and the area around St. Ives. I remember Porthleven too, we went for a meal at a pub there on a balmy Summer evening. I was at Land's End twice, the first time in 1990, when it was just rocks and an ice-cream van. Imagine my surprise when I went back with Jos just five years later, and there was this huge complex and it was all commercialized!
    Love your stripy raincoat and the Kushi maxi skirt - I think I have a Kushi maxi too - it hasn't come out of hibernation yet - picked up in a UK charity shop. The colourful tunic from the Porthleven community shop is gorgeous too! xxx

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    1. Thank you, Ann.

      We would have loved to walk across the Causeway but St. Michael's Mount was closed to the public and it's tricky getting the timing of the tides right. Next time!
      xxx

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  8. Thank you for taking us along to Cornwall. I really enjoyed seeing your photos and learning a bit about the area. Nice being able to see the actual spots behind the famous placenames.
    The new striped raincoat is beautiful and just the thing for a seaside holiday. Rather taken with your pink outfit as well.
    I have my second vaccine tomorrow but like you I don't see myself in any large crowds for quite some time.
    Take care.

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    1. Thank you, Goody. Congratulations on your 2nd vaccine; no ball games, raves or concerts for us!!
      xxx

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  9. What a wonderful adventure to Cornwall, thank you so much for all these amazing pictures, Vronni - that is one beautiful place. I've heard of Penzance, and Truro (via Anna from Scilly), but it's amazing to see it all. I hear you on spontaneous eating out - you can't do it here, either.

    Awesome outfits - love your Tu tunic and your cardi/jacket with the circle pattern. I'm boggled by how many thrifts you have in your town! We only have a few here.

    I'm still waiting on my first jab - Canada is still way behind on this - but word is we should be getting the call in the next week and will be booked by mid-May.

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    1. Thank you, Sheila. I wanted to go to Fowey where Daphne Du Maurier lived but have put that on my list to do next time we visit!

      Good luck for your vaccine; it won't be long now.
      xxx

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