Hello there! It's been a while and I feel that I should apologise in advance for what is going to be a rather photo-heavy post. The photos and accompanying rambling are for my own benefit, to remind me of our 2021 'Staycation'.
Last week, R and I rented a little studio flat in Carbis Bay, near St. Ives in Cornwall. Think G7 Summit and you'll get an idea of the place. It was an idyllic week, not too bad weather-wise and full of daily walks, glorious scenery, vegan cream teas (count them, I had 2! :O) ) and very little cooking on my part, which is always a plus on holiday.
The Saturday that we set off was one of the worst days for rain. Never have we driven so far in Bridget with the hood up. It rained for the entire journey, only clearing up once we had arrived which allowed us to walk into St. Ives along the coastal footpath for a chippy tea by the harbour.
'The Studio', where we were staying was lovely - perfectly situated and bigger than I had expected. The main room had a double bed, a sofa, TV, radio etc. and a small kitchen and bar acting as a dining table. There was a separate room for the shower, washbasin and loo.
The dehumidifier in the corner was our first clue that all wasn't going to be plain sailing. The back of the building was set into a bank of garden, so damp was inevitable, I suppose. The biggest problem though was the state of the bedding and towels provided. They had a horrible, rancid smell, as if they had been washed and folded away without being dried properly. The pillowcases were so bad that I didn't actually want to rest my head on them. Luckily, I had taken along extra towels for the beach and so used those to cover the pillows. It was only for a week though, so we coped okay and the view from the patio doors made up for it:
Sunday was a day of showers - one of those when the cagoules were on and off multiple times. The plus side was more rainbows than you could shake a stick at!
We decided to walk the opposite way along the coastal path towards Hayle, detouring by the beach on the way. I have to say that the coastal views in this bit of Cornwall are superb and I'm hugely envious of the locals. I enjoy Leanne Paxton's (Today's Stuff blog) Instagram account ( Here) and love her beautiful photos of the area. Incidentally, I actually spotted her in 'Seasalt' St. Ives but was too shy to go up and say hello!
After lunch, we hopped into Bridget and drove west to find Chysauster Ancient Village, a late Iron age/Roman village consisting of 8-10 houses, each with an internal courtyard. Set on a hillside, the views were far ranging and it was lovely pottering about imagining the lives of the people who used to live there.
Lanyon Quoit was next on the list, a prehistoric monument originally dating from 3500-2500 BCE. In 1815 it collapsed in a storm and was rebuilt in 1824 at a slightly different angle and with the capstone on 3 uprights which were shortened and squared off. Thus, it is smaller than it would have been originally.
Men-an-tol, a Bronze age holed stone, known locally as the Crick Stone for its alleged ability to aid those suffering from back ache. Having passed through the hole (negotiating the muddy puddle on either side!), I'm not sure that I could have managed it with a bad back. It is also supposed to aid fertility and ensure bountiful crops!
We also called in at Carn Galver tin mine, which operated from the 1830s until 1878. The nearby Count House has quite a history: During WWI, D.H. Lawrence and his German wife lived in the nearby village of Zennor and were wrongly suspected of signalling to German U-boats off the coast. Seeing a light flashing from the Count House one night, a police raid discovered the tenant singing German songs with the Lawrences. The Tenant was fined for breaking blackout regulations and the Lawrences were expelled from Cornwall!
After our fill of exploring, we popped back into St.Ives to pick up a Chinese takeaway for supper.
Monday was, according to the weather forecast, supposed to be the worst day weather-wise of our holiday. In the end, it wasn't actually too bad. Nevertheless, in preparation we had planned to visit Tate St. Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Both were enjoyable but for different reasons! Rather than walk along the coastal footpath again, we decided to take the little local train. It was £2 for a return ticket and the journey took all of 5 minutes!
Tate St. Ives is an art gallery mainly featuring works by modern British artists with links to the area. One thing you should know, R and modern art aren't the best combination! There were a few pieces that I really liked - Picasso's 'Head of a Woman', donated in lieu of a tax payment, and a stained glass 3D sculpture by Peter Lanyon called 'Colour Construction' being among them. Then there were the canvases painted black or with a couple of paint dribbles on them, that sort of thing, which were good value merely because of R's reaction! The explanations and justifications for some of them were also entertaining. :O) Still, it passed a rainy hour or so.
Barbara Hepworth's Sculpture Garden, however, was terrific and I could have wandered round all day. Apart from the sculptures, her studios had been preserved just as she left them when she tragically died of smoke inhalation in a fire. I do love a place where it feels as if the owner has just stepped out for a minute and this was one of them. The gardens are beautifully maintained and I had serious glasshouse envy!
Me trying an arty spider picture!
Supper was a Mexican salad bowl for me and an 'All Day Vegan Breakfast' for R at the Tretho Lounge, before we caught the little train back to the flat.
Tuesday was the only day that we had planned well in advance. I had booked tickets for the Minack Theatre for the evening and so the idea was to spend the day in the Penzance area. Looking on 'Happy Cow', we discovered a cafe called 'The Honey Pot' which made vegan cream teas. It was a done deal! :O)
Wandering around, we found a fantastic plant shop and went in for a nosy. It was glorious but I didn't feel that transporting a plant home in an open top car was a viable option, so we came away empty handed.