Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Rambler Returns.

I'm afraid that losing my wonderful companion, Zac, shook me a lot and my blogging mojo just disappeared.  Walks seemed pointless without him by my side so I became quite reclusive, keeping to my home and garden, even ordering groceries online because I couldn't face meeting people.
However, a few weeks after he died, my son, daughter-in-law and grandson came to stay with me for several days; we went out and about and just having their company was the best antidote to my depression and they pulled me up from the doldrums. The best news was that they had decided to move to Cornwall permanently; they love this county and it will be good for us all to live closer together (my youngest son lives just a few miles away too.)

If anyone is still out there to read my blog, I ask forgiveness for my absence and promise to 'try harder' in future, get out there and take photos.

In September, I booked a small apartment in St Agnes parish, on the north coast of Cornwall, in a little hamlet called Skinner's Bottom - Cornwall has some fantastic place names, doesn't it? During my time there, I discovered some lovely beaches that I'd never visited before despite several previous holidays in St Agnes (probably because they didn't allow dogs . . . ) 

The view of rural serenity from my holiday home; just the sound of birds and occasional clip clop of a horse being ridden along the lane. Just what I needed!

This is Portreath, a lovely sandy beach in a steep valley; the granite wall on the right is to protect the little harbour.  In the storms of 2014, the small white pepperpot building was destroyed but has since been rebuilt. 

Looking down from the steep cliffs above the village and car park

I also went to Godrevy beach and lighthouse - made famous by Virginia Woolfe's book "To The Lighthouse" -  another outpost of the north coast that bears the brunt of fierce storms lashing in from the Atlantic.  But on a quiet September afternoon it can seem deceptively peaceful - don't be fooled; the small stretch of low tide sand connecting it to Gwithian beach disappears in a flash when the tide comes back in. 

An old stone gate on the coastal path

 and a beautiful, wildflower-covered stone wall

 Admiring the view

Hope you enjoyed some of the views of my short break - there are more to come, I promise. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Garden House

I visited this lovely 10-acre garden with my son and daughter-in-law when they were here to visit me.  We had intended going to The Lost Gardens of Heligan, but after enjoying a lazy morning and a leisurely breakfast at an outside table of our village Farm Shop, we realised that we hadn't enough of the day left to do it justice - Heligan needs a full day.  So we cut down our travelling time by going to The Garden House at Buckland Monochorum in Devon and enjoyed ambling along the pathways through the themed areas of this cosier, undemanding place instead.
As I used to live in nearby Horrabridge, I have been to this garden many times, often with a thermos, sandwiches, fruit and a book - to sit on 'my' bench in the little walled garden. (If anyone was already sitting there, I confess to lingering nearby, casting irritated looks their way until they felt it best to move on!)
But my son and daughter-in-law had never been before and absolutely loved it.
These first photos were taken by my son, on his phone, and are of far better quality than I could manage with my camera, so my thanks to you, son. xx
You'll see the difference when I post mine!

I apologise for these 'sideways' photos - no matter how I try to edit them, I can't get them the right way up!

I can do this - !!!!!

And now with my own camera . . . .

 Oh look!  Upright trees!

I love Acers but they are not at their most colourful best until October; all being well, I shall be back then to see and photograph much more vibrant colours.

 'MY' seat, claimed with my rucksack while I take photos.  

It was a hot, sultry afternoon and I wish I could convey the sounds of birdsong and the low humming of many bees as they busied themselves about the garden.
Our final stop was at the house, for tea and cake served on the terrace.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

RIP my beloved friend, companion and soul-mate.

It's simply awful, lonely, quiet, still . . . all those familiar sounds are gone, those routines are in shambles and there's no reason to go for a walk any more. I cannot imagine walking on my own up on the Moor or along a beach or coastal path. The aching lump in my chest is physically painful and I burst into tears without warning. Even when I'm not crying, my eyes leak . . it's as though the grief has to come out in some way. I miss his presence so much and the house feels empty; I hate opening the door to come in, still waiting for the scramble as he comes to greet me, so happy that I'm back even if I've only been gone for 5 minutes. I miss those gorgeous golden eyes looking into mine and telling me so much.  I miss our conversations; I miss feeling his head on my feet, stroking his fur,  I just MISS him so much.
No apologies for sounding so negative and sorry for myself because I'm afraid I am.  

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Holidays in Perranporth.

When friends from up-country come to Cornwall for their holidays, I like to meet up with them and spend a few hours catching up.  So last week, when friends from Matlock in Derbyshire came down for their long-awaited week in Cornwall, we arranged to meet in Perranporth.  Even though it's holiday season and our roads and resorts are pretty full, I hoped I would be able to find a parking space not too far from the beach.  We were due to have lunch together in 'The Watering Hole', the pub/restaurant on the beach.
Well as things turned out, I had my pick of parking places - the place was almost empty! The constant rain had driven people away from the beach so there was lots of space in the car parks and in the restaurant - no-one at all at the outside tables, either.
 Note the few hardy souls who were well wrapped up and carrying umbrellas!
The parasols were closed down at The Watering Hole and the Beach Shop was closed.

 Just as we were leaving, the rain stopped briefly and a few people were braving the beach.
 But what a difference - this week, friends from Sheffield came down for a 2 week holiday and yesterday I drove to Perranporth again to spend a few hours with them.  The sun was shining, the beach was busy and it was a gorgeous day to be on a Cornish beach.  Once again, we had lunch and sat at one of the outside tables to enjoy the day.

Now, I enjoy Cornwall in all weathers, but I have the advantage of living here all the time; but it must be galling to endure wet, chilly weather (in AUGUST!) during the one week that you have been looking forward to for ages. 
My Matlock friends feel rather miffed!  

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Through the Garden Gate

My apologies to anyone who doesn't like the 'flowery' posts but at this time of year, this is what is best in the garden.  After weeks of rain, I was beginning to despair of any flowers surviving the constant battering but thank goodness some did.  The poor roses, though . . .

The camera really doesn't do the flowers justice; it's impossible to capture the amazing colours accurately. Those pale blue stems in this last photo are a beautiful lavender blue colour which I look forward to every year. 
Both this plant and its neighbour, the rose red flowers on long stems, were alive with bees while I was taking the photos - very carefully!