Saturday, 1 December 2018

Godrevy and the seals

Don't faint!  Two posts within an hour - but actually this was part of the same holiday.
Godrevy wasn't far away and that lighthouse was in my sights and calling my name, so off we went for another sunny, hot afternoon.  Lovely walks along the cliff path, an ice cream to share and other dogs to meet and greet. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

This was the image that encouraged me to buy a cornet, which we both enjoyed. Mmmmm . . 

Here's One I Made Earlier.

I've no idea why I didn't post about my little 'getaway' trip at the time, but I'm thinking it might be good to remind ourselves that we had actual SUNSHINE not so long ago.  Well . . in October . . .

I live in a perfectly nice bungalow in a moorland village in rural Cornwall but every so often I have the urge to get away from it all, an urge that won't go away.  I have always loved camping (and caravanning) but last time out with my tent I found myself struggling against a stiff breeze on my campsite on a Cornish cliff top; indeed I was ready to bundle the darn thing back into the car and come home until someone took pity on me, came across from his caravan and helped me to put the tent up.  But that experience was enough to make me realise I could no longer manage hauling all the camping equipment out and then packing the car, driving to a campsite, setting up the tent, filling it with a carload of 'stuff' before being able to sit down and relax with a cup of tea.  Oh - and the dog needed walking and feeding!
Decision made, the tent was put up for sale and I parted with some of my camping gear.  (The tent still hasn't sold so I'll try again in the Spring.) In the interim, I perused t'internet to find a bargain holiday which doesn't require all that effort.
Result - in October, Benji and I had a lovely, relaxing holiday in a static caravan near Hayle and the weather was fabulous.  We were close to a golden beach where dogs were allowed (the seasonal dog ban having ended 3 days before we arrived; that's why I booked those dates! ;)) The caravan had an enclosed balcony facing the sea, so it was great to have the sliding doors open without Benji being able to escape.  He shifted from his bed to the balcony depending on how hot he felt!

The view from the balcony.

Pub terrace overlooking the bay (Bluff Bay).

Hot, golden sand, blue sky and Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance.

This footpath led from the caravan site, down past the pub and straight on to the sands. I couldn't have wished for better.

St.Ives, across the estuary

My camera had a hissy fit, so I visited Penzance to find a camera shop - Penzance centre is extremely busy and parking spots are hard to find: I spotted one but was unable to stop and reverse into it because of following traffic, so I carried on . . and on . . and on . .  There's a huge gyratory system which takes traffic out of the the centre, out of the town and I found myself heading for St Ives! I must have missed a sign and taken a wrong turn somewhere. St Ives is very photogenic, but of course, my camera was on strike, so you'll have to take my word for it. I did eventually manage to reach the camera shop, problem solved and drove back to Hayle.  
We headed for the Cinnamon Trust headquarters and were warmly welcomed by the staff there, who were very pleased to see Benji and remarked how good he looked.  He ought to after losing half his body weight since coming to me. I was quite surprised at his shyness when he was fussed over - he's far from shy normally, but he clung close to me and was keen to leave.  I wonder if he thought it was the vets?  
And that turned out to be our final day as overnight, the weather changed completely.  We woke to torrential rain, a partly flooded site and as my car was parked alongside the caravan on the grass, I was concerned about getting stuck, so decided to pack up, put the rubbish out, clean the caravan and head home a day early. Horrendous journey and I was very glad to reach home.  But we had both thoroughly enjoyed the break and change of scenery - and how nice not to lug all the camping equipment around. Here's to our next trip!  

But first -  just a few miles from home we visited . . . well, here's a clue - 

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Good and Bad of Autumn

Oh dear!  I shall have my hands slapped for not posting regularly again . . . .

After rain and wind had curtailed our walking, I thought it would be good to have a bracing walk on Seaton Beach; it was an overcast, but dry weekday so it wouldn't be too busy.

The Autumn colours in the Beech hedges and Horse Chestnut trees were amazing, so I just had to stop the car and take photographs - hurried ones, because that lane is narrow and twisting and I didn't want a motorist in a hurry to come racing up from behind.  Please excuse the reflections - the photos were taken through the windscreen.

A different take on yellow lines on the road.

Thanks to the high winds, the sea was looking pretty rough and wild, so I decided to ditch the beach walk and stroll through the Seaton Countryside Park instead.

But I had a shock when I tried to turn left off the main road, which was partly flooded, into the car park entrance.  Ooops!¬ 

There was no way in - the River Seaton had burst its banks and flooded the car park and most of the green field at the beginning of the Park. 

Hardly any flowers to be seen at this time of year and much of the Park had been strimmed of the excess vegetation but I found this little crop of fungus near one of the seats at the edge of the forest.

You may have noticed a distinct lack of photos of Benji so far; he hates water, wet grass, rain and besides he had been trimmed, shampoo'ed, blow-dried and brushed to within an inch of his life and preferred to tiptoe daintily along the gravel path.  Until he spied the ducks in a huddle on the grass.   Luckily I spied them an instant before he did and clipped his lead on pretty quickly! 
So here are the obligatory Benji photos, taken in the comfort of his home, perched on his favourite pouffe in front of the window, so he can keep an eye out for possible marauders.  When he isn't posing for the camera!!! 

Saturday, 15 September 2018

A Bit of a Rant.

I have mentioned before (in May 2017) my disappointment & annoyance at the 'dog-friendly cafe' on the National Trust's Lanhydrock Estate in Cornwall, when I found that if you have a dog, you can't enter the cafe; you can only eat at the outside tables on the verandah.  But if you aren't allowed inside, how do you buy food or drink?

Then recently I visited The Lost Gardens of Heligan, where dogs are welcome.  I made my way to the outside tables of the Tearoom - and once again found that I couldn't take my dog inside to get lunch or a drink.
Tying him up or even leaving him with someone willing to look after him would have resulted in blind panic from my little rescue dog who has Separation Anxiety - and frantic yapping and howling once I was out of sight.
Heligan is not a National Trust property, so I have now written to both places and asked if there are any solutions to this problem, pointing out that the UK has thousands of people who live alone with a dog as a companion.  Their strict rules prevent us from enjoying their wonderful estates and gardens.

Incidentally, I also used the lovely little National Trust cafe above Bedruthan Steps, where I was welcomed in to buy my breakfast bacon roll and pot of tea, then after walking the coastal path, returned and enjoyed a Cornish Cream Tea with my little dog alongside, both at the counter and at the tables, inside or out.
If only we could be sure of a welcome in all similar properties.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Spitchwick Manor reunion September 2018

Now that the hedge has gone, Benji loves to watch what's going on in the world outside so has commandeered the padded stool.

But occasionally he needs to snooze . . 

On Sunday we had a day out, the occasion being the Annual Get-together for the Red Setter Rescue and Re-homing Charity.
My friends two dogs came from Ireland via this charity, so we go every year to support them.  Spitchwick Manor is the setting, with its 6 acres of grounds and wonderful views over to Dartmoor.  

Looking into the secret garden, where there's Lady Ashburton's Plunge Pool, a tad cool even on a sunny day as it's fed by a natural spring.


But the day was all about the Red Setters and their friends, so most of them set off to walk on Dartmoor and admire the various Tors that they passed on their 4-mile hike.  Others chose the shorter route, about 2 miles on fairly flat ground - and others, like us, chose to wander the grounds and admire the views all around, which also meant our 3 dogs could be off-lead to explore. We also had a refreshing cup of coffee back at the car, parked under the beech trees in dappled sunlight. 

Gradually, the walkers drifted back and we headed back to the house where we enjoyed a scrumptious English Tea in the Rose Garden - plates of assorted sandwiches, very tasty sausage rolls, more plates of scones with jam and cream and even more plates of home-made cakes, enormous slices!!! And of course, lashings of tea.
Afterwards we all waited for the command - "DOGS OFF LEADS!!!"

I thought Benji would be overwhelmed by all those BIG dogs, but he joined in with the excitement. Until he spotted me . . "Mummeeeeee!!"

Unfortunately, my attempts to capture the sight of dozens of racing Red Setters turned out to be blurred streaks of shiny auburn fur as they flew past.
So here are 2 handsome beauties standing still.
An Irish Setter and a Gordon Setter.

After the chase, a cooling dip in the Rose Garden fountain.

What a lovely day it was, a long day for us but the sun shone and our dogs enjoyed meeting so many old and new friends. 
Here's to next year.