Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Muddy in Minions

An early morning frost, the first of the year, left a thin white layer on the slopes of Caradon Hill which quite quickly melted away under a weak sun.

The Moor felt very spongy underfoot - I discovered that my trusty walking boots are no longer waterproof - and the track had plenty of muddy patches and puddles.
In order to find a firmer footing, I followed the granite setts of the former Caradon Mining Railway.

Looking out across the Minions to Upton Cross road to one of the many ruined engine houses and beyond to Dartmoor.

She was so intent on eating as much grass as possible, that I got close enough to almost touch her - but despite all the encouraging words and clicks from me, she wouldn't lift her head and smile for the camera. After I pocketed my camera, she stared across at me - she had a pretty dappled grey face. Huh!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Pretty Christmas Baubles

After the somewhat grey day in Altarnun, I thought a bit of colour might not go amiss.  
Excuse the early Christmas tree - I only set it up to display these lovely baubles made by a friend.
They arrived (from the Isle of Man) beautifully packaged in gold and purple bags:

The artificial tree is now back in its box and hidden away in a bedroom cupboard, but it was lovely to have a bit of colour and pretty lights last night.  Now I'm eager to bring in my real, living Christmas tree from the garden and get it trimmed with my new purchases - come on, Christmas!

Friday, 20 November 2015


I drove to Altarnun yesterday as I had arranged to go along to the Moorland Art Group whose monthly meetings are held in the Village Hall.  Altarnun is on the north-eastern edge of Bodmin Moor, while my own home is on the opposite side of the Moor.  After the Art Group meeting, I had a wander around this very pretty village with camera in hand and although it was a grey and rainy day, I hope you enjoy the resulting photos. 

St. Nonna's Church, also known as The Cathedral of The Moors because of its size.

I believe this house is the one which was The Poor Houses until the mid 1800s when it was sold and became a private residence.

An ancient Post Bridge, now restored to its former glory.

A lovely row of cottages - with Zac getting in the frame!

I love this pretty gate - but I'd have to get the wire brush and Hammerite to it. Such a shame it's been allowed to go rusty.

And finally - the Village Hall where I started the day. There's a Post Office and small store attached and I bought a jar of locally made Plum Jam in there - "Mmmmmm!"  is all I can say; I had some for my tea when I returned home. 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Caradon Hill climb

Not very far from home today; this photo was taken from the road which runs between my village and the moorland.  My home is over to the left, on the outskirts of the village.

The animals are free to roam all over Bodmin Moor, but kept out of the villages by cattle grids in the roads, which also restrict them to speed-limited sections of road.

This photo is taken from the same spot, looking on to the Moor; the ponies are obviously reading all about their surroundings from the illustrated information boards.

Basking in the brief sunshine

Zac and I have the same idea as the sheep - head towards the top of Caradon Hill.  The pine trees surround The Wheal Tor Hotel, which as well as meals and rooms, also offers wooden cabins amongst the trees for holidaymakers.  You can see a few of them in this photo; each has a small deck with table and chairs.  I confess that they strike me as possibly being damp and cold, as the pines prevent sunshine from breaking through. I definitely like as much sunshine as possible, and light and warmth. 

"Just keeping an eye on you and That Dog"

Towards the top, ruins of a former homestead sheltered from the wind by the peak of Caradon Hill.

On the right, Caradon Mast which provides the TV signal for a wide area as well as boosting mobile phone reception for many people. 

Phew!  It's OK, Zac - that's it; you can lie down and rest now. 

We didn't stay long at the top of the hill because we had gone through patches of mist on the climb up and now it was drifting lower and lower.  Time to head off the Moor and go home.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Christmas Cake and a Beach Walk

I decided to make my own Christmas Cake this year and it is of the boiled variety - dead simple! 
Most of the ingredients go into a saucepan and are boiled for 10 minutes, then left to cool thoroughly before adding the flour and eggs.

Looks good enough to eat - and I have to confess I felt duty-bound to 'try' several samples for quality control, of course.  The addition of Cherry Brandy was a brilliant idea; I wonder if there's enough in there? The aroma spreading through my home is gorgeous!

If it had been before the advent of the digital camera, you might have assumed I was using black & white film, rather than colour, but it was a typical November day with colourless skies and a very weak sun. However, the photo of some dog-walkers adds a touch of colour.
This is the River Seaton, running high and fast today after several days of rain, racing past the walls of Seaton Beach Cafe.

While the wind is whipping the waves up on to the beach, the river is flowing in the opposite direction, down to the sea. It all looks rather chilly, doesn't it? 

Conifers were brought down after the erosion of the cliffs along this stretch leaving the houses above in precarious positions, no longer protected from the vagaries of the sea and wind.

Brought down, partly buried then stripped of its bark by the sea.

Touches of colour among the grey rocks.

The low sun was so weak that I was able to point the camera straight into it without any glare ruining the photo.

And finally - Zac in his favourite element!