Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Man Engine comes to Minions

An introduction and lots of information about The Man Engine and the reasons it was invented in this link -

We queued for ages in crawling or stationary traffic, taking 90 minutes to drive from my village to Minions (normally less than 10 minutes), got very wet and chilled, waited until well after the original time to see the transformation of The Man Engine, then waited even longer in the parking field for well over an hour before we could leave (thanks to some very rude and aggressive motorists who didn't know the meaning of 'give way', 'no, after you' or have the patience to take their turns) and today, my knees are very, very painful after the walking and standing around . . . BUT after all that, I am so glad we went. The Man Engine is a brilliant piece of engineering and it was sobering to hear some of the history of the mining in this area before having a moment to remember those miners who lost their lives underground.
There was a drone circling the Man Engine - and I almost expected him to want to swat it away!!! I couldn't get a photo of the whole thing, because we weren't close enough to see his legs and feet, but that was a choice I made, because I was concerned about the possibility of the whole thing toppling over - it was after all standing in an area that is riddled with mines and underground tunnels. (Worried Mummy and Grandma!)
The first few photos are to give you some idea of the crowds, the weather (typical Cornish mizzle!) and the resigned anticipation of what was to come.

 You might recognise Houseman's Engine House in the background of this photo, as it has appeared in some of my previous photos when I have been walking with Zac up there. 

Suddenly, there was a buzz of excitement when the Man Engine's head appeared above the crowd.

But it was a false alarm; he was being lifted carefully from the huge flat-bed lorry that has been transporting him around the mining areas of Cornwall.

The Callington Silver Band could be heard approaching . . . 

  . . . . and came up the track just in front of us.

And still we waited; the time of transformation had now been put back to 7pm and the wetness persisted!
 But then - 

 Spot the drone.

An unforgettable experience - for mixed reasons.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Elusive birds,cattle and Zac!

Last week, I paid another short visit to a quiet shore of Colliford Reservoir where the only sounds were of skylarks high overhead and the lovely songs of unidentified birds which were flitting between the gorse bushes. There's one of those birds on that shrub in the distance, almost at the water's edge.

 Here he is!

 And again! I think it might be a Chaffinch.

Earlier today, once the temperature had dropped, I took Zac for a stroll up on the Moor.  Unusually, there was not a single sheep up there;  I wonder if they have been taken away for shearing.  
Zac never looks his age when he's somewhere exciting - and to him, the Moor is always exciting, with a good chance of meeting up with some doggy friends.

 The bracken is now waist-high thanks to the heavy rain, followed by hot sunshine, but the animals prefer to eat grass.

 The cattle are being very sensible and relaxing in any shade they can find; trees are few and far between on the Moor.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Out and About

Days out have been curtailed by the seemingly incessant rain, followed by two weeks of Wimbledon-watching.  But on the good days and with Zac up for some shortish rambles, we have been out and about, enjoying the scenery in this area.
However, for this outing to the theatre with friends one evening, Zac had to stay at home. We went to Sterts Open Air Theatre situated a couple of miles from my home in a village on Bodmin Moor. Essential items are - warm clothing, a cushion and a warm blanket, because it gets a bit chilly in the evenings. 

And this is the band we'd gone to hear - 3 Daft Monkeys! Yes, I know there are 4 members of the band, but they only recently acquired a drummer, so there may well be an adjustment to their name.
It was a very enjoyable evening, excellent music, the chance to 'get down and dance' and to watch the little son of two members of the band, 2 year-old Arlo, dancing away on his own and also with a partner. His sense of rhythm was astonishing for a child so young and he's a real scene-stealer. Unfortunately, my only photos of him were too blurred to be any good - he was quite a fast mover!

On another day, it was a drive around the narrow lanes and nearby villages, stopping for photos of interesting places.  
To the north-west of St. Cleer is King Doniert's Stone, consisting of two pieces of richly carved stone dating back to the 9th century.  The inscription is believed to commemorate Doniert, the last King of Cornwall, who died around 875.

 Onwards next to Colliford Lake, a huge reservoir covering more than 900 acres on Bodmin Moor, near to the village of Bolventor; it offers excellent fishing opportunities and also has a very popular 50-acre leisure and adventure park which offers trails and footpaths,  play areas, wetlands, picnic areas and a cafe.
However, I prefer the quieter parts, where I can absorb the beauty of the area and listen to the skylarks while Zac plods around exploring the many enticing smells.

My car provides shelter from the stiff breeze while I sit and read . . . 

 . . . . and the boot is my coffee-making area.  

Zac cooling off after his adventures.

 Leaving Colliford behind, we head towards St Neot village, negotiating some VERY narrow lanes (and praying that nothing will come the other way!)

 The bridge in the photo above was built in order to preserve the ancient one pictured below when heavier vehicles than the original horse and cart traffic threatened to destroy it.  

Finally, we reach the very pretty village of St Neot; 

St Neot Church and its neighbour, The London Inn, a traditional English pub with wooden beams, thick walls and cosy rooms.  I can vouch for the excellent meals as well!
 The Parish Church, dedicated to Saint Aneitus. 
 The Holy Well of Saint Neot
The legend of this holy well is that it used to contain 3 fish; an angel told Saint Neot that as long as he only ate one fish a day, their numbers would never decrease.  But at a time when Saint Neot fell ill, his servant cooked two of the fish; upon discovering this, St Neot prayed for forgiveness and ordered that the fish be returned.  Upon entering the water, both fish were miraculously restored to life. 
 I hope you enjoyed my travels in the areas around my home.