I thought I might use this seasonal challenge as a monthly wrap-up of life in my new county. It might be amusing to see how the year progresses and I’m taking a bit of a risk here. I just hope the Cardinal doesn’t object to my twist on the challenge.
It is very different living in the countryside, though we are not in the least ‘remote’ as it is only a 10 minute drive to the coast and several places with amenities like shops and petrol stations. It just feels remote I guess because we are used to a 5 minute walk to said amenities.
It’s a lot noisier than I expected too and somewhat smelly. The cattle farm next-door is full of noise. Farm equipment reversing with the interminable noise of those beeps. Cattle lowing and the bulls – well I’m not really sure how to describe the noise they make, but one kept us awake almost the entire night only a few days after we’d moved in. Or perhaps it was a cow giving birth.
And then there are the geese flying over at dawn, followed by the crows and a blackbird. I don’t mind the blackbird, I rather like him serenading us as we eat our dinner in the conservatory (if it’s not freezing cold that is) and he reminds me of the one we left behind. Or, maybe, as I have convinced myself, he IS the one we left behind.
Talking about the conservatory. After a dramatic thunderstorm with lightning and hail (yes, hail in Hayle), we found a small-sized swimming pool in the conservatory. As this followed smoke in the linen cupboard, we are now waiting for the plague of frogs. Actually we do seem to have an inordinate number of woodlice – mostly dead ones.
Most of the boxes are unpacked, just waiting for some work to be done so we can put up the bookcases which I have yet to paint. And then we can open all the book boxes stacked up in the dining hall which can then get a dining table! I hope you are following all this, there will be a test at the end. The lounge is a temporary office and the office is a store room at present. It will all come right in the end. I assure myself each day of that as I walk past the book box mountain. And then I can decorate, or get in a man who can. The last time I did some serious decorating (the whole of a Victorian villa) I ended up with a frozen shoulder for two years. And expensive chiropractor bills. Oh, and finally get to hang up pictures that have been stored for the past five years. I can’t even remember what they are now. Or even if I like them.
The weather has been changeable. Typical April showers. Sunshine which actually turns my face pink (how does that happen when the temperature is less than 11°C ?) and lots of rain. Different types of rain. One day we were living in a cloud, and then there is the horizontal rain, and the afore-mentioned hail. I can live with the rain though as the sunny days are superb and most of the time the rain falls at night or early morning and then the rest of the day is fine. Just as long as I remember to close the Velux windows.
A stone’s throw from the hill with a view – you might get sick of photos of this one and our own engine house, the lovely ivy-covered Wheal Alice (seen above with the cows) it is no hardship to actually stay at home. We have, however, managed to escape from the house on a few occasions. To a local pub where they serve very good Sunday roasts with not so good red wine. To St Ives where we parked at the ‘park ‘n ride‘ which is at the top of the town and involves many steps down to the town. Which means many steps back up at some point.
We took the shuttle bus, for research purposes naturally. It costs £1.50 return per person (or £1 single) and old fogies like the OH who have got a free bus pass can’t use them. I’m not at all bitter that I won’t get a concessionary bus pass until my state pension age, which keeps shifting ever further into the distance in the hope that I’ll shuffle off this mortal coil before I reach it. In St Ives we had lunch overlooking Porthmeor beach and bought daffodils in the harbour, a loaf of sourdough bread and organic free range eggs before heading to a supermarket (with a sea-view) to buy some more palatable wine.
We also sought out a nearby farm shop where we spent a lot of money on steak, chicken, Cornish cheeses such as Yarg and St Endelion Brie (both excellent), salad stuff and other bits and pieces which simply leapt into the basket. Followed by a very good flat white coffee in their restaurant and a very nice, but way too sickly lemon pavlova.
After that we walked up the hill again!
We also crossed country to revisit Godolphin gardens, a National Trust place near Leedstown, which wasn’t looking anywhere near as beautiful as it had last year, but the bluebells made up for it. Though the coffee was a disaster. £2 for a cup of instant tasteless hot water. We’ll stick to the Fentimans Ginger Beer in future.
We then climbed another hill – Godolphin – which has the most incredible views east and west. I’m rather getting into this hill climbing thing, although my hips and knees aren’t quite as fond of them.
Looking out of the windows at twilight or dawn makes me realise how lucky I am to be living here. The light is just something else. Also watching a magpie attack a juvenile kestrel in the hedgerow was quite amazing too.
And I have yet to make a start on the garden…
(Above: Some things growing in the garden and many more yet to be identified!)
The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2016 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Read his blog for the new rules this year (he is running two versions) and to view his interpretation and those of other participants.