February: the month we received the keys to our new home in our new county one year ago. To celebrate we went for lunch at a Rick Stein restaurant (he of Padstein reputation), in Porthleven a lovely little fishing village on the south coast near Helston. Fortunately during the winter months we get some decent foodie discounts so we have decided to indulge ourselves
once a few times a month.
It has been a funny old month, some days the temperature has been in the teens and with a gentle breeze it has almost felt like spring is already here. Then overnight it has become colder (though never much lower than 6°C) and the wind rips through you like a hot knife through butter. Alternating with a dense fog. Oh, and a four hour long power cut one evening; reading by candle-light is not easy! Luckily we have a wood burner so could at least keep warm! It took both of us back to the early ’70s when there used to be frequent power-cuts and I remember my mother having a hoard of candles in her pantry!
On one of the nicer days I made the cross-country trip to the Helford River and visited one of my favourite Cornish gardens, Trebah. Once owned by the Fox family (as indeed was the next-door garden of Glendurgan) the garden is open all year round and I was keen to see what, if anything, was flowering. Predominately a spring garden, nonetheless there is something of interest all year round. The Fox family had a shipping agency and many exotic plants were brought here on packet ships.
What there wasn’t in the way of flowers was made up by the many textures and shades of green in the garden. From the yellow bamboo stems, the fresh green shoots and bright green moss to the dark teal green of the ponds.
Plus the intoxicating smell of Christmas Box (Sarcococca confusa) around Alice’s Seat, lots of snowdrops, hellebores and the start of Trebah’s collection of over 500 camellias. Having seen the vast number of Narcissi in bud I shall have to visit again in the next few weeks.
Also at the bottom of the garden you get lovely views across the Helford River and towards the eastern side of the Lizard peninsula.
On the way home I managed to get lost on the narrow country roads, attempting to do a short-cut. That’s one problem about living down here, short-cuts invariably lead to a longer drive as I balk at some of the narrow lanes my SatNav, the lovely Florence, tries to send me down.
Anyway in this case it was fortuitous as I passed by the Great Flat Lode trail and Carn Brea, which looks like a giant discarded chess piece on the top of a hill.
Seeing the ruins of Wheal Frances by the side of the road I took the opportunity to pull into a car park conveniently close to where I stopped to take a photo of Carn Brea. Unfortunately the site appears to be a favourite with dog walkers (at least three cars pulled up with dogs in them in the 10 minutes or so that I was there) and some owners do not bother to clean up after their pets.
Valentine’s Day saw me in Truro which I reached by using one of the county’s new Tinner buses due to my car having her annual service. What started out as a morning shrouded in fog gave way to clear blue skies even whilst I was waiting for the bus down in Hayle.
The isolation of our property is disadvantageous at these times as we cannot easily get home either by foot or public transport. The Tinner buses, a shiny new fleet of red double deckers, have free wi-fi access and USB charge points (I have to wonder how long they will last before being damaged) and panels inside with simple Cornish language phrases. #whatscornishfor. Yes, Cornwall is one of those places that has a minority language along with Welsh, Scots, Ulster Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Manx Gaelic. As I was pretty hopeless at learning much Welsh despite living on the border I’m quite sure I won’t become a fluent Cornish speaker either.
By the time I reached Truro (1 hour and 20 minutes in case you were wondering) the sky was cornflower blue and it was warm enough to discard the scarf. I wanted to re-visit the cathedral as I wasn’t very impressed on my visit a couple of years ago, and after my history trip up the eastern side of the country visiting several cathedrals along the way I felt I owed it another chance. Then, after a well needed haircut, I spent a couple of hours wandering the streets in the city (Cornwall’s only city) looking for interesting things to photograph. I don’t find Truro that exciting, especially in an architectural way, but a few odd things caught my eye which I will show in a separate post.
Finally the month wouldn’t be complete without a look in my garden. The dairy herd are back in the fields now, sheep and bulls are across the lane and daffodils dance in the hedgerows. The fieldfares are still performing their acrobatic dances in the sky and colour is returning to the neighbourhood.
And this is my 100th post on my new site!
Dha weles diwettha! (See you later!)
The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2017 – 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.