Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
Thanks, and welcome, to the followers of my blog. I'm very honoured that you enjoy it. Drop me some comments from time to time! It's good to hear what you think about the posts. Come back again soon.

Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Hey! What about this then?

Hey!  Hope you like my new look page!  It's all down to my friend Mary of Mary’s Mixes.  She's my guru when it comes to anything I don't know or remember how to do on the computer.  So Mary, big hugs and millions of thankyou's.  I've learned a few things in Windows 8 that I never knew about, because I tend to work on a Need to Know basis, whereas Mary plays about with things, clicking and right- clicking on icons and backgrounds, studying the screen for what else comes up on it!  I really must try that myself!  She's has made me an Email Me envelope for the side bar too, so if you can't comment via the Comments tag, you can always email me via the envelope!  I love to get your replies, and will add them to the comments box myself so you can see what others are saying.  I will delete any advertising spam, so if you are thinking of doing that, spammers, think again.  It won't be worth your time!

Talk again soon.

Some more Cornish delights

I left you at Minack last time. So now on to Mousehole, pronounced I believe as Mouzle, another small coastal town full of visitors.  This was the home of the last fluent Cornish speaker Dolly Pentreath, who died in 1777.  In the 20th century the language has been revived and I heard the news  read in Cornish on the car radio. I wonder how many understand it.

Once again I am regretting the loss of my own Cornish photos as I took some of interesting corners, and pictures that would bring back memories for me.  I haven't taken my laptop to the computer man yet to see if they can be recovered.                   Paintings below by Malcolm Coils  

The coastal villages are very picturesque and artists flock to them. Here are a couple of paintings I rather like of Mousehole and a photo of almost the same view as in the first painting, but from a different angle.

I love harbour pictures with piers or stone retaining walls, with little boats in the water below, steps and attractive little cottages piled above on the hillsides or cliffs..  In fact at the Monday morning craft group I go to, I am working on a pretty long-stitch tapestry of just the same sort of thing. Maybe I'll show it to you once it's finished!

I also found a photo of the view that Malcolm Coils painted with a bit of artistic licence, and another painting by Amanda Bee of the same spot.

Forgot to mention the Mousehole cat, a book based on a legend wherein a Cornish fisherman and his cat brave a storm, thanks to the cat's purring soothing the winds.  They make a huge catch and return to the harbour where the whole village is treated to a local dish called Star-gazy pie.

Next stop, after an ice cream cone from a rather nice café, was Marazion from where you can catch a boat at high tide or walk along a causeway at low tide to St Michael's Mount. 

Once again a painter's delight here are a couple of paintings I came across, the first from a Gutenberg project publication and the  one below by a Jon Harry.

I didn't cross to the island, preferring to wander round Marazion instead.  Perhaps that was a mistake.  I should have done both.

Marazion was a quaint little place, with a shop that sold "proper" Cornish pasties.  I did try one, but wasn't enamoured. I'm afraid.  People don't put (enough) salt in food these days - because it's bad for us! - but it makes food taste better without having to spice it up as they do now.

Cornish cream teas were more to my taste! I had a few of those on my travels. Cornish cream teas are served with strawberry jam and clotted cream on scones, with a pot of tea to accompany them.  Delicious!

This is the centre of Marazion, right, with the pasty shop round the corner, just catching the sun in this photo by Chris_I......

....and looking up the other way, across the square.  You can see the roads aren't very wide. The driver of a German touring coach managed to cause chaos, by driving his coach through the village round the bends, holding up cars coming the other way.  It was quite tight in places!

Well I am going to leave you here for tonight, and next time we'll head round the coast some more.             Talk again soon.



Sunday, 21 July 2013

Still in Cornwall

Zennor is a pretty village on the north coast of west Cornwall.  The church tower was the first thing that came into sight as I drove down the narrow road off the "main" road between St Ives and St Just. 

There's the pub, the Tinners Arms - no prizes for guessing that it was named for the tin miners - an old chapel turned café and backpackers' hostel, a museum of the history of the area.....

The wheel at the entrance to the cottages that comprised the museum was part of a pump from one of the mines, that kept the underground tin face clear of water.

Looking back from the hill beyond the museum, the old Methodist church cum hostel is the large building on the left of the photo below.

My next stop was at Geevor where there were quite a number of old mine workings.  The earth roundabout the workings was rusty tin red, but the wildflowers were blooming in profusion.  I do wish I had my own photos to give you an idea of what it was like!   The pink seathrift was like a carpet.

Geevor has been reopened as a visitor attraction.  The kind of winding gear in the picture below is reminiscent of the coal mines I remember in my youth in Midlothian.

I didn't go down the mine.  I'm not too happy underground!

Not stopping at Lands End, I continued round the coast to Minack where the most amazing theatre has been cut out of the rock. You can read about its history here.  Basically it was the dream of Rowena Cade in the 1920s, and a lot of the work that was done to complete her dream was done with her own hands.  It is amazing.  Rows of seats have been cut from the rocky outcrop, and a stage built with the sea as its background. It has been improved and added to over the years and is a wonderful outdoor venue for plays and music events.  I've borrowed these two photos to give you an idea of what it's like. 

  I just had to add in the lego version from the Glasgow theatre blog!  Here's another blog that has lots of photos.
I'm having problems with Blogger now so will stop here for today.  Goodness knows what the page will look like once it's "published"!

Talk again soon.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Well, I can hardly believe it has been so long since I last posted on the blog!  Well, perhaps I can.  It HAS been a long time and apart from trying to come to terms with Windows 8, I have had a few problems hanging over me that took me back to a nasty place, so apologies for not writing before.  I am beginning to feel happier again now and thought it was high time I stopped spending all my time on Pinterest's mindless pleasures, and think, for a change.  I've got a few things to catch you up with, and I'll start with my visit to Cornwall at the beginning of June.

I initially planned the trip so I could visit an elderly relation I speak to regularly on the phone, discussing his family tree (my paternal grandmother's family's too), but of course I also wanted to do some exploring.  

The plan was originally to go by train but it was actually much cheaper to fly from Edinburgh to Exeter and pick up a hire car for 5 days.  I booked accommodation at Hayle, simply because it seemed to be the nearest B&B to my cousins Ken and Dot, and wow, wasn't it the best B&B I have ever stayed in. 

photos from Bostrase website

Just on the edge of Hayle, Boo and husband Matt have the most wonderful house and garden and were themselves a delightfully outgoing and friendly pair, who really enjoy looking after their guests.. 
  If ever you are in the vicinity of St Ives and are looking for somewhere quiet and more secluded then I recommend "Bostrase" to you wholeheartedly!  My room was so comfortable, and breakfast was amazing!  One day it was so warm at breakfast time that we all had breakfast in the garden - there's a larger table there now than the one below.
                              breakfast in the garden

It was great too that Ken and Dot were only a mile back along the road to Hayle, and it turned out that Boo recognised Ken from shopping in the Co-op!.

The weather was beautiful for the whole five days, with wall to wall blue sky, sun.... and heat, something we had had precious little of ourselves for some time, though it has actually carried on since I got home!  Lovely!! 

 Cornwall is part of the Celtic fringe that reaches from the Western Isles of Scotland through the Isle of Man, the west of Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, even Brittany in France and a pocket of northern Spain, and there is a lot of history to discover.  I took almost 600 photos in 5 days, and now I can't find them on the computer.  I was taking photos off my old laptop to put on memory sticks but I was sure the Cornish photos were still on the laptop.  Blow me if I can find them!  I will have to take the laptop to a computer expert to see if they can be retrieved.  I've deleted them from the camera SD card too. I could scream!!!, So photos may be few and far between, as I am having to look for pics on the internet. Wherever possible I will name the source.

The Cornish, like the rest of the Celtic nations, have an old language of their own, which is still in use having undergone a revival recently!  I heard the News in Cornish on the radio one evening, so I guess it must be understood by a reasonable amount of people. Of course I was interested in the possible similarities of the Celtic languages.  

At the Lizard Point, the most southerly point of the British mainland, an information board gave the probable meaning as High Court, from the Cornish Lys Ardh.  In Scottish Gaelic it would be Lios Ard, meaning High Garden.  Court(yard)/ Garden?  Same idea!  I later discovered other words that are similar to Gaelic - Ty, a house; pol, a pool; carrek, a stone; carn, a pile of stones.....  I also found out that Cornish is actually one of the Brythonic languages while Gaelic is Goidelic, another branch of the Celtic languages.  Brythonic was also the language spoken in the south of Scotland centuries ago so there are also words in placenames here in the Borders that tie in with the Cornish, e.g.  Tre/tra, place or house; pen, hill.   It was interesting seeing place names that were anglicised Cornish - lots of Zs, lots of St's - I didn't know if that's Cornish or just the word Saint.  If it's Saint, then Cornwall must have had a lot of holy people as there are dozens of place names with St in them.  St Ives is probably the best known of them, apparently named for an Irish saint by the name of Ia, but who was St Ruan? Well, by the wonders of the internet I found that he was also Rumon or Ronan, who was accused by his wife of being a werewolf.  It was proved that he wasn't though.  Apparently he was just a hirsute man.  He is also credited with chasing all the wolves out of Cornwall.

painting of St Ives by Lesley Olver

almost the same view by Richard Tuff

I went to St Ives, only a few miles from Hayle, but didn't stop long! 
one of St Ives narrow streets.
It was so busy and the narrow streets so packed with visitors that I found the nearest way out though I did manage to take a quick photo over the back bay.  (I can't believe I was so near to the Tate St Ives Gallery too, but I missed it!)
the tate gallery, St Ives

 It was the same at the popular Lands End.  The huge carpark was pretty full, so I didn't stayLands End

Another view of Lands End
I was there in 1967 with Ma, Pa and my sister when it was much less touristy.  We had our photo taken at the Lands End signpost. ( I should get that scanned and put it in here!)  Apparently it costs about £12 to have your photo taken there now, by the professional photographer!  No chance!
The signpost at Lands End
where one arm can be set up with your home town name and the miles to it.
Judging by the number of cars in the carpark it would have been even busier than this photo shows! 

One of the big industries of Cornwall in past centuries was tin mining, and today there are many ruined engine houses with their tall chimneys to be found around the region.  Some of the old mines have been restored and rebuilt as visitor attractions, showing the present day visitors how many Cornishmen of old earned their living.  I didn't go into any of them, content just to look at the old buildings machine houses and chimneys, that remain, and take photos of them and the myriad wildflowers on the land surrounding them. Oh devastation!  I took some wonderful photos of the mining buildings and the flowers!
One of many remaining machine houses

I took lots of coastal scenes too - long golden beaches, blue-green surf, rocky outcrops and headlands, dunes that were covered in clumps of pink seathrift.  In the smaller villages I stopped at I took pictures of old and quirky buildings, palm trees... and in the gardens, shrubs trees, flowers.....  So much to see.  Oh I could cry!

I'll concentrate on one or two attractions next time but in the meantime, I hope this whets your appetite for some more photos!

Talk again soon.