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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Cornwall

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.  

2 comments:

Peggy Ann said...

Well worth waiting for Evee! Isn't technology grand? Hope you find you photos!

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

Thamks Peggy.

I do hope I can get the pictures back. I had some of my cousins that I would be sorry to lose entirely, as well as the rest!