Saturday 28 November 2020

St. Austell Town Christmas Lights

We are under a coronavirus lockdown, but are allowed out for exercise. So we thought we would have a look at the Christmas lights in St. Austell.

We started walking at Fore Street and all was deathly quiet.

The silence was almost deafening. It didn't feel quite right but, there again, why have lights ablaze if there is no one to see them.

Reminded me of that old question 'If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?'

We couldn't hear a tree falling or anything else for that matter. It felt quite creepy.

After walking the length of the Fore Street we headed for the new part of town.

All was quiet as we wandered past the  shops. There was just the echo of our footsteps.

We reached the Aylmer Square, still no people, just emptiness and Lloyds Bank. Oh, and a Christmas tree.

Turned left for more emptiness.

Another bank, guess everyone must be at home counting their money.

We turned around and went back through the shops. To think that even the pubs are empty. It feels like some dystopian future has been imposed upon us.

Back to the square and, for us, that was enough excitement for one night. We can at least boast that we have seen the St. Austell Christmas lights.

Other random St. Austell Posts:

Tuesday 24 November 2020

A Flavour of Tintagel Castle and the Story of King Arthur

Today a story and photos of King Arthur's Castle at Tintagel which sits high on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.

So what is the connection with King Arthur?

 It is often said that King Arthur was conceived and born at the castle, but the story is not that simple.

At the time Uther Pendragon was the king of parts of England and he got the hots for - I mean he fell in love with Ygerna (or Ygraine or Igraine), wife of Gorlois (or Gerlas), Duke of Cornwall.

At a Feast Day Uther made it clear to Ygerna that he intended to have his way with her - in the nicest possible way. This made her husband a bit miffed, to say the least, so he took Ygerna to the fortified castle at Tintagel to keep her safe from the clutches of Uther.

So Uther had a problem but Merlin, the magician or wizard, came to his assistance.

With a magic spell or two Uther was disguised as Ygerna's husband.

Uther therefore was able to access Ygerna's bedchamber and to her in the biblical sense - and Arthur was conceived.

It seems that Gorlois died, or was killed, shortly after this earth moving event, so Uther and Ygerna were able to marry, thus legalising Arthur's birth.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson had a much simpler version. In his Idylls of the King, he describes how Atlantic waves brought the infant Arthur to the shore and Merlin then carried him to safety. Thus the cave at Tintagel has since been associated with Merlin and Arthur.

It's interesting to be surrounded by history and legends for a short while. Did King Arthur really walk these cliffs, along with his Knights of the Round Table - and what about the magician, Merlin - so many mysteries.

Of course there are always spoil sports who will claim that the castle was built after King Arthur was born and that the site was formerly a Celtic monastery.

Such is life, so full of mystery.

See also:

Friday 20 November 2020

Autumn Shades and Fungi in Cornwall

A few Autumn photos, the vine growing on this cottage at Charlestown caught my eye.

The Gover Valley, where I often walk, is very damp following lots of rain. The fallen leaves, which cover the ground, are sludgy and slippery.

The dampness seems to agree with various fungi.

The small, delicate fungi below gave the impression of somewhere the little people may hide away as us humans pass by.

Now these are much bigger. I should really know the names of the various fungi but I have failed miserably.

Now I do know the name of these leaves turning to a pleasant yellow shade. They belong to the dreaded Japanese Knotweed.

Next, a bit brighter, some fine red berries for the birds to munch.

Meanwhile on the coastal path the ferns have turned brown and the trees have lost their leaves.

To finish with today, the White River.

P.S. Thought I'd also include the trees on the opposite side of the road to where I live. I find this stretch of trees interesting to observe as the seasons change.

Think that's definitely all for today. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Monday 16 November 2020

Making the Most of the Coronavirus Lockdown: Carlyon Bay, St.Austell, Gover Valley, Charlestown and Bubbles.

With our wings clipped by the coronavirus lockdown it's difficult to know where to get some fresh air without falling foul of the regulations.

When in doubt it's usually the beach for our allowed exercise. There's plenty of elbow room, for example, at Carlyon Bay

It was a somewhat strange day as one moment it was blue sky but dark clouds soon took control.

The clouds became rain - heavy rain. We made a dash to our car and watched the rain trickling down the windows.

Onward to St. Austell town. Seemingly we needed some veg from the greengrocer next to the butchers shop. Have to try and support the smaller shops during lockdown.
The Christmas lights are ready now in the town. You can just see them in the distance in the photo below.
There was a dullness as we walked for a while along the Gover Valley
Lots of leaves on the path as it runs by the Gover Stream.
All very attractive at this time of the year - and also in the Spring.
The Pier House next (restaurant and pub) just because I like Charlestown. 

And some bubbles ... we have to try and make the best of lockdown somehow. Keep smiling.

Saturday 14 November 2020

On Tour: Visiting Wells Cathedral - 16 Photos.

On a previous 'On Tour' post to Cheddar Gorge I mentioned that traditionally true Cheddar Cheese had to be made within 30 miles of Wells Cathedral. So, to follow up on that, today we have photos of this magnificent cathedral.

Kindly note the photos were all taken prior to the coronavirus lockdown. 

The building of Wells Cathedral began way back around 1175. The first phase of the building took around eighty years and the wonderful (west) front was completed with over 300 medieval statues, most of which can still be seen today.

The scissor style arches are quite spectacular.

The arches were added in 1338-48 for internal strengthening and were put in place by a master mason, William Joy

As I understand it, the first organ at Wells Cathedral was in the early 1300s.

The present day organ was built by Henry Willis in 1857.

Now a few odds and bods. First we have the Cope Chest used to store the robes of the clergy. This dates back to 1120 and is made of local oak. It's still in use today.

Now we have the tomb of Thomas Bekynton: the Chancellor of England and Bishop of Bath & Wells from 1443 to 1464.

I'm not too sure who the following gentleman is but it gives another example of tombs within the cathedral.

Now the Wells Cathedral clock. This is something a bit special. It is said to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain, and probably the world, to have survived and still to be in use. It is believed that the works were made in 1390 and that the clock face is the oldest surviving original of it's kind anywhere.

When the clock strikes every quarter, jousting knights run round above the clock and the Quarter Jack bangs the quarter hours with his heels.

A couple of the ornate ceilings

One of the attractive windows. This is the East Window dates from the 14th century but has had some later restoration.

Finally looking up at the outside of the church from the grounds.

I enjoyed my visit to Wells Cathedral. It's not the largest by any means but it has a special quality. Some say it is one of the most beautiful.

See also 'on tour' post: Visiting Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor and King Arthur



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