Friday 15 May 2020

A Previously Unexplored Puplic Footpath, Cornwall

We spotted a Public Footpath sign on the A390, something that had never registered with me previously. So the only thing to do was to explore and see where it would lead - though I did have a rough idea as I know the area quite well.

The path wasn't that appealing but we did arrive at a farmer's field with a green view. We had to walk carefully as the field had recently been seeded.

As we expected the path led us to lanes which in turn led to Polgooth, a small former mining village. It has changed a bit though, since those days and is now quite a pretty area.

Not a place to be speeding in a car as the sign warns of horses often on the roads.

And sure enough a horse and rider came clip clopping along the road,

Another warning sign: no footway.

Across the fields there are signs of the old mining industry in the area. It is claimed that mines in this area supplied Phoenician traders with tin 3000 years ago.

Times move on and today this is a pleasant residential area with holiday parks and chalets for tourists and holiday makers - (subject, of course, to the coronavirus restrictions currently in force.)

All very attractive and with a 16th century Polgooth Inn nearby.

Hawthorn flowers as we make our way back to where we came from.

Fields and stables and then we are back on the A390. All very pleasant but not what I'd call a 'proper walk'.

Other similar posts:

33 Photos: A Circular Walk Based On Gover Valley, St.Austell, Cornwall 

The Magical Hall Walk at Fowey Cornwall - With Lots of Photos

Tuesday 12 May 2020

The Big Question of My Day: What Way to Walk?

Old Milestone, Cornwall

I went for a morning roam on my own and had a choice of which way to head. The old mileage stone (above) told me it was 13 miles to Truro (though the internet states it is 14.2 miles). But, whatever, too far for me to walk before lunch. The other sign post had a few suggestions too, even though one of the arms has been broken. The two places missing are St. Dennis and Newquay.

Sign Post, Cornwall Towns & Places

I wandered along the road until I reached a new roundabout under construction. It is getting in position for a new housing estate -  see Development at Higher Trewhiddle

Road Works and Cones, Cornwall

I decided to follow a farmer's track off the road which gave me some lovely open views and not a person in sight. There were a few cows but they didn't seemed too fussed as I passed them.

Green Fields, Cornwall

Nice at times to be alone with your own thoughts.

Hedgerow Flowers, Cornwall

Back to reality though, with houses in view.

Houses, Cornwall

But spotted some bluebells on an open field.

Field of Bluebells, Cornwall

Bee with Pollen
After about an hour-and-a-half I was home again and had a quick look around the garden. 

The new ceanothus bush, in the back garden, has unexpectedly exploded with blue flowers …

Ceanothus in Cornwall

… and is full of buzzing flying insects

The apple tree is in full of blossom. This is the tree my wife grew from a pip and produced apples last year for the first time - after eight years. See my post:
Growing An Apple Tree From A Pip.

Appletree grown from a pip

Saturday 9 May 2020

The Story of the Toad, the Squirrel and the Slow Worm

gunnera plant leaves

Struggling through Cornwall's jungle you never really know what you might encounter but, gulp, what is this creature heading our way? A prehistoric monster perhaps or maybe some sort of ancient crocodile? 

Big toad

Looking up at the tall leaves I imagined how we must have fallen into another dimension and been zoomed back in time.

Gunnera plant leaves

The creature continued in our direction wearing an ugly grin.


Great relief when we discovered it was only Mr. Toad. He had been shopping for insect larvae, spiders, slugs and worms. A tasty meal for him.


He hopped along and disappeared into the undergrowth.


As we wearily wandered home we saw a flash of a tail as we reached our front porch. But then all was silent. What did, whoever it was, want with us?

Squirrel's tail

I sat on a chair, looking out, while I took off my dirty shoes. Suddenly this little fellow was trying to get into the porch. 

Not sure what he wanted but he scratched on the window to try to enter. 

By the time I grabbed my camera I was too slow to get a good photo. The squirrel was persistent though. He kept running away and then jumping at the glass to get in. No idea why.

He wasn't the least bit bothered that I was clearly sitting close to the window. After several attempts he grumpily moved away and in a flash was gone.

Squirrel trying to get in window

A little later, as we had a refreshing cup of tea in the back garden and spotted a long slow worm (about 18"/ 50 cm) by our fence - but I didn't have a camera with me.

Slow worms (Anguis fragilis) are legless lizards but to me they are like snakes - and I don't like snakes!

I remember being in Morocco a while back and often in restaurants they would attempt to dangle a snake around your neck for some inexplicable reason. The way of nightmares!

Going back to the slow worm their breeding season starts in May and the males can get quite aggressive.

In the UK slow worms are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981so it is an offence to kill, injure or sell them.

All in all it made the day interesting - you never know what you might see in life.

Have a lovely day and stay safe.

Update : See photo below another slow worm in our garden, though smaller than the one we saw originally.

Wednesday 6 May 2020

May Flowers In Cornwall

Here we are into May but, unfortunately, still in lockdown. But we have to look on the bright side. We have the May flowers to enjoy for example. Ah, but perhaps not as many to view this year as last year. The first two photos were taken in Victoria Gardens, Truro - so I won't be able to get there until lockdown is eased.

All of the photos on this post are from the month of May, 2019.

The next photos were snapped in the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which is also closed temporarily because of the coronavirus.

And it's the same with the next two photos of Charlestown, we shouldn't go there either to see the harbour and the old cottages.

Luckily five photos from my own garden, which is somewhere they can't stop us visiting!

The wild rhododendrons below are luckily opposite my house on the other side of the road.

Now we move on to six photos of Cornwall's Eden Project, which is also now closed.

I'm sure, though, we'll still see lots of plants and flowers.

There is much beauty everywhere if we have time to stop and stare.

A few more flower posts:

22 Cornwall Flower Photos

15 Photos of Flowers in Cornwall, England 

10 Photos of August Flowers and Colour In Our Garden In Cornwall

Sunday 3 May 2020

A Camera and a Journey Back in Time to World War 2

Coronet boc camera

It's a bit of a ramble today and I'm also off subject, but one thing led to another.

It started when I came across the very first camera I had as a child, the Coronet as above. 
So I dug out a few photos I had taken at that time with the camera. One of them was the launch of a ship.

I was with my parents in Wallsend staying with an uncle and aunt. It was a memorable experience at the time. As you can see there weren't too many safety rules back then.

Launch of ship at Wallsend in 1950s.

Also with my photos were a few war photos taken in London by another uncle. The first two show St. Paul's Cathedral and the surrounding bomb damage.

It is quite amazing to me how St. Paul's remained virtually undamaged despite the bombardment of London in the blitz. Many put this down to the hand of God protecting the cathedral, but that sounds a bit too fanciful to me.

World War 2 war damage around St. Pauls, London

World War 2 bomb damage to London

London World War 2 Bomb Damage

This got me thinking about the coronavirus and how some are comparing it to a war. But is it really?

In the box, along with my camera and the old photos, was also a newspaper from May 8 1945 which was VE Day - Victory in Europe. Though in war there are no real winners. One of the articles in the newspaper illustrated this. It was written by Roma Sherris, the heading being 'Mrs.J Puts Out Her Bunting'.

Mrs. James is 60. She's small with rather a pointed face, and her eyes are dark and bright like a bird's. By profession she is a charlady. 

This is not, you may think, a particularly distinguished or remarkable portrait. But for me - and I have known her a good many years now - Mrs. James is a symbol. 

In 1939 Mrs. James three sons joined up [to go to war]. Tom was twenty-five, Dick was twenty-three and John, her 'baby' only nineteen. 

Mrs. James was extremely proud and, like every other mother, a little frightened. Not that she ever said anything about that. It would have been 'soft.' And Mrs. James hates anything 'soft or sloppy' as she calls it.

When she came to work she would bring their photographs and presents in a canvass shopping bag. A picture of Tom, the good-looking one, standing outside an estaminet, with his arm round a pretty French girl's waist. A chromium brooch from Dick, with his regimental arms in the middle. And a gleaming apricot cushion-cover with a camel and palm trees stamped on it, from John, in the Navy. 

One brilliant summer's morning in 1940 Mrs. James came to work a little late. She looked very small and pale in her old black coat and the hat she always wore, with a dagger hat-pin and black osprey trimmings. 

She took a telegram out of the old canvass bag and handed it to me. Tom had been killed, fighting in France.

"That's was, that is," was all she said. Then she started to do the washing up.

A week later she had another telegram. During the evacuation of Dunkirk Dick's ship, bringing him home had a direct hit. He was killed instantaneously. 

After that Mrs. James began to work furiously. "Keeps your mind occupied," she said. After her morning's charring she would go to a forces canteen to wash up. During the lunch hour she did her shopping and queued for fish and vegetables for her daughter, who was having a baby. 

She seldom talked about Tom and Dick. I don't think she could trust herself and she was so frightened of being 'soft.' But she wore Dick's regimental badge proudly on her shabby coat and a pendant with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it, which Tom had sent from Paris.

Last year [1944] Mrs. James had her last telegram. John had been drowned.

After that I thought she was going to pieces. She became incredibly thin and nothing would induce her to stop working. She never talked about herself but all the life had gone out of her bright eyes. 

Then the flying-bomb raids started and Mrs. James became a different woman. She was really angry about them. All her old fighting spirit came back. And the day her ceilings came down her invective and sarcasm against such an unmilitary weapon of war were a joy to hear. 

Her daughter got bombed out and Mrs. James brought her and the baby to live with her. 

Quite soon after that she started producing photographs of the baby out of her canvass bag when she arrived in the morning. 

The other day I passed her house. She was balanced precariously on the top of a ladder fixing bunting over the front door. 

"You look very happy Mrs. James," I said. 

"I am," she replied. "Well we've got a lot to be thankful for, haven't we? After all. we've won the war." 

I wanted to say, "You've won the war, Mrs. James," but I didn't. She would have thought I was being 'soft'

I'll leave it there. Thanks for reading. Stay safe.



Oh dear! I glanced out of one of our upstairs windows and there was snow on it's way. Fortunately, though, it soon disappeared  We dec...