Saturday, 15 October 2022

Family mini-adventures in Cornwall - Chapel porth

Another family mini-adventure by the sea. 
Tides were important on this one, as Chapel Porth is definitely best at low tide. We headed for Perranporth and had lunch at The Watering Hole first. For future reference, the nacho portions are massive so one portion of those and a portion of cheesy chips is plenty for lunch for a family of four. 
Next we headed a few miles west to Chapel Porth, which is between St Agnes and Porthtowan. At high tide there isn't much beach, but when the tide is out there's an expanse if golden sand, little coves and big caves. It was quite blowy and the waves were big so we all had coats on and decided not to go for a swim.
However, after a rogue wave washed across the beach and got everybody's feet wet, suddenly the idea of swimming in the invitingly deep pools on the beach seemed quite appealing. Miss Busy got into her swimmies first and was quite the mermaid, bouncing from pool to pool. Doggo was also bouncing, swimming and running in circles. Mr Build-It decided that since his trousers were now wet, he may as well just get wetter, and travel home in dry swim-wear, so he bounced around running in and out of pools. I wasn't going to swim, since the sea was too rough, but the pools just looked so tempting... as we neared the end of the beach, there was no-one around at this end, and nobody could see from the coast-path, so I couldn't resist taking off a few clothes and having a dip. It was fabulous and I felt loads better for it!
Back at the car-park a hot chocolate and flapjack from the cafe warmed us through, and we headed home happy from our mini-adventure.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Family Mini-Adventures in Cornwall - Tintagel and Boscastle

Another weekend - another mini-adventure!

This time we made the most of the beautiful autumnal light and headed to north Cornwall, to Tintagel and Boscastle.

We parked at the large car park in Boscastle and caught the 95 bus to Tintagel (there are only four buses per day, so it's important to time your arrival carefully if you're planning to do this walk).  In Tintagel there are plenty of little magical and crafty shops to explore.  Our timing made this the perfect time to stop for a pasty and coffee at The Cornish Bakery, situated just above the path down to Tintagel Castle.

Suitably fuelled, we hit the coast path for the five-mile walk back to Boscastle:

Google Maps
It's a stunning bit of coastline with some amazing rock formations to marvel at, the turquoise sea, stacks, arches, caves and birds (we saw Gannets, a kestrel and a Peregrine).

If you're new to coast path walking, I should warn you, it does go up and down a bit, but every turn gives a new and breathtaking view.

I think our favourite bit had to be the section where we dropped down into Rocky Valley.

Back in Boscastle we refuelled with cake at The Good Stuff Cafe at Harbour Light before driving home.

Family Mini-Adventures in Cornwall - Nanjizal and Land's End


This was an adventure we had been hoping to do when we were in Cornwall in May half term, but we were defeated by staff shortages for public transport at the time, so were delighted to revisit it in August, not long after we moved to Cornwall.
First, we walked down to the station and caught the train from St Austell to Penzance (not at all expensive with our family railcard).
In Penzance the bus station and the train station are right next door to one another.  We hopped on to the next available "Land's End Coaster" bus - an open-topped service which goes around the coast in both directions between Penzance and Land's End.
We hopped off the bus (not literally) just as it makes the turn down towards Porthcurno (not far from Polgigga), and walked cross-country to Nanjizal beach,

Image from Google Maps

Nanjizal beach has some sand and some rocks.  I went for a swim, but we had an ulterior motive for being here...  There's a wonderful pool in a cave that you can access at low tide!  We clambered over quite a lot of boulders, some of which were pretty slippery.  I was glad I had my trainers on.  There were certainly a few skinned shins and grazed ankles from others doing the same thing.  It was well worth it though - you drop into a long thin pool - those with children, it's worth noting that the pool gets deep quite quickly - and you can swim through this deliciously cool turquoise water right to the arch at the end where you can feel the suck and pull of the Atlantic beyond.

This lovely photo is from "We are Cornwall"

This pool, known as The Song of the Sea (what an evocative name) was a truly magical place to swim and we all came out feeling fantastic.  It's just a short walk (half an hour) from there to Land's End along the Coast Path. At Land's End you can find something to eat or drink while you wait for the next Land's End Coaster bus back to Penzance.

Google Maps

If you fancy doing this trip yourself, you do need to check the tide times and the times of the buses.  The Song of the Sea is best accessed at low tide (when you'll also get some beach at Nanjizal), and you also need to leave yourself enough time to walk there, swim and then walk along to Land's End to get the bus.  You really don't want to miss the last bus from Land's End - it wouldn't be a cheap taxi ride.

Friday, 2 September 2022

Community Fridge

Today I visited our local Community Fridge for the first time.  This is run by a local Community Enterprise, run by volunteers who are passionate about keeping food (and other things - I'll post about the paint hub another day) out of landfill and looking after the community.  At the end of each day they go around the supermarkets and collect food which would otherwise be thrown away because it's at the end of it's shelf life.  Every morning at 10am, they give it out in return for a £1 donation.

I decided this warranted further investigation, so this morning I took the wiggly dog for a walk down to the community fridge venue.  

There was a queue outside the building, so I tied the dog to a post, and joined the back of the queue, which was made up of 18 people.  They were an interesting mix: young and old, with children and without, well-off and not so well off.  A lady came around exchanging a ticket for each £1.  Once everybody had one, she offered a second ticket (one ticket = 1 basket) to anybody that wanted one for another £1.

Then the queue began to slowly move forwards.  The ladies brought out baskets that had already been sorted.  They share out the food evenly into the baskets before you arrive so you don't end up with the people at the front of the queue grabbing all the good stuff.  Then you pack your basket into your bag.  They also give a choice of white bread or brown bread, veggie or meat, and if they have lots of something, you can take as much as you want (in this case - bread rolls and past their best bananas).  The lady in front of me explained that the numbers today were about average, and that what you get each time is a bit of a lottery, but it usually contains fruit and veg and bread.  She said sometimes you get a bit less, and sometimes a bit more - depending how many people are queueing and how much has been donated by the supermarkets.

I was amazed by how much I got - and soon realised that if I was coming back I needed a bigger bag (the lady in front had a spare thank goodness!) and should definitely bring the car.  I came home with two loaves of bread and three packs of bread rolls, cherry tomatoes, salad tomatoes, a pepper, 2 punnets of strawberries, 2 figs, a satsuma, some apples, slightly past their best bananas, green beans, salad, parsnips, carrots and potatoes.  A veritable haul of freshness and all for just £1!  

When I got home, my first job was to hull the strawberries and chop the bananas and chuck them in a bag in the freezer so they are ready for Miss Busy to whizz into smoothies whenever she wants one.  I then chose which bread to put in the bread bin and which bread to put in the freezer.  Everything else went in the fridge but has helped me determine what to cook over the coming days.  Some batch cooked sauces and things like that seem a good bet.

I am delighted with this find.  Not only will it save money on the groceries, but it's making good use of food that would almost certainly end up in landfill.  It also benefits those in the community who really need that help with the cost of food - they do also have a weekly "food club" (food bank) with donated non-perishables which gets given to those who need it in addition to the fresh food.

Bravo to Remake: Cornwall!

Creative Crafting - Furniture Art!

We've had these very inexpensive IKEA bedside tables for several years now and I've always intended to paint them and make them a bit more special.
Now, since Miss Busy has asked me to paint her new (pre-loved) desk, I thought I'd have a practice first, using my bedside table.  Here's how it went!

1 - sanded lightly.

2 - painted with primer

3 - painted base colours

4 - worked base colours in to each other so there was a gradual gradient between colours
 5 - started painting my design...

6 - added all the finishing touches to create my bedside table art!

 I'm quite pleased with it for a first attempt and look forward to showing you the desk next!

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Cornwall Adventure - arrival!

 Well, it's been a month since I last posted, and some of you might be wondering what happened and if we ever made it to Cornwall...

The good news is, we did!  We moved into our house on the 27th July and have been pretty busy getting the place sorted ever since then.  Here are a few pics of how it looked just a week and a half after moving in, so you can see how busy we must have been:

Another couple of weeks have gone by since these photos were taken, and things are looking even more together.  There are a lot fewer boxes lying around.  However, I won't bore you with any more pics for now.  You'll be able to see plenty of house pictures over the coming months as we gradually get everything looking the way we want it.

However, it's the Summer and we're in Cornwall, so it hasn't all been sorting out the house.  There has been a lot of this too:

Dinner by the sea at Polkerris

Off to Camp Bestival, Dorset

Kayaking on Thursday evenings at Porthpean

An amazing walk and swimming in the sea down by Land's End

Beautiful Fowey

Sunset swims at Par Sands

Walks and dinners down at Charlestown.

Now I've just got to get my earning situation sorted so we can confidently spend what we need to on the house, and upgrading to an electric car.  More on that as I get it set up.