Monkey Business and down to Cornwall

Very sorry for the long gap between posts – Battleaxe has been away from home for ten days, or what feels like an eternity… driving down to Cornwall with a visit to the Monkey World primate rescue centre in Dorset, followed by a night in Lyme Regis with our old friend Karol, then a week in Cornwall with Brummie friends, then a trip up to Bedford, via a night in Bournemouth, to see my poor very sick sister…. then home.  We are still tired several days later.

Marazion, looking lovely as usual.
…Porthcurno from Logan Rock
One of our traditions…. huge pub Sunday lunch

Monkey World? What the hell? You may well ask. Well, I freely confess that one of my favourite early evening relaxations is mindlessly watching Monkey Life on Sky Nature, which airs at 7pm on weekdays. It follows every-day happenings at Monkey World. Ooo ooo, the centre is just a few miles off our normal route down to the south-west, and all the ape ‘stars’ of the programme are still in residence. (They live a long time – chimps and orangutans to over 30) We arranged to visit.  Gold medal here to long-suffering Philosopher… Well, for me, it was good – I dunno about him. It’s a good place – the apes have plenty of space… we walked miles.

I won’t bore you with detail, but suffice it to say it struck me just how sanitised the  TV programme is.  On TV, you see apes whooping joyously around when they are given ‘enriching’ food foraging opportunities, cute photogenic little babies, ‘loved-up’ monkey couples hugging… But in real life, monkey business is very different. Many of the older ones sat silently, gazing at us with infinite sorrow. We watched one of the best-loved  orangutan youngsters throw up his dinner on the floor, paddle his fingers in the vomit, then lick it all up again with evident relish. Right by the viewing glass, one of the most frequently filmed gibbon couples were engaged in a prolonged intimate genital massage session… Anyway, here a few (carefully selected) photos.

Infinite sorrow…
Tuan, aged 35, the oldest ape in the centre
Wooly Monkey – the centre specialises in breeding them.

Nice evening and night in Lyme Regis with Karol K, then on to Penzance. We were staying in a new place, Myrtle House, just opposite the Morrab Gardens.  It was a truly beautiful old late-Georgian place, five stories including the basement, so there was a lot of clattering up and down uncarpeted stairs. Beautiful, original floor boards all through. Lovely big double-aspect sitting room with an open fire, and each couple had a big bay-windowed en-suite room with views to the Gardens and down to the sea. What was not to like, not much, except the house interior was design-led rather than practical. Hardly any storage space, a vast kitchen range cooker that you needed an engineering degree to operate,  and every surface covered with tastefully curated gew-gaws – even genuine Bernard Leach pottery – who would leave that in a rental? Still it was plenty nice enough for us to book it again for our next visit in March 2022.

Myrtle House
Verdant view from our bedroom – sorry about the photo quality

Sue T had already booked another house for next time in Sennen Cove and paid over £300 deposit – but on inspection it was decided that the access road was just too narrow and dangerous… theoretically the deposit was non-returnable so me and Sue went to the agents to see what we could recover. We told the girls in the office that we were so worried about our poor doddery ancient husbands, who were much more elderly than us, did all the driving and were enfeebled, had mobility issues etc…  They agreed that us poor anxious oldsters should have all our money back! Feeling v pleased with ourselves, Sue and I went into a coffee shop next door, not realising that Philosopher and Alex T were just nearby, looking for us…. Unknowingly the two blokes strode cheerfully into the agent’s office, of course looking anything but ancient, enfeebled and with no Zimmer frames in sight!


Parts of the week were very dodgy weather-wise. One day was so bad we went to see the James Bond movie at the cinema in Newlyn – which is very nice by the way. Won’t say anything about the film – it was what it was – but when we came out the downpour was just biblical. We all got totally, totally  soaked, and poor Philosopher and Alex had to drive in just horrendous conditions.

We visited our usual favourite haunts – Marazion, Penberth Cove, Logan Rock, walk to Lands End all in dry weather.

Carn Goose
Sunny afternoon at Sennen Cove

I’ll stop here and do our next episode, Bournemouth, in another post….


  1. Heather
    October 28, 2021 / 5:23 pm

    You are NEVER home!!

    • October 29, 2021 / 12:01 pm

      It is just that I tend to write about times when I am away – am here in Hastings most of the time, honest!

  2. Valerie Poore
    October 31, 2021 / 5:56 pm

    I enjoyed this. I never knew the town from which St Michael’s Mount is reached was called Marazion…the things I learn from my blogging pals. Just as a point of no significance, I went to school in Lyme Regis and I’m from Dorset originally. I love Cornwall, though, and your accommodation looked great!

    • November 2, 2021 / 3:24 pm

      Thanks Val… Lyme Regis is a nice little place but I don’t know if I’d fancy living there!

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