Hastings Battleaxe enjoys a windy week in Cornwall.

Back to our old Spring routine of a week in Cornwall, staying in the lovely old Myrtle House in Penzance with old friends Sue and Alex and Sue and Graham, from Birmingham. Last year we didn’t go at all, because of Philosopher’s illness, and in 2021, unusually, we went in the autumn. As so often, we went down via Lyme Regis to stay the night with friend Karol K, and came back via a different route this time, to visit Stourhead. That will be a separate post.

View down to Porthcurno beach from Logan Rock

I’m not going to write much about Myrtle House itself – see the website, or you can look at this post from 2021. This time, it was our turn to have the best bedroom, with an enormous four-poster bed and a big bathroom. Of course, it is up on the second floor. There are a lot of stairs in that house… uncarpeted original boards, very creaky in places.  You wouldn’t want to be engaging in secret bedroom hopping… not that we would even contemplate it, at our ages. Yuch.

Our friends had been down in Cornwall a few days before us, staying in St Just, and had got into watching some terrible populist Good Ole Boys of America neo-Western thing called ‘Yellowstone’. We ended up watching it too. Lots of killing interrupted by people justifying the carnage by pontificating about their right to defend their land etc etc. I think it was propaganda put out by the Republicans and the gun lobby.  It is shocking to imagine people might watch it and believe it.

The weather during the week was dodgy – a couple of wet days, but also a very persistent strong cold wind. As it was late in April instead of our usual March, I had wanted to go and swim in the Jubilee Pool in Penzance – they now have a naturally heated geo-thermal section as well as the main lido. I coerced Philosopher in to bringing his swimming gear, but we didn’t go – too cold to go outside without our clothes on. I think Philosopher was quite relieved. We did most of our usual things – a massive Sunday lunch in the Longboat Inn, after a visit to Mousehole.

Mousehole
Mousehole Harbour, Marazion in the background.

We had a day at Penberth and Logan Rock, with an abortive hunt for bluebells down some valley, and a trip to Lamorna. I tell you one thing, the climb up the cliff path from Penberth Cove to the top has always been a bit steep, but this time we all found it steeper still…. oh no, getting older.

The gang at Penberth
Penberth
The top of the bluebell valley

We went to Lamorna becasue a few weeks ago we bought a painting of the Lamorna Valley by Denys Law, who lived and worked there – his sister was the landlady of the Lamorna Wink pub.   Philosopher wanted to photograph a smilar view of the valley, but there is no public access to it. Some very posh houses. However, we did find his studio. Here is the painting.

Lamorna Valley by Denys Law

Then, of course, a visit to the lovely Trengwainton Garden, with our annual pose outside a little pavilion. The azaleas, rhododendrons etc were looking lovely – and the camellias were still out… That afternoon we went to Marazion. No photos this year – it was so cold.

 

One day Philosopher and I went on our own to St Ives, largely to see the Barbara Hepworth exhibition at the Tate. Had a good day though. Went on the bus so no parking grief, and had a nice lunch in the Porthmeor Beach cafe after the gallery. St Ives was utterly heaving though. Ruined by traffic and tourists. And it was still only April!

Philosopher studies the Hepworths.

For years, I have been planning to spend time in the wonderful old Morrab Library, just across the road from our house, hidden in the middle of its own little enchanted forest – the Morrab Gardens. Here is a post all about the Library from our first vist in 2018. Once we all moved from Sennen Cove to Penzance, it became more possible, but then of course it was closed to day visitors during the pandemic. This time, on our final day, which was pouring wet, I finally got there! It is truly a fabulous place, so old and atmospeheric. The views out of the windows into the gardens are amazing.

I occupied my own little room – obviously, I chose the Poetry Room. But as a place to write yet another poem, it proved to be a bit daunting – the four walls absolutely crammed with poetry books, some modern, some very old. What was I doing thinking of adding another, not very good one? Between looking at the books and staring out of the window at the Morrab Gardens, I just about managed to get a page of notes onto my laptop. The Library feels very cosy and family-like- you go downstairs to get coffee from a communal kitchen. If we lived nearer to Penzance, I would be down there all the time. Sadly, I don’t think there is another library like it…

Finally, we bought ourselves a new sitting room rug from a shop in Penzance. A lovely shop – Whites East meets West. Bit expensive but you only live once.

2 Comments

  1. Jill Fricker
    October 6, 2023 / 9:05 pm

    The winch at Penberth was restored with a legacy from my great aunt (Mary Wales) and there’s a plaque in her memory on the winch.

    • November 23, 2023 / 5:21 pm

      Oh wow – we’ll look when we are down there again – March 2024!

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