Hastings Battleaxe’s annual trip to Cornwall

Our annual trip, with old Brummie friends. I guess ‘old’ is about the size of it now – we are all clocking up the years. Down to Penzance with an overnight stop with yet another old friend, Karol, in Lyme Regis. I have written about these trips so many times before – here is last year’s blog post. Once again, we were staying in our much-loved Myrtle House in Penzance, but sadly, after 4/5 years, were were told that it would not be up for rent in the future. Oops – time to look for a new place….  Weather was better than I expected, but not fantastic. Some rain, and a couple of really dull and grey days. However, there were interludes of sun. Less cliff walking than previous years, partly due to the weather, and also after months of rain, the paths would have been slippery and dangerous – not great for us oldsters. However, we visited most of our usual haunts, and posed for group photographs in all the usual places.

A bit chilly at Lands End…

On the first day it was grey and drizzly, but in the afternoon we went down to Penberth, as usual. No climbing up the cliff to Logan Rock this year. Looking at last year’s post, I realise I forgot something. My friend Jill Fricker commented on the post to say that her great-aunt, Mary Wales, left a legacy to restore the winch at Penberth, and apparently there is a plaque on the winch in her memory. Sadly, I forgot to look – last year I resolved to take a photo of the plaque and send it to Jill. I must remember next year.

We were surprised at the high levels of the streams in the valley – much roaring water… (dammit dammit I just can’t upload a video… saved it onto YouTube but how do I get it showing on here? It just uploads a link…)


Another familar trip the next day, Mousehole followed by brisk walk along the prom and a massive Sunday lunch at the Longboat in Penzance. In Mousehole, we had coffee at the Old Coastguards pub/hotel. It has a fabulous seaside garden – I think it would be a lovely place to stay.

Some time was spent looking for a new home for next year. Our requirements are alarmingly specific and demanding – at least three bedrooms and definitely three bathrooms, parking, enough sofa space for all six of us to sit in comfort in the evening, a nearby paper shop for Philosopher to walk out to each morning, and only in the best part of Penzance, Mousehole, Newlyn or Marazion… Very few large properties were remotely affordable, and even fewer were suitable. The others saw one in Newlyn that was up a very steep hill, we saw another in Newlyn that was too scruffy… We had the kind ladies from the Aspects rental agency scouring the area for us. They sent us off to one in Marazion, too bleak… but fortunately I found another in Marazion, which we have rented for next year. It is right on the edge of the sea, with great views across to St Michael’s Mount. As you can see, it is a big place, but perfectly affordable… (Pic from agent’s particulars) Watch this space…

Day in St Ives as usual, time in Marazion, time spent ferreting round the shops of Penzance – sadly, many are clearly struggling, and one of our favourites, the Mounts Bay Trading Company, has closed down.

Trengwainton Gardens – usual photo of us all outide a particular little pavilion.

I really love the old lichened magnolia trees in that garden – and the damp mossy banks.

One unexpectedly good surprise – a visit to the Savoy Cinema in Penzance, to see a national Theatre Live production, ‘The Motive and the Cue.’  I won’t dwell on the production too much. It was watchably OK – here is the review from the Guardian. Mark Gatiss was excellent as Gielgud, Johnny Flynn less so as Richard Burton. Too shouty. Elizabeth Taylor was weak,  played as an American woman, with not nearly enough blowsy oomph. The nice surprise was the cinema itself. We had really excellent pizzas, salads, chips in the cinema restaurant before the show, reasonably priced, too. The cinema auditorium was well done-out, clean and  very comfortable, with big squashy seats. I guess the play must have been OK because we all stayed awake all the way through. We will definitely go back there again.

As ever, the week went very quickly, and it was time to say our final goodbye to Myrtle House. Here’s the view from the bed in our bedroom, looking across to the leafy thicket of the Morrab Gardens. We will all miss the house, such an elegant, gracious old place.

No Morrab Library for me this year – I took my laptop down, but only managed to write two paragraphs the whole week! I am currently re-reading Middlemarch – one of our telly viewing exercises was to watch all episodes of the 1994 BBC production. Very good.

Here’s a final selfie of us all on the front doorstep on our last morning.


On the way home we spent a night at the RNLI College in Poole. So interesting – I will do a separate post about it.



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