Saturday, 31 July 2010

St Just in Roseland

After a somewhat relaxed morning we drove out to St Just in Roseland to see what it was like. We parked at the top of the hill and walked down to the beach, passing another car park on the way. It all looked a bit like this:
We sat down and ate our lunch, then had a little wander around on the beach.
You could see lots of small boats near Mylor, and bigger ones at Falmouth, on the other side of the water.
There was lots of seaweed
Seaweedy Beach
and sea anemones in rock pools
and pretty shells
It looked like low tide
Then we walked back up through the churchyard
St Just Church
which was rather pretty and on a slope.
Niall has probably got better photos of it than me.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

'The Sensible Thing'

Last night I went babysitting at fairly short notice to help out my old Physics teacher. I've babysat there before and it's always been a few stories, early to bed, coffee and a quiet few hours for me, usually with the TV. This time I took my Maths revision and, remembering that I'd been reproaching myself for not reading much recently, decided to bring a book. My house is *full* of books; I once spent most of a day going through all the books in my room and re-arranging them so I could find ones I'd read or might want to read. Included in the ones I'd want to read, were the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald (those we have anyway) so that's how I came to grab Bernice Bobs Her Hair.
I read This edition.
I hadn't read any F. Scott Fitzgerald before and I'm glad I have now. Each story was thoroughly interesting in its own ways while keeping to the general theme of observations on society & relationships. I'm no great literature critic but I'd definitely recommend it.
One story stood out, in that it made me cry, a lot. It was called 'The Sensible Thing'. I didn't particularly identify with the main character, in fact I found him a bit nonsensical, but the way Scott Fitzgerald writes about his relationship & interactions with his fiancée, especially at the end of the story, really got me. It's only one of the eight stories in the book so I won't feel too guilty about possibly spoiling it with a quote. This is the final sentence

"There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice."

This seems so damning and final, defeatist almost; it occurs to me that it's a bit of a theme through what I've read so far of Scott Fitzgerald. It'll be interesting to see if this continues. After finishing Bernice etc. this morning, I've moved on and read all of This Side Of Paradise (his first novel) and intend to read the rest soon.

*edit - can't have a post without a photo.*



Mevagissey is pretty popular to visit & you can see why. It's pretty, with little narrow streets and a nice working harbour full of boats. We went there after Heligan to find somewhere for a sit and a drink. Bizarrely there were no pubs with outdoor seating by the harbour. There was a sort of restaurant with a not-particularly-polite waitress, and a place with a bench but no drinks to be taken outside. We ended up inland by a street, in the bar of a pub populated by middle aged men, with slightly inappropriate-seeming music. Oh well. We got a drink and had a nice walk around after to get our money's worth on the parking!
We walked up the South/West side of the bay/road/hill/cliff(?) to get a view across.
On our way up we helped a lady herd a baby gull off the road and onto a flight of steps so that it wouldn't get run over. It was quite amusing seeing it discover how to deal with steps. For the first couple it fell tipped forward on its beak, but then it learned to use its wings for balance. Didn't get any photos of it though, just this one down by the harbour.
Max 3 knots
Little Boat
The harbour was full of nice little boats like this. While we were on the harbour wall, near the little lighthouse-type thing above, a couple of slightly larger fishing boats came in, followed by a load of seagulls, and unloaded their catch. (Anna will tut at my use of commas, I know)
Back at the big car park on the edge of Mevagissey there was a hut which was covered in admission stickers from The Lost Gardens of Heligan and The Eden Project, clearly showing we weren't the first to make up a day trip like this.

Saturday, 24 July 2010


I remember visiting the Lost Gardens of Heligan as a child, but not very clearly. There were bits I recognised and I had a general idea of the whole place but it was definitely good to revisit. There was probably more open than last time as they're still working on it all. For those who don't know, the story of the gardens is explained here.
The whole place combines two things I like very much; fascinating history and pretty flowers.
We started out by walking down to the Lost Valley.
Lost Valley
Where we had to be very careful not to tread on tiny frogs.
It'd rained the night before so everything was covered in droplets.
The jungly part is full of plants from all over the world.
Giant rhubarb!
There are some big old rhododendron bushes.
Friendly wildlife
The more formal and kitcheny parts of the garden are full of nice things too.
Niall + the pots
The old boiler is still there, but very much not intact.
Sad Boiler
This was used to provide heat for the greenhouses growing tropical fruits.
The huge walled garden is now home to an amazing array of fruit and vegetables, based on the varieties traced as having been grown there previously.
Bedfordshire Champion

It's amazing how the garden could just be forgotten, become so overgrown, and then be recovered so well. I'm too young to have paid attention to the TV series about the restoration of the gardens at the time, but it's a fascinating story and definitely well worth a visit. (even at £10 a go!)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Fowey & Polruan

The fourth day of my week(ish) in Cornwall was spent exploring Fowey/Bodinnick/Polruan.
We parked above Readymoney Cove (one of the places Daphne Du Maurier lived), walked down and climbed up to St Catherine's castle, which is looked after by English Heritage. As well as being a nice old castle it has good views, from Fowey right 'round to the sea. (pano too wide for blogging here)

We then walked towards the middle of Fowey itself, which was full of holidaymakers (and seagulls).
After lunch at The Gallion, a pub on one of the main streets, we took the car ferry to Bodinnick (Du Maurier land again), walked up the hill a bit, and followed a footpath around the inlets.
Towards Polruan & Fowey
After a fair bit of steep up and down lumpiness we descended into the valley and crossed a creek, it was low tide.
Low Tide
We met a rather nice friendly duck, but sadly had no bread to give her. We didn't think she'd like tangerine. We continued up the other side of the valley and around to Polruan, where we bought ice creams and admired the view.

We went down to the blockhouse, which is an old stone structure which, back in the day, was connected by a chain to a counterpart on the opposite shore. The chain could be raised or lowered to prevent ships from entering the inlet & reaching Fowey/Polruan.
There were some rather fluffy baby gulls, and more nice views.
We followed the coast path up to the top of the cliffs. I spotted these on the way.
Of course the view got thoroughly photographed.
And there were even some pretty flowers.

The view from the very top of Polruan, by the remains of an old chapel (on the Saints Way) was pretty impressive, and I got waved at by a cheery man in the coastwatch hut.
We took the Polruan ferry back to Fowey and returned to the car. The £5.30 for parking for more than a couple of hours is pretty extortionate by most standards, but we definitely made sure we got our money's worth!

Monday, 12 July 2010


While I was in California last summer, staying with my lovely American exchange family (from school in 2005) they hosted Shabbat dinner for lots of family friends and someone brought these:
Not your traditional Jewish food, but really nice. Hooray for multicultural LA.

Here's the box:
mochi ice cream
And a cross-section
Innards: Pistachio Ice Cream Mochi
ice cream mochi
Many mochi!. Possibly fake, but very Japanese in that.

It seems that they're an adaptation of mochi, which originates in Japan. It is essentially glutenous rice paste with some sort of flavouring (often green tea), usually formed into balls or cubes or used to make other sorts of sweets. Ice cream mochi is a twist on the more usual "daifuku", mochi with a sweet filling, usually red or white bean paste.
I'd love to have ice cream mochi again, and to try some plain mochi. I'm not sure where I can get them in the UK but oriental supermarkets and Japanese restaurants seem like a good place to start. Until then I can console (or possibly antagonise) myself with photos.
Flickr seems to be a great fan of them, probably because they're photogenic and come in nice pastelly colours. Here's a selection (all CC license)

Red leaf shiso mochi
Complete with recipe link, this calls for a visit to an oriental supermarket.

A nice green one, reluctant to be blogged.

Mochi assortment
Some variety.

Here're a couple of fairly simple sounding recipes to finish off:
Extremely simple, possibly heretical, microwave version.
With red bean paste filling.

P.S. In my search I also found a lot of rather cute animals.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


I'll take this one!
Through the gate
Sadly this is *not* where I'll be living. But my new house is fairly nice for a student flat, and in an excellent location; it's within easy reach of the university, Sainsbury's, and the Students Union, without being on a busy road. Hurrah!
Expect many excited photos of my new surroundings to appear on Flickr, and slightly fewer here.
(assuming I manage to keep up my blogging!)

Beside The Seaside

Housel Bay(map) on The Lizard near the Southernmost Point, is absolutely gorgeous. And I don't use that word lightly (unless I'm being sarcastic!)

Housel Bay
From the East side.

The path down to the beach there is quite lovely too.

There are alliums growing wild next to the coast path.

Foxgloves + lighthouse
And foxgloves.

White Water
It's nice to just sit on the rocks and watch the water.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Late-afternoon at Loe bar

A few bits of Cornwall.
Loe Bar, near Porthleven on The Lizard.

Grasses and blueness.

View From A Pill Box
The view from inside a pill box.

The sea and a suffering fence.

Sunny Grasses
Sunny silhouetted grasses.

Late-afternoon fishing.