18 August 2014

What a Difference a Week Makes

What a difference in the weather, last Sunday, I was happily snapping away in the sunshine like a demented, camera happy tourist while collecting bits of driftwood and shells and generally having a lovely time on one of my local beaches. Yesterday, the weather was grey, the Cornish mizzle, a cross between mist and drizzle had firmly set in and the whole atmosphere was decidedly autumnal and gloomy. Still, I'm not one to let a bit of rain stop me from having a walk by the sea so I hopped in the car and nipped off to Looe with my camera to pretend to be a tourist again and see if there was anything interesting to find on the beach.

I was thrilled to find a new local shop on the quay, I'm all for promoting local produce and I buy locally as often as I can, usually from the market where I have my stall but I also like to support other local retailers if I can. I bought some lovely mushrooms which I had for my breakfast when I got home, they were absolutely delicious.


And of course there is Pengelly's where I buy my fish whenever I'm in Looe


Banjo pier was looking empty and gloomy.


The fishing boats were having a day off.



I did spot something I've never seen before though, even though I have been visiting Looe for the last 11 years. A cute little petrol pump for the boats to use all neatly tucked away on the quayside.


I really love this old building, it would make an awesome house or workshop space, preferably both at the same time. I have a sneaking feeling though that I love it so much because the doors and windows are painted in a colour very similar to my front door. It's my new favourite colour. 


And despite the mizzle, these geraniums are totally beautiful and cheer up the gloomiest of days. 


The beach was deserted. Apart from a flock of seagulls having a nap on the sand and a couple of brave souls who had obviously finished their breakfast quickly and headed to the beach early in time to beat the rush there was no one in sight. Not only was it empty of people though, there was no driftwood or shells or anything at all. For some reason, the council have taken to scraping the beach with a tractor each day after the tide goes out to get rid of every trace of, well, just about everything that you would usually find on a beach. There is no life left at all, which is a real shame. I have no idea what they do with the seaweed and of course, the sea creatures that live within the micro-ecosystems within the seaweed, after they have scraped it all away but I'm guessing that not much survives. I don't understand why they have to do this. I'm assuming it's because the tourists don't like seaweed on their beaches. Ridiculous if you ask me but then I suppose that's just a personal opinion. Collecting shells was one of my favourite things to do when I was a child and we went to the beach.

A totally barren beach 

And finally there was this little fellow. I know a lot of people think that these birds are pests but I love the way they hop and walk along the ground. He was very obliging too and I managed to get nice and close to get a picture.


17 August 2014

Childhood Memories

Whenever I go to the car boot sale on a Sunday morning and drive onto the field to park, I get the overwhelming feeling that I'm getting out of the car after travelling from Sheffield to Anglesey at the start of the summer holidays I had as a child. It has that same feeling of fresh sea air, warm sunshine and anticipation, I know that sounds odd but it's a really nice, nostalgic feeling and it always makes me smile. We went to the same place on holiday every year, a friendly little camping and caravan site in Pentraeth, Anglesey and while a lot of people might find that a bit dull, to me it was fabulous. As a child, the most exciting thing was getting up at 4am, whispering to each other in the cool night air as we packed everything into the car and set off on the long journey. Amazing to get all that just from driving onto a field in Cornwall.

It's strange how the most mundane things remind me of when I was a child. Recently, we had a new water treatment system installed and as a result, we aren't allowed to use a whole load of things like bleach and antibacterial liquids because it kills off the bacteria that digests the icky stuff in the system. One of the other changes I've had to make is my laundry powder. Apparently, powder can solidify and clog up the drain pipes and the system itself so I've had to change to a laundry liquid. In addition to this, I've had to change from a biological detergent to a non-bio one, again, to keep the little buggers alive. Anyway, just after the system was installed, I nipped off to the shop and grabbed the nearest bottle of non-bio liquid and dashed off home to do some laundry and the minute I opened the bottle, I was once again, instantly, transported back to my childhood. Back to that cute little caravan on Anglesey and to the smell of freshly washed laundry, sunshine, salty seaside air, bacon, frying in the morning and freshly cut grass. Those amazing holidays we had in our little Sprite Musketeer caravan were filled with long sunny days on Lligwy beach playing in our dinghy in the tidal pool left behind after the tide went out. Eating sandwiches on the beach while wrapped in a towel with salty hair and sandy hands which had gone all pruney from being in the sea so long. Playing cricket on the camp site with the friends who went there every year at the same time as we did and usually getting told off for spending more time upside down doing handstands than fielding the ball.

Lligwy Beach (Source)

As well as the obvious things that bring back holiday memories, such as candifloss and hotdogs and hot, freshly made doughnuts covered in sugar, sometimes, it's something completely out of the blue that triggers a memory. Like Imperial Leather soap. I know ..... weird! One whiff in the chemist the other day and I'm standing in the toilet block on the campsite, putting 10p in the hot water meter so I could have a shower first thing in the morning, always in the freezing cold because no matter how hot it was outside, the inside of the shower block was always freezing cold or having a quick wash before going out for an evening walk on the beach and stopping for fish and chips on the way back to the car.

Oh, and I think I have finally managed to figure out why I get so sleepy at the market when it's windy. I'm fairly certain it's because the flapping of the marquee canvas reminds me of falling asleep in the caravan listening to the awning flapping in the breeze!! Weird :-)

So, here are a few more things that remind me of my childhood,

Sweet peas, pickled cucumber, pipe tobacco, freshly baked bread, old spice aftershave, Imperial Leather soap, bilberry pie, frying bacon, the sound of the knitting machine zipping merrily along, 4am, Dandelion and Burdock and Mum's meat and potato pie cooking in the oven.

What sights, sounds and smells remind you of your childhood? 
I would love to know :-)

13 August 2014

A Chill in the Air

Well, I can't believe that it's only the start of August and there is already a bit of a chill in the air. The mornings and evenings are cool enough to need more than just a t-shirt and even the days aren't as warm as they were a couple of weeks ago. Not that I mind, I find the intense heat that we had a couple of weeks ago, where the temperatures were hitting almost 30 degrees down here in Cornwall, quite difficult to cope with. I like the cooler air with a bit of a breeze and I took the opportunity of the cooler weather to go beach combing on my local beach. It was lovely. The sun was shining with a lovely breeze .... perfect for a walk on the beach.



I love the beautiful colours of the sea against the vivid green of the of the foliage. Since I bought my new camera a few months ago, I've been taking it everywhere I go and have been snapping away like a mad tourist to try and get the hang of the settings. Some pictures turn out amazingly clear and some are so blurred that it's difficult to tell exactly what they are even if I squint so until I get the hang of things, I just take a million photos in the hope that one of them will be ok. The benefits of the digital age, imagine doing that when cameras had film inside them and you had to get them developed. There is some technology I really hate, like satnavs which are just too bossy and condescending and remind me way too much of my know-it-all ex-husband and I can't stand new cars that have so many electric gadgets in them that it's almost impossible to just drive them but confess that I do love digital cameras. 

So here are just a few of the pictures I have snapped with my lovely camera.

In the garden my tomatoes are ripening and although I don't have many apples on my trees this year the ones that are there are looking delicious.



The crocosmia in my garden is in full bloom and the bees love it, you can just see a cute little buzzy bee making a bee-line (haha) for it.


I tested out my awesome zoom at Siblyback Lake watching the amazing wake boarding thingy. Great fun watching the people zoom around on the pulley and fling themselves over the jumps. Looks a bit chilly for me although I have to confess that the zoom on the camera is totally fab. 



And I finally managed to take the one picture I have always wanted to capture and have never been able to. I do have to confess though that this was more by luck than anything else and is tribute more to the awesomeness of the camera than the person taking the picture :-)


11 August 2014

Boats

For about 18 months now I have been sewing like fury every week to keep my stall nicely filled and although I love sewing it was becoming clear that it was time to try something new. On my stall there are a number of things that sell well. They aren't expensive things but they just seem to be very popular and though I am well aware that I'm never going to get rich from being at the market, the small amount of extra cash is quite useful so I just keep on making them. The problem is, making the same things over and over and over and over and over ..... well you get the picture and quite frankly, I knew that if I had to make one more lavender chick or and another catnip mouse I would go mad. 



I had seen some cute little wooden boats in a very quirky little shop on my trip to Sheffield recently and I made sure that I had a really good snoop, to see how they were made. They looked simple enough and last week I decided that they were something I wanted to have a go at making. Now I don't like to copy things that I see in shops or at craft markets, I think that is kind of a dishonest, I much prefer to take the basic idea and make them my way, which is what I did with the little boats

Cue the power tools ...... a jigsaw, a drill and a sander  ........ great fun if slightly scary and after a disastrous start and a box full of wonky bits of wood, which will come in handy for lighting the fire later in the year, I finally managed to create something I am quite happy with. Actually ...... I love them. I couldn't stop making them. I made seven of them and then had to try and find a way to display them on my stall. A painted wooden crate and the addition of a little shelf that I made myself and they were ready to go off to the market. 




30 July 2014

Still Here :-)

Hi there, I wonder if there is anyone out there still reading my blog ..... it's been ages since I wrote anything. Things have been busy and I seem to have been caught up in lots and lots of lovely things and some not so lovely but very necessary things so, to ease me back into the swing of things I thought that for my first post I would just put up some photos of things that have been going on down here Deep in the Cornish Countryside.

The water treatment system finally went in. It's taken 3 years and a lot of time and hassle to get things sorted but it's finally in. Considering the amount of stress it caused, in the end, it only took three days ...... well 3 days and lots of digging to make the 4 metre deep hole it had to go into!!!







On a nicer note, it was my mum's 70th birthday at the start of July and we held a surprise afternoon tea for her at the lovely hotel where my daughter works. The Leopold Hotel in Sheffield were wonderful and despite the stress of making it happen without mum knowing it was a lovely afternoon and the food was delicious and it was lovely to see my mum and my eldest daughter for a couple of days.




I am now back at the market full time after taking a few weeks off to concentrate on other things and I have been making patchwork cushions. I finally mastered my rotary cutter and I am now addicted to making things with the patchwork squares I have been cutting.







I have been painting the outside of my house. I finally settled on a new colour for my front door and I absolutely love it. In fact I love it so much that I am painting everything that doesn't move in the lovely colour.






And finally, I have been sewing like mad adding lots of new things to my market stall. Here is Indie modelling the latest in cool doggie accessories ....... Doggie Bandanas that simply slip over the dogs collar so no faffing with tying them or velcro and things :-)


6 June 2014

A Stroll by the Sea

Yesterday, amidst days and days of chilly, grey weather, there was a day filled with sunshine. The kind of beautiful day which hints that summer might not be too far away. Seventeen degrees of warm, breezy loveliness which was, quite frankly, most welcome and definitely a day for a walk by the sea. 




Usually, we avoid touristy places during the summer months but yesterday, it was nice to be able to go and wander by the sea in the lovely June sunshine.



The lovely little narrow streets in Looe. 

Looe was very badly affected by the storms earlier this year. Many properties were flooded and the damage was extensive and during one high tide, Banjo pier went from this 


To This


Yesterday, the red light on top of the pier looked like this. Such beautiful colours.


And of course, there was the necessary cream tea.




4 June 2014

Extreme Gardening!!!

Hi there, well I know it's been a while since I have posted but I have been trying to get the garden sorted and as you have seen from the state of the patio photos I have posted in the past that is no mean feat!

So here is a before photo of the jungle


And after the forced mass deforestation



Personally, I liked it wild and green but some of my neighbours had other ideas and there have been some rather pointed comments about how overgrown it was and hints that I should cut the grass down. It kind of got to the stage where it was just easier to give in and chop everything back to the ground. I actually think it looks bleak and bare but I'm going to plant a mass of flowers in the beds and try and make it beautiful and abundant again but just in a way that the neighbours can't complain about how "overgrown" it is. Quite frankly, I don't think they are country people at all. They want to manicure everything to within an inch of it's life and they have dumped weed killer on anything that dared to grow in the wrong place, which I am totally against but, obviously, it's not wise to say anything against these people for fear of reprisals so my garden now looks completely bare. 

On the plus side, I have also had a whole host of cute critters visiting my house and garden, which was a perfect time to test out the zoom on my new camera. There was this little chap who I found in my hallway. He was very tiny but very cute. I picked him up and took him back outside where he scuttled off into the undergrowth.


Then this beautiful guy was sitting on top of the chicken house. He has a poorly leg so I have been feeding him until he gets better. He's gorgeous but the chickens aren't so smitten. Luckily they are safely tucked away in their nice big enclosed run so he just sits on the outside and looks at them. 


And then there was this little cutie. A teeny tiny little field mouse. About an inch long playing in the grass outside my window.


Right, off to do some more gardening to try and salvage what is left of my garden and make it look nice again.