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Um, cake please.

So yes we're back from Cornwall, well as of about 3 and a bit hours ago. Since then I have collapsed in a chair, been fed, and caught up with internet stuff. Which is good because driving makes me tired and after about 5 hours of driving today I'm unsurprisingly tired. I'll also be tired tomorrow based on previous experience. Driving seems to take a lot out of me. As such I suspect I'll only be heading up to the Sunday of the 36 hour, unless by some miracle, I wake up feeling full of energy and motivating stuff. Hopefully the hour and a half drive to Candlestone on Sunday will be for more than one fight, but still it means I can see people which will be nice.

Oh yes the title. I ordered the DVD boxset of Eddie Izzards shows (includes: Unrepeatable, The Definite Article, Glorius, and Dressed to Kill), which arrived about 10 minutes before we left, and provided us with much amusement in the evenings when we were too tired/it was to dark to do much more. As such expect more Izzard-isms to creep into everything I say/write/think for a while.

So the actual holiday. Well we stayed in self catered accommodation near Ashton in Cornwall, between Helston and Penzance. The accommodation itself consisted of part of a converted barn. It wasn't very large, but big enough for our needs and was a very nice place to stay. Especially for £155 for the week. There were also the occasional free range chickens wandering about the place, but though they crowed we didn't witness any of this supposed crowing at dawn I thought cockerels were supposed to do.

The weather can be described as: Sunday nice, Saturday wet, Sunday - Tuesday MISTY but warm*, Wednesday-Friday nice and sunny, but windy. So unsurprisingly we kind of catered what we did to the weather.

Friday we took a detour to Tintagel on the way down, and took advantage of the good weather, without realising it. We didn't have that long about an hour and a half, but it was enough time to take a reasonable look. That's the thing with castles it's never really obvious how much time you'll need to look at them.

In some ways it was no bad thing that Saturday was a wet day, as all I wanted to do was rest. The morning consisted of a brief aborted walk near where we were staying as the weather decided to make it perfectly clear it didn't want us walking anywhere, and the afternoon a wander around Helston, and it's museum which just happened to be free on Saturday's. The museum was a fairly complete look at the local history from stone age flints through to Second World War photos. Helston itself seems a bit run down, but we did see it in dismal but mostly dry weather, and not at the right time for it's famous annual floral dance thing.

Sunday we went to the Eden project which is as pretty as you'd expect. The greenhouses, some part of me rankles at the term 'Biome', were interesting, though the tropical one was much more interesting than the temperate one. The plants in the tropical one were simply much more impressive, and it felt more like a natural forest, where as the temperate plants had very much that deliberately planted feel. The one thing I particularly noted is that the ants really really liked the tropical one, but were completely absent from the temperate one. When I say really like I mean hundreds of them swarming over all of the plants. So should we get ridiculous global warming, and a tropical Britian, we will have to be prepared for the ants to really thrive.

Monday involved our first actual trip to a beech, in the thick mist. As was pointed out there's not that much lost walking along the beech in that kind of visibility, as the interesting sea bits happen close enough to be seen, and cliffs aren't exactly far away either. Thankfully the mist actually cleared in the afternoon, something it didn't repeat on the other days, so when we were walking along the cliff paths we could actually see the views (though only really on the way back). The beach we went to was Praa Sands by virtue of it being only a couple of miles south of us.

Tuesday was spent wandering around St. Ives, the purchasing of a significant quantity of fudge for close family members, a visit to the local Tate and Barbara Hepworth gallery, and then a failed attempt to visit St Micheals Mount on the opposite coast (it closed early). I enjoyed the walk around St. Ives it is a nice coastal town, but really the gallery's weren't my thing. It's not that I don't enjoy that kind of thing, it's just that modern art annoys me a lot. Poor P had to put up with my ranting, especially as the Tate also turned out to be nothing more than a couple of selected exhibits from the Tate Modern on a field trip to Cornwall. I just don't get modern art, I don't see the point and I certainly don't see how any of those people deserve the kind of critical praise they get, let alone actually be displayed in galleries. I think what it comes down to is that I can't draw, or make anything artistic and have it turn out even slightly how I intend, so I tend to be very impressed by people who have actual talent. To me modern art displays no talent what's so ever. I've seen obviously cheap pieces in restaurants that to me have no more worth as a piece of art than some of those in display at the Tate. Basically I don't see what make Barbara Hepworth's carved rock with hole in it any more valuable, impressive or artistic than random Joe Blogg's carved rock with a hole in it. There's just no talent involved. Oh yes and we visited the gardens of a stately home, Trevano I think, which were very good. We also saw what appeared to be a baby peacock, which was unexpected.

Anyway Wednesday began with a successful but disappointing trip to St. Michael's Mount in the morning. It looks much more interesting and impressive from the outside than the inside, though we would have enjoyed the whole thing more if it cost less or the gardens had been open. The afternoon involved attempting to rediscover a beach I had last visited with my parents on my one other trip to Cornwall about 14 years ago I think (Hopefully my sister will be able to tell me when we actually went). The beach is called Porth Chapel, and is a short 30 minute walk from Porthcurno. Like Porthcurno it consists of the most amazing sand, consisting entirely of crushed shells normally about 5mm in size. Unlike Porthcurno it's more out of the way (there's a bit of a scramble down rocks to get to the beach), and is a little more secluded as well. Meaning that's it's much quieter. The beach doesn't seem to have changed from how I remember it and I'm very glad my parents memories were good enough for us to be able to find it again. If you are ever in the area, it's a beach I heartily recommend. It's may well be my favourite beach in this country. We also got to see a basking shark on our way to the beach. I've tried to get photos but I'm not sure how they'll turn out, still it's inspired me to get myself a pair binoculars so I can take a much better look next time.

Yesterday we finally walked up the big hill just behind where we were staying which gave us amazing views of the whole area. We could see both the North and South coast, the whole of the South coast from the lizard across to past Penzance. The rest of the day was spent relaxing back on Porth Chapel having decided to return and relax there rather than explore further. We finished off with a scenic drive near land's end, and got a quick look at the ugly monstrosity of a theme park that's been built there. It's a real shame they were allowed to spoil the area in that way.

So lastly today we drove back with a few detours, south down towards Lizard point to just see some of the scenery and visit a proper Cider place. I proceeded to buy some 'Real' cider, which was quite definitely different from the 'designer' cider as the owner put it that get's massed manufactured and finally managed to purchase some mead too, having failed to do so to date. The place allowed you to sample some of the alcohol so I tried a little (I was driving) of a medium cider, which tasted mostly of olives, and bought a sweet one instead. Picnic was had at Restormel Castle as we drove home, and the motorway thankfully sped by. Good to be heading North, as the M5 south was doing a bit of a carpark impression due to several accidents.

To summarise it was a good holiday and exactly how I'd wanted it, which is the best way it could have been.

*Cornwall seems a lot bigger, when your visibility is only about 50 foot.


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