Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Staycation pt. 4 The last hooray!

Peaceful morning dog walk by the shore

Following last week’s episode in which Pup and Mr D behaved reasonably well in the Lost Gardens of Heligan (more by accident than design), the end of the holiday is almost upon us. I will miss the morning stroll around the harbour but not the early morning alarm gulls! Enough of the depressing talk. We’re still on holiday!

Luckily I hold the membership cards needed for Mr D and I to gain free entry to St Michael’s Mount. Only our kidults would need paid tickets. I was kind to them. Knowing how long it takes to drive from the cottage to Marazion (about 1hr 30mins with traffic), I booked entry for 11am for the non-members and 11.30 for us. No need to get up early, gulls permitting. The last time we were there we had to take it in turns to visit the castle as dogs were only allowed in the grounds. Pup was passed from one half of the party to the other.

The long queue for St Michael’s Mount

But that was the last visit. This time, while standing in the long queue, stretching all the way from the castle walls back along the causeway, we discovered that dogs were banned from the island! So much for forward planning. As we neared the top of the queue, we waved bye bye to the kidults, and set off along the beach towards Penzance, pup racing around us. The tide was far out so Pup had plenty of room to chase gulls, other dogs, and bark at lumps of seaweed left by the previous tide.

A phone call from the CCs let us know that the whole castle visit was a shambles. They’d sold too many tickets for each time slot. Those on the island had to queue again to get into the castle… and keep queuing to enter each room. They worried we’d be bored. We told them to enjoy their time, not to rush, and we’d meet up at the land end of the causeway and head for lunch.

St Michael’s Mount looking mysterious

It took them so long to get round the island and castle that we’d almost reached Penzance, 4 miles away! It was no wonder Pup was quiet by the time we met up again. Lunch in our favourite spot was off the cards too. With so many people flocking to Marazion, the pub gardens were full to the brim, no spaces inside either. We gave up, got in the car and started to head back to the cottage.

Just outside Marazion we spotted a signpost for a seaside village we’d never visited. The chances of finding lunch were greater. So, ignoring the SatNav’s instruction, we turned off the route, headed towards to the coast again, and were pleasantly surprised to find a lovely harbour town and a parking space… a free parking space. Those are like hen’s teeth!

It may have been cold and windy outside but at least we got a seat, hot drinks and sticky cakes! They would keep us going until the evening.

The return journey was quite exciting as our SatNav rerouted us due to traffic congestion on the main routes. This meant only one thing… ultra narrow roads with intermittent passing spaces. Mind you, the upside was we found some gorgeous little undiscovered (by us) villages and arrived back earlier than anticipated. I’ll keep that route in mind for future use.

Sadly, we’re now at the end of our far-too-short holiday. The sun is shining – typical! It’s been absent for most of the week. Still, it means that a day on the beach will be pleasant. If only we can get there. The G7 summit has caused traffic chaos with road closures around Newquay airport. Our main route to the beach was closed. We resigned ourselves to not getting there, or getting there but not being able to park. It’s a scorcher of a Saturday and the beach would be calling everyone to come and enjoy themselves.

Never underestimate the power of a SatNav. It knew about the closures and found a route open… and yes, you’ve guessed, more narrow roads. I’m getting used to them now, and used to reversing into tiny passing spaces! Passing numerous armed police patrols, we finally arrived at Watergate Bay. It seemed the road closures were working in our favour. Most people had abandoned the idea of visiting the area which freed up the car park… we had our choice of spaces, and the beach was virtually deserted. The only downside was lack of waves for boogie boarding.

Pup being entertained

We made the most of the low tide and walked the length of the bay one last time, making sure Pup was well exercised. She’d likely snooze all the way back to East Yorkshire. Meanwhile, she could be seen exploring rock pools, beached jelly fish, chasing gulls and balls, and generally making a nuisance of herself.

Time flew by. All too soon it was time to pack the car and head home. Mr D was taking the first shift, which was just as well. I was feeling a tad emotional at leaving my wee corner of bliss. Tears slid silently down my cheeks as we finally lost signal for the local radio station, Pirate FM. Going home is normally a sad affair, but this year it seemed more intensely sad. Thankfully the traffic played nice and the journey was soon over. It only took a week of being back before we booked next year’s return trip… hopefully minus restrictions and masks!

I’m taking a wee break over the following two weeks. Between visiting family we haven’t seen since lockdown 1.0 and having time away with Mr D on our own, I’m going to be otherwise occupied or off the grid.

Until next time, stay safe and well.

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Hello staycation pt. 3

In last week’s episode the Dean family visited the Eden Project, went sea kayaking, and visited Tintagel and Boscastle. This week’s episode features a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the nearby harbour town of Mevagissey.

Good morning! This is your 5am alarm call!

When working, our days start with the alarm clock beeping. Our holiday days start with an equally early but different alarm sound … the sound of gulls on the roof, squawking at each other! It’s blooming noisy, ear-piercing and wakes our pup. Of course, once she’s awake most of the household is awake, as she bounces from person to person, persuading us to get up and take her out for her morning promenade around the harbour.

It’s not the chore it sounds. The early morning sea looks spectacular at that time of the day, and with few folks out and about, we have the view to ourselves. Each morning it’s a different scene depending on tides and weather. This particular morning a new ship could be seen on the horizon. At first, we thought it was a cargo ship, but then Mr D thought it might be connected to the G7 summit due to take place later in the week. A quick check with Vessel Finder and we know it’s an aircraft carrier! And she’s not alone. More naval ships were showing up near St Ives. I’m guessing that they were supported by a submarine or two, but they don’t show up on the map (for obvious reasons :-D)

Anyway, back to the day in hand. The weather wasn’t ideal for visiting gardens, but we can’t complain. It’s not cold. A lightweight waterproof jacket and you’re equipped for the day. We’ve visited the Lost Gardens on previous years, always in the sun. This would be our first visit in the rain. The fun part for me is the jungle area, the UK’s only outdoor jungle. Judging by the healthy growth on display, the plants brought back by intrepid botanists love their Cornish home. Pathways meander through the trees, stopping every so often next to hidden ponds. Last year Pup launched herself at speed, into on of the ponds, much to the amusement of other visitors. This year we kept a firm hold on her! She only got her paws muddy. There was no way I was risking embarrassment again with a full-on dive into the lily pond!

If Mr D and CC2 on the bridge, proceed with caution!

It’s a dog-friendly site, except for one attraction, the Burmese Rope Bridge. Walking across this gives you a birds-eye view of the jungle tree canopy, and an opportunity to try to unbalance the unwary. Anyone on the bridge and the same time as Mr D or Cost Center 2 (my son) is likely to endure one of the choppiest crossings of their lives. I admit I walk away and disown them. Lucky for me, there was a solo parent and two small kids in front of me so that kept Mr D from being himself!!

Shhh! Let sleeping Mud Maids lie!

After wandering around the woods and pleasure gardens, posing for silly photos on wooden stumps and in front of the Mud Maid, we headed off for Mevagissey. As a bonus, the drizzle stopped, the clouds cleared, and the sun shone. Our annual trip to Cornwall isn’t complete until we’ve had lunch in the Ship Inn, bought cool things from Lavender Pillow, and watched in horror as Mr D and CC2 scramble over the rocks in the harbour.

I keep my fingers crossed for high tides to thwart them, but this was the week of lower tides! While they scrambled around, I distracted myself by watching a gannet fishing. I was amazed at how long and far it could swim under the water. As soon as it submerged, I started counting the seconds (I count monkeys to approximate seconds) … got to 30 monkeys before it surfaced quite some distance away. Once finished with the fishing trip, it perched on a rock (not the rock with Mr D and CC2) and spread its wings out to dry.

Thank goodness the next time I looked for the boys, they were scrambling back up to harbour road, safe and sound, and scratch-free. Now it was the girls turn for fun. CC1 (daughter) and I love a good mooch around the Lavender Pillow shop. We invariably come out with something new. This year I bought myself a new tarot deck, and pretty dark blue velvet reading cloth. I’m still getting to grips with the new deck. Oh and I bought a couple of new crystals to add to my growing collection.

New cloth, new deck and new crystals

Meanwhile, the boys were outside looking bored while they kept Pup occupied. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. The week is flying past too quickly… I’m just getting into my relaxation groove and now my mind is on what needs to be done to prepare for the long journey home again.

However, we still have our trip to St Michael’s mount to enjoy and hopefully a trip to the beach for surfing and boogie boarding.

Until next week, stay safe and well… Cath xx