Blog Posts, Prompts

JusJoJan 17th – footloose and fancy free

Here we are, on what is supposed to be ‘Blue Monday’ and our prompt word for today is ‘joy’! Thanks to theindieshe for the suggestion and to Linda G Hill for hosting.

This weekend Mr D and I had the joy and pleasure of visiting London, just our two selves! We spent the majority of the day in the Tower of London.

It’s been on my bucket list for years. I visit London but never get the chance to go. This visit was different. I was in charge of the itinerary, so it was top of the list.

The combination of January, lack of foreign tourists and Baltic conditions meant no queues for anything, not even the Crown Jewels! My , eyes enjoyed seeing these beauties in real life without the pressure of people pushing past etc.

The Tower raven population was entertaining. I knew they were big birds, but had no idea how chatty they could be with their loud and raucous squawking!

Later that day, we met up with friends and enjoyed a fabulous dinner. Afterwards we decided to walk back to our hotel, taking in the sights on the Strand, Westminster and the London Eye.

As we walked past the entrance to Downing Street we though we could hear the sounds of a party and wine glasses clinking. Might have been my imagination!

Anyhoo, this post explains my absence over the weekend. Busy experiencing the joy of a city break.

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