Thursday, 1st September
10.10 Left home.  Put Wimbleball Lake in the satnav.  Stopped several times including one for coffee at a Costa services.
2.20  Arrived at Wimbleball Lake and had a delicious lunch of salads, blinis and cheese muffins.  Walked from the car park to the lake.
Set the Satnav for Rackenford.  Turned it off once we reached the village.  But, Tony does not live at Rackenford he lives at West Batworthy.  I tried to phone him but it was emergency services only.  A little later he phoned me and directed us to where he lived.  We did not reach him until nearly 4.30 so we had wasted at least half an hour looking for him.

Once the drinks were done we walked out to the barns where we met the Charolais bull.  Tony said that he can no longer be with the bull in the pen because he is not nimble enough to move out of its way. Can farmers ever retire?  From there we walked through a paddock to a field where there were sixteen Charolais cattle and the flock of Dorset Polls.  The sheep were lovely and were confident enough to come very close. 

Dorset Poll

One of Tony's friendly Dorset Polls

Left him just before 5.30 and travelled the short distance to Kerscott where the farmer showed us to our room, asked us to order breakfast and offered to write instructions for finding ‘The Stag’s Head’. Bought petrol and then back to ‘The Stag’s Head’ where we had a really enjoyable meal.  People were queuing at the door waiting for them to open at 7.00.  

Friday, 02 September 2011
8.30 Went to breakfast and the previous couple were just about to leave.  The breakfast was fine – in fact the bacon was really good and B tells me that the sausages were too.  During the meal it became clear that the farmer’s wife was not able to do much any more and it seemed as though this was a fairly recent occurrence.  I suspected that she had had a stroke but I could not see any evidence of that.  She did say that she could no longer help her husband on the farm. He had said to B the night before that he does the breakfasts to help his wife out.  He has 200 acres, no help, 800 sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens and now runs the bed and breakfast as well.  He did say that it was very hard work and apart from selling up their life’s work I can’t see how they will cope as they become less and less able to run the place. Can farmers ever retire?

We left there just after 9.00 and headed for Clovelly. Then to Crantock or rather West Pentire and the Fairbank Hotel. Really nice folk running the place, room fine with fantastic view.


A contented cat in Clovelly

Saturday, 03 September 2011
8.55 down to breakfast and it was as good as we had hoped. Chatted to Don and Vanda in the dining room.
9.30 Walked to West Pentire to look for the post office and walk along the shore.  However, the post office was in the opposite direction.  I suggested that we didn’t bother with the walk along the shore but found the post office, posted the cards and then went off to Penzance.
11.05 Chatted to Don and Vanda again and said that I would drive to the venue this evening and then we could come back when we wished rather than share a taxi and wait for an appointed time. They seemed happy with that and we left for Penzance.  Drove straight to the Penlee Gallery because we knew where it was but then had a bit of a struggle to park.  However the satnav showed us that there was a public park behind the building and we found a slot in the side road and walked through.  Really enjoyed the paintings by Walter Langley and the ‘Birmingham Boys’ most of whom seemed to paint in the Newlyn area.

After a very thorough perusal of the gallery we decided to have lunch there.  Both had a crab salad and a cup of coffee.  Really delicious.  After that we walked in the rain to the main shopping area to buy some apples and looked in the new Exchange Gallery at some very modern stuff.  We looked at it carefully but were not very impressed.  That gallery had no-one in it and the Penlee was packed.
Walked back to the car and became soaked because it was raining much more heavily. Drove back around the coast so that we could visit Newlyn and Lamorna, two places where the artisits had worked.  It was really grey, misty and raining so we didn’t see much and crossing over the headland to Sennen, Land’s End and Zenor the weather seemed appropriate for such dull places.  Land’s End now has a false castle type front and lots of ‘entertainment’ inside a courtyard. Absolutely hideous.  Still, whoever owns it needs to make money from it.  Back to Fairbank Hotel at 5.15.  6.45 Went down to the bar to have a drink with Don and Vanda before going out.
7.10 Left for ‘The Smuggler’s Den’.  56 people present at Rita and Alan’s 60th birthday party.  We returned to The Fairbank Hotel at about 11.20 and shared a bottle of red in the bar.

Sunday, 04 September 2011
6.40 Off to photograph in the bay.  Dropped the polarizing filter in the sand, the remote would not work, blah, blah.  When I got back three lots of software would not work properly......give up Alan.
7.30 Back for much needed tea.
9.00 Another excellent breakfast.  Then walked around the village.  Went to look at the church but it was not open.  Back to the hotel and sorted out stuff for our walk.
Parked at West Pentire and paid for the day.  Walked along the headland to Polly Joke and then on to Holywell Bay.
1.10 Called in on Rita and Alan and sat and chatted until nearly four o’clock.  It had been throwing it down with rain most of the time we were with them and I was glad when B said that it would be good for Alan to give us a lift back to the car.  From there we went to look at the sheep near the main road and decided that they were Suffolks and also crossed with Northern Mules.
5.10 Back to the hotel, download today’s photos – no good.

vugga cove 4

Vugga Cove West Pentire

Monday, 05 September 2011
4,5,6 and 7 woke up but decided to stay put.  Looked out of the window at 7.00 and it was raining so definitely can’t be bothered to go photographing.
8.45 Breakfast.  Bought Eden Project tickets on line.
10 ish left and put the Plume of Feathers post code in to the satnav.  It took us directly but mostly down lanes with grass in the middle so we will not be using that route later.  From there to The Eden Project.  Arrived about 11.30.  
Just after we had bought our tickets but before we stepped outside it through it down with rain so we bought ourselves an Eden Project umbrella.
Very different to when we were last there.  Much more established with thick growth of vegetation across the whole site.  Mediterranean Dome first where we stopped for an ice cream and then the Tropical regions.  This had changed beyond all recognition with trees reaching the top of the domes.  There was a new feature in that they have built an observation platform right at the top with restricted numbers allowed on it.  B would have gone up to it but there was a 45 minute wait and it was tropically hot in there.  Came out and wandered around the allotment part with great relish.  Visited the plant shop hoping to buy a purple angelica.
4.00 Hotel for shower and change and then to The Plume of Feathers at Mitchell for dinner.



Part of the dunes at Holywell Bay

Tuesday, 06 September 2011
Awake at 4...not nice then
7.00 Made tea having lain and listened to the rain lashing and the wind howling.  Definitely not going photographing this morning.
10.06 Paid the bill, thanked them and left.  Stopped four times on the motorway system.  I inadvertently followed the M5 north to the M6, we stopped at Frankley Services for coffee and and petrol and then realising we just used the satnav which took us south on the M6 toll to join the A38 and home.  Taking out the times we stopped we did the journey in four hours - five with the stops.