A photographic roundup of 2019 – a year marked once again by adverse weather – floods especially but also remembered for some great trips to Essex, Cornwall and ……Rio!
We have just returned from four rainy days in Cornwall and Devon from St.Austell on the bottom coast to Lynmouth on the top coast. The Eden Project was our main objective. Of course, these days it has little to do with sustaining life on Mars – it’s a tourist attraction, albeit with a message but, that said, it was still interesting. Whoever thought of naming the car parks after fruit had a brainwave! – you’re not going to forget you parked in Lime Parking Zone, are you?
These pictures were taken in October – it was a fairly dank and dismal day but on the plus side there was not the crush of visitors that they must get at the height of summer. We went for a wander outside first while the rain was still only drizzle. The grounds are full of interest: mock ups of mines
bee hives with glass panels so you can see them hard at work
wacky large scale sculptures
metallic commemorative leaves
and at this time of year a superb display of colourful gourds all ready for Hallowe’en celebrations.
And then you come to the biomes themselves, nestled into the landscape like giant hexagon sided bubbles. Up close you realise the challenge they would have posed for their creators: they must cope, on the outside, with the onslaught from wind and rain, and, inside, maintain the correct temperature and levels of humidity to sustain the incredible range of plants and vegetation and the bird and insect life within their strange translucent ‘domes’. To create the right curvature, there are a few pentagons in amongst the hexagons and each section has a double skin – all very technical!
It was our intention to do a bit of cycling in Cornwall and Devon and my son did just that. I chickened out of most of it because, especially near the coast Cornwall and Devon are far too hilly for me!! My son cycled from St.Austell, where we stayed for the first two nights, to the Eden Project, and although the short distance between them would imply that it’s not an arduous ride, the hills tell a different story!! The west Country doesn’t appear to have any flat surfaces or straight walls or level roads! It is wonky!
Supper on our first night was delicious, but then you would expect a bowl of moules mariniere and a sea food platter to come up to scratch on the coast!
We travelled north on day three through Bodmin and Bude, where we stopped for a coffee (and a scone – although we ended up with an almond croissant!) We ventured out into the rain to stretch our legs and walked past a big Adventure centre situated down towards the sea. By this time we were being blown off our feet by the wind and were astounded to see a group of tiny children in crash helmets and wet weather gear, standing under dangling ropes and tyres and looking aghast at what they were being expected to do – yes! assault the assault course!!
En route to Lynmouth, our final stopover, we had lunch at the Pig on the Hill in Westward Ho! (drawn probably by the place names as much as anything!) This was our view out of the window!
But i was fortified by the soup
and we were both fortified by the skinny chips! I wasn’t. however, too keen on the sign they had chosen for the ladies’ toilets!
I know! I know! It was a pig-themed restaurant, but you can take things too far!!
We arrived in Lynton, the ‘upstairs’ part of Lynmouth – and it was all very picturesque. And even hillier than St.Austell. Despite this, we decided to go for a spin on the bikes as far as the beginning of the cliff path – just to blow the cobwebs away. And then we came to our senses, put the bikes away, unloaded the car, had a shower and went out on foot to explore instead.
We went in search of dinner – which turned out to necessitate a walk down through about 4 ridiculously steep hairpin bends and across the bridge where the River Lyn crashes thunderously down towards the sea and into the little town of Lynmouth (well, more of a settlement). I could feel the tendons and ligaments in my legs stretching to snapping point and wondered when they were actually going to snap! We gathered momentum just from our body weight and were in danger of going headlong down this 1 in 4 hill like a couple of bowling balls. There were escape routes for cars at regular intervals on the way down in several different languages – so they have clearly had the odd mishap in the past!!
We definitely felt as if we’d earned our supper that night! Even so we got a taxi home!
Ha! ha! Look what we found at the bottom of our potato tub! Big Daddy – weighing in at a princely 260 grams – they weren’t all that big, but for my first attempt at growing potatoes it wasn’t a bad haul. Experienced gardeners have a tendency to give you a (virtual!) slap in the face but saying things like – ‘Potatoes are easy to grow’ – well, maybe they are but they will not squash my irrepressible joy at uncovering my very own home grown ones for the first time! And here’s dinner! Yum!
On to the other micro veg in my micro garden. Mostly in pots and troughs we have ……………courgettes
onions and leeks (all a bit squashed in too close together but i will know better next time!
I tried a cucumber plant – we grew these from seed and i nurtured and cajoled them in the conservatory to start with. Only two survived and of those 2 there is now only one looking healthy – it’s produced one edible cucumber so far – short, knobbly and bumpy like Spanish cukes but there are more coming. Yippee!!
And a bowl of strawberries – the plastic bowl has kept them up off the ground and they have ripened beautifully in amongst the fennel and nasturtiums.
And unless i turned the whole plot over to veg that is all I have space for, apart from the herb patch which has some sage and some thyme. There is a bit more thyme in pots, along with some rosemary.
The overspill is in the conservatory – 2 monster chilli plants and some tomatoes.