Sunday, November 23, 2008

Moving and other Gumpf

Urgh, moving house sort out all your stuff, filling boxes, bin bags, bottles and anything else which makes transportation of masses of crap reasonably hassle free, transport said crap and then re-sort and unpack everything on the other end....I'm nearly there anyway....and most importantly my DVD collection has already been re-housed and anally alphabetized.

So, I finished my last few shifts....seeing Green-eyed Guy for one final time.....I'll definitely miss that finely formed figure of a least I still have friends to visit in the area, who may require sustenance, and therefore an excuse to return to Co-op.

Much hilarity was had last Thursday evening when my father and I visited Londontown to share an audience with none other than Mork, aka Robin Williams, himself.....quite possibly the funniest show I've seen in ages, witty, topical...and kinda smutty, in a 'I can't believe he just said that but I know where he's coming from' kinda way....Kudos goes to my sister who seems to know that right people and managed to acquire tickets to the two night only, completely sold out show....ta sis.

The perks of not working stupid hours and already becoming apparent....I went shopping in town with my mother this afternoon and completely thrashed my father at Cribbage this evening whilst watching the utterly fabulous Merlin (I know, life in the fast lane from now on)......Merlin by the way is engrossing, witty, action packed and an interesting angle on the legend.

Oh, also this evening I wandered down to the beach to watch the amazing sunset....afraid the photos don't really do the colours justice, but enjoy anyhoo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brief Interlude

For now, I have returned to the vacuous space which is Co-op while I serve the last few shifts of my notice before embarking on....well....I'm not quite sure what at present, but I'm sure there will be a fair amount of mulling, mooching and melancholy before I regain some form of purpose.

Today however was much of the same gumpf which I have been happily un-missing in my recuperation...many people moaning and groaning as to the price of food stuffs, unscanning and uncooperative BOGOF's, unrealistic expectations 'A tenner for cash' or 'Tesco does' and down right blatant thievery....of which I single handily brought to a stop this afternoon when some young upstart armed with a giant shopping bag attempted to make off with a shelf full of Ferrero Roche (obviously he has his own embassy to run and as everyone is feeling the pinch this Christmas)....after clocking me stocking sheves in the aisle he was about to pinch from he moved on to the Christmas display round the corner. I followed and stood over his shoulder, which went down as well as a fart in a sleeping bag, until he muttered something about not being a thief and wandered toward the 'in' door....located adjacent to the 'exit' door out of which I stepped, cutting off the cunning, sticky fingered assailant in his escape. I stood my ground asking to see the content of his shopping bag...he feigned ignorance until I called to a colleague (who was well out of earshot unbeknownst to the young thief) who quickly gave up the contents before hotfooting away empty handed...yay me.

Green-Eyed Guy also put in an appearance on Monday....quite possibly the final time I shall stutter my way through some inane conversation in the hope he should see my amazingness in Co-op packaging....though he did show some concern as to my back strain and the fact that my home shall once again be Bognor Regis rather than Worthing (for those not in the know Bognor Regis is, in the UK, what Homer Simpson is as a poster child for a Health and Fitness drive ).....meh, I have 5 more shifts and but two in which I know Green- Eyed Guy may put in an appearance....after which I'm sure he'll be pleased to once more go about his shopping without the blithering and slightly stalky checkout girl.

Also today one of my colleagues challenged me to a 'word of the day' type thingy...since I have a habit of confuzzling many members of staff by using English.......from my academic days. Today young Eli, not satisfied with my 'combobulation' demanded a word of at least 6 letters beginning with 'P'......'pyschoanalytical' is the first thing which came to mind, granted it doesn't often come up in everyday conversation, and kudos to Eli for not suggesting that it actually began with an 's'.

Oh, I also have no Internet in Worthing at present so will be unable to make an entry for a week or so....the only reason I'm popping in this collection of ponderings and happenings is due to a brief excursion to the parentals and an outing to Londontown upon the morrow to an 'event'.......To Be Continued

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Big Cornish Write Up Part 7

Day 10

The plan was to walk from The Lizard along the South West Coast Path to Mullion, but once again due to dodgy buses and time restrictions I decided I'd never make it for the 14.50 bus back to Helston (I tend to deviate and admire the views and the bus service skips an hour for the general pop for the school run....make the little buggers walk I say)

So anyway Kynanace Cove....2 1/2 miles said the sign down at Lizard point lighthouse (there and back certainly doable in the 3 1/2 hours I had to explore) so off I trekked. It's a really nice walk, though steep in places and, due to the rain and gloom, patches of slippy thick mud took me a little longer than I'd have hoped (plus I kept stopping to check out the amazing views).

I reached the overlook above the cove with no time to either walk down to the beach or walk back along the coast path back to the Lizard. Whipping out my trusty street map I found an alternate route back to the village green (although I could have down without the extra muddy on the footpath which as I tried to side step lead me into a quagmire, turning my once blue trainers an elegant brown, with added squelchy). I did however get back to the village with time to enjoy a congratulatory ice cream, just as the sun put in an appearance.
I had enough time to spare to go for one more shortish walk before my bus, since there's not an awful lot in the village centre itself....Church Cove was signed as 1/4 mile away so off i trotted...though I somehow managed to take a wrong turn and ended up on a very muddy/squelchy loop to Bass Point. By the time I realised my error I was quicker to carry on rather than turn back...and I engaged top speed as my shortish walk was turning into a much longer jaunt which was putting my return bus journey in jeopardy.
As I got onto the home straight, the village green in sight, the bus pulled in...caked in mud, nursing a stitch and with two very tired feet I ran the last few 100 yards and jumped onto the bus gasping out my destination. I slumped into my seat, guzzling the last of my H2O and observed, with some annoyance, the bus driver jump off said vehicle to entertain a fag for several minutes before we left for Helston.

Days 13 & 14

The reason for skipping a couple of days here is the 'travel' factor....of which I must have clocked up many, many miles and, when I come to think about it, actually spent 5 out of my 14 day holiday wonder I feel like I need another one.....but, anyway I had left Helston and returned to Newquay (via Truro) where after a fab meal on my last night with Natty and friends I caught my train to London (via Par and Plymouth)....where I must digress here to discuss the question as to just how much does it cost for a 4ft, pink, fluffy, bunny to ride the train these days? There were shades of 'Harvey' as a gent of the disheveled persuasion carried his companion across the platform and into the carriage in which I was positioned....encouraging much amusement and bufuzzlement amongst the other the man also had a bicycle with him, I was left to ponder as to just how the man intended to continue his journey.....cut to Frank Spencer/Mr Bean esque sequences.

I arrived in London in the evening and caught the tube to meet my very good friend, and ex-flat mate, Ally...for much hugging, squealing and other such girlie like behaviour, due to the close to one year in apartness (Ally for those who are unsure is my Irish 'giant-like' friend who found fame screaming at god-like rock figures on a popular Beeb television show).

On the first day of my London break Ally was working so I took myself off to the British Museum....a place I keep meaning to spend some quality time in whenever I'm in London but somehow always manage to go gawk at Buckingham Palace with all the other tourists.

I wandered round the Ancient Egypt section utterly fascinated and with all the maturity of a small child in a sweet shop run by Oompa Loompas. After a couple of hours I realised that the cloudless and sunny skies were too much of an opportunity to miss (with regard to the highly unagreeable weather this summer) so I hoofed it to Hyde Park where I spent the rest of the day mooching, lolling, dozing and sunning myself.

I did go for a bit of a wander ending up at......Buckingham Palace, where I allowed myself a few minutes of a game I like to call 'how many tourist pictures can I put in a timely appearance and pull an unfortunate and possible inappropriate gesture'.....(answer more than 1, less than 12)
Soon, I decided to venture back to the park for further mooching and ice cream consumption where I spent another hour or so just taking in the world before tubing it to meet up with Ally and hang out until the end of her shift ( she works at a photographers studio and regaled me with tale of frolics with the rich and famous of which I wasn't at all jealous)

In the pm we headed out to a trendy bar on the South Bank (between London and Tower Bridge) for some catching up with other members of the past Club Mercury crowd, before heading back to which Ally has a very nice pad which she shares with a lovely couple of fellow Irish girlies.

The following day, another glorious sunny day, Ally and I spent the day in a vegetative state in a local park, reading books we'd picked up in a local second hand bookstore and watching, mildly amused, at the pair of dog owners attempting to control their wayward pets as they rolled in a suspicious substance.

And there we reach the end of my Cornish/London exploration, a jam packed holiday fitting in several months worth of exercise into a little over a week and more friendly socialising than I've done in over a year.....with Florida now out of the question as next year experience I'll have to get my explorer thinking cap on.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Big Cornish Write Up Part 6

Day 7

This was day 1 with Tommo (Holiday Part 2 dash Day 1) & Tommo had a plan of action. A bus, two trains and some foot power left us at Looe, a rather appealing little town (perhaps not in name) which boast a river, many hilly back streets, an ocean view, good food, a small ferry service (for those lazy individuals who can't manage the short walk to the bridge across the river) and a fantastic classic sweet which I found the chocolate sticks wrapped in paper of which the packaging closely resemble ciggies (and which I assumed had long since banned since my childhood).

Careful where you leave your car in Looe

Ah, chocolate could the government ever have thought it a bad idea.
We wandered and basked in the glorious sunny sunshine finding time for a browse round a second hand book store (love those places) and the obligatory ice cream before heading back from whence we came. And, although both Tommo and I fled from the train like Russell brand from a Fawlty Towers convention (sending a group of chavs diving for cover in the process)and arrived at the bus stop in Redruth at the exact moment the bus was due to bus was to be seen (apparently the bugger had left early)...which left us with 2 hours to kill until the next one....we managed to find a respectable chippy nearby and paid heed to our rumbly tumblys before venturing back to the bus....A very long day indeed by the time we got back.

Day 8

A somewhat slow and murky start to the day. Tom and I opting for a local walk down to Low Bar via the Penrose Walk. It's a jaunty stroll through woodland next to a lake, which used to be a river until odd tides created the Low Bar, some 800 years ago, in the estuary.

I looked utterly stylish with my brown corded trousers tucked it my pink and purple skunk socks, as I squelched and slid my way along the sodden and mud slicked paths...I fear I brought much Cornish mud home with me.

Down at the bar Tommo and I went pebble hunting for an epic skimming competition on the lake....a little out of practice I soon came into my stride, beating the pants off Tommo with a highly respectable 8.

It's a sandbar with culture by the way, the abundance of rocks, pebbles and slate enabling the creative passerby to indulge in a bit of basic architectial design. Tommo decided upon a miniature Stonehenge and an 'impossible' tower (a precarious stack of large stones atop smaller ones).....a childhood of lego and stickle bricks well spent.We detoured to Porthleven, after far to long 'designing' rock structures like the adults we are, in which some kind of strange village ritual was occurring....involving locals (dressed as pirates) on homemade rafts taking place in the harbour.

Not to be rude, Tom and I joined the crowds on the harbour wall whilst various crafts rowed, splashed and sank in something which I can only assume was some kind of race. One particular hapless crew, consisting of students in drag, had a raft which had many design flaws ( mainly a large barrel in front out of balance with the three at the back) spent several exhausting minutes merely trying to reach the starting line against the incoming tide....two of the 'crew' bailed out and abandoned the craft, disappearing into the nearest pub for 'assistance'. Another craft, a couple of barrels joined together with a crew of just two and entitled 'HMS Seman Staines', barely made it a few yards after launching before it capsized....the captain undiginfyingly flopping into the water and losing his cap. When the motley crafts did eventually gather in a starting line formation a sea battle Hornblower would have been proud of ensued, involving flour and water bombs and some unseafaring conduct of sabotage on an already waterlogged craft.
Day 9

Misty and murky were strong themes of the day and, since Tommo had lent me the use of his house key, I was on the clock in terms of exploring (the poor boy in need of a nice hot shower when he finishes lumbering around the Lizard playing tractors on the farm where he works) Since the weather was less than pleasant I opted for Gweek Seal Sanctuary...a simple 5 mile, half an hour, bus ride from Helston.

I arrived in time for the first feedings and happily observed the cute and active balls of flubber for the next several hours. There are various types of Seal as well as Sea-lions and otters, all have been rescued and although most are returned to the wild there are a few long term residents. As it was considered early in the season there were no young pups or newly rescued seals on the site, which although was unfortunate for me is probably a good thing in the long run.

A favourite of mine was Sahara, an Arctic seal who had developed an aversion toward ice and had twice been rescued off the coast of Africa, less the majority of his fur. Sahara is quite the show off and seems to be taking all the recent media attention in his stride. Other favourites the grumpy old lady who won't share her pool, the cross-eyed gal who incurred some kind of brain damage at an early age and the blind sea-lion who was retired as a performer but can still respond on a dime to the keepers whistle.
Sahara, trying to learn that he should like ice

An ickle seal
It was an interesting day which became a little trying when I left to catch my bus back to Helston. To be waiting 5-10 minutes is normal, 10-25 annoying nut not unheard 30+ minutes I contacted the bus company (a task in itself due to the whole Cronwall hit a miss approach to mobile coverage) to be informed that the bus (which had passed through the village in the opposite direction some time before) had gone kaput and was now in the shed being fixed.

'And the replacement bus?' I enquired
'We haven't be able to find one' the lady answered.
'Well how can I get back to Helston from here' I asked (knowing that there was but one bus which passed through Gweek.
'There's plenty of buses from Truro to Helston' that hapless women informed me.
I pointed out that this nugget of information, although interesting, was useless twice fold 1. Truro is at least 15 miles from Gweek and 2. the only bus which passes through and goes to Truro was in the shed being fixed....both facts I passed on to the woman on the other end of the phone.
'So, how can I get back to Helston, I'm a tourist and don't know the area and have to be back by 5pm'
'Um, the next bus will leave Truro for Helston at 5.10pm.....but if you could get to Truro, there's load of buses from Truro'

Oh, with the Truro bus service gaining a big fat fail with their 'computer says no' attitude and thankful for my Philip's Street Atlas of Cornwall I found a route of my own and put best foot forward....for the next 5 1/2 miles....mostly uphill....I made it back to base with 20 minutes spare.