Calendars and an Apology

An explanation of my recent lack of blogging activity and a sneak preview of the 2019 aspi.blog Cornish wall calendar (I will receive the printed versions by September 24th).

INTRODUCTION

The principal purpose of this post is to give you all a sneak preview of next year’s aspi.blog wall calendar. I am also going to explain why it has been a while since I last put up a blog post.

APOLOGY/ EXPLANATION

The reason why it has been a while since my last blog post is that I have had a very busy schedule of late, between work and various volunteering activities, and the one day on which I might have done a significant amount of blogging (Saturday) I lost to illness. I was sufficiently recovered by Sunday morning to do my volunteering for Heritage Open Day at the Bank House and to enjoy some of the experience, though I curtailed things somewhat so as not to set my recovery from the horrors of the previous day back. My opportunities will be somewhat limited during the rest of this week as I will be at the Corn Exchange helping to run an NAS West Norfolk stall for much of tomorrow and will be working Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

THE CALENDAR

Here are sneak previews of the 13 key pages of the calendar (not actual size). I decided to make this calendar a celebration both of my pictures and of the fine county of Cornwall…

Front cover

For January we have a picture of Fort Picklecombe:

Jan 2019

February features Brunel’s famous bridge at Saltash:

Feb 2019

For March the focus shifts to the far west of Cornwall, where with the exception of November and December it remains for the rest of the year. This is one of two pictures from a seal colony near St Ives to make an appearance.

March

The April picture is a trio – across the top a view from St Michaels Mount to Marazion, and sharing the bottom a heron at Lelant Saltings and a crab at St Ives.

April 2019

May features a shot of Carbis Bay.

May 2019

June features our second seal picture:

June 2019

July features the seaside garden at St Michael’s Mount, which members of the public can view only from above:

July

August is double-up, featuring a cannon emplacement at St Michaels Mount on top and a panoramic view of the mount and causeway below:

Aug 2019

September is a double up from St Ives showing an old phone box with a an antique Great Western Railway clock attached on one side and a close-up of the clock on the other:

Sep 2019

October features a red admiral butterfly spotted on the descent from St Michael’s Mount:

Oct 2019

November, sharing with July the distinction of a photo taken that month, features the lighthouse picture that is also my desktop background and the reverse side of my personal cards.

November 2019

December, just to emphasise what this calendar is all about features a shot of the Cornish flag.

Dec 2019

Each page of the calendar is 28cm wide and 21 cm high, meaning that when hanging up open and ready for use it is 28cm wide and 42cm high.

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 12: Homeward Bound

Bringing my series on my visit to Cornwall to a close.

INTRODUCTION

All good things come to an end, even this series of blog posts, and with this post we do indeed reach the end of my account of my visit to Cornwall. 

THE JOURNEY HOME

With my train due to leave St Germans at 9:27AM on Monday July 16th we had decided that a departure from Fort Picklecombe at 8:30AM was warranted due to the fact that I had a reserved seat on that train, which was going all the way to London, and would have been in the region of £100 down had I missed it. We arrived early at the station, and once the train arrived I found my seat easily enough, although as had happened on the journey down they had reversed the running order of the train and I was facing against the direction of travel instead of with it (trust me, for a photographer this is quite significant). Here are the last of the Cornish pictures…

sea birdSt GermansScheduleRiverMarshy riverRiver with boardsYacht and buoyWaterside housesSaltash stationCrossing the Tamardetail from suspension bridgesuspension bridge and boatsTamar Bridge

The rest of this post takes place outside Cornwall. The train ran a trifle slow, arriving into Paddington sufficiently late to ensure that I would not make my intended connection at Kings Cross. However, the failings of Great Western were as nothing compared to those of Great Northern. The train arrived at Cambridge where it was supposed to divide in two as usual with four coaches going on to King’s Lynn and the rest going back to London, then a good couple of minutes later we got an announcement telling us that the split was not happening and that we needed to go to Platform 7. As a direct consequence of this mess up we then hit two red signals, at Waterbeach and again at Watlington, arriving into King’s Lynn much later than we should. This made it four successive journeys on Great Northern where the schedule had not been adhered to. Their failures appear to have got worse – just a few days ago I saw a special bus service running between King’s Lynn and Ely.

DevonportSouth Devon RailwayStationStation IIView from the trainNewton Abbot stationNewton AbbotNewton Abbot canopy and big buildingRiver near Newton AbbotRacecourselong bridgeLone boatAcross the waterAcross the water IIChurch towerAcross the water IIIBoats and buildingsBoats and hillsidesGrand HouseChurchButterflyriverside walksrural riverExeter St Davidstree and housesTiverton ParkwayTiverton Parkway IITauntonTrain, ExeterTrain, Bristol IIMetal curlicuesTrains, BristolBristol with trainsBristol Temple MeadsCleaning Britain's Railwaysbridge and pipebridge and pipe IIBath SpaBath Spa IIChurch tower IIBarge and churchBig churchcricket fieldRailway buildingGWR MuseumGWR Museum IISTEAM building

Tunnel trucks
These trucks look like tunnel segments on wheels.

SwindonPlatform detailGoods trainsingle trainReadingReading Stationtrains near ReadingLondon Underground train

Royal Oak
Westbourne Park, the penultimate Hammersmith & City line station west of Paddington – until quite recently local mainline train services stopped here as well. When the Metropolitan Railway opened in 1863 it used GWR rolling stock (broad guage in those days), and there were track connections between the two railways. This line to Hammersmith became part of the Metropolitan Railway in 1864, and between 1877 and 1910 services ran through to Richmond by way of a viaduct from Goldhawk Road the far end of which can still be obeserved at Ravenscourt Park. The last legacy of these connections is that today the Hammersmith and City platforms at Paddington are nos 15 and 16 of the main station.

Hammersmith and City line trainPaddington platforms

Interchange, Baker Street
The interchange from Circle and Hammersmith and City through to the four platforms that serve the Metropolitan line at this station (and escalators down another four platforms which serve the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines)

Screen

 

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 11: The End of the St Michaels Mount Day

Concluding my account of the day at St Michael’s Mount as we near the end of my series about my visit to Cornwall.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my recent visit to Cornwall. This post completes the day at St Michael’s Mount, leaving me with a post to do about the journey home and finally a page from which all the posts about this trip can be accessed. The fact that this will mean (including the page) 13 pieces relating to the trip bothers me not a jot – I have no more time for triskaidekaphobia than I do for any other ridiculous superstition.

WRAPPING UP ST MICHAEL’S MOUNT

Having finished our exploration of the mount itself it was time for lunch, which was excellent. The establishment at which we ate our lunch has a rule that alcoholic drinks can only be served if food is ordered at the same time, and according to their interpretation cream teas do not count as food, so on two occasions in the course of that meal we ordered portions of chips to go with drinks. Mention of cream teas (a speciality of the far west of England) brings me to a debate that rages unchecked: which goes on the scone first, the cream or the jam? The cream advocates argue that cream in this context is the equivalent of butter (and if it is Cornish clotted cream it is so thick that one can pretty much slice it like butter!), and that if you put the cream on first you do not get jam in it. I am not sure what the jam advocates base their case on.

Lunch consumed it was time to head back to our parking place on the edge of Penzance. The tide was just starting to turn but was still a long way out, and unlike the Mont St Michel, on which the current setup of St Michael’s Mount is modelled the tide here comes in slowly (no danger of galloping horses being swallowed by an inrushing tide, as allegedly happened at Mont St Michel on one famous occasion), so we were still able to walk back across a vast expanse of beach to rejoin the official footpath just west of Marazion. I omitted to remove my socks and shoes for this part of the journey, and they ended up thoroughly soaked, although by the end of the walk they had dried out again (without the sea breeze the heat would have been fiendish).

Mathematical Pic
The first few photos here, including these mathematical pictures are from lunch

Mathematical picsMathematical Pic IIMetal pictureThrough the windowCornish beer ICornish Beer IICornish Beer IIIBoilersdetail from bottleDetail from bottle IIPaintingLooking towards the mainland

Sea birds
Just before recrossing the causeway to the mainland, we saw these birds – the one with the red bill used for digging would have been having a bonanza – there were huge numbers of worm casts in the sand.
Causeway close-up II
The causeway from close up

Worm castReturning to MarazionLooking WestGWR works, near PenzanceBeach viewShell

Farewell to St Michaels Mount
A farewell shot of the mount

St Michael's Mount panorama

Chough
A shore dwelling corvid, the Chough

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 10: The Map Room at St Michael’s Mount

Continuing my account of my visit to Cornwall. Today we look at the map room at St Michael’s Mount.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my visit to Cornwall. As part of my coverage of a day at St Michael’s Mount I am devoting a whole post to the map collection there.

A Collection of Antique Maps

For a cartophile such as me this section of the visit was particularly good fun…

Plymouth to Senan
In the days before googlemaps this is what a walking route looked like!

Exeter to TruroeWilliam Holes - Devon and Cornwall

Jan Janssons Cornwall
At one time the Dutch were trailblazers when it came to cartography.

two antique maps of CornwallJames Pigot's CornwallModelFour antique maps of CornwallNicolas Sansons West of England MapThe Isles of ScillyChristopher Saxton's CornwallMounts BayMap room mantelshelfMounts Bay IIThree views of cornish buildingsduoDuo IICottage PicSextetSextet II

Falmouth
Falmouth – one of the people who have noticed my posts about cornwall is thecornishbird, whose offerings include this about Falmouth: https://cornishbirdblog.com/2018/07/14/things-to-do-in-falmouth/

sextet IIIThree maps in one frameCornwall and Devonshiresix maps, two pictures

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 9: The Top of St Michael’s Mount and the Descent

Continuing my account of a visit to St Michael’s Mount.

INTRODUCTION

This is the third to last post about the day at St Michael’s Mount, and the ninth in my series about my summer visit to Cornwall. The next post will be all about the vast collection of antique maps that are on show here, and then a final post about the last stages of the day. I then have the journey home to cover to complete the series.

THE REMAINDER OF THE SUMMIT

At the end of the previous post in this series were about to head indoors for the second time in our exploration of St Michael’s Mount…

The mainlandStained glass VIIRoseCarving and stone inscriptionTrio of miniaturesShepherdEagle and windowangelthree in one frameSeptetRose II

Organ
This organ looks splendid.

Organ close-up 1Organ close-up 2DedicationAngel and windowMemorial and windowMemorials and windowPainting and windowTrio and window panelsText and windowThe second Lord St LevanArchitectOrgan and windowLiving roomPortrait XPortrait XIMantel clockbusts and windowCupid

At this point we entered the map room. As an appetiser for the next post I offer one picture from there…

Christopher Saxton's Cornwall

After the maps came a display featuring large amounts of weaponry…

remains of spiral staircase
The remains of a spiral staircase

hornDollArmour IgunsTruncheonstruncheons and gunsMore gunsWeapons VSpearsWeaponryWeaponry IIShield IIHorses Head

Cornish map with extras
A final map, separated from all the others.

girls armourbreastplates and helmetsGiant clock IClockfaceClock case18th Century mugMug provenanceUniformCapShoulder plate

That ended the indoor stuff until lunch time.

THE DESCENT

The descent takes past an emplacement of mini-cannons which are of French Revolutionary origin…

mini cannonsMini cannoncannon markings ICannon markings IICannon markings IIIMini cannon emplacementCannon markings IVCannon markings VCornish flagCannon markings VICauseway from the cannon emplacementFarewell to the cannons

Just beyond this I encountered a Red Admiral butterfly:

Red Admiral I
At first it had its wings folded making ID difficult…

Red Admiral II

Red Admiral III
…but when it opened them out there was little room for doubt.

Red Admiral IV

Not long after this we could see our next destination, where we would be having lunch.

Nearly back at sea levelsea level buildings

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 8: Ascending St Michael’s Mount

Continuing my account of my visit to Cornwall, with the ascent of St Michael’s Mount.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my stay in Cornwall. This post takes us up St Michael’s Mount and covers some of the stuff at the top. There will be at least two and possibly three more posts about the day.

BASE CAMP (!)

Among the places at ground level, before the ascent begins are the restaurant where we would be having lunch and a visitor’s centre which provides a comprehensive introduction. After these one passes through a field that contains a dairy cottage before the ascent begins.

Ships in the distanceSea ViewFind Your WayMapLooking back at the mainlandMuralIllyriaFootprintsMural PlaqueModel of the mountPlan the dayWelcome to St Michael's MountPicture of the mountTL1

TL2
No sops for creationists here! The straight truth about the formation of the granite of which the mount consists – it was formed longer before the dinosaurs roamed the earth than we are after the last dinosaurs disappeared.

TL3The castleThe GardensTL4Boat 1Boat 2Boat info boardThe DrakeAmphibious vehiclesDUKWBoat on the islandThe St MichaelOur venue for lunchMarazion from the IslandThe abbey from belowCreelsOutdoor artworkHutConservation notice

THE ASCENT BEGINS

The climb up to the buildings on top of the mount begins by way of The Pilgrims Steps, continues past the Giant’s Well and the Giant’s Heart and a cannon emplacement. Then comes the first indoor section and a roof terrace where we pause until the next post in this series…

The pilgrims stepsView across the sea

Giants Well
The Giant’s Well – from an old folk tale

Giants Well sign

The vicinity of the Giants Heart
And about 50 yards further along The Giant’s Heart.

The giants heart sign

The Giants Heart
The actual heart!

FrontageArcher's alcoveSea view from aboveSea view from above IISea view from above IIICannonsCannonMarking on cannonView from the cannon emplacementSea View from above IVThe main buildingDistant view of PenzanceYachts and a headlandPenzance from St Michael's Mounttwo yachtsThree yachts

Wall mounted militaria I
The first weapons display – in the next post you will see another one.

Swordsthree swordsGunsGunCrossbowJewellery displayCannon and ammogiant crestCrossed swords ICrossed swords IIDrummers kitPortrait 1Portrait 2Trio IMantelpiece and trioClockCentral UnitGrandfather clockCentral Unit IIBoyPortrait IVCorner unitChest IChest IITrio IILadyArtists representation of the mountMiniaturesquartetLady IIQuartet IIMiniatures IIMiniatures close-upFancy CabinetLiving spaceLibrary and game zoneChess boardChess board IIHeraldry display wallRoof patterning and friezechapelShieldsshields and ornamentsLong tablefrieze workstained glass Istained glass IIstained glass IIIsingle panelShields anf friezeshields and friezeRoof beamsAlcovewooden bas-reliefShieldSilverwareSilverware IISilverware IIIStained glass VStained glass VIShip panelstained glass womanTriple panelstained glass heraldic lionStained glass jester panelCircular stained glass panelsSilverware IVdecorated chestQuintetOval picturePicture of a Cornish gentFireplaceTrio IVbay window

Garden from above I
Us hoi polloi can only view these gardens from above – we never actually get into them.

A study in blueGarden from above IIGarden from above IIIGarden from above IV

Sundial
A very elaborate sundial.

Detail from sundial

Roof terrace
This where our next post will start from.

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 7: Walking to St Michael’s Mount

Continuing my series about my visit to Cornwall, with the first of several posts about St Michael’s Mount.

INTRODUCTION

This series has been widely spread out – the trip it describes took place between July 12 and 16. Here is a listing of the previous posts:

  1. Getting There
  2. St Germans to St Ives
  3. A Visit to a Seal Colony
  4. The End of the St Ives Day
  5. Crossing the Cremyll Ferry to Plymouth
  6. Historic Plymouth

Having covered Thursday, Friday and Saturday in six posts we arfe now dealing with the Sunday, my last full day in Cornwall.

THE PLAN

As all five of us (my parents, my sister and my nephew as well as me) were making the visit to St Michael’s Mount we travelled in my parents camper van instead of using the train. We wanted to be underway by eight and achieved this. We were planning to explore St Michael’s Mount in full and then have lunch at an establishment there. Things panned out pretty much as intended. The road journey is a lot less scenic than the rail equivalent, so I am going to recommend unequivocally that anyone else planning to do this use the train – the walk from Penzance (all of which is familiar to me, although we started part way along it, having located a parking place just outside Penzance) is very scenic, while there is a longer walk available from St Erth (inland for most of its duration, instead of along the sea front). Here are a couple of satellite views:

Penzance - St Michael's Mount
The coastal route starting from Penzance.
St Erth to St Michael's Mount
The longer and mainly inland route starting from St Erth. This map also features what is in alphabetic terms the last place in Britain.

St Erth to St Michael's Mount

THE JOURNEY IN PHOTOGRAPHS

This section ends the post, taking us across the causeway to the base of the mount:

View from the van
The only shot I managed to get from the van on the way from Fort Picklecombe to Penzance.

Culvert ICulvert 2Welcome to PenzancePlastic FreeLooking towards PenzanceSt Michael's Mount ISt Aubyn's AbbeyGulls and signal boxView of PenzanceThe line towards St Erthtrack sideWarehouseSt Michael's Mount (1)St Michael's MountBeach sceneMastChurch TowerSailing boatsTrain coming towards PenzanceApproaching trainTrainRear of trainTrain heads for Penzance (1)Train heads for PenzanceAlmost out of viewTrain in foregroundblue plantGWR depotRolling stockThe MountThe abbeyLookingb towards the mountThe Mount IILooking towards the mountCommemorative benchThe Station House, MarazionMarazion station signMarazion stationSt Aubyn's Abbey from Marazion

People crossing the causeway to the mount
A first glimpse of the causeway.

People on the causewayWelcome to Marazion MarshMarazion MarshBird in the nature reserveLooking up at the mount

In the shallows
From Marazion the quickest way to the causeway is straight across the beach, and in the heat walking barefoot through the shallows was the way to go.

St Michaels Mount from Marazion beachLooking across at the mountGullsOutcrop observation point near start of causewayThe mount from near the start of the causewayThe abbey from near the causeway

The causeway and the mount
The causeway.

The mount viewed from the start of the causewayThe Abbey from the causewayLooking out to sea from thje causewayapproaching the Mount