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 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 3: A Visit to a Seal Colony

INTRODUCTION

My previous post in this series covered the journey from St Germans to St Ives and hinted at the feature of my time in St Ives. This post picks up the story. The Cornish Maid has produced posts giving a more local take on St Ives in her blog.

SERENDIPITY IN ST IVES

From the station I headed in the general direction of the sea front, taking photographs along the way.

SculptureSt ives Bay lineSt Ives Bay lineBeach scene St IvesSt IvesChurch towerclock face

Old phone box, St Ives
This olde-worlde telephone box caught my attention, while the attached clock had all the appearance of being an old railway clock…
Old GWR clock
…soon confirmed by my zoom lens.
Panel set into wall of RC church
This panel is set into the wall of the Roman Catholic church
St Ives Guildhall
St Ives Guildhall, a handome building, though not quite in the class of King’s Lynn’s 15th century masterpiece. It is home to a tourist information office but they evidently have staffing issues as it was closed and locked that day (a sunny friday in July)

Bronze sculptureSt Ives map and pictureBeach scene, St IvesLighthouseWall with porthole windows in itLooking across the bayspeckled gull

Church
This is the main Anglican church

As I hit the sea front area I encountered a man selling tickets for boat trips to a seal colony. Knowing that I was operating to a time limit (the connections back being less good than those for the outward journey I needed be back at the station around 3PM to be sure of getting back to St Germans at 6PM as I intended) I made enquiries about departure times and the length of the boat trip. I benefitted from being a natural born singleton – there was exactly one seat remaining on the Sea Horse, which was departing at 12:00 and would be back around 1:15, and that was the decision made (there is a seal colony at Blakeney Point in Norfolk, but this seemed likely to be an improvement on that). 

One takes a small boat out to the main boat one is booked on, and at low tide (as it was for my outbound journey) one has to walk out into the sea to about knee depth for the first pick up. The water was cool but not shockingly so, and it was actually very pleasant standing in the shallows. 

Small boats taking people out to the bigger boats for trips to see the sealsCrabWaiting for the SeahorseSwimming gulllooking out to seaHeadland and rocks

OUTWARD BOUND

I managed to board the small boat taking me and others out to the Seahorse (a 12 seater boat, so still not huge) without incident, and the transfer to the Seahorse also passed without incident.

Looking back from the boattour boatCornish coastCoast from the searocks with birdsrocky coastlineMoss and rocks

rocks in the sea
The rocks in the background of this shot are the near edge of the seal colony.

AT THE SEAL COLONY

I will let the pictures tell their own story…

A first glimpse of sealsSeal rockstwo large sea birdsseal rocks IISealsthree sealsSeals IILots of sealsSeal about to be submergedSeals on rocksSeal in the water

seal waves a flipper
Some of the seals, like this one waved flippers at us.

Seal wavesSeals on the rocksseals IIIseals IVseals in numbersSeals VISeals VIISeals VIIISeal about to be waterbornelarge sealseal waves a flipper IISeals IXSeals Xseven sealsSeals XISeals XIISeals XIIIseals with yacht in backgroundmossy rockfour sealsSeals XIVswimming sealSeals XV

BACK TO ST IVES

The start of the return journey featured the bumpiest sea of the entire trip (fortunately there was a breeze rather than a serious wind blowing, so the sea was choppy rather than actually rough). I imagine that in a winter storm (I encountered Cornish winter storms and their effects in 1989 on a christmas holiday when we stayed in a Landmark Trust cottage. I believe that the enitre village was actually owned by Landmark Trust, but the perimeter fence of RAF Morwenstow was within walking distance for those looking to place it). Fortunately the tide had risen to the point that the transfer boat could get right up to the quayside, so no further paddling was required.

ruinBeach from the boatIsolated housePassing a beachBeach shot797798Beach sceneThe seas edgeApproaching landLanding areaLooking across the bay IIApproaching land II

Standing tree stump circle
This put me somewhat in mind of Seahenge, now on display at The Lynn Museum.

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 2: St Germans to St Ives

The second post in my series about my visit to Cornwall, in which I cover the journey from St Germans to St Ives.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the second post in my series about my recent vsiit to Cornwall. As mentioned in the opening piece in this series I am breaking my coverage of my day out in St Ives into several posts. This post deals with the journey there (for the record, a day return from St Germans to St Ives costs £10.80), which is very scenic. For a Cornish perspective on St Ives check out this offering from the Cornish Maid.

ST GERMANS TO ST ERTH

The railway element of the journey to St Ives consists of two parts – a journey west along the main line as far as St Erth (penultimate stop on that route), and then a short journey north along a branch line which terminates at St Ives. St Germans to St Erth is a scenic journey in its own right:

Folk waiting flor 0927 to LondonConverted Carriage ISt Germans mapConverted Carriage IIGWR service to LondonGWR service to London IIGWR service to London IIIOld Oak Common locoUpgrade bannerSt Germans stationThe Bodmin and Wenford Railway curves away into the distanceAbove the line to LooeBodmin ParkwayBodmin and Wenford RailwayBodmin and Wenford posterLostwithielParSt AustellRedruthTowerPart of TruroCamborneCamborne II

Camborne III
I was particularly glad to note this tribute to the great Richard Trevithick.

ChurchesHayle

ST ERTH TO ST IVES

Though the route from St Germans to St Erth is scenic by any normal reckoning it is as nothing compared to the branch line from St Erth to St Ives. Although the route lists several intermediate stops the only one still in regular use is Lelant Saltings. I secured a window seat, although it turned out that I was not on the best side of the train and settled down to see what I could capture in the course of this journey.

Sea viewMarshlandMarshland IILelant Saltings

Heron, Lelant Saltings
The stop at Lelant Saltings enabled to me to zoom in on this heron.
River flows into Carbis Bay
The next few pictures feature mhy attempts to capture the beauty of Carbis Bay from a moving train.

Carbis Bay ICarbis Bay IIwatchpoint, Carbis BayPromontory, Carbis BaySt Ives StationWalks

A SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE MAIN FEATURE OF MY NEXT POST

A few minutes after my arrival at St Ives the decision about my main activity while there was settled. It will be the subject of my next post – for the moment here is a clue to whet your appetite:

seal waves a flipper

A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 1: Getting There

The start of a new series – A Grtockle’s Eye View of Cornwall.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome the first post in my series about my recent visit to Cornwall. Before we move on, here is a little bit of etymology for you:

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 9.41.12 AM

For an insider’s view of Cornwall check out the Cornish Maid blog. In this post, because it is an introduction, and mainly about the journey down, you will only see Cornish photos near the end of it, but there will be several with many more pictures (St Ives is getting at least two posts and maybe more, St Michael’s Mount may well get more than one post and the Cremyll Ferry may figure in more than one post) before I wrap things up with a post about the return journey.

KINGS LYNN TO PADDINGTON

I had booked my tickets in advance, and part of the deal was that I had to be on a specific train for the long haul section between Paddington and Plymouth. My recommended itinerary had me on the 08:44 from King’s Lynn, but my usual prompt preparations on the morning of a major journey saw me at the station in time to catch the 08:12, and figuring that having extra slack to make the connection across London from King’s Cross to Paddington could not hurt I took that train instead.

This service was listed to call only at Royston between Cambridge and London, but at Cambridge stops were added at Letchworth, Hitchin, Stevenage and Finsbury Park, at which point having got the earlier train seemed an even better idea than it had originally. 

From King’s Cross to Paddington was noteworthy only for the fact that in a situation that is practically headline making these days all of London Underground’s lines were working properly at the same time, and I was early at Paddington, and had to wait for information about the platform. 

Cambridge NorthKing's Cross main stationKings Cross St Pancras MCHCKCSP roundelUxbridge trainGreat Portland StreetDistrict line mapCHC mapBaker StreetMail trainEdgware RoadPaddingtonTFL RailTFL Rail logoPaddington canopy roof

PADDINGTON TO PLYMOUTH

I was booked in a seat in a designated quiet coach, a window seat that should have been facing the direction of travel, but because someone had decided to reverse the running order of the train was not. However, the coach was quiet, and although I was facing against the direction of travel I did get some pictures along the way, and this train stuck exactly to its schedule.

Near Old Oak Commondistant view of trainsDepotHanwellPassing traintrackside tower, BerkshirePassing a train, BerkshireOld FactoryStation, BerkshirePassing a stationCountry house, BerksApartment blocksReadingPassing a train IIMaintenance trainUrban sceneChurch tower IChurchTrain at stationstation shotMajor station565BoatsBoats IIBoats IIIBoats IVSmall YachtSmall boatFishing boatsLong bridgeHouse through the trees585Water

PLYMOUTH TO FORT PICKLECOMBE

My train from Plymouth to St Germans was due to call at a number of places en route, and at Devonport it picked up a number of schoolchildren, who were fortunately well behaved, and not too noisy. It arrived at St Germans exactly when it was supposed to as well, making two successive trains that had run to schedule. My parents picked me up at St German and we went by car to their apartment in Fort Picklecombe.

Metal SculptureDevonportTamar Valley line590

The Brunel bridge
Crossing the Tamar

Many boatsArmadalarge boatsA medley of boatsBoats all over the placeGathering of boats

Unusual flower pot
This “flowerpot” can be seen at Saltash station
Bridges
A distant glimpse of the famous bridge. bridge that is used by Saltash station for advertising

HarbourRiverriver with boats

AT FORT PICKLECOMBE

Thursday evening in the vicinity of Fort Picklecombe is fish ‘n’ chips evening, courtesy of the two wonderful girls who run ahoyfishandchips, a mobile chippy. The meal was magnificent – if you are ever in an area being served by Ahoy Fish and Chips do not miss out. 

BreakwaterLighthouseA137sloopdecorative containersLighthouse and boatsBoat and islandOfficers messslipwayemplacementRocks

Fort Picklecombe
A view of the fort from out on the bfreakwater.

Sun on the waterPassenger boatLighthouse and fishing boat

Looking towards The Hoe
I found a location harbourside from which The Hoe is visible (this is only a couple of miles from Plymouth in straight distance).

Mooring ring

Crab I
A crab in the shallow water

Crab IIlooking out to sea

salt deposits, breakwater
This image from the breakwater reveals two things: The concrete had not set before someone walked on it, and that it regularly gets sea water washing over it.

ahoyfishandchipscruise linerCruise liner IIPrinsendam

Ferry and cloud
A rarity – a sky with exactly one cloud in it.

England Teams Flying High in Limited Overs Cricket

A post celebrating recent successes for the England men’s and women’s cricket teams.

INTRODUCTION

The last few weeks have been magnificent for English cricketers of both sexes. Each side has been very dominant through a sequence of games, and each have set a team scoring record during the sequence of games. 

THE WOMEN

The women warmed up with an ODI series against South Africa, losing the first match but winning matches 2 and 3 very comfortably, in each case with their efforts being spearheaded by centuries from Tammy Beaumont. Then they moved into a T20 tri-series featuring South Africa and New Zealand, the latter fresh from three straight 400-plus ODI tallies against Ireland, the last of which featured the first part of a ‘script rejection’ performance by Amelia Kerr – 232 not out with the bat, and then to settle things 5-17 with the ball. No author of a cricket themed novel would dare have a 17 year-old do that in an international match, but it happened in real life.

On Day 1 of the tri-series New Zealand opened proceedings by scoring 217 from their 20 overs against South Africa, which at the time was a new record in that form of the game, and won them the match comfortably. That record lasted until later that same evening when England took on South Africa, and with Beaumont scoring yet another century (getting there in a mere 47 balls) and Katherine Brunt responding to a promotion up the order by running up 42 not out off just 16 balls reached a total of 250-3. This proved way out of SA’s reach. On Saturday, the second set of games in the tri-series, England lost to South Africa but bounced back to beat New Zealand in the other match.

THE MEN

The men started the limited overs segment of their summer by losing to Scotland at The Grange, but then they commenced a five match series against Australia and were absolutely dominant through the first four matches, winning all comfortably and racking up 481-6 in the third match. The fifth match was a very different kettle of fish. Australia were all out for 205, a modest total that featured the most misjudged leave-alone in cricket history (perpetrated by Ashton Agar). England then collapsed to 114-8 and I was getting ready to point out that wins in dead rubbers don’t really count. However, Jos Buttler was still there, and now Adil Rashid provided some sensible support, and the pair put on 81 for the ninth wicket, turning the match into a nail-biter. Jake Ball, the England no 11 only scored 1 not out, but he survived 11 deliveries, while Buttler first completed an astonishing hundred (with a six that on sheer distance should probably have been a nine) and then sealed England’s one-wicket victory in this game and with it a 5-0 whitewash against the old enemy. 

Tim Paine thus became the second Tasmanian born captain with a surname that begins with P to surrender a match in which the opponents had needed 92 with only two wickets left (look up Mohali 2010 for more details). 

Buttler’s innings secured him both the player of the match and player of the series awards. Buttler was 110 not out in a score of 206-9, and the joint second biggest scores were 20 for Alex Hales and Adil Rashid, and he finished the series with 275 runs at a handy 137.50. In the course of this innings he passed 3,000 ODI runs. Unlike most of his previous big innings which have been all about putting opponents to the sword (his 3,000th ODI run came up off only just over 2,500 balls faced in this form of the game) this one involved getting his team out of trouble and probably rates as his finest for precisely that reason. 

MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS

Both the men’s and women’s teams have benefitted from the fact that everyone has contributed somewhere along the line, but each also have had certain players who have been especially outstanding (see Buttler above), and I offer the following composite list of the best:

Moeen Ali: Watching the way the Aussies tackled his off-spin you might have thought they had been put in a time machine and taken back to 1956.

Jonny Bairstow: about the only thing he did wrong all the way through was get out in the game at The Grange when he was putting Scotland to the sword and would have had England firmly in control had he batted a few more overs. None of the Aussie bowlers, even the highly impressive Billy Stanlake, had any idea where to bowl at him.

Tammy Beaumont: the smallest player in physical stature in this list (5’3″ tall) she has been a metaphorical giant in these matches with three centuries from her position at the top of the order.

Katherine Brunt: In the first match she made 72 to give England something to defend. After her 42 not out in the 250-3 T20 game she followed up by picking up 2-18 from her four overs. Ignore talk of imminent retirement – so long as her body remains in one piece she will keep going.

Jos Buttler: The batsman-keeper did all that was asked of him in the first four matches of the series against Australia and when the going got tough in fifth match he got going and carried England to victory.

Alex Hales: started these matches as favourite to miss out once Stokes was available again but played several incredible innings, and I would now say that for all his all-round credentials Stokes has to be considered as far from certain to regain his place.

Adil Rashid: another of the ‘role-reversal’ aspects of this series was that on this occasion it was Aussie batsmen who looked like rabbits in headlights when facing an English leggie. In addition to his success with the ball he played that crucial little innings in the final match.

Jason Roy: the leading run scorer of the series with 304, including a ton which spearheaded the chase-down of 310 in the 4th game.

Anya Shrubsole: reliable as ever with the ball, and when really needed in the game against New Zealand on Saturday she delivered some quick runs.

Sarah Taylor: quite possibly the best wicketkeeper of either sex on the planet at present and she also scored some important runs.

Danielle Wyatt: opening with Beaumont in the 250-3 game she was quite magnificent, and she had other successes through the season.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Time now for some photographs, starting with a cricket themed one from James and Sons’ upcoming cigarette card auction.

 

2489
While not super-famous these cricketers all have some noteworthy achievements: Vallance Jupp achieved the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in each of eight successive seasons, Fred Root once took a seven-for against Australia. Percy Fender once reached a century in 35 minutes. Dodge Whysall batted no 3 for Nottinghamshire for many years. Ernest Tyldesley scored more first class runs for Lancashire than anyone else. Percy Chapman led England to victory in each of his first eight matches as captain. George Gibson Macaulay was a very successful bowler and enough of a batsman to have scored 76 in a test match. Charles Hallows was one of three cricketers to score 1,000 first-class runs within the month of May (half a dozen others reached 1,000 first class runs for the English season before the start of June, but had runs in April in that record). Herbert Strudwick was England’s first-choice keeper for 15 years in spite of regularly batting at no 11. Frank Watson was a good county player, who once made a triple-century.
Dragonfly
A spectacular creature, presumably some form of dragonfly.

Small TortiseshellDucksSmall birdGulls on the Great OuseGulls on the riverbankdrakesGulls on The Great OuseJay

Jay II
I saw this jay yesterday. This species is not threatened, but I use this caption to draw your attention to one that is, the nightingale. There is a petition to protect a threatened habitat for this bird at Lodge Hill please sign and share it.

DrakeDrake and gullGull and churchGullBird mootSmall Bird IIDucks IIPale duckbirds on the Grat Ouse

Greek Wildlife

Some of the creatures I observed in the course of my holiday in Greece.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my holiday in Greece (12th to 19th May). This one is an almost purely pictorial post showing some of the plant and animal life that I encountered there.

THE FLORA AND FAUNA I CAPTURED

Lizard I
This little green lizard was the only such creature I amanged to capture on camera, but I also saw a larger yellow/brown lizard at Methoni, although it made itself scarce before I could photograph it.

Lizard IICleopatraLizard IIIButterfly (1)Butterfly IIButterfly - folded wingsButterfly on spiky plantFish in rockpoolred beetleOrange ButterflyGiant green beetleYellow butterflyHopping insectHouse Martin nestsAdult House Martin visits one of the nests

Three cats at the noms plate
We had decided that we would put out cat food, but no treats, so the cats who visited were genuinely hungry..

Orange butterflyLizardYellow and green butterflyButterflygreen butterfly

dark butterfly
This picture and the next demonstrate that not all the butterflies in Greece are brightly coloured.

stony butterflylong legged insectbugmulticoloured beetlemulti-coloured beetle IIOrange catOld terracingFish in rockpool IIFishOrange bitterfly IIOrange butterfly IIIOrange Butterfly IVOrange butterfly VOrange butterfly VIGrasshopper IIHouse Martin visits the nests

Mountain snail
I saw this mountain snail during the ascent to Karytaina Castle, on the Friday, after the visit to Dimitsana.
arachnid
I could not identify this one with any confidence, although the shape suggests an arachnid of some sort rather than an insect.
Beetle
The size and shape of tbhis creature and the apparent solidity of its carapace suggested a large beetle, although such creatures do not usually display their wings when on the ground.

During one of the walks I saw a tiny snake which concealed itself very quickly, and I missed many other intended shots, but I think I got a fair selection!