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Monday, 21 August 2017

Cornwall 2017 - Part 5

Friday 18 August

It rained quite a bit over night apparently, but it's dry when I rise at 7am.  I've  bag of soiled pants that need washing and the best time to catch an empty machine here in site is early doors, so I nip over to St Just to but some capsules in the Co-op and hog the machines and dryers until about 9am.

I'm getting to be a dab hand at this washing clothes caper.

It's 33 years today that my Dad passed away, very young.  He's missed such a lot in that time, both good times and bad, but one thing is for sure, both the good and bad times would have been so much better is he'd been around to offer a guiding hand or share in rejoicing.



I take myself over to Sennen, sitting on Vera's tailgate for a while, just reflecting, and when composed ring my Mam for a chat and check she's ok.

Back at the van we breakfast on poached eggs as the heavens opened, and boy did they open!  It didn't last though and thoughts turn to try and plan something to fill up the day.  It would have been so easy to sit and do nothing, but with the end of the holiday fast approaching that would have seemed to be such a waste.

I'd Googled somewhere I'd like to call in on today, but let let Herself in on my plan yet, instead asking her for ideas.  She can't think of any so I suggest The Cornish Steam and Country Fair that is being held over this weekend at a show ground between Redruth and Truro.

She does not say no, so I take it as a yes.  She's keen to go deep down, I can tell.  Usually Herself is spot on with getting stuff ready to go out, but today she just sorts herself out and announces that she's ready before staring at her smart phone.

I gather together the stuff we need and we jump into Vera.  Any enthusiasm Herself might have mustered soon evaporated as we parked up Vera and squelched our way toward the entrance.

"My sandals are going to be ruined, why didn't you put in my walking boots."

Onward we continue through the car park, with feet getting muddier and wetter with each step.

"Do we have to pay to get in here?"

"Yes love, £10."

"Each?"

I didn't answer, just soaking up the disapproving looks.  I throw a purple one in the direction of a yellow vest and things initially improve as our feet hit some tarmac.  We see some benches surrounding an arena, where some miniature engines are about to enter.

Settling down on some planks balanced on milk crates I get out my GoPro knock off ready to video some billowing steam.  I'm instantly deflated as the git with the mic cheerfully announces that these are powered by lawn mower engines!




I had been too tight /frightened to buy a programme so we didn't know there was other stuff going on.  I'm vowing to go back and punch the yellow vest straight in the throat until my purple one is refunded.

I'm dragged in the opposite direction and as we crest a small hill we can see the expanse of the show.  I'm mellowing a little and stop to admire a fairground organ on display.  The carvings are very detailed, and while I'm distracted I failed to see the little man go round the back to start it up.


Music started blasting out and Gwawr goes mental.  She's straining on her leash and doing her very best to yank my arm out of it's socket.  It's very fortunate that I do not have wind issues today!

We pause briefly to watch some "Kick Start" wannabes doing their stuff on trial bikes before the heavens opened and we follow the masses into the craft tent.  I'd be willing to bet that the inside of the craft tent has never seen so many people, and stall holders start to rub their hands with glee.  trouble is that the deluge stopped just as quick as it started and with it the tent emptied just as quick as it filled up.

I spot a sign for the larger engines.  This is what I came to see.  I ask Herself if we shall go there next and get a "Whatever." for a reply.  Deep down I just know she's enjoying herself.

Gwawr is starting to settle again and we are once more walking on squelch free tarmac.  Things are looking up.  We enter the large expanse and I've never seen so many steam engines in one place.  I love the smell they emit.

We''re passing one, and the young crew that are operating the beast think it's a good idea to give the whistle a good old blast while we (and the dogs) are in close range.

Gwawr goes nuts and almost pulls me over.  Tali goes nuts and does Herself a mischief.  I compose myself and look up at the (now in hysterics) crew.

Oh, how we laughed!

I manage to drag Herself around with me for a few more minutes, before she suggests that she go stand by the gate with the dogs while I take some pictures.






This is Herself speak for "I've had enough, lets go."

We avoid the vintage fairground, as even I know that would just be too much and we take a look at some old Yank Hot Rods and some trucks on the way back up the hill.




Time now to look around the trade stalls, and we are back on the moist stuff.  Herself reminds me once more that her sandals are ruined as we wade through the quagmire.

I can tell that shes enjoying herself deep down, she must be, as it's a cracking show.

We're briefly back on solid ground until Herself hears an announcement for sheepdog trials.  Back down the field we squelch and take a ringside seat on the planks and milk crates.


Tali watches on intently, while Gwawr (who actually comes from working stock) turns her back on the display in disgust.  We're peckish, so I pop off to grab some burgers leaving Herself shivering as the wind howls relentlessly.

I'll not bore you with the details of my altercation at the burger van, but if I were to let you in on the fact that he wanted to charge me £17 for 3 burgers (one for the dogs) and two cokes (the dogs do not like coke) you can imagine the rest.

I return to ringside and Herself is knobbled.  She's now got past the moaning stage and is positively miserable.  I know when I've pushed my luck as far as I can and suggest we leave.stopping briefly to listen to another organ on the way out.  Herself didn't wait, just grabbing Gwawr's lead off me and leaving me to it.


The yellow vest guarding the exit seemed somewhat put out when we didn't think having our hand stamped to return was necessary, and I consider it a successful day out as Herself has not yet resorted to communicating with me via post it notes, despite me putting her through 3 hours of torture.

Once back on the Lands End peninsular it looks like they've not had any more rain today, and Vera's outside temp gauge is reading a few notched higher than it was up country.

We dine on BBQ lamb steaks  before settling down for what looks to be a disturbed night.  The wind has picked up considerably and the awning is taking a battering.  The van is rocking on its steadies as well, so even if I cannot hear the mayhem outside I'll still feel it.

Nos dda

Saturday 19 August

The wind blew itself out last night and I release the blinds to see a beautiful sunny morning and waste no time in taking the dogs over to Sennen to wipe the sleep from my eyes.  I swear that I'll never tire of this view.


Back on site we breakfast on bacon rolls before getting busy.  You see, @DerekTheWeather and his work of fiction are giving it to be quite unsettled for the next few days.  Mind you, he's not really been right since we've been down here, so why I'm taking any notice of him is beyond me.

Anyway, there's noting worse than taking down a soaking wet awning at the end of a trip, and the associated worry or drying it out at home, so we start to pack away our kit, and it's surprising how much more we have out for our 2 weeks as opposed to shorter breaks.

The Vango gets dropped and rolled up dry and without incident, and I'm really starting to see the benefits of an inflatable awning now that we've solved our faulty valve related issues.  With that stowed on Vera's back seat I start crawling around taking the pegs out that were holding the carpet down, and it's while I'm doing this that it happened.

Herself has a neat pile of pegs about 4m from me, and instead of walking over to drop the pegs onto it, I lazily go to lob them over.  Now, I've usually got quite a good aim, but as I throw them the hook end of one got caught on my thumb, and while the others landed within 12" of the pile a stray peg took a completely different trajectory.

You know how sometimes real time slows down in your head?  Well that's me now watching the stray peg somersaulting its way through the air in the general direction of Herself's face.  I'm even playing the cartoon sound in my head as the metal spike closes in on its target like an Exocet missile.

 Herself's radar is good though, and like the RAF's finest, she completes a last gasp avoidance manoeuvre ........ nearly.  What could have been a devastating blow was limited to collateral damage as the spike brushed her cheek.

I get a look to end all looks, and I say nothing, as saying anything at this point in time would only make things worse.

"I'll remember." she utters in a calm and measured tone.  Which worries me more than if she'd gone for an all out assault.


Our canopy gets erected in no time, it gives some protection to the door and can be taken down in seconds, being so small it is also easy to dry out if collapsed wet.

We're all done by 11.30am, so time to get out the recliners to embark on some personal contemplation time studying the backs of our eyelids while the sun warm sour chops.

There we stayed for the afternoon, not moving other than to get another cold drink from the coolbox, until 5pm when it's time to scrub up for dinner.  With a few day's growth scraped off my chops I'm presentable once more and we point Vera in the direction of st Just and the Kings Arms.  We couldn't even park lat alone secure a table, so continued to Bottelack and The Queens Arms.  We park easy enough and things are looking good with the dozen or so empty tables.  The young girl is most apologetic when telling us they are booked up.

Back in Vera, Herself suggests a bag of chips from 190 Degrees West.  I tell her that I've had a wash special, and I didn't have a wash just for a bag of chips!  We continue onto Lands End.  The Hotel is busy, but we find a able in the bar area and eat off the bar menu while looking out over Longships.



I started the day at Sennen, and also finished it, as we parked up and threw a ball for the dogs to chase.  It's a bit breezy and a little chilly now the heat has gone out of the sun as we sit on Vera's tailgate looking up towards Cape Cornwall, and a Del Boy wannabe hanging onto a fitted bed sheet for his life.



Nos dda

Sunday 20 August

Yesterday evening seems a distant memory as we wake this morning.  Releasing the tension on the blinds reveals a site shrouded in mizzle.  Our last day here today, so apart from having a "whatever is in the cupboards and fridge" breakfast, we did very little until gone midday, content to vedge out and let Alexa do the entertaining.

Actually the bacon and cockles went down very well with a side of eggs bread and cheese on toast!

New neighbours arrived yesterday, and to be honest f we were staying much longer we would be having words.  You see, it would appear that Nanna and Grandpa were only here for a few nights to set up the van for their offspring.  Nothing wrong with that, but if you're loaning your caravan to non caravanning people then ensure they know the protocol.

Mam and Dad appear to be OK, but their (16 year old) only child little princess is something else.  Yesterday she continually walked between Vera and our awning while cutting across our pitch.  I'm a sad old git and I've done the maths on it (see that kids? Maths with an S at the end.  None of your Yank bullshit here!) and Pythagoras tells me that she's saving herself a whole 4.3m by doing so.

I resorted to parking Vera at and angle to avoid me pulling her through the mud  by her hair ... well that and her dad looking to be considerably harder than me.

Well, anyways, over breakfast Herself invites me to look out of the window.  Directly opposite is is the freshwater point, and Little Princess is using it to wash her dog!  Shampoo and everything.

With no signs of the weather letting up (the first time in 2 weeks that @DerekTheWeather has been reasonably accurate with his work of fiction) we decide that we will leave this evening instead of tomorrow morning.

We've not done any gift shopping yet, so head over to Lands End picking up any old tat in desperation, before stopping in Penzance to buy Ronnie and Roids some illegal sharp metal things before finally calling on Philps in Hayle for a box of pasties to take home.

Our brief visit to Lands End was not incident free however.  The car parks were rammed and parking spots were at a premium, especially one that wasn't half way back to Sennen.  I've developed a problem with my Achilles over the last few days, and walking is painful, so a spot close in would have been appreciated.

We spotted a family returning to their car and waited patiently (with indicators on claiming the spot) wile they got themselves sorted.  Just as they pulled away and I'm edging my way in a shitty old Ford Focus screams in from the other direction beating me to the spot.  As they're doing so, Grandson who's sat in the front seat, points at us and laughs.  I'm fuming, pull up along side  and start staring.  All occupants stare intently down at their smart phones, looking up only when Herself's begging for me to leave it succeeds and we move on.

As luck would have it, just as we're walking under the entrance arch, who should be standing there with Nanna?  Thirteen year old point and laugh no less.  Bless, he clocks me and holds his Nanna's hand.  I then accidentally barge him as we walk past, with a cursory sorry mumbled under my breath.  Five paces on I turn around and he's watching me.  Childish I Know, but I pointed at him and laughed.

With the site still enveloped in mizzle we pack away what's left and hitch up, pulling out of the site just before 5pm.


Despite the rain cruising on the quiet roads is effortless, Vera gets into her stride pretty quickly, and rather fittingly, with Iron Maiden's Run to the Hills blasting out we start to climb over Bodmin Moor.  One brief stop at Taunton Deane services for a pee and to throw a McDs down our necks.

5 3/4 hours it took us, door to door, including the stop.  I consider that pretty good going for 275 miles towing a 1 1/2 tonne tin box in poor conditions.  Vera returned a respectable 32.5 mpg over the tow, again I consider that pretty good too.

Home now after another excellent holiday at Trevedra, and like I said in part #1........ Noddfa.