Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A night away

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to review Trenython Manor, near Fowey, while doing a walk at Tywardreath, both for Cornwall Today. The choice of hotel brought a wry smile as I’d actually worked there about 25 years ago in the bar. I got the sack. Mr B looked at me shrewdly. “How long did you work there? One session?” Actually it was several. I was very good at serving drinks, but being innumerate, charged the wrong prices. I was therefore very popular with the customers and not at all with the management. Hence, I was out.

Luckily, it was long enough ago that no one knew my employment history, and I was longing to go back and have a look. The hotel’s now very splendid, with incredibly friendly and courteous young staff, and our stay included a night in one of their lodges, in the hotel grounds. I was also offered a spa session, so had an hour long full body massage which was wonderful, before heading back to join Mr B and Moll watching TV. We had a glass of wine and changed for dinner, then headed back to the hotel.

Dinner was lovely and incredibly reasonably priced – cheaper than the pubs in Falmouth – and beautifully presented and served, and the buffet the next morning was the best breakfast I’ve ever had. We said thank you and goodbye, wishing we could stay another night, but work beckoned.

We headed off to Tywardreath to do the House on the Strand walk later, which was a lovely way to explore the nearby countryside as figured in Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name – if you haven’t read it, do try it.

When we finally got home, we felt we’d been away for about a week rather than just one night. If ever you feel like a trip to Fowey, I would heartily recommend it. As Mr B said, “It was better than best.”

And now I have to write them both up - in double quick time....

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Good news!

This was taken near St Ives a few weeks ago - to prove that we have had the odd lovely day.

Two reasons for being cheerful this week.

Firstly, I have just signed the contract for my second walks book – Circular Walks with Cornish Writers, with Sigma Press. They are very approachable and friendly publishers – this first book has been a steep learning curve but they’ve been very patient with me which helps hugely. Particularly as I’ve never met them – they are in Wales.

Secondly, and in conjunction with this, I have got the go ahead to interview Richard and Judy as two of my writers. The interview time is yet to be arranged, but hopefully some time next month.

In January, we were coming back from a walk for Cornwall Today, near Looe, when I saw a sign to Talland Bay. “Let’s have a look,” I said, “I know Richard and Judy have a house there.” So we set off down an increasingly narrow lane until we met a shiny black car (Beamer or something) coming towards us. “Bet that’s Richard,” laughed Mr B. And as we slowed to squeeze by – it was!

And now I will get to meet them both. I’ve just read Judy’s novel, Eloise, which I really enjoyed, and Richard has a novel coming out soon. So it will be an interesting interview, no doubt.

Now, what questions would you like to ask them?

And keep your fingers crossed for some good weather this weekend - I have a deadline to do a Cornwall Today walk and the forecast's not wonderful!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Penzance and Amanzi

This inquisitive cow and her mates chased us over a stile near St Ives.

Last week I had a week in Penzance – it’s not exactly far from Falmouth, but you don’t need to go far from home just to have a break. And as I love Penzance, and have friends and cousins down there, it’s a good place to go at very little notice.

The first weekend we were walking back from Marazion when we saw a swarm of starlings, just before dusk. It was the most magical sight, like a constantly waving cloud, buzzing over the church. Sadly I didn’t have my camera – it was too cold to take pictures – my hands would have frozen - but the starlings looked amazing. And several days later, as I walked out with Moll, a swarm flew over my head. A never to be forgotten moment.

Thankfully the weather warmed up and we had several fabulous walks, and in decent weather so I was able to take pictures for the book/Cornwall Today. On Friday I met cousins for lunch at the Penlee Gallery and we sat outside in shirt sleeves in the sun! A far cry from where I am now, typing in 2 long sleeved thermal vests, one Viyella shirt and a thick Norwegian jumper on top of that. I might look like a Yeti but it does help keep that bitter easterly wind out.

On Saturday I was fortunate enough to be invited for another free dinner at Amanzi restaurant in Falmouth. I’d written a review of this South African restaurant back in the summer, and they were so pleased, and their business has picked up so much since my review, that they offered me another free meal. So I took my mate Deb, who is not having an easy time of things at the moment, and we had “one of the nicest evenings I’ve had for a long while” (she said).

As I couldn’t decide what to eat – it all looked so good - we ended up having scallops, mussels in a Thai sauce with crispy bread, grated Biltong with avocado salad, and falafel with salad. A real feast, and the fish was cooked to perfection. If ever you’re in Falmouth do go – it’s not expensive and the quality and service is amazing. You won’t be disappointed!

And now I must rush – the van has had a flat battery and it’s taking ages to sort it out. Long suffering Mr B has been ferrying me between home and the garage regularly. Thank god for special mates.