30 September 2006

The King and I

Last night, Maria and I had a night out at the Hall for Cornwall where we thoroughly enjoyed the TAODS version of The King and I. I was slightly worried to start with because the basic story, although it has many light moments, is quite serious and the definitive King played on screen by Yul Brynner is a hard act to follow. As the story progressed however, it became obvious that this was a really good production with splendind singing from the lead characters. The children were wonderful and the fact that the younger ones had a habit of looking to the audience at odd times (presumably searching for their families) was very endearing. I thought it a shame that the younsters could not take the curtain call because it was too late for them to be on stage. I understand the reasoning but I am sure that they would have got an outstanding reception.
There were many young children in the audience and I would imagine that they struggled at times to make sense of it all but the support for friends and family is always important in Amateur productions and that support was certainly evident on the night - Well Done TAODS

25 September 2006

Day out at Falmouth

Having now received our new Sat Nav and with a desire to drive the new car somewhere, we decided on Falmouth and I decided to let the Sat Nav take me there. The early stage was fine although I wasn’t really expecting to take the A3075. Having reached the A30 at Chyverton Cross we headed down the A30 and took the first turning off. Coming up to the roundabout, I was mildly surprised to be told to turn left instead of right. Off we went through Carharrack onto the Redruth to Falmouth road and so on to our destination. I think that is only the second time in 23 years that I have driven on that road. Truth to tell, it wasn’t a bad route especially as we missed both Truro and Redruth. On the way we got a “Running on Flat” warning so dropped into Ocean at Falmouth to have the system checked. It was OK and we did get free coffee and a lesson on what to do; apparently it will happen 2 or 3 times a year.
We parked up just below Pendennis Castle in the free car park and took a couple of photos.

Carrick Roads with St Anthony's Head in the background

We had a snack and a short rest then went into Falmouth to do a little shopping - I was a nervous wreck leaving the car in a public car park in a narrow space but it survived the challenge. We only bought a couple of new outside lights for the back of the house and a few odds and ends; that was enough shopping for me. Back at the car park at Pendennis, we sat and had a coffee and watched the world go by. It was quite breezy but otherwise very pleasant.
The surprise to me was that the Sat Nav wanted to bring us home a different way, including navigating Truro on Saturday afternoon. I would have thought that the way it took us was much better so went home that way anyway.

18 September 2006

Old & New - spot the difference!

Well, we treated ourselves after seven years of Rover Power. Our acquisition is a BMW318cSi SE, two years old and with loads of extras. Now all we have to do is complete the course on the controls so that we don’t get burned bottoms. It is certainly different to drive. Now I shall have to keep working to pay for it!

03 September 2006

Family Visit 3 - Paul, Bev, Ryan & Kris

On the Monday following Nick and Karen’s departure, Paul, Bev, Ryan and Kris were due to arrive and Maria arranged to meet them at Trelawney Garden Centre for lunch at 1 o’clock. The morning was spent washing and cleaning etc; I think that between Saturday and Sunday, there were ten loads of washing! We thought that we left in plenty of time but the traffic on the A39 was horrendous so we took a few back lanes and finally arrived about 5 minutes late with Paul arriving just before us. We go to Trelawney quite often but it was Paul’s first visit and I think that he was pleasantly surprised at the standard of lunch. It is always good value.
Once again, I was working so didn’t get to do too much with the family during the days. As usual we talked a good deal about cars in the evenings. They went out and about visiting Falmouth (and looking at cars). They also went off to Newquay Zoo and the Boating Lake but this time just for Kris to feed the birds. They didn’t have a great week for weather but it wasn’t a total disaster either.
On the Friday evening we all went out, including Annette and Clive, to the Two Clomes at Quintrell Downs for a splendid meal - highly recommended.
Saturday saw their departure for an overnight stop in Tewkesbury. Their progress was horrendously slow and they finally made it to the hotel after 7½ hours on the road and a distance of only just over 200 miles. We hope that their journey from Tewkesbury to Whitby is much better - JDT

PS - Arrived home at 16.15.

PPS - I forgot about the trip to Padstow so here goes.

The trip to Padstow was uneventful and, as a boat trip had been decided upon, everyone boarded the Jubilee Queen for the trip out to Puffin Island via Rock and Daymer Bay. Once out of the harbour, everyone found out how rough the sea was and how hard the wind was blowing. The passengers at the front got covered in spray and people were sliding off the seats when the boat pitched and rolled. They passed a little fishing boat on the way and it kept disappearing from view, showing the height of the waves. No special sightings were made; the basking sharks were not in evidence and there were probably Gulls and Cormorants on the islands rather than Puffins. The trip lasted an hour or so I believe that the whole family enjoyed the experience and no-one was actually sick.
Once back on land, a wander through Padstow ended at Rick Stein’s Fish and Chip for a late lunch. The food was generally disappointing, especially to Paul, who has a lot of experience in the trade.

Family Visit 2 - Karen, Nick, Charlotte, Curtis, Connor & Joe

Maria spent a hectic day changing beds and then Nick, Karen, Charlotte, Curtis, Connor and Joe arrived on Monday so the house was now really full and quite chaotic. The weather was a little mixed for them for the week, but overall was pretty good. I think that they all had a good time with visits to Lusty Glaze, Crealy, Trevone and Trenance Boating Lake amongst various other trips. They all got wet on the trip to the Boating Lake when it rained in addition to the splashes from the oars but they all had a go at rowing and didn’t manage to crash into the islands too many times. The children enjoyed feeding the birds; as usual, the pigeons were particularly friendly and would sit on people’s hands as long as there was food around.

The day at Trevone started badly with the drive up the coast road to Padstow. As those of us who live here know, the coast road can be a nightmare, especially when there are any buses on the road. Nick managed to get stuck behind a bus on one of the narrow sections with a couple of brewery delivery lorries and umpteen cars coming the other way. Joe kept on wanting to know where the sea was! After considerable manoeuvering, the situation was resolved and Trevone was finally reached. A splendid day ensued with the weather probably as good as it was any day. The children enjoyed the rock pools and caught a number of crabs which were safely returned to the sea at the end of the day.

On Saturday they all went back to Crealy for the day and took Annette with them. Maria and I went a little later in time for a picnic lunch and for the children to see how many funny faces they could manage whilst I tried my best to get a group photo.

As usual, I was inveigled onto the Log Flume, this time by young Joe, who insisted that I covered his eyes as we came down the drop. Also as usual, I seemed to be the only one who got really wet. The photo is not very good but one of my arms is just visible whilst the other is covering Joe’s eyes.

From the Log Flume, we proceeded to the water slides which have changed slightly since last year in that there seemed to be more water and smaller sides on the boats! Joe wanted to go on the straight slide rather than the bumpy one and I was again instructed to cover his eyes. We had a long queue here but finally made it. If I thought that I got wet on the Log Flume, it was like nothing compared to the drenching I got as we hit the bottom water puddle!! Joe seemed to enjoy it however and wanted to go again but, after the long queue, we decided to go and find something else to do.

Amonst the other things I decided to do was join the children on the slide into the Ball Pool. Well there is nothing like an old fool and I went straight under the balls ending upside down. When I climbed out, I realised that when I started I had a camera but where was it now? Nick and I climbed back into the Balls and, with children still coming down the slide, we scrabbled about in the mass of balls until I eventually found it, unscathed fortunately.

Nick and Karen’s children have been to Crealy many times and don’t worry too much about throwing themselves off death slides, but for Andrew’s Joe, it was a little different. He is also a couple of years younger than Connor so it was good to see him joining in and eventually tackling some of the slides by himself. The following photo has all four children on the outside bumps with one extra in the background.

A good day was had by all with a visit to the shops at the end for the children to buy some odds and ends; Joe managed to persuade Nanny that he ought to have a Triceratops so I think a little “sub” was made. Then it was time to leave and for the family to pack up ready to travel back to Hampshire later in the evening. The following photo was taken by Karen in the evening.

02 September 2006

Family Visit 1 - Amy and Andrew

August has been a very busy time for visitors resulting in no update to the Blog for some time so I thought that I would update in three Posts whilst “cheating” with the dates.

Andrew and Amy arrived on Saturday 19th August; they were to photograph a wedding in St Ives on Monday 21st August so stayed with us for two nights and then with Annette on the Monday night, before travelling back to Warrington on Tuesday. I cannot remember what their itinerary was after that but I do know that they had to photograph another wedding on Anglesey later in the week.
On the Saturday night, the four of us went out to the Restaurant on Lusty Glaze Beach. It was incredibly busy and quite boisterous. I was going to take a photo of view of the beach from our table but right outside the window was a handwritten sign saying “Toilets this Way” with a squiggly arrow so the photo did not get taken - perhaps I should have taken it anyway!
I think that the menu is a little short on variety with only a couple of meat dishes, one of which included a cheese dressing which would not suit everyone. Amy decided on a vegetarian meal, which turned out to be not available; how on earth that can be is beyond me. Both Amy and Andrew had Mussels, whilst Maria had Chicken and I had Fish. For a sweet, I had the “Apple Dessert”, which included Baby Toffee Apples and this was very good indeed. Overall, I was a little disappointed with the meal but the evening was very enjoyable and the staff were pleasant with a very casual dress sense.
The highlight of the evening for me, considering my previous problem with Treliske, was being able to climb up those 135 steps to the car without too much trouble, so I guess the heart is still working.
Most of Sunday was spent with Amy and Andrew sorting out photographs from an earlier wedding. I know that wedding photographs are expensive, and I suppose people tend to think that the photographer turns up on the day, takes a few snaps, develops the film and sends the results to the married couple; the truth is that there is an anormous amount of work involved in the selection process to get the “right” photos in the album. In this particular case, the number of digital images were reduced to about 200 that were suitable for the couple to view. We did have a break and went to the Trelawney Garden Centre at Sladesbridge for a late breakfast. Now I believe that this is good value even if it is a round trip of about 30 miles. I was back at work on Monday and Andrew and Amy went off to St Ives where the sun finally shone for the happy couple.