30 September 2008

Bedruthan Steps

As the last day of September disappears in the mist of the Cornish rain, we think back two days to one of our very few trips out this year. The weather was set fair so we decided on Saturday to make the most of the early part of Sunday, when the grass was too wet to cut, and pay an overdue visit to one of our favourite places to walk. This is the area between Bedruthan Steps and Mawgan Porth, where the National Trust has its Carnewas car park, cafe and shop.
We started with a coffee, booked for Sunday Lunch next week, then strolled off towards Mawgan Porth. The weather was superb and this meant that the sea was shown in its best blue with white breakers. A couple of Kestrels hovered motionless over the edge of the cliffs - oh for a decent camera - before swooping off out of sight. After some commotion further up the coast, a whole gaggle of mixed gulls flew past us, obviously heading for somewhere, or something, interesting. I took the following photo of the two of us - it has taken me about five years to figure out how the timer works on this camera.

This photo of Maria really shows how blue the sea was.

After the walk, we stopped in the shop and I bought some gardening gauntlets before travelling home via Annette's where we had a cup of tea. I then managed to cut the last of the lawns that needed doing. All in all a very pleasant and successful day.

27 September 2008

September Sun

After the dreadful Summer, September has cheered us all up with lots of sunshine and very little rain recently. Lots of gardening has ensued with both Maria and I spending lots of time weeding and trimming shrubs. One nasty experience was to watch a Magpie killing what I take to have been a Greenfinch. When the Magpie spotted us, he flew off holding the poor bird by its wing with it still trying to escape.
I have now managed to paint the large shed with preservative; there is no point in showing before and after photos since they look remarkably similar.
With Amy and Andrew in mind, I decided to block up the hole at the side of the house where we believe mice came into the house (we heard them scrabbling about only a foot or so from where I am sitting and Tia used to go mad and jump on the window sill to try and get at them). I found a gap between two blocks and have stuffed it full of rocks so we wait and see if that is effective. As a consequence of that action, I decided to create a border as shown below. What I need now are some shrubs that don't mind being in shade all day - suggestions please!!

One day recently, one of our "neighbours" from the residential park stopped and asked whether I would like some more turf as he was replacing some of his lawn with chippings. I said yes and a few days later, I brought four trailer loads down as can be seen below:

24 hours later, the turf was in place and my wall was a little higher and longer:

20 September 2008

Anniversary Time

Although Roseveare House became officially ours on 17th September 2007 we actually moved in on the 19th, so we have just celebrated our First Anniversary here. Just where that time has gone I don't know but gone it has. Both of us have been extremely happy and, despite the fact that I retired at the same time and we spend nearly all the time together, we have disagreed on very little. Have I missed work? - NO.

So, what have we achieved in our first year?
The house has remained virtually the same with no decorating needing to be done. Vertical Blinds now adorn the Conservatory and indeed the rest of the house and blackout blinds have been added to the Master and Second Bedrooms. Lighting has been added to the loft space and the space over the garage.
The earliest job outside was to sort out the Septic Tank, which now seems to be working perfectly. In the garden, we have had the Patio constructed outside the Conservatory and one of the areas of conifers "degrassed" and replaced with chippings. We also had an extra gate put in to join the main garden to the bottom field and replaced the old metal gate between the road and the fields. Speaking of gates, Nick managed to dig out an old gate, which was probably the original gate to the property. He also managed to trim the large conifers for which I am most grateful. The main garden has had a border cut and all the turf cut out from that and the patio has been used to construct a turf wall, which makes the approach to the house a little tidier (long ongoing project). The lawns have been cut regularly and parts of them now look more like lawns should, with expanding turf and less gaps. In the lower field, I have started creating an area for general sports use.
My own personal disappointment has been my inability to progress the top "lawn", which remains a bit of a shambles. Even worse is the patch of ground on the approach to the house below the large conifers. I think the grassed area needs flattening so that it can be cut properly, but I cannot decide how to do it. One other project that should have been done this Summer was the treatment of the two sheds. We bought the wood preservative but failed miserably to do the painting, partly due to the abysmal weather; the wood just never dried out properly.
Rabbits continue to cause some havoc and my efforts to keep them out of the garden have only been partially successful. Learning to shoot straight might be the ultimate solution!
Finally, how did we celebrate? Well, apart from the odd glass of wine, I had a bonfire, which may not be considered good for my carbon footprint. Perhaps a Garden Shredder would be useful as a Christmas present!

Anyone any good at making Smoke Signals?

Here's to the next year!

16 September 2008

Pop's Visit

On the Friday after our return from Italy, Emma & Paul drove Pop down to Cornwall to stay with us. They were having a long weekend and chose to stay in a local hotel rather than us so that they could have some time to themselves.
On the Saturday, they took Pop to The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Fortunately, the weather was good for the whole of the weekend, which is something of a miracle considering the so called "Summer" that we have had. They all seem to have enjoyed themselves. Emma and Paul came to tea with Annette and we had a very pleasant evening.
On Sunday, I managed to get Pop onto the "Tractor" so that he could have a look around the whole of the garden and fields. The photo shows him with rather a surprised look on his face, but he managed it well enough even if he did comment that his electric buggy was easier to drive.

We went to lunch at Trevose Golf Club where we were treated extremely well; thanks Clive for the arrangements. After lunch we all sat in the bar, drinking coffee, admiring the magnificent view (see the Trevose Golf Club home page for that view) and watching the golfers come and go. After a leisurely drive home the rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around the house, which was very warm in the sunlight. A few minutes(?) of siesta was enjoyed by all before Clive arrived and it was time for a snack tea.

On Monday morning, Emma & Paul arrived to collect Pop for the return journey to Bradford.

Thanks to them both for taking the time and trouble to bring Pop down. We thoroughly enjoyed their visit and hope that we see them again in the near future. They seem to have had a relatively trouble free journey home as we had a phone call from Pop at about 5 o'clock to say that he was home.

11 September 2008


After Nick & Karen collected Charlotte & Curtis, we had a short period in which to get the bedding washed and the grass cut before we set off for a week's holiday with Amy & Andrew in Italy.
We had decided to fly from Newquay to Stansted and thence on to Forli; the only problem with this was the ten hours spent at Stansted awaiting our connection. The seating in the airport is not the most comfortable but we managed. We considered taking a train to London or Bishops Stortford but the weather was pretty miserable so we decided that walking around the shops in the rain was not a good idea.
When we reached Forli, Andrew was there to collect us for the 90 minute drive to Città di Castello and our home for the next seven days. We had a lovely relaxing time doing very little except throwing the football for Jasmine. I say relaxing but the farmer starting his tractor right outside our window at some unearthly hour was a little startling on the first morning.
During our stay we spent some time at their "new" house, which is still some time away from becoming habitable, however some vital changes have taken place and they are now close to having an electricity supply to the property. The photo below does not indicate the full extent of the work needing to be done.

We also visited Montone, which is a very attractive little hilltop village, beautifully kept, with steep streets and the obligatory village square where we had a very peaceful drink as can be seen in the photo of Maria & Andrew below.

Because Amy & Andrew had a business meeting in Florence, we all went by car and train and had a couple of hours wandering around, trying to make the most of our comparatively short time there. We had no time to go inside any of the galleries and the Duomo was closed so we just managed to get to some of the main tourist areas, notably the Piazza Della Signoria, Uffizzi Galleries and the Ponte Vecchio. We also managed to get something to eat before meeting up with Amy and Andrew and climbing on board the train for our journey home. Florence is certainly a fascinating city with some magnificent architecture and art but I think that to make the most of a visit would need considerable planning and unlimited time.

So, after a splendid week, Andrew drove us back to Forli, where we caught our flight back to Stansted and onwards to Newquay where Annette met us and brought us home.

Below is a photo of our hosts to whom we say thank you very much for looking after us so well and transporting us around. It was really appreciated and we hope to do it again in the future.