20 October 2009

Odds & Ends

At the moment, we have a very friendly Robin who seems determined to spend as much time as possible in our garage or shed. Just as soon as I open the garage door, he seems to appear and hop in. Here is a photo of him sat on the waste bin:

I mentioned in an earlier Post that I had obtained some bark chippings from the "Newquay in Bloom" team, well, this is a photo of the top rockery suitably weeded and covered; I think that it looks quite good. The fact that the photo shows Maria busy weeding her wall is coincidental.

Earlier in the year I planted some wild flower seed in the top of the walls; it would seem that the only flower to appear, so far, is a Cornflower.

Annette's Dogs
Some readers will know that Brandy, Annette's older dog has been very ill recently. Thankfully, he is up and about again and, as can be seen from the following photograph, he looks well and happy.

Just so that she is not left out, here is a photo of Tia surveying the rockery and wondering whether or not she should walk across it.

19 October 2009

Parish Registers for St Mary's Church, Walmer, Kent

One project that has kept me busy over the early mornings, late evenings and rainy Summer days has been the transcription from microfiche of the Baptisms, Marriages and Burials recorded in St Mary's Church, Walmer, Kent. In a moment of weakness, I volunteered to do this for the Kent Family History Society, who have been most helpful with regard to my own Family History research. It is an ongoing project, which will probably occupy me for all the Winter. The baptisms cover the period 156o to 1945 and so far I have transcribed some 3545 records from 1560 to 1830. The Marriages cover 1561 to 1921 and I have managed 747 records from 1561 to 1837. The Burials cover 1560 to 1988 and I have managed 91 records from 1561 to 1582. As you can see I have some way to go!

14 October 2009

Roseveare Update

It is a long time since I wrote anything about the house and garden so you, the reader, might believe that I have done nothing over the Summer months. Well, the weather did play its part and made it very difficult to keep the grass in order. For the most part I managed but have plenty of problems that will have to wait for another year. We have had some Stepping Stones laid between the front path and patio as can be seen in the following two photos. In addition, the Patio has been slightly extended with the addition on a row of bricks on two sides. They can just be seen on the second photo.

One ongoing problem we have is of grass growing through the fences from the field. An example of this is shown in the photograph below.

The problem is that, because I have wire below ground level to try and keep out the rabbits, it is difficult to cut the grass. My solution was to put wooden planks below ground level, with the wire on the "garden" side. This means that the grass can be "strimmed" from the field side. So far I have completed the section from the gate to the new wall.

The above photo shows the completed project, although not very clearly. Whilst carrying out this task, I modified part of the fence so that the top two rails nearest the new wall can be lifted off for easier access to the rockery area; the supports can just be seen.

One other job that I have done this year is to cut a border around the top "lawn" to make cutting around the Griselinia hedge easier. The border will shortly be covered in bark, recently acquired from the "Newquay in Bloom" team. Unfortunately, there has been no real improvement in the state of the lawn!

Yet another job was to tidy up the area between the shed and new wall. The first thing that had to go was the Pampas, which was really scruffy (It now appears to have taken root in my rubbish dump). So far, it has been replaced by a couple of Hydrangeas as shown below.



One more task undertaken was to fill in the ditch that used to run across the entrance to the field. I don't have a photo of what it looked like before but, it now looks like this:

More to follow at a later date.

13 October 2009


Our most recent trip has been to see Amy & Andrew in Italy. Apart from being convenient to all of us, the temperature in Umbria suited us better than that during the summer months in that it only reached about 26 degrees Centigrade!

The most convenient place for us to fly into is Perugia but the only flights to there are from Stansted, which meant that we had to get ourselves to Stansted in time for an 07.30 take off. We decided against driving and, as there are now no flights from Newquay to Stansted, the train seemed to be the best option. In addition, we had to book an overnight stay at Stansted. Whatever faults are levelled at it, when it comes to organising travel and hotels, the internet has become invaluable and so it proved with all the appropriate arrangements quickly made.

Annette took us to Bodmin Parkway for the start of our journey on the appropriate Sunday and our journey started. The only real problem we had was travelling across London from Paddington to Liverpool Street. Usually, the tube goes between the two stations with no changes but, the day being Sunday, we were diverted all over the place. Never mind, we reached Liverpool Street and jumped on the Stansted Express; 40 minutes later we found ourselves searching for the bus that would take us to the hotel. Our overnight stay was short due to getting up at 04.00 but the rest of the travel to Italy went smoothly and Andrew picked us up for the final 40 minute journey to his home.

For most of the week, I helped Andrew to carry out some improvements to his Polytunnel, including some electrical rewiring, concrete block laying and watering system improvements. I was also put in charge of a bonfire to get rid of a pile of rubbish that had built up over the Summer when it is particularly dangerous to have fires. Whilst Andrew and I were doing this, Amy was busy catching up with her wedding photography backlog and Maria rested, sunbathed, played with the dog and did plenty of jobs around the house.

Polytunnel - Centre Bed Foundations

On Saturday we all went to Assisi, which proved interesting; Andrew tells me that they have been to Assisi when there have been hardly any people around. Well on this day it was fairly chaotic and it wasn't until later in the evening that we realised that October 3rd is the anniversary date of St Francis' death. We did wonder why there were television cameras all over the place! The Basilica is a fantastic place with one church built on the top of another and St Francis' tomb underneath. Well worth the visit, as was the whole of Assisi.

The Basilica

Maria, Amy & John at the Basilica

Santa Maria sopra Minerva

The week went very quickly and very soon it was time to go. The return journey went very smoothly without an overnight stay; we left Perugia at about 11.00 and reached Bodmin at 21.00 where Annette was waiting to take us back home. Thanks are due to Annette for the transits to and from Bodmin but especially to Amy and Andrew for looking after us so well.

09 October 2009


A little earlier in the year, Beryl & Ian Niven, some friends from Scotland who we had met on a previous holiday, invited us to stay in their apartment in Madeira. We jumped at the chance because it is an island that I have always wanted to visit and so, on the 26 August we flew out from Bristol to Funchal for a week. Very early on I found that my camera would not work and so I bought a 35mm disposable to try and record our stay. The results were not very good and so I apologise for the standard reproduced for this post.

Hotel Regency Palace Pool

Hotel Regency Palace from the Pool
We spent quite a lot of time around the pool, relaxing and chatting and in the evenings went out and ate in different cafes/restaurants, some good, some not, some quick and one, very very slow.
I was not feeling very well one day so the others went off to Funchal to have a look around, but we did manage another trip on which I was present. During this visit, we managed a coffee in a floating restaurant as shown.

On the Sunday that we were there, we hired a taxi and went on a seven hour tour of the west of the island. This was a very instructive trip after we had stopped looking at the inside of churches! As most people know, Madeira is very mountainous and the cliffs rise almost vertically as shown in the photograph below.

Towards the top of the mountains sits the famous Madeira mist, which provides the island with its water supply. It is very difficult to photograph but the accompanying photo might give some idea.

The mist is the very white patch above Ian & Maria's heads.

We toured the North West of the island and visited a couple of very pleasant villages, in one of which we had some lunch. We then headed back via that part of the North coast where there are loads of waterfalls that must be almost a thousand feet in height in places.

We thoroughly enjoyed the whole of our visit and think that we would like to go again and do some more touring. Only time will tell.