Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Polperro Pint (Or Two)

Went to Polperro for the first time yesterday, famous for piskies and, er, flooding, mainly. Was told not to bother on account of it being unutterably tacky, but I really liked it, it's a beautiful little fishing port in a deep valley cleft. Admittedly, it's main content appears to be tat shops, pubs and cafes, but hey, they're good tat shops, pubs and cafes.

Arriving at lunchtime without cash (are there no ATM's in Polperro?) we dashed through the length of the town to find the one pub advertised in the carpark as having cashpoint facilities. When we got there (The Blue Peter) it was to find a wonderful old beamed pub on the harbour serving a good pint of Doom Bar, although unfortunatley also one that stopped serving lunch about ten minutes earlier. After a drink we wandered back through the streets and into the Three Pilchards, which happily served food all day, and invested in another pint of Doom Bar (well, I did anyway), and lovely steak & onion and sausage & onion baguettes. By the time it had arrived and we'd gobbled it up, it was time to get back to the car-park, so we didn't really have time to take in much of the view, but I'd certainly like to go back (possibly out of season, when it isn't full of yahoos).

Stopped off in Looe on the way back (yes I know it's in the other direction, but we'd come this far...). Now there is one town that really is tacky - I think the last time I was there was 20 years ago (yikes!) and I'm quite happy to leave it another 20 before venturing back.


Spotted on the way to Polperro yesterday - one pet tribute too far...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Da Vinci Code Web Quest

Oh my god, I have just spent far too long solving this:

I have cooked no supper, or done anything remotely constructive, but I did get to the end of the quest woo hoo!

Wanted - (Quiet) New Neighbours

I don't know what they're doing next door, but I wish they'd stop it. Banging, loudly and constantly, since 9 this morning. Radio blaring madly from van in the drive. They seem to be re-roofing the garage, or possibly converting it back into a garage from the shed-y utility room I think it's been.

This comes after the mad drilling yesterday evening, just outside our front window. Peaceful, the last few weeks have not been.

They have also ripped out all the plants in the front garden, from what was a lovely border. It is now, literally, a strip of bare earth. I imagine all the cats in the neighbourhood think Christmas has come early. Their back garden has been suffering similarly. When the garden waste recyling van came round the other day, they had a wall of bags waiting for it. The whole width of the garden by the road, two bags high all the way along. And it was such a lovely garden.

They have also been twice heard muttering darkly about our garden, and what a mess it is. Now, it isn't. And given their apparent preferences for the napalm school of gardening, I'm not taking any notice. But I do laugh when I see the cats heading out once more for their flowerbeds...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Harry Potter 6

Bought it at half one on Saturday afternoon, finished it at half eleven Sunday morning. Er, how long till the next one...?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

When I was going to St Ives...

Moseyed over to St Ives yesterday for a pasty and a paddle, in order to make the most of what promised to be a gloriously sunny weekend. The sky was cloudless and the water was a clear sparkling turquoise - and not that cold.

Why would you want to go abroad instead, that's what I want to know. A colleague at work is getting excited about going to Egypt, but the pictures she's got are of expanses of featureless beach with hundreds of picnic tables all the same. Concrete hotels and swimming pools. Is it me? I'd take Cornwall over your average resort any day.

Mind you, do you get seagulls in Egypt? We were sat on a bench eating ice creams, when a bloke with a pasty sat down next to us - directly in front of a sign saying please do not feed the segulls or you will be shot - and promptly threw a huge chunk to a pigeon. As I weighed up leaning over and saying "Can you not read? are you deficient?" agaist the probability of getting punched (he was rather large), a flock of seagulls* descended and tried to make off with the rest of it, leaving him flapping and swearing at them. So feeling that justice had been done, I kept quiet...

* Something should really be done about dodgy pop groups rampaging in coastal towns

Saturday, July 09, 2005

By Jovi

Was coerced into going to see the Jon By Jovi Experience at the Princess Pavilion last night. At the same time, was also quite possibly suffering from mild concussion, having opened a door onto my head earlier in the day - although it might be suggested that blurred vision and dizziness were optimum viewing conditions. Billed as having an uncanny likeness to the man himself, I was therefore unprepared for the sheer level of campness he radiated. Complete with drag-queen-esque shimmy, it was like Jon Bon Jovi had been abducted by aliens who'd transmogrified him into Jon Bon Ladyboy.

Now it's entirely possible that this is a sign I'm getting old, or possibly a side effect of trying to walk through a closed door, but the music was so loud it was physically painful. Trying to stick it out to an interval that never came, I realised it was time to make an escape when it dawned on me that I was tensed in a miserable ball at the back with a finger in my ear feeling sick. I'm told they actually adjusted the levels to be more bearable shortly after this, but I was gone.

As a probable emphasis to the 'getting too old' thing, I far preferred the jazz band that were playing for free (actually we had free tickets to the paying show too) in the outer precinct. The veranda is newly reconstructed (no more danger of romantically tumbling sherds of glass), the flowerbeds are beautifully stocked, and the kind of music floating out over them made you feel the likes of Miss Marple or Bertie Wooster could be sitting at the next table.

As a last (or, technically, first) example of the evening's musical mix, on our way to the show we encountered a group of line dancers looking a bit self-conscious and shuffly outside the Clipper Way. You've not really experienced it in all its glory, I feel, till you've heard the steps called
across a pub car park in a broad Cornish accent.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


In September 1990, mid-GCSE, our English teacher made us start keeping a list of what we were reading in the back of an exercise book: title, author, date finished etc. Three months later she looked through them - I'd filled two and a half pages, earning me an "excellent" and two exclamation marks. I wonder what she'd make of it today - I kept that list going, and since 11th September 1990 have read 1087 books.

Now, I've also nearly run out of room in the original exercise book, which made me think of keeping an online list of things that I've read - hence the spawning of Blog No 2!

Hop over to Professor Yaffle to check it out...

Men In Suits Cause Train Chaos

Arrived at the station this evening to find it overrun by seemingly cloned men in suits. Identically dressed, similar of build, age and receding hairlines, they were lurking in small groups and getting in everyone's way. Should we link this to the prompt attempt to send two large bodies of commuters (and some of them have very large bodies, and probably shouldn't be crossed) to the wrong destinations, by making the Falmouth and Penzance trains depart from their opposite platforms? Passengers milled in confusion, guards waved their arms about ineffectually, and the men in suits muttered self-importantly to each other. And one lot had to entertainingly run the length of one platform, over the bridge and down the other. And possibly back again. Ah, public transport. Better than telly.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pandora's Box

Pandora Inn
Originally uploaded by

Being a slightly late write up of a trip made last weekend to the Pandora Inn.

This is a picture-esky pub on Restronquet Creek, swarming with yachters and labradors. It's a fine setting and a quaint building, with low-beamed ceilings and one of the finest suites of loos (once you eventually track them down) I've seen for a while - each cubicle being larger than some offices I've worked in.

However, as an eating destination it leaves something to be desired - the prices are way too high for general bar-snackery, while for fine-dining, the food and service isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Ordering sea-bass on spinach risotto, I was presented with bream on mashed potato. As the waitress came back I queried if this was, in fact, the sea-bass (my fish recognition skills perhaps not being what they should be). Yes, came the reply.
"Only, it's supposed to be on risotto", I attempted, somewhat lamey.
"Oh, what is it on then?"
"Mash. Er, and you just said it was bream."

This was the point at which my plate was whisked away into the shadows, leaving me wondering forlornly whether I should have kept my mouth shut in the interests of getting dinner, and my companions looked longingly at their own plates*. I urged them to make a start, having no idea how long it would take for my plate to reappear, and taking the opportunity to pilfer some of their chips**.

Eventually, my plate reappeared, now complete with the spinach risotto as requested. I like a good risotto. This, however, wasn't it. I don't know if they'd rushed it through to get it back to me or, as I suspect, warmed a bit up from earlier, but the first forkful lifted half the portion up in one clump. It did indeed have spinach, in long stringy coagulations, but the rest of the risotto tasted merely of warm rice.

The fish (and I still think it was the bream) was very nice though, and it came with green beans and drizzlings of various oils. I was hungry by this point, and cleaned my plate, so I suppose I can't really complain. No, wait, you're right, of course I can.

* The two orders of steak in ciabatta were deemed acceptable but cold, while the cod in beer batter with chips and crushed peas was said to be jolly nice.

** The chips were fantastic, crisp, hot and fluffy, and if I go back at all it will be for a pint and a bowl of chips by the river.

Image (c)

Weasels in the wainscotting

After months of blessed peace from the empty house next door, yesterday it appears people are moving in. We've so far had hours of scraping and banging and scrabbling through the wall (I can only assume they're stripping wallpaper). The most worrying development however, is the appearance in the back garden of a huge 'fake boot' planter, and a plastic trough with painted psychotic looking rabbits on it. Steps may have to be taken...


Talking of weasels, I saw a mink the other day. I think it was a mink, it was all brown, so not a polecat or a ferret as far as I can tell from a quick google, and too big for weasel or ran out onto the verge by the Asda roundabout, did a quick "ooh, fuck, big road" and ran back into the bushes.