With age comes gravitas
Hello you ; )
I am determined, absolutely determined, to get this blog post published before the month is out. In fact, I am so determined, I’m going to hold myself ransom over the lovely, hydrating Bionsen bath I’ve just run, yes, if I don’t get this blog down, I am going to just sit here until I smell absolutely minging!! How’s that for a threat?
And that would hurt for someone who owns over a hundred bottles of perfume. I know this because I counted them last week. Something I’d been meaning to do for ages, along with re-potting the Basil plant in the kitchen. Yep did that too today.
I’m excited about June, my gut says many good things are going to start kicking off. I feel supremely positive about Gunshot Glitter, there are things that are coming to fruition now, it’s all coming together : ) In the months to come you are going to get to see the cover soon, read the opening chapter and find out where I got my rather confrontational opening line from, find out why I chose Celene Petrulak to create the cover, read a blog about my views on sex, porn, fiction and pubes for good measure. Plus, things I learned along the way as a writer, you might never have been privy to before, because believe me I wasn’t. There is a lot coming up over the summer and I’d love to have you by my side when it happens.
This is my 21st blogpost! I fully expect WordPress to launch a handful of fireworks in my honour or serenade me with the fine Katy Perry song of the same name. I want to thank you all for mooching and not being one of the 620 doofuses who left me a bit of spam for Aksimet, to catch and dispose of, before my eyes caught sight of it.
I would love it if people subscribed and also spread the word. That could be your belated birthday present to me. For there was indeed a birthday : ) It feels like an awfully long time ago but it was really cool. It was a really wonderful day. I told my best friend that I’d like to be in Cornwall come May 4th. I’d like to go to the Eden Project. I worked with a company who’d helped give birth to it many moons ago.
18 years I’ve known him!
So me and Mr Brown packed up our trusty steed, the Mondeo, with a comical amount of tartware (mine) and on a chilly, damp Thursday, when Londoners were busy keeping dry and voting in Boris Johnson for a second time as Mayor of London, we headed off to Cornwall. I could give you a blow by blow account of the five days that followed, but your ice lolly, if you’re holding one would melt in the meantime.
Instead I am going to blow the lid open on some NEVER BEFORE REVEALED SECRETS ABOUT CORNWALL! (Well never before revealed to me at least!) Read on and discover:
*The stuff they don’t tell you in the Tourist Information Office
*The stuff they keep to themselves
*The stuff that delighted me, tickled me and left me a bit gobsmacked.
*The stuff that might well be in guidebooks, but doesn’t do the experience or the place justice
And if you’ve got some secrets and memories on Cornwall, you should share them too. It’s a gorgeous place and we had a wonderful, wonderful time out there. Thank you Steve for taking me there. Aquarians born on a cusp with Pisces rock!
Right, let’s go : )
The hens at Meadow Lakes Holiday Park
In one word. Hysterical. The park we stayed at had an animal farm. And there were these gorgeous, plump hens. They were massive. Seriously. I can imagine my sister had she been there, would have rubbed her hands with glee and thought uncharitable thoughts and visualised a cooking pot. And there was this weedy, black but VERY loud Rooster that was dwarfed by them. He was a cocky fellow ( no pun intended) and when I threw out some breadcrumbs for him, he came over to check us out, the hens saw this and not wanting to miss out on the action came rushing over. But they looked hysterical, because they were so portly. It was like watching a most panicked fatman in braces running for a bus. You know you shouldn’t laugh, but you can’t help it. I just wish we’d got them on video. If you go to Meadow Lakes, look out for the gorgeous hens with the feathered feet. Tell them I said hello and then get them to run to you ; )
There is a Pirate shop in Mevagissey run by man following his dream
When me and Steve went to the harbour town of Mevagissey, after checking in, we spotted a Pirate shop called Deadeye Jacks Cabin. I immediately assumed it was just a tourist trap, but I wanted to go in anyway. There was a big fellow at the counter dressed from head to toe as a pirate. I just thought he’s working there because it’s a job. HOW WRONG I WAS! Nope, this man had dumped his day job to follow his dream. He lived, breathed, dreamed pirates and so, he and his honey, had pooled their resources together and bought and then magicked up Deadeye Jacks Cabin in the harbour. Their stock was impressive. I took a card as I left and a photo from the outside. On the day we departed we saw him on Bank Holiday Monday dressed in his gear next to some fantastic old ships fit for a pirate. There goes a man I thought, living the dream.
The Gorse in Cornwall smells of coconut, but you must never try to pick it
When we hit Cornwall, I saw masses and masses of bright orangey yellow gorse. You don’t get that in London. And being a fan of scent and flowers I immediately wanted to smell it. When I did, I was besotted there and then. It was gorgeous like coconut and all tropical and lovely. I told Steve before we went home I wanted to take some home with me so I could grow it on my balcony. I said this every day we were there. On the morning we were leaving, we stopped at a hedge and only then did I take a closer look at the bush. I realised it was impossible to get a grip on the foliage if you valued your hands and your blood. If you were a sadist you’d have been in heaven. I am not. The plant has an impressive defense mechanism with its needle sharp spines; armour plating much like a tank. It’s probably the reason why it grows rampantly throughout the area. No one dares touch it!
We are so cheated in London when it comes to fish
Okay, I am well aware there are fish markets that sell it fresh and counters too in supermarkets. But I am poor okay lol. My fish is the stuff that’s frozen, freshly vacuum sealed or presented to me in a can. That’s as good as it gets in my world and to be honest up until I went to Cornwall, I liked what I ate! Ignorance is indeed bliss. But when I had a fish platter in Cornwall, the blinkers fell off and I realised how cheated and deprived I’ve been of good quality, fresh fish. Oh My God!
Is the fish good? It’s not good. It’s not good at all. It is in fact Amazing. On my birthday I had a John Dorey, I’d never heard of a John Dorey until May 4th. It was firm, mild and flavoursome. The battered prawns I had were so fresh, soft and healthy that I could actually eat them with the shells on. I did pull the heads off though. I draw a line with fish heads and eyes. Every night we ate out I had fresh fish. I couldn’t get enough of it. On the day we left, I even tried a whelk for the first time. We found this sweet little hut run by a kindly man who looked like Donald Sutherland, and me and Steve enjoyed some local catch of the day replete with cocktail sticks and a squeeze of lemon. You must have fresh fish if you go to Cornwall. You’d be insane not to. Unless of course you are a vegetarian, allergic or my mum. My mum can’t handle fish.
Cornish Cream Teas are riddled with drugs that render you helpless
My last one, sob!
Well at least that’s what I think. My Facebook feed has been Cream Tea obsessed since I came back from Cornwall. Nicky Wells calculated I’d had 7 in 14 days since the addiction took hold. My friend, Rose McClelland, suggested I try one when she left me a birthday post on my wall and so when we went to Camelot Castle Hotel, I did. Wow. Just wow. Now, weirdly the ingredients by themselves are not, at least, for me, that remarkable. A humble scone, jam and a tub of cream and a pot of tea. Doesn’t sound that exciting does it? But when it’s clotted cream, fruity jam and a freshly baked warm scone rippled with sultanas then it’s transformed into a dish fit for Gods. Yee Gods indeed!
The birthday Cream Tea was a thing of wonder, so I had one at the Eden Project the next day. On our last day in Cornwall all I could think about was when I was going to have a Cream Tea. Steve was quite amused at my fretting and obsession. My last cream tea was so beautiful I took a photo. I came home and carried on having them, until I realised I was in danger of turning into a scone, so I went cold turkey. But someone posted a photo of them in the The Bookshop Cafe and I spotted Cornish Clotted Cream in Aldi, and fell off the wagon spectacularly! In fact, erm, I had one for breakfast this morning. I am reconciled to the fact I am indeed sconed. And yes, Jan Bridgen, I use that word for you!
You’ll want to pull on the Pulling Man forever
The Eden Project is wonderful. It’s actually a charitable trust and run with a very non-exploitative ethos. The staff are really cool and there is so much to see, seriously. I would urge you to go if you’ve not been. I am flower and nature junkie, I was in heaven. The section we liked most was the Myths and Legends garden, it felt like something from the set of Willow or The Princess Bride. The landscaping revealed many delights, but I was knocked for six by Eve with her diamond features, punk grass hair and stunning bone structure. I desperately wanted to clamber up and snuggle up to her, but somehow restrained myself and settled for some photographs. Then there was the Pulling Man. That should have been his name. A veritable, lean, giant Iron Man. He had a huge rope attached to him and spiky metal mohawk and was a symbol of man’s toil. You were encouraged to pull the rope and watch him rock back and forth. It was brilliant because it got total strangers talking, kids insisting their parents help them and everyone muscling in on the action. Loved it. We pulled, and we pulled and we pulled.
Divine Chocolate and Montezuma bars are cheaper at the Eden Project than they are in Waitrose
Normally if you buy anything at a tourist attraction you know you’re going to get fleeced. Be it some substandard sarnie, some over-priced tat from the gift shop or a dodgy souvenir. I was genuinely surprised at the Eden project to discover all of Divine’s 100g bars were priced at £1.75. They’re £1.99 in Waitrose. My own personal fave is the Dark Chocolate with Raspberry. I will say though, that charging £8.50 for a pot of the Gorse is a bit steep, but that’s probably because they know unless you came armed with some long-handled secateurs, they’ve got a captive market were their coconut-scented pride and joy is concerned!
Parking perk at Camelot Castle Hotel
Now I hope this doesn’t backfire and have the staff contacting me and raining fury on me, but it was a cool little thing and a really nice gesture on their part, especially as we had dined there. But basically, we wanted to walk down to the beach in Tintagel and they let us park outside the hotel for free rather than head back into town. It made us really happy and made my birthday a bit more special that we were treated so generously. If you do park at the hotel please go in and dine there, it is spectacular inside, offers an affordable menu and loads of celebs have stayed there including the God of Kazakhstan and I don’t mean Borat.
Google Apps Sat Nav in St Austell is a bit surreal
I think this is what Steve used when navigating? But it was hilarious. At one point, in the pitch dark, the stern lady in the machine, who we named Miss Jones, as we were sure that was what she’d be called if she’d assumed human lady form, intoned we needed to take ‘Route 3.’ Route 3?! What the hell is Route 3 Miss Jones?? There was no road marked as Route 3. Steve twigged it was in fact a cycle route. If you’re ever in St Austell, and you’re driving and Miss Jones says the same to you. Now you know what she means.
The Birds will sing and sing and sing for you
Ed Harcourt once sang ‘ The Birds Will Sing For Us‘ – he must have been to Cornwall when he dreamed up that song. Because I’ve never, ever, in all my life, heard such happy, sweet birdsong.
I am a huge fan of blackbirds. In my opinion they sing the sweetest song, they really do. I even recorded them singing on video for prosperity. And also at the Eden Project, I was gobsmacked at how friendly and confident they were. They’d hop, hop, hop right up to your feet. The robins especially. If you love birds you will love the Eden project. It made me incredibly happy. I couldn’t get over it. Just amazing. I’m confident had I had some breadcrumbs I could have have had them eating out of my hand. Literally.
Your thighs won’t know what hit them
This was just for starters
If you’re already pretty fit when you head out to Cornwall, I’m sure you’ll be fine. But I swiftly learned just how unfit I was, and trust me it was sobering! My thighs and calves, the latter especially, didn’t know what hit them. It’s the inclines, up and down, they’re really steep. Tintagel Castle on the North Cornwall was stunning but the walk we took up to it was immense.
We went to this pretty harbour village called Fowey on our penultimate night, which was lovely and had some beautiful architecture and a visitors’ centre devoted to Daphne du Maurier. But the inclines made me want to weep. We had done a ton of walking, but still, how do the denizens cope? Especially in winter when it’s icy? If I lived in Cornwall, I’d have thighs of steel. Everyone in Cornwall must have thighs of steel surely?
That’s a good enough reason to up sticks and go there. You can sit in Cornwall eating fresh fish, eying up cream teas, enjoy the scent of gorse wafting in the air, with your bargain bar of Divine (£1.75rrp) on the table, birds tweeting merrily, a robin at your feet, all the while marveling at your sexy, firm thighs of steel. People in Cornwall must live until they are 150 surely? And on that vivid, halcyon image and ponderous thought, I draw my sharing of secrets to a close.
Cornwall, you really do rock. Thank you God inventing Cornwall, even those eye-watering inclines. Time for that bath now. Stay cool, you. x x x
p.s. Check this out. I saw it outside someone’s home : )
I bet her thighs are firm!