I'm on the train on the way home from Cornwall, where I had a weekend which definitely made up for the streak in the lead up to it.
Friday morning onboard the train, I finally got together all of my blogs, so now (miracle of miracles) I'm ACTUALLY up to date… as of the end of this blog anyway!
After a four hours of WONDERFUL first class service and peace and quiet (with the exception of the lady who brought her lap dog onto the train which proceeded to spill coffee all over the carriage) being indulged with hot chocolates, juices, waters, biscuits, and a variety of other 'light refreshments' I made it in to Truro at about 2:30pm. On arriving into town I was immediately struck by how warm it was… keep in mind that everything is relative, it was a VERY balmy 10 degrees - practically summer! I was so happy to FINALLY be able to walk around with out 2 pairs of gloves, a beanie, scarf, and ski jacket on top of all the other clothes for a normal winter! Hahaha
As I lost a few layers Em pulled up with a couple of her friends from Uni - Anna and James. Immediately I felt really relaxed as the levels of banter in the car reminded me of a good road trip from back home. James gave us a tour of Cornwall and we stopped off at Pandora's Inn a gorgeous little pub for a late lunch. I tucked into my FIRST Cornish cider (a Pear Rattler) and had some beautiful mussels. I also tried these STRANGE little things called Scampi Fries which are basically chips, but flavoured of scampi (allegedly something between a shrimp and a prawn) and lemon… Very bizarre! Hahaha
After a bit more touring around and seeing some of the sea and local beauty, I IMMEDIATELY fell in love with Cornwall. It's so unlike anything else that I've seen, with the typical English country side that I've imagined, tucked around some quaint little village towns that remind me of Santorini. All in all it's just gorgeous.
We stopped off at the Halls where Em and Anna lives (on campus at Falmouth) to write my list of things to accomplish this weekend, and for a bit of a disco nap (for Em). With the check list written, James picked us all up to head up to the Boathouse, a gorgeous little pub with a fantastic view of the harbor. We parked the car at James' place and began the walk to the pub and had to walk down Jacob's Ladder. I am CONVINCED that the Inca's must have designed this thing, as it is by FAR the steepest set of steps that I have seen outside the Inca Trail. We walked down it a few times, but I'm pretty sure it would take me at least the same 4 days it did to clear the Inca Trail to make it up these stairs, and this time I'd be getting altitude sickness for sure!!! Hahaha. Liam (another photography journalism student) came alongto the Boathouse and I tucked into some more cider (Stowford Press) and then vodka as we played Jenga (or 'Tumbling Towers') with oddly sized bricks that didn't quite fit. We worked a bit further on my checklist for the weekend and the end result was:
·Cornish pasty (Horse & Jockey)
·Cider (with 7 check boxes next to it)
·Fish & chips
·Jacobs Ladder Roast
·Grandma's Ginger Ale
·English Fry Up
We all agreed on an early start the next morning (which we all slept through) to go on a road trip around the gorgeous country side and beaches. James very kindly picked us all up again, and we stopped off for breakfast at the Horse & Jockey bakery where I had the HUGEST pasty I have EVER had in my life… and I only got the medium size! I couldn't even finish it, but it was VERY tasty and I now know why Cornwall is the place to get the things!!! Hahaha Our first stop was Lizard which was a gorgeous little inlet, which made me INSTANTLY declare that I was coming back in summer. Beautiful cliff faces looked down onto the swells and the beach below, and the fresh sea air was something that I have really missed since being in Spain (and I can't even remember how long before that!!!). The scenery was absolutely gorgeous, and it was quite funny being around so many people studying photography - I immediately called a truce and vowed just to steal Em's pics! Hahaha
After a walk in the fresh air we piled back into the car and headed off to Porthleven, another gorgeous little seaside town with a gorgeous pier. I know I'm going a little overboard with the use of gorgeous here, and if my creative writing lecturer read this I'd probably get a fail for a lack of varied vocab, but in my defence, if they had of been there they would be at a loss for what to describe it as too, cause the place is honestly just simply gorgeous! Hahaha
So after a stop in the pub with a chance to freshen up we headed off to Mousehole, which is quite famous for the Story of the Mousehole cat… In fairness James did try and tell us the story, but I think I really have to read the thing to get a better understanding… Hahaha. Another pub stop overlooking the water, and the photography students all playing happy snaps with their cameras, and faffing about a bit (see, I'm PRACTICALLY local now with my new slang!), we all piled back into the car for our final stop in St Ives.
St Ives was, once again, beautiful, and really reminded me of one of the tiny towns in the Greek Islands. I think I was lucky to first get to experience it all not during peak season (even though most of the shops were closed) as it really gave the feeling of the character of what the place is really like. Charming and relaxed. We went into my FIRST amusements place, where we proceeded to put 2p coins into a machine with the hope of winning a stack of 2p coins… I'm trying to explain what it was like, and now I'm pretty annoyed I didn't take a photo of it… Hahaha. I'll just have to go back to take one… After all of us winning and then losing money (in fairness I think the total loss for the 5 of us was about 3 quid) we started to head back to get ready for a night out. Now, a day at the seaside can't be complete without fish and chips, so we all stopped for some chips with salt and malted vinegar to eat on the way back to the car.
Back at the Halls the quest began to get ready for Geek Night, a party being thrown at the Uni. Needless to say I had NOTHING geeky (with me, it would be an outright lie to say I don't own anything geeky - one peek in my wardrobe would immediately prove that wrong), but managed to make do. Anna, James, Liam, Em and I ended up having a really nice dinner at the Halls where Em cooked us chili, and her flatmate cooked us some amazing Kim Chee soup… I tried out another cider (Koppenberg - which was amazing but admittedly not from Cornwall but from Sweden!) and we all tucked into some drinks before heading off to Geek Night.
Geek Night was CLASSIC, most people looked fairly un-Geeky in fairness, but we still had a great time (despite the long queues for the bar) and tore up the dance floor. After a couple of hours there we decided to head into town to cross the clubs off my list, and the group got split into two cabs - Em, myself and two guys from their course waiting for the second one to arrive. Now, I got told that we were going in the party bus, so you can picture what I was expecting. Flashing lights, doof doof music, smoke machines and a great time had by all… when the 'bus' first pulled up I have to say I was a bit disappointed - it was more mini bus style, and looked quite normal. When we asked if we could have the 'party' experience we were told that it was too late, but then the driver changed his mind, and it was all just like I'd imagined!!! WOOT! Hahaha
We made it into town shortly behind the others, and headed off to Q bar. Having no concept of time, I didn't realize that it was already 1am (the bars closing at 2am) so we didn't stay in town for long at all before heading home. We DID of course have time to have a Napalm Death - a most strange shot… you build the shot with vanilla Galliano, Kahluha, and then Baileys before adding some more vanilla Galliano to the top. The shot is placed on a saucer which has vanilla Galliano around it, and then the shot and saucer are set on fire. The fire is shortly thereafter blown out, then you do the shot, pour the contents of the saucer into the shot, and then take that too. It's a good thing I love vanilla Galliano, cause BOY was that STRONG! Hahaha. Needless to say Em and I made it home in a right state, and crawled into bed around the 3am mark tucking into the left over chili!
I maintain that Sundays are meant for nothing other than hangovers. Which is a good thing, cause we were all VERY hungover. Em and I crawled out of bed and somehow walked up to the Asda (like a Walmart) to get together the ingredients for an English Fry Up - EXACTLY what the Doctor ordered. We had sausages, bacon, hash browns, tomatoes, mushrooms, poached eggs and baked beans. It was amazing. James came round to collect and us and Anna, and we piled into his car heading off for Jacob's Ladder roast. We got there and I had the Grandma's Ginger Ale (I've never had ANYTHING so gingery in my life!!!) and Em and I lost some money in the quiz machine before we found out that the roast was SOLD OUT!!!! As one of the most crucial things on the list (particularly one Em found out I hadn't had a Yorkshire Pudding in England) we headed off to the Boathouse, carefully placing a reservation on our roasts so we wouldn't be disappointed again.
Needless to say, the roast was AMAZING! Roast beef covered in gravy, with some mash, baked potatoes, peas, cabbage, and a Yorkshire pudding with more gravy, horseradish and mustards on the side. It was perfect. We then settled down to the business of board games, and played a few rounds of The Camels Back (balancing sticks on the back of a camel) before moving on to Scrabble and eventually Monopoly. Most of the pub ended up in a Backgammon tournament, which was really cool. We called the game of Monopoly short (we were all exhausted and it was time to head home), and Em kicked my butt in Scrabble pulling in front by a measly 4 points with her word 'Hi'… Hahaha. It was such a great night, and I even discovered a new drink called Dooley's - a creamy liquor like Baileys but made from toffee! Liam gave us a lift home in the van, and I extorted a promise that he would take us all out sailing in the summer (and hopefully we can get some fishing in as well!!). Em and I got home and crawled into bed, where we began to make a list of all the things we were to give up to give ourselves a rest and hope of sanity over the next little while…
A little sleep in later, and it was time for me to pack… VERY sad… My last morning in Cornwall we crammed in as much as we could, and I managed a VERY delicious Cream Tea (essentially scones, with jam and clotted cream, and a pot of tea) which I loved. I'm going to have to make another trip down when it's a bit warmer to try out the regional ice cream which I've heard is to die for too. James met us in town and then we headed back to the Uni for some quick farewells, some more repacking, and then it was off to get the train.
I've had the most relaxing and amazing weekend, and have felt so incredibly welcomed by Em, Anna, James and Liam, and I've honestly been really blessed to have met such incredible people. The photography kids are coming to London for an excursion in April, so I can't wait to have my turn to play host. I'm sure I'll try and sneak in another weekend visit before then - and this time I'll even take MY camera out! Hahaha
Time for me to chill out now on the train… as always - I miss you all and love you lots.