Monthly Archives: October 2010

St. Ives

It is Pete Crossley’s 60th birthday but after the party we join Louisa, Julian and Tove in St. Ives. Monday night is quiz night at the Castle Inn pub in Fore Street. The theme is ‘school’ because it is half-term and the pub is crowded with 16 tables. Sheila, Julian and myself make up a table and win first prize – £45. We are elated.

We drive to St. Mawes the next day via the King Harry chain ferry. Huge tankers are moored in the river, mothballed until the economy picks up. Lunch is in the terrace lounge, overlooking the estuary, of the Idle Rocks hotel that Thom and Tara liked so much. It is nearby, in Roseland, that Danae and Nathan stayed and got engaged. On return we stop at Smuggler’s cottage where we drink tea from the Tregothnan estate. This spot is where the American soldiers set off for the D-Day invasion.

Later we learn of the lifeboat going out from Falmouth to aid two vessels, one of which is the tall ship, Fryderyk Chopin, which lost 2 masts near the Scilly Isles. We saw this ship earlier sailing into the estuary.

Much of our time is spent doing the things Tove enjoys most – such as being on the beach. Later in the week we go to Hayle and the sands and dunes along the Towan where we see kestrels stooping and bramblings in the reeds.

Eventually we head to the lighthouse, having a delicious lunch at the cafe in the National Trust grounds around Godrevy. Other places we eat are the Black Rock just behind Fore Street. It is only recently opened and is totally superb – best pork belly I’ve eaten. And half the price of the Porthminster Cafe that we also eat at.

Finally, we take the pirate trail with Shanty Baba, the escapee accountant from Bexley Heath. His act is now very polished, theatrical and includes a petulant teenager..

On our last day, I manage to get a screen capture from the St. Eia Hotel webcam of ourselves on Porthminster beach. We are the little dots on the left.


comparative values, comparative wages

A favourite phrase in  exam questions is “Compare and contrast….”.

The Guardian is featuring two stories prominently; one is about Wayne Rooney and the other is about Marisol Valles Garcia. The interest in Rooney, 24, focuses on his decision to leave Manchester United for Manchester City so that he can earn £260,000 a week. The attention given to Miss Garcia, 20, is that for £100 a week she will be the police chief of a dangerous drug-controlled area of Mexico.

Rooney is still crawling away from the limelight over his sex with prostitutes whilst his wife, Colleen, was pregnant and is now upsetting MU with his decision to leave them so that he can best further his career.

Miss Garcia is a student and mother and a ‘last hope’ candidate for a job where her predecessor was beheaded.

So, what was the question? Compare and contrast the values of young people….? Perhaps this’ll be something for Graham and I to discuss when we meet for our usual Friday lunch at the Victoria Tavern.

danae’s birthday

It was Danae’s birthday yesterday. The date was unusual as it was 20 10 2010, something which Araucaria, the chief setter of the Guardian crosswords picked up in 28 across.


After nearly 40 years we have the dreadful wooden panel in front of the chimney breast in our bedroom removed. And, in it’s place is revealed a wonderful 1930’s fireplace. Hardly used and still well preserved thanks to Mr. Conway’s DIY home improvements. Steve, our decorator, is going to build a wooden mantelpiece for it.


I get to see quite a bit of Louisa this week. Thursday night she and Julian took us to the Hoxton Apprentice for a meal, which was their ‘thank you’ for staying with us whilst their house was being remodelled. The Apprentice is a Jamie Oliver “15” type restaurant. Hoxton was very lively and full of young people and bars.

Saturday is our portrait class at Bedford House with Ron Clark. Shade (pronounced Charday) is a ballerina who has posed several times for life classes and is our model. I go back to oils – something I haven’t done for a least a year. The picture is not great but I enjoyed my reacquaintance with the medium.


And, on Sunday, the family meet up at Louisa’s house for lunch and to celebrate Danae’s 37th. birthday. It is the first time I see their new home completed.

Meanwhile, in other news, the 33 Chilean miners were rescued from the San Jose mine after 69 days incarceration. It was truly a stirring event and such a change to watch “good” news for once.

a day of culture

The Gaugin exhibition has just opened at the Tate Modern and I missed the private view as Sheila wasn’t feeling too good. I get to see it though on the afternoon we meet with Ray and Di, Pete and Sue and Graham and Cheryl to attend the “Night Under the Stars” at the Festival Hall.

The exhibition is OK and I missed the crowds. Some dozen really good paintings to spend time over and the rest mostly polyfilla. The concert of classical music was for the London homeless – a organisation called the Passage for whom Diane did some volunteer literacy work. Rhys Griff Jones, whose father John Green knew, was a compere. Ray and Di don’t like him much and I could see how he can irritate.

buckingham palace

Last Wednesday, Cheryl arranged for a tour of Buckingham Palace.

20th anniversary of the unification of Germany

Bremen is where Chancellor Merkel is leading the celebrations of the unification of Germany which occurred 20 years ago, today. Merkel. of course, is one of the 1.5 million people that moved into the ‘west’ after 3 October 1990. Interestingly, this event also coincides with an article in today’s Observer about von Ribbentrop and St. Ives.

Meanwhile, our home enters the seventh month of disruption this year. Currently, Bob the Builder is replacing the guttering, roof tiles and re-rendering the chimney stack. Decorators, curtain makers and carpet layers are still in the wings and we have yet to get cracking and do our bit.

Anyway, lighter activities absorbed my attention at Teresa’s life drawing class at the scout hut in Theydon Bois, yesterday. Amanda, the model, posed in costume as Anne Boleyn as well as in more traditional postures.