G went to have his toe removed yesterday, or his toenail, wasn't really paying attention and is supposed to be taking it easy today. I am managing quite well as a war widow. Have put out the bins and watered wilting plants. G is outside getting air to his vital parts, well his toe anyway even though it is bandaged up to about ten times its original size, and reading his kindle, some novel about MRSA in the aged and infirm, and is now looking worried. The hospital doesn’t cater for partners, no café just machines with water. I was in great need of sustenance whilst G was having his amputation and got quite bored. No mags to read because of germs, just leaflets about depression and cystitis. Hadn’t got my reading glasses with me though so may end up with cystitis now as unable to read the warnings, which will be depressing.
Am quite exhausted with all these man jobs. Had to get up and make my own cuppa and sort the cardboard from the plastic, and the papers whilst reading them again, took ages, not to mention the post into different piles. Glad I was born a woman. Oh yes and had to hang out the washing on our very high washing line, but I didn’t whistle like G does in very shrill tones. Hope I don’t have to wash the car at the car wash as it is very splashy.
Made him some ginger biscuits, well more like ginger squidgies. Went down a treat.
We've been all over the place in the last couple of weeks, all over the West Country. No, not just Devon and Cornwall, but Somerset as well. They seem to call it Zummerzet, the locals, or may just be drunk with all that cider they drink. We had wanted to go to Frome for ages, pronounced Froom, just to irritate visitors I think, as G had been going on about a very old pub, the Archangel, he had read about in a newspaper.
We tried to book in at the Archangel, but they don't have parking there and I was reluctant to leave my new and very lovely Mini convertible (whose name is Ruby) outside in the street so we went to a hotel up the road. They had parking, but inside a very dark multi-storey car park with a really narrow entrance so had to get out and let G park Ruby or would have taken all night.
The lovely girl on reception asked if we'd like a quiet room so we said yes. We followed her through the bar, through some doors and up a flight of stairs. After that we went downstairs again, through more doors, up stairs, along a corridor turned right and went down even more stairs. When we came to yet another door I was expecting to go through and find we were back where we started, but no, just more rickety stairs. The room was lovely with a huge bed and a very big bathroom. The downside was the view from the window! Well, we did ask for a quiet room so they stuck us round the back.
Just then a man in the next room started singing and the shower was going. Quiet room, I don't think so. Turned out he is the turn for later. WE WENT OUT quick, after eating the free biscuits.
The Archangel pub over the road was gorgeous and sitting down up the corner I was convinced was a Hairy Biker but after nosing past 3 times realised it was nothing like whatever his name is. Very disappointing. Even more so as G had been telling me I was ‘ridiculous’ for ages and the bloke looked no more like a hairy biker than Delia Smith does.
After Frome or Froom we went with our lovely friends K and S to Tintagel and Boscastle. Boscastle is a joy. So pretty. Perfect day. I remembered the dreadful floods here many years ago and it is lovely again now so people have worked very hard. On 16th August, 2004, peak holiday season, heavy rain up on the hills caused a devastating flood right through the middle of the town.
Stopped on the way down at a farm shop for a pasty and a drink and sat on a bench at the back overlooking the sea. There were red bullocks in the field (predictive text changed ‘bullocks’ so good job I checked’ although would have been more confusing than offensive) and a man next to us said they were the ‘the best beasts for miles around and very flavoursome.’ I might have been a vegetarian for all he knew!
Favourite place was the Pink House which in the floods had cars piled up the front and people on the roof who were air lifted off which is a good job as there were only little chimneys to hang onto and one if them is not there any more. G found a photo of the pink house in the flood and took another one of it on a lovely day like today. There was a witch museum but as it was £5 to go in and be spooked so we gave it a miss. There were two goths outside eating an ice cream and a wicker statue of Pan so that sufficed. The witches used to do spells for the fishermen to guarantee good weather. Spells didn't work very well on the day the village was flooded.
Tintagel is home of the ‘Arthurian Legend as a big sign mentions and is full of those sort of shops selling stuff that tourists are supposed to like and G always calls ‘tat.’ Tat or not, Tintagel was very crowded and we ended up on the cliff top at the Headland Hotel which is like a big castle. Inside it is lovely and the staff were great, letting us wander around. There's a huge round table, but I somehow doubt King Arthur ever sat here. It is owned by Mister Mappin, of Mappin and Webb fame. A waitress said he lived there as he bought it as his family home and as he had sixty spare bedrooms he lets it out as a hotel too. Sixty spare bedrooms! His Rolls Royce was parked outside. Mister Webb was not mentioned. Wonder if they have fallen out.
We've been doing a lot of beach walking on the gorgeous Cornish beaches lately as G may not be able to walk far for a while after his op. One of the best trips was to Trebarwith Strand which is one of the best places to surf in Cornwall and we came here many times back in 1969. There are slate quarries all around and the local pub, the beautifully perched Port William, is named for the days when slate was exported all over the world from the harbour here. Just off shore is Gull Rock, a slate stack that just about everybody, including G, takes a photo of. (Might be told off for bad grammar in that last sentence, but I don't care)
At low tide the beach is huge with lots of rock pools, but typically the tide was very high today and the sea came right up to the rocks. Only the life guards braved the slippery rocks with their surf boards. Looked very dangerous and I wanted to shout ‘watch out, you could slip and break a hip and then where would you be?’ But didn't want to sound like an old biddy so kept quiet. Good surfers though and great waves so worth the trip over the rocks. We had an ice cream and sat on a low wall in the sunshine with our mobile phone handy in case we had to dial 999 but nobody fell over or was swept onto the rocks by a freak wave.
On Perranporth beach the other morning, early at about half past eight, we walked alongside a woman who won't mind me calling ‘old’ as she was well into her 80s. She said she had stopped surfing two years ago and now only used a belly board, but never misses a day to go in the water. G has been a frustrated wannabe surfer on days when the waves are high, but when that old lady came whizzing in on her board he said ‘I’m glad I’m still on the shore as she would have shown me up.’ Quite! Back when we lived in Cornwall, in 1969, surfers had boards twice as big as they do today and wet suits were almost unknown. If you wore a wet suit, you were a wimp. Very different now.
Tom Jones is appearing here, on Perranporth beach, soon at one of the many music and surf festivals. We may give it a miss. Boardmasters, the biggest festival is in Newquay on Fistral Beach and the local paper says the organisers are allowed to sell 49,999 advance tickets without applying for planning permission and are a bit hot under the collar as at least five times as many more just turn up without tickets. We would have loved it. In 1969. Nowadays, not quite so excited. How odd. Maybe the thought of 250,000 or so young people treading on G’s poorly toe is putting us off.