Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Bees, Butterflies, Glendurgan and Water

I don't remember this happening when we lived in Feltham:
When I was looking at this blossom this morning there were 5 bees on it, but by the time I got my camera they had gone.

Went to Glendurgan Gardens (NT) today, it was beautiful. Here are a couple of pictures:

I decided that Davina should take my picture hiding in a Gunera Grove:
But, when I held on to the leaf stem something buzzed, and scared me!!!

Finally, I got to go in the sea for the first time since we moved to cornwall:
Well almost.

And here's a picture of Davina on the new Bamboo Bridge:

This is my picture of a beautiful Dragonfly:
Damn, it got away.

Glendurgan is gorgeous, but the Dragonflies are very fast.

Penryn Fair

I love Penryn. 36 years ago I spent the winter living and working there. Some of my best friends still live there and have made us welcome in their home, whenever we choose to visit.

This is probably one of my favourite places to be:
It's the view from Penryn Quay.

Last Saturday Penryn held its annual Fair, it was the first time we have had the opportunity to go along, we had an enjoyable afternoon wandering around al the stalls etc.
The Seven Stars used to be my favourite pub, but there were two occasions back in the 70's when I got very drunk in there and made a fool of myself, I haven't been in there since. Maybe I'll try it again soon.

This lad was trying to juggle, as you can see from his face it was a struggle to juggle. There were too many people around and I think he was afraid of hitting someone if he dropped one of his clubs. He did drop a club. I saw him, a bit later, on his way home, he looked quite dejected. Keep practicing Mr.

This man, on the other hand, has more of a success story. He and his wife have started a travelling hot-dog stand and a jacket potato kiosk:
They have done very well this year so far, and the future is looking bright for their fledgling business. I have to say the hot-dogs were the best we've had. So, if you see this stall at a local event, give it a try.

Now one of the problems of not working, at the moment, is trying to fill my time. Davina thinks this would be a good option:

I'm not so sure, I don't think I have the rhythm to cope. On the other hand I might be tall enough to do this:
Although I might have trouble getting those little rubber shoes on. Do you think Crocs do a size 12 version?

These are a few of our pictures from Penryn Fair. I have put the others on my Facebook Page.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Cornwall Pride 2010

Yesterday was the day of the third annual Cornwall Pride Parade it took place here in Truro, so as I only live about two minutes from where the parade started I thought I would go along and take some pictures.

The theme of this years event was 'Circus', but I am not sure everyone was aware of that:

The parade was started by Steve Gilbert (MP for St Austell & Newquay) in his M&S Shirt:

I know it's an M&S shirt because I've got one the same. I bought it in the sale last week. To prove it here's a picture of me in mine:

Anyway back to the parade. There were quite lot of people of all ages, background, shapes, and sizes taking part:

Here's a couple of pictures of the floats:

There was also an enormous Rainbow flag:

There were a lot of people lining the the streets, Everybody seemed very happy. As I was standing taking pictures at the beginning of the parade I was standing next to an elderly lady with a wheeled zimmer frame, she seemed to be enjoying herself. She was then joined by another lady who looked at the people taking part and said: 'I don't know dear, it wasn't like this in our day, now they teach their children everything, I don't think it's right do you?' The lady with the zimmer frame didn't reply she just kept looking on and smiling. Good on her.

Anyway, it was a fabulous day, which most people seemed to enjoy. Here's a couple of more pictures:

I've put the rest of my pictures on my Facebook page if you want to see them.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Carthy & Swarb

We went to see Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick last night:

We had a great time, The venue was quite small but packed, there was Skinners Beer on sale during the whole evening. We were encouraged to drink as much as we liked (Skinners were the sponsors of the event). I only had a small Cider, because I was driving.

Martin Carthy was very good Dave Swarbrick was sublime:

Sorry about the picture, best I could do.

There was a guy supporting them called Stomping Dave Allen who was also very good:
He managed to play his Banjo behind his head and tap dance at the same time. If you ever get the chance to see him, I recommend that you do.

There was only one disappointing bit of the evening.
They were selling raffle tickets at £1 for 5. We were told we could win a Mandolin.  So me being me bought:

There were seven prizes. When the draw was done, it turned out that the first prize was 18 pints of Skinners beer. Other prizes included a CD donated by one of the support artistes, and a box of chocolates from the local SPAR. We were excited because we had 25 tickets and were sure to win something!!!

When the tickets were drawn the first six tickets were numbered under 100 and the last ticket was 103.

We never stood a chance. But, we didn't let that spoil a very good evening.

So that was the start of a busy weekend.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

There it goes.

We had a drive to Hell's Mouth this evening, stopped at Godrevy on the way:

It was beautiful.

Then on to Hell's Mouth where I threw my symbol of the recent past into it's watery grave.


And There It Goes:
 If you look closely you can see it flying through the air (sorry about the midriff).

That's it gone. 

To the Dump

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump (sung to the tune of the William Tell Overture).

I have lost count of how many times I have been to the local dump over the last seven or eight weeks. It must be at least ten times. Before we left Feltham we had a load of rubbish to get rid of. Now we are down here we have a load of packing stuff and garden rubbish to get rid of. I went yesterday and today. 

This is a picture of the local refuse site down here in Cornwall:
I bet you find that interesting!!!

The thing is there is always something satisfying about taking things to the dump, as you drive away you can forget all the stuff you just got rid of. Its as though you have unburdened yourself (there's a sermon in there somewhere, I preached it once).

I have kept a symbol of my recent past job which I promised myself I would throw in the sea when I got here. So that I could forget the bad things that happened.

So I'm going to do that in the next day or two.

I'll let you know when it is done.


I had been looking forward to last Thursday for a while. Why? Because that was the day most of our furniture was due to arrive, the day we would have comfortable sofas to sit on and a wardrobe to hang some clothes in.

Well, it did arrive (at 7.30am thanks to the delivery driver). After some help from my mate Mickey, most of the flat pack furniture has now been put together. It has transformed our lives.

The Lounge has been changed from this:

To this:

And our bedroom has changed from this:

to this:

and now to this:

I can't show you a picture of the wardrobe yet, because I piled all of our clothes, shoes, and stuff in front of it so that I could take these pictures.

But, as you can see the house is coming on nicely, and we love it.

Cornwall Respect Festival

Yesterday I was wandering around Truro with some friends when we heard some music in the distance, we went to investigate and discovered it was the parade for the Cornwall Respect Festival:

There were a complete mix of people marching and banging drums.

This is what the respect festival is about:

The aim of our festival is to celebrate the many diverse cultures and beliefs in our county. Our hope is that this will become an annual event for the future.
We invite you to join us in our celebration, and say
No to Racism, hatred, bigotry, and segregation and
Yes to love, understanding, and acceptance.

I can go along with that, so we followed the parade to Lemon Quay:

It was a really happy time. The evening continued with a free concert on Lemon Quay.

Davina & I went along at about 8 o'clock. I enjoyed Ackee and Saltfish with Rice & Peas, whilst listening to Kissmet:

It was the conclusion of another amazing day in Cornwall.

The first three pictures were taken by my friend Carla. Thanks

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

House Husband

Since I am now a kept man (for the time being), I have become a house husband. That means I sit around all day watching telly or surfing the net, and then rush around just before Davina gets home tidying up and putting the meal on.

However one of things I love about Cornwall is Saffron Bread. So I thought I would have a go at making one. Last week I rushed over to Tesco (about 3 minutes slow walk) and bought all the ingredients. Then went to the kitchen shop and bought a loaf tin. I had found what looked to be a good recipe on the net. So the next day I had a go. I made the dough and kneaded it properly, put it in the tin and left it to rise in the boiler cupboard. The dough rose and rose, I realised my loaf tin was too small. Anyway, I put it in the oven and let it cook, it smelled good. So when I thought it was probably cooked I took it out of the oven and turned it  out. I tapped it on the bottom, as instructed, but it didn't sound 'hollow', so I put it back in for a few more minutes. Being clever when I took it out the second time, I decided I would lift it out of the tin. Mistake. I ripped the top of my loaf, which was still not fully cooked. But it didn't taste or look too bad. So I took what was left of it with me when I visited friends on Saturday. My friend Malcolm and I polished it off and enjoyed it.

So this week I thought I would make another one, so I went and bought a bigger loaf tin. This time it was a success.

Here it is:

Is there no end to this man's talents, I can hear you asking.

Bus Journey

I used my Cornish bus pass for the first time today. I decided to go to St Austell. So I walked all the way to the bus station (2 Minutes), and queued up with all the other old people. Who from my point of view all looked much older than me. I was disappointed though, when the bus driver failed to check my age.

The Bus was 13 minutes late. The return bus was 12 minutes late so I suppose they are consistent. Everything down here seems to be done at a much slower pace. The bus drivers are friendly and spend time chatting to their passengers. Which can be a bit frustrating if you are used to London buses. Where the bus driver and other passengers growl at you if you hesitate when getting your ticket.

It was a good leisurely journey, front seat upstairs, comfortable seat. I took a book to read on the 40 minute journey, but didn't need it. The rolling Cornish fields and hills are a delight.

Had a good time in St Austell (Charity shops). Had a Bacon and Brie Sandwich.

The only frustration was that I couldn't find a loo, you know what us old people are like, when we gotta go, we gotta go. But no luck I had to sit cross legged all the way back to Truro, and rushed to the loo as soon as I could get down the bus stairs with my legs crossed.

All in all a good day.

Towards Malpas

I love this picture, Davina took it a few days after moved here. The colours and the reflections are fabulous.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Why Smiling Monkey?

I thought you might be interested in knowing why I chose the title Smiling Monkey. The truth is I don't really know except that I was feeling a bit naughty and a bit cheeky, and the image of a smiling monkey popped into my head. Because I am feeling very happy and the monkey's smile looks happier than mine.

I Guess This Is It

You know that saying: 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life', maybe its a bit overused. But, it seems appropriate, because for the first time in thirty odd years, I am unemployed. At the moment it feels great because today I left a company which has been gradually wearing me down and the freedom I feel at the moment is tremendous. As Martin Luther King said: 'Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I'm free at last'.

So we have started a new life, and it feels fantastic. For example, we had a 20 minute drive tonight and were able to walk along a deserted beach as the sun was setting.

Now of course the reality is that I need to find a job, otherwise I might end up sleeping on the beach!!!