We’ve had a busy few days. Paul and Chris were sailing on different boats at Plymouth Regatta over the weekend, Paul on ‘Purple Haze’and Chris on ‘Patsy’. I dropped them off and then had the day to myself. Joy! I went to the Hoe and had a calm and silky swim off the Hoe between the yellow swimming buoys. I could see all the boats getting ready for the start of the races – a unique viewpoint from sea-level! Then coffee at The Terrace, with a big Kitkat all to myself. Afterwards I walked around the Hoe in the sunshine and watched the 29 Commando 50th Anniversary Parade. There was a huge group of veterans marching and although I have no connections with them, I felt proud.
Racing outside the Breakwater
On Sunday I was up at 5.30 to meet swimmers at Lostwithiel to swim downstream to Golant with the tide – around 4 miles.. We gathered by the River Fowey in the pale yellow morning sun and struggled into wetsuits. Kayaks were launched, swimming hats pulled over ears, group photos taken. Then we all waded into the river and started quietly swimming downstream. The light on the water was fantastic - greens and golds ahead, blues and greens behind. The River here is quite narrow, the tide helped us along round all the bends. My breathing gradually became more even as I became accustomed to the cold. Swans watched us and swallows swooped around. Queenie towed cake in a red drybag. As the river widened out the water tasted more salty and felt a bit warmer. This part was the most challenging, especially as I had no idea where the finish was! I introduced myself to Lucinda and Charlotte in the water (as you do) and we encouraged each other over this long stretch. We passed an elegant white boat house and round the next bend we could see the slipway and boats at Golant – still quite a way off! We finally crawled up the slipway amongst the people launching boats and kayaks, desperate to be out in this delayed summer – after 2 and a quarter hours. Pauline brought us bacon butties, cooked in the boot of her car. A great swim!
Clearing the ears in the River Fowey
If that wasn’t enough activity for one weekend, Paul and I went surfing at Polzeath on Monday – we are making the most of the weather. My mum used to tell me to ‘Gather ye rosebuds whilst ye may’, so I am.
We’re back from our holiday. Not a lazing on the beach time, but most relaxing. Fishing took place, but none were caught. There were lots of ox-eye daisies out on the cliffs. I swam from Cawsand beach to Kingsand beach, only to find out the the Devonport pub shuts on Tuesdays! We had to walk to the Rising Sun. Then we walked to the Cross Keys.
The jet stream is on the move northwards: the efforts of Paul and his art students have paid off. Just before the end of term he instructed everyone to really concentrate on moving it to the north and it has obviously worked – so thank you one and all. Summer is about to start.
I went to a talk about Tides last night. I learnt a huge amount. Most surprisingly, if it has rained a lot the fresh water from rivers, being lighter than salt water will float on the top and can be flowing outwards, whilst the tide is coming in! There are so many variables – wind, air pressure, depth of water, where you are along the coast – that it must be incredibly difficult to predict the tide at all. There was me thinking it just went in and out. My Dad used to tell me that the tide went out because someone pulled out a big plug on the seabed. I believed him for a while.
The honeysuckle in the garden met up with the raspberries whilst we were away. Now we can’t get down the path. I think I’ll let them bloom though. I don’t really do gardening – it’s more crowd control. This year however, there has been a riot.
My ears are buzzing again – Swimmers Ear, apparently. I stuff Bluetak in when I go swimming, and pull my yellow swimhat low over my ears but I am suffering despite that at present. I swam a mile in Tinside Lido on Wednesday. There was just me and a triathlon athlete in the lane. I managed to crash into him during my zig-zag route, despite the 50 metre length. It was beautiful and sunny in the pool – very bright and turquoise. I don’t think they have had too many customers this rainy year. They seemed surprised to see me!
Flags at Tinside Pool
Paul finishes a term’s teaching today and we are off to the Cliff! No electricity, no phones, no outside world – we can’t wait. We shall have a few days of solitude before our son and daughter and their partners arrive on Wednesday. I am sure there will be much laughter and shouting. We are not a tidy family at the dinner table: we all want to be heard at the same time. Obviously, whatever I have to say is the most important! After a few hours though, the cliff will weave its magic and we will become calm and tranquil amongst the monbretia leaves, bracken and brambles.
Just heard that Paul has sold a painting from Monty’s, the purple cafe on the Barbican, next to the Dolphin. That’s exciting! We like Monty’s – wonderful food and coffee, gorgeous gluten-free chocolate and raspberry brownies. We’ll just have time to pop in this evening to collect the money before we leave for our Holiday!
There were about ten of us in the sea on Sunday, doing synchronised swims and kicks whilst the Red Arrows flew overhead. I felt like an eight year old again. There was a rainbow over Staddiscombe and a seal made a very brief appearance just off the little beach to the left of the pool.
The Red Arrows over Plymouth
Paul and I hung some paintings and prints in Les Jardins de Bagatelle in Plymouth on Sunday. We love this cafe – the coffee is always good, service swift and it’s run by a real person and not a chain! The real person even helped us by dangerously climbing up to hang Paul’s biggest painting over the stairwell. The display will be up for the month of July, with 10% of any sales donated to St Luke’s Hospice in Turnchapel. Go along and have a look, a coffee and a chocolate torsade.
Paul's Paintings at Les Jardins de Bagatelle
When will this weather brighten up? Everyone is soldiering on bravely, if a little grumpily, but the lack of sunshine is worrying. I’ve eaten too many digestive biscuits, cheese and onion crisps and all sorts of chocolate – usually my winter comfort foods. Please don’t ask about the red wine……