Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A Brief Respite

We have, what appears to be, a brief break in the bad weather that we have been having. Work has been particularly hard and stressful over the last couple of months, and although we have managed to get out a little, such as the Avon Valley walk, most of the time has been taken up with gardening in the wind and rain during the day, and paperwork and re-scheduling during the evenings. On top of that, the early part of the year saw all of the grass looking beautifully green and striped, but again, because of the wet weather, Red Thread has spread rapidly through most of the lawns, leaving them looking really patchy. I'll be posting some before and after pictures of THAT little stress in the next post. It's also that time of year when, in the case of some of the properties, the contracts for gardening, electrical and plumbing work, painting etc, go out to tender. Never usually a problem, as thankfully all of the places we look after stick with us anyway. However, this year things are tighter moneywise all round, and I have a sneaking worry that one of the largest contracts may go for a cheaper option. A place that we have been working at since we started in 1997, the daughters worked at with us when they were young, and holds a personal connection that will be quite upsetting to lose. We will see anyway.

This last weekend Celia had invited a couple and their son that she knows from Barcelona to come and stay with us, they arrived during the week, but we only really got to know them during the first couple of days. Celia taught Sergio to speak English when he studied over here, and so we managed to hold some very interesting conversations with him. His lovely wife could only speak Spanish and fluent French, and their son Spanish. Celia can speak Spanish, Amanda some French, and me, only English I am afraid, and so between us we muddled through. Anyway, the reason why we could only see them during the first couple of days was because we seriously needed to get away and get some rest and head space from the business. Most people would assume that gardening is peaceful and relaxing, and in private gardens and our own it is, but commercial gardening is a completely different matter, with virtually every task having to be done as fast as is humanly possible.

And so we went back to our favourite place of all time, Polperro. On the south coast of Cornwall, it's a little fishing village that holds wonderful memories, and we have re-visited time and time again. We even decided to get married while we were once here, and it's always a place that we find a clear head, and once more get some perspective.

We went back to our favourite room, in our favourite Bed & Breakfast,  'The Watchers', and as usual Patsy and John gave a lovely warm welcome. Long past retirement age, they stopped opening to the general public as a B&B a couple of years ago, and now only take two people at a time, and only if you are on the short 'friends' list. On arrival we drank tea, and talked and talked with them in the fabulous sun lounge overlooking the small bay and Chapel Rock, and we caught up with the local gossip in the village. It's very surprising just what happens in such a lovely little place! Anyway, we settled into our room, opened the window, got our books out, and immediately settled down to read. The little video above is of a pair of seagulls that settle every day outside our window for some crackers to eat.

Time is spent reading, beachcombing for smooth worn coloured glass and old and small pieces of decorative ceramics, washed up at every high tide, and then there to discover when the small and stony beach is once again accessible at low tide. Over many years we have amassed jars and jars of these things, shells, and other little things of interest.

And as the day draws to a close, the other thing that we always do, is head around to the other side of the harbour, for a night in 'The Blue'! -

We work hard at home, rest hard during the days in our Polperro, and party hard with the locals in their pub of an evening. Both Friday and saturday nights, they have live music, often by people who live in the village.
Friday night had a guy and guitar, singing some old classic songs, and on our last night, Saturday, 'The Claze' were playing. The pub was open way past everyones bedtime, and good ale and whisky flowed. We sang, and sang.....and sang, and all enjoyed each others company. There's never trouble at The Blue, and if there was, then I expect the fishermen would make short work of them for ruining there evening off the boats.
When we left, the village was asleep, the other pub, The Three Pilchards, was long closed, and all went home smiling, and with tales of the evening to tell.
In the clip below, you can hear a very drunken crowd singing along to the last song, 'Hey Jude'.
I can't wait to go back.


  1. The video was too fun.
    What a great village. To be on the "short" friends list at the B&B. Nice!
    Glad you got a break and that some sun has come your way.

  2. It sounds like you need a getaway. I think my hesitancy towards working in landscaping is just that....the stress. Gardening at our own places is rewarding but planning out somebody elses' garden(especially if they are high maintenance) would drive me to drink:)\

    Looks like a nice time in the vid. Beer and a break:) As for money, I'm with you on that...this year has been okay but I've had to really really budget things out. Things will happen as they happen. Just have to put out the good kharma:) Hope the sun sticks around longer.