Category: Cornwall

Posts from cornwall

Travelling Sylvia – what my mother did on holiday

I am still wading through the pile of photographs, both mine and my mothers. Hundreds of them, mostly being thrown away before we move house.  Mom kept all hers in labelled shoe boxes. Duplicates and bad photos. Stored for decades and never shared. Organised clutter.

Occasionally I find ones with real significance. To discover that Mom had taken a photo of a church, that years later I chose as a place to scatter her ashes, was moving and very comforting.

Santorini church

And then there are the ones that make me smile. The ones that capture her personality, the things she did on her holiday. The maddening things and the silly things, that remind me of her and of happy times.

My mother liked to go on holiday. She was a school teacher, in the days when a six week holiday was a holiday for teachers too. She took full advantage of those extended holidays.

Mom often went on a whim, and travelled solo often.

One Christmas, when this celebration was still a big deal for me, she announced she was going to Bulgaria, to a ski resort.

And had Christmas dinner with strangers.

Watching people ski.

Wearing appropriate ski resort wear.

Having her picture take with characters.

And riding on fast things.

Then there was the time she went to Croatia just after the war for independence. And Turkey, always by herself and always making friends. mom 1

Turkey – getting muddy.

She went to Greece a lot, usually with her sister in law, Brenda. Brenda was a carer for her husband, who had MS, so this was a welcome break for her.

One year they went to Tunisia.

They did like dressing up.

And riding Camels.

She generously took me and my family on holiday too. I am glad I have those memories and will be keeping these photos of happy times.

Even when she took us long walks and we got lost.

In Spring 2011 I went to Dalyan with my husband. Mom hadn’t come because she was struggling to get  travel insurance due to her illness. We had been there a day when I got a text from my son.

nan says she will meet you in the market on sat

As I said she did things on a whim.

Our last holiday together was in 2011.  I booked a lovely house overlooking the river at Fowey, with a balcony where she could people watch.My mom enjoying the peace and quiet

This is what my mom did on holiday.

She also climbed into cages with tigers in Thailand and went on a micro light plane in Dalyan, not found those photos yet. Look out for part two.

 

 

 

 

 

Am I still travellingcoral?

I have spent the past few months sharing my photos from the round the world trip I took with my husband last year. In a few days we will have been back in the UK for a year. Which is why I sometimes wonder that to call this blog travellingcoral and to use that as my twitter name is wrong somehow.

Yet in my head, I am still travelling. I have written before that I still can’t get used to having actual wardrobes and live in nearly the same clothes I wore on the trip, I expected that to last a few weeks, but it has lasted 52 weeks. IMG_1322

I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco. I left my soul in nearly every place we visited. I ache to be back in New Zealand, to spend more time in Bay of Islands and the Coromandel Peninsular, to visit friends in Wellington and see more of the South Island. And I wished we had gone to Yosemite when we were in California, spent more time in Santa Cruz and stayed longer at Pismo Beach.

We spent nearly two months in Australia yet only scratched the surface. Even though the cost of everything is migraine inducing and I have no idea where one buys underwear (no Marks and Spencers) I’d go back in a heartbeat. Melbourne got under my skin and I miss it so much.They have free BBQ‘s in public places, and trams, and seating like this.

IMG_5187IMG_5888

I follow some brilliant travel bloggers and when I read about what they are up to and places they have visited my heart literally aches. Yet these same bloggers were wonderfully helpful when planning the trip and continue to inspire future travelling plans. Thanks particular to these guys: http://whatsdavedoing.com/ http://www.ytravelblog.com/ and also look at this if you are even remotely interested in travelling http://nomadicsamuel.com/top100travelblogs

In a previous blog, about why you need to travel while you still can I mentioned how Mom had encouraged Phil and me to take this trip. And now she has gone my one big tie to my adopted hometown has gone too. Ok I still have a house and a son and a husband here, but other than that….. well I don’t have a job, the kids are in their 20’s and I don’t really want to live here any more. And now one of my new friends is moving back to Sydney which will mean I will have nearly as many close friends in the Southern Hemisphere as I have in the UK.

My memories of SE Asia weren’t my fondest. We were travelling with G Adventures and of course in a group you can always expect there to be tension occasionally. I think this group was unique in that one individual managed to alienate everyone in the group within 24 hours. All of us tried to get along with her, some with more success than others. As we often had to travel for 5 hours plus on mini buses, it did become a sometimes comical but always a tactical manoeuvre to avoid being in the same bus this person was in.DSCN0313 If this sounds cruel, I am sorry, yet it is true. All of us on that trip would have had a better experience if she had not been there.DSCN0282

We developed a penchant for singing Hollywood Musicals very loudly and discovered new versions of Doe a Deer (linked to beer and Saving Babies) and she was always offered the seat at the front with the driver. The tour guide sacrificed his single room and shared with a traveller so that no one else had to share a room with a person who despite having the biggest bag didn’t seem to wash or change clothes.The suitcase was full of food she had brought from Canada and she was still eating it 11 days later.

Pong, our wonderful guide, in an effort to calm her and give us respite encouraged her listen to Buddhist Chanting. Can you imagine sharing a cable car with her? This is the impact it had on one of us.DSCN0741

Yet looking back at the photo of that trip with G Adventures brings back good memories, especially with Sean, Kelly, Jojo and Gemma. The hours we spent looking for this eh Sean!DSCN0442And I got to eat wonderful food, took part in karaoke (what happens in Krabi, stays in Krabi) and saved lots of babies and enjoy views like this.DSCN0853

So am I still travelling? While not having left the UK in the past 12 months Phil and I have had a number of mini breaks. Hay and Brecon for the food, scenery and the books; Winchester for the markets; London for the theatre, The Tate and London Calling to see Paul Simon in Hyde Park (all London visits are due to the generosity of my wonderful daughter and her partner). I am off to Malvern to visit the flea market and Carnival Records and browse the vinyl with my new friends and Holly the Australian Cattle dog who I met via Facebook (the friends not the dog, obviously). And drink tea and eat lots of cake probably.

And yes I am still travellingcoral. Travelling isn’t about visiting places and taking photos. It is is about how what happens and who you meet shape your life. The people I met on my trip are the lasting memories, strangers who became friends.The new friends in the UK, my mom’s illness and now her passing have and will continue to shape who I am. And may it never stop.

Friends. The one about Social Media

Over a year ago I blogged about how social media is a useful tool to keep in touch with friends. I was in Fowey and had hosted lunch for Cornish friends we had met in Turkey. Social media was the way we had kept in touch for a couple of years. Also at the lunch that day was a friend of my then 77 year old mom, they too had met in Turkey, and yes, kept in touch with via Facebook.

When I was travelling, being able to chat to my son on Christmas day via Facebook was one of the things that helped combat a rare, but extremely painful bout of homesickness. Indeed the iPad  was passed around the table and he had random conversations from our hosts family and friends.

Now back in the UK  Phil and I have stayed in contact with a few of the people we met on our travels. Through Facebook.

Barb and Pete who were brilliant hosts on Christmas day in Melbourne, who completely scuppered my Skipping Christmas plans.

Tim and Jo Ann in Wellington who we met in Northlands taking photos of this view. They casually suggested we could park on their property when were in Wellington before we crossed to the south Island. What they meant was, stay in our beautiful home and we will treat you to a slap up meal at Cocos, a film at The Roxy Cinema and a glimpse of all things Hobbiton, and a  few Oscars.  We are still pinching ourselves!

And of course the wonderfully warm and funny Sean and Kelly from the USA. Musical theatre as therapy in Thailand. Who knew? We saved a lot of babies on that trip and I did my fist duet in a karaoke bar because that Sean, he is bad!

And now I am reflecting a lot on what I was doing this time last year and how my life is now.

All the friends I have made since retuning home have all been via social media. Through twitter I met people living in my neighbourhood via #BearBeers. Though Facebook I met so many lovely people on The Bearwood Page, mainly because of the bid to become a Portas Pilot.  These are not just Facebook friends. They are real friends. I have been out for meals and drinks  with them, had fabulous dinner parties in their homes. Even had one to stay at my house during renovations in her own home.

I would not have met any of these people if it were not for Facebook.

The downside is that I have encountered some trolls. They are not my Facebook friends, just keyboard cowards with narrow lives who will never be at my dinner table.

Interestingly the ones who are now in my life have all travelled further than the end of the road. Taken risks with their lives. Have a bigger picture of the world. And like good food. A bit like me really.

And that is why I guess they are my friends.

#indielove

Today, because it was raining and the thought of being alone in a cold house all day, I decided to try out a couple of coffee shops that my friends rave about. I got into coffee in a big way in Melbourne and one place I visited set the bar very high so I can be um, hypercritical, and this was Mart130. Another place I love for brunch, not as faraway as Melbourne is Pinky Murphy’s in Fowey. Still not somewhere I can just pop out to though.

First stop was Yorks Bakery and Cafe. I have been there before so it’s not new to me. It is very New York lofty industrial style and the bread they bake there is truly wonderful. It was just gone 11.30 and they were winding up breakfast, so on the suggestion of the barista (who I think used to work at SixEight) I had a pulled pork roll with my small latte. Just under £8 is isn’t cheap but then I did stay there until 1.00. Also it was very cold in there, and I’m usually hot everywhere I go, so I was sitting near the door on one of the wettest Mondays that has caused flooding and train cancellations country wide. I could have moved seats I guess. I wish they did an all day brunch. The barista thinks so too!

Lots of suits in there over lunch time and I’ve been so out of the smart clothes loop, I’d forgotten that people wear ties to work and so many women in boring black suits. Shudder. No, I cannot go back to the corporate life. So seeking somewhere more me and wanting tea I went in search of Brewsmiths which claims it’s in the JQ. It is under a railway arch and I have to say while so less über cool than Yorks, I like it. I had my own armchair and coffee table, and tea and a bacon butty cost £3.20 which is a bargain. It’s cozy. It has bunting, books, magazines and music I like. I could move in.

The downside is that to get there from Snow Hill you have to go through an underpass. And they scare me. I had to use this one every day when I worked in Cornwall Street and there was a resident tramp, which bizarrely made me feel safe. He’s not there anymore.

Anyway. Another indie I have visited. If I lived or worked nearby I would come more often. So it’s back to Bearwood with frankly its poor choice of coffee shops with wifi and atmosphere. Sigh!

Facebook Friends

On Sunday we had a number of Facebook Friends visit us in Fowey.

My mother had arranged for her friend to come and see her while she was in the county for a wedding. Later on we were hosting lunch for Amy’s family.

Moms friend Lynne, lives in Scotland and wanted to introduce her new partner to mom and Stan.

The Hayters live in Liskeard. My family all live in Birmingham. We were all gathering in Fowey, having all met in Dalyan, Turkey. And we are all Facebook Friends.

Facebook gets a bad press, most red tops would have you believe that the only people use social media are 12 year olds posing seductively and perverts.

None of the above applies to us, I am happy to report.

Mom and I fell in love with Dalyan 11years ago and she has been a regular visitor. In 2008 she was out there and met Lynne and has continued to stay in touch via email and Facebook. My mom is 80 in December.

I visited Dalyan, with Phil and Tim, later that year. And we met Amy and her family. Tim stayed in touch with Amy and I stayed in touch with her mom.

When was a teenager I met people on holiday and occasionally we became pen pals. The world has changed and now we become Facebook Friends.

My house sit in Melbourne is a direct result of getting back in touch with a friend from university, yup, through Facebook.

I don’t have 3500 friends on Facebook, or even 500 followers on Twitter. I follow 437 on Twitter which is probably 400 more than is useful to me.

However these have all been valuable to me in my work, my social life and on my journey to becoming social media savvy.

And we had a lovely social Sunday, with real friends, thanks to social media.

Noise pollution in Fowey

Dear Cornwall Council

I am writing to complain about the levels of noise in Fowey. There isn’t any.

There is no traffic noise, no sirens, no loud music from cars, raised voices from late night revellers on the way back from the pub.

I also need to complain about the fact that there is no litter. Where is all the discarded packaging from fast food outlets. And why are there no plastic bags flapping in the trees?

The only flapping I can hear is the sails from the flotilla of yachts on the estuary. They disturb my reading activity. Can you make them stop?

I would also appreciate it if you could do something about the seagulls that wake me up every morning. I am forced me to get up and sit on the balcony in the sun watching the fishing boats because of their racket.

And while you are investigating these complaints, can you do something about the one or two cars a day that pass by on the street below please?

Thanking you in anticipation of a peaceful week in Fowey.

Yours sincerely

A very chilled out Coral

Cornwall – a proper family holiday

Before the round the world trip, I am having a short and hopefully a relaxing break in Fowey, Cornwall. From the sitting room, I have views across the estuary with the lights of Polruan reflected in the water.

I am here with my husband, Phil, our son, Tim, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, my mom, Sylvia, and her partner Stan.

We stayed in Fowey last September and had such a good time here, we have taken a house again for a week this year.

We plan to visit the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, sample some Cornish pasties and cream teas, and take Amy, who lives in Cornwall to the Minack theatre, one of the many places she has never visited.

Minack Theatre near Porthcurno, Cornwall, England
Image via Wikipedia

Hopefully I will get to post photos soon, this is an old iPad with no camera so they will uploaded next week on the PC.

And if you are reading this, bear with me during my blogging learning curve.