• Britain

    Catalogue for the Dandy Traveller

    First of all, a big cheery hello to you all. I have missed you so. This being such an addiction and all that thrown into the miss-you mixture. It was bank holiday and our itchy feet took us north into Yorkshire, into heart of the green dales which you have been introduced to in my posts Up and Down the Yorkshire Dales and Crackpot Hall on the Dales. Three days of walking did wonders for our souls. There’s nothing like a spot of walking, meeting strangers, exchanging random notes – often about furry mates because the Englishman and his dog shall not be parted – then sitting in a pub with a…

  • Britain

    Portloe

    Atop the cliffs of the Roseland Peninsula, I sit on the ledge with the wind in my hair and  the Celtic Sea below me. Had I taken a few hefty steps back in time to let’s say the mid 1800s, I would have peered and spied upon smugglers at work. And wondered if I might claim a share of their loot of French brandy. That is the kind of contraband these smugglers – who doubled up as fishermen –  stored in the cellars of their farmhouses in the village of Portloe. The scene was serious here on the Roseland Peninsula so much so that Customs had to maintain a strict watch here. I…

  • Britain

    Giants and Saints of St. Michael's Mount

    On an April noon when an army of clouds invaded the blue sky and cast a black and silver sheen upon the landscape, we arrived in Marazion. Captivated by its name the first time I visited it about four years ago, I fell in love with the ancient market town. You will see why, by and by. Before I gather steam, here’s a brief note. If you are in Mousehole, Marazion is just a few miles away. Marazion has a ringside view of a fairy-tale island that juts out of the Celtic Sea – St. Michael’s Mount (the silhouetted rocky outcrop you see above). The tidal island is a sister counterpart of St. Mont Michel in…

  • Britain

    Sea, Salts and Sail in Mousehole

    In the fishing village of Mousehole in West Cornwall which falls understandably within the Cornish area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) zone, a maritime festival takes place every two years from which I have culled the title for this post. A photographer called Paul Massey (poor thing shares his name with an English criminal gunned down in 2015) describes it as an incomparable experience. He notes: ‘To watch as the harbour slowly fills with wooden boats is almost akin to time travel. It reminds me of the old sepia postcards showing the Mousehole fleet of fishing luggers lying abreast, hauling canvas and pulling on cordage. The sights, sounds, and smells all…

  • Britain

    Slow Monday

    Getting back home never fails to cheer me up. We have been away for 10 days and no matter how beautiful the holiday was, the cream teas luscious, the pasties tummy enlarging, and the fish and chips oily and sinful, but the comforts of home are matter for verse. Only if I start writing verse, it would veer into nonsense verse. Monday has been creeping along at a snail’s pace but in an interesting way. What could have happened in the matter of half a day, right? To start with, I have realised that Northampton postmen are a class apart. I sent a postcard to the lovely Cheila because she started a postcard/letter exchange idea with…

  • Britain

    Dons of Padstow

    The gulls rule Padstow. Well, they rule the roost in most coastal villages, but in this north Cornish town they stomp across the road, stake their claim upon neglected morsels of food and they stand right above your head, swooping up and down till they have almost lifted off scalps, or some chips, please. I saw one gull fearlessly walk up to a man who was eating his fish and chips with the family by a chippy and make a go for some unforgotten chips lying on the ground. That brave man took him on. He cast gimlet eyes upon that gull, reached his foot out and stepped it firmly upon the…

  • Britain,  Travel

    Meeting Alastair in Polruan

    I am a glutton, yes, as all of you know by now, and unashamedly so. But the lead photo is naught to do with my glutton genes. The point of the photo is that apart from emphasising our love for fish and chips on holidays (let’s get fat fast), in the background is Alastair. After our walk in the Cornish Woods we fell upon our plates with ravenous appetites, eyes goggling at the sight of food. Hours of walking through the woods and sudden steep stretches can do that to you. A middle-aged man with a shock of white hair entered the pub through its dwarfish door and asked for a half-pint of ale.…

  • Britain

    A Walk in the Cornish Woods

    I am knackered and I have a suspicion. I am on my way to turning into a hefty Cornish cow. A thought fuelled by a steady two-day diet of scones, pasties, tarts, full-fat ice creams, butter biscuits and onion rings. Is it possible that the waistband of the jeans can scream out for temperance within a short span of time? These are grave times. The scoffing has been going especially strong after steep climbs through woods in the heart of Daphne du Maurier country. Our walk started in the fishing village of Bodinnick where the author of Rebecca lived with her mother and sisters – after they had left behind their…

  • Britain

    Frisky Border Collies and Cornish Byres

    The weekend has started on a yellow note in the early hours of the morning. Getting up at 4am and witnessing dawn is Early for me. My father would faint (with delight) if he saw such changes in a daughter who has always nursed a penchant for sleeping like Kumbhakarna. Who might you ask, with a frown? K is a rakshasa straight out of the Indian epic Ramayana. If you have not heard of him, he is part of a saga that runs through the ream of bedtime stories reserved for every Indian child. A rakshasa is a man-eater. What I have in common with K, I am relieved to say, is just a passion for…

  • Britain

    Up and Down the Yorkshire Dales

    The countryside has zero pretensions. None of the glitz, glamour, competitiveness or fatuous claims that is part of our daily lives are to be found in the country – unless you are a recluse who is pretty much done with the frivolities of life, and have therefore retired in the bosom of the country, where your life is about communion with nature. Nature is insidious, isn’t she? She will make her way into your heart with sheer smoothness. Each country escape is a reinforcement of that thought. We met an old couple at a tearoom in the village of Muker after the long walk to Crackpot Hall. The man was the spitting…