February: the month we received the keys to our new home in our new county one year ago. To celebrate we went for lunch at a Rick Stein restaurant (he of Padstein reputation), in Porthleven a lovely little fishing village on the south coast near Helston. Fortunately during the winter months we get some decent foodie discounts so we have decided to indulge ourselves once a few times a month.

It has been a funny old month, some days the temperature has been in the teens and with a gentle breeze it has almost felt like spring is already here. Then overnight it has become colder (though never much lower than 6°C) and the wind rips through you like a hot knife through butter. Alternating with a dense fog. Oh, and a four hour long power cut one evening; reading by candle-light is not easy! Luckily we have a wood burner so could at least keep warm! It took both of us back to the early ’70s when there used to be frequent power-cuts and I remember my mother having a hoard of candles in her pantry!

On one of the nicer days I made the cross-country trip to the Helford River and visited one of my favourite Cornish gardens, Trebah. Once owned by the Fox family (as indeed was the next-door garden of Glendurgan) the garden is open all year round and I was keen to see what, if anything, was flowering. Predominately a spring garden, nonetheless there is something of interest all year round. The Fox family had a shipping agency and many exotic plants were brought here on packet ships.

What there wasn’t in the way of flowers was made up by the many textures and shades of green in the garden. From the yellow bamboo stems, the fresh green shoots and bright green moss to the dark teal green of the ponds.

trebah-5

Plus the intoxicating smell of Christmas Box (Sarcococca confusa) around Alice’s Seat, lots of snowdrops, hellebores and the start of Trebah’s collection of over 500 camellias. Having seen the vast number of Narcissi in bud I shall have to visit again in the next few weeks.

Also at the bottom of the garden you get lovely views across the Helford River and towards the eastern side of the Lizard peninsula.

helford-river

On the way home I managed to get lost on the narrow country roads, attempting to do a short-cut. That’s one problem about living down here, short-cuts invariably lead to a longer drive as I balk at some of the narrow lanes my SatNav, the lovely Florence, tries to send me down.

p2080199
Moon and the Carn Brea Mast which is the TV mast for West Cornwall

Anyway in this case it was fortuitous as I passed by the Great Flat Lode trail and Carn Brea, which looks like a giant discarded chess piece on the top of a hill.

carn-brea

Seeing the ruins of Wheal Frances by the side of the road I took the opportunity to pull into a car park conveniently close to where I stopped to take a photo of Carn Brea. Unfortunately the site appears to be a favourite with dog walkers (at least three cars pulled up with dogs in them in the 10 minutes or so that I was there) and some owners do not bother to clean up after their pets.

wheal-francis

Valentine’s Day saw me in Truro which I reached by using one of the county’s new Tinner buses due to my car having her annual service. What started out as a morning shrouded in fog gave way to clear blue skies even whilst I was waiting for the bus down in Hayle.

copperhouse-pool-4
View of the Copperhouse Pool whilst waiting for the bus

The isolation of our property is disadvantageous at these times as we cannot easily get home either by foot or public transport. The Tinner buses, a shiny new fleet of red double deckers, have free wi-fi access and USB charge points (I have to wonder how long they will last before being damaged) and panels inside with simple Cornish language phrases. #whatscornishfor. Yes, Cornwall is one of those places that has a minority language along with Welsh, Scots, Ulster Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Manx Gaelic. As I was pretty hopeless at learning much Welsh despite living on the border I’m quite sure I won’t become a fluent Cornish speaker either.

p2140141

By the time I reached Truro (1 hour and 20 minutes in case you were wondering) the sky was cornflower blue and it was warm enough to discard the scarf. I wanted to re-visit the cathedral as I wasn’t very impressed on my visit a couple of years ago, and after my history trip up the eastern side of the country visiting several cathedrals along the way I felt I owed it another chance. Then, after a well needed haircut, I spent a couple of hours wandering the streets in the city (Cornwall’s only city) looking for interesting things to photograph. I don’t find Truro that exciting, especially in an architectural way, but a few odd things caught my eye which I will show in a separate post.

On the way home
On the way home

Finally the month wouldn’t be complete without a look in my garden. The dairy herd are back in the fields now, sheep and bulls are across the lane and daffodils dance in the hedgerows. The fieldfares are still performing their acrobatic dances in the sky and colour is returning to the neighbourhood.

The Swarm
The Swarm

And this is my 100th post on my new site!

Dha weles diwettha! (See you later!)

The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2017 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Read his blog for the new rules this year (he is running two versions) and to view his interpretation and those of other participants.

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46 thoughts on “Monthly Photo Challenge: February

  1. You managed to make a lot out of one of our least-attractive months, Jude. The south-west came good for you too. I remember being dragged around Truro as a child on holiday, and finding it very dull. I used to prefer Falmouth back then.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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  2. A great month, and happy anniversary. Doesn’t seem like a year. I rally enjoy these month digests. I love the colour in your garden – we’re budding frantically here, and daffodil spears are appearing out of the mud from snow melt. I love the photo of the church spies and the pink and blue houses. (Rick Stein has a restaurant at Mollymook just up the coast from me.) May March erupt into spring.

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  3. Happy Anniversary, Jude and congratulations on #100 🙂

    February in your corner of the world looks so much livelier than here. I envy the bursts of colour you are already seeing. Loved the photo of the ruins!

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    1. The true anniversary of the move is 31 March, but it was a year ago that we came down and collected the keys and paid all our wordly savings over to the solicitor! It was wet, it was cold and it was very muddy. Camping out wasn’t too much fun, getting too old for blow-up beds, but we had finally made it down here!!

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      1. Almost finished. Hubby has just about done with the exterior painting and we’re waiting for the permit to come through for the new screen room. It’s really looking great. He did a fantastic job. It’s unrecognisable from what it looked like before.

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  4. Such a beautiful area you live in Jude. I spent a few hours in the woods near our home a few weeks ago. Even in winter, it is incredible the colour Mother Nature presents to us if we just open our eyes to see them!

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  5. I wondered if you’d do a post on Truro cathedral. I’ve only been to the city a couple of times and one popped into the cathedral. I remember being distinctly underwhelmed, bit it might have been the company. Florence is a nice name, my car is Mitzy and her predecessor was Violet Elizabeth!

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    1. Violet Elizabeth is a bit of a mouthful! Florence is the SatNav – the car is Elsie. Her predecessor was Smurf and before that George! I did find some nice bits in the cathedral 🙂

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  6. And you said Polish was tricky! 🙂 🙂 Congrats on the near anniversary, and that just gives you an excuse to celebrate again this month. 🙂 Funnily, the photo I like best is the moon and the mast. Such a gentle, pretty world you now inhabit, Jude.

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