A spot of blackberrying

Saturday morning dawned and for the first time in a while, a downpour didn’t look imminent. After this summer, I have however modified my interpretation of imminent to “don’t think I will get wet in the next ten minutes or so”.

A friend from Kehelland was also early to rise and after ponderingĀ  a bike ride, we settled on a stroll over to Rosewarne for a little blackberrying. I’d noticed when last on a walk toTehidy that the hedgerows were ripe with plump blackberries and thought it’d be a shame to waste them all.

Perhaps it was the unprecedented sunshine; perhaps the competitive spirit; whichever it was, it was nearly three hours later that we found ourselves staggering back towards Treswithian, with tubs overflowing, juice-stained hands, bramble injuries and nettle-stung legs galore. A delicious crumble ensued that evening and the freezer is well-stocked for more treats as the weeks go on.

I fear this may turn into an obsession as now I can’t so much go for a run or a walk without noticing legions of blackberries waiting to be picked and hope to make the most of this bumper crop before the brambles start to wither as autumn draws in.

I’ve noticed a couple of mature gentlemen out blackberrying since, but no young uns, I hope that now I have relinquished my position as the youngest Town Councillor that I am not the youngest blackberryer in Camborne!

Cornwall staycation – Day 6

There’s only one way to ease into the day after Polling Day: slowly! The initial jump out of bed was more of a gentle, stiff roll as I guess-timated how many of my muscles were no longer operative.

After some restorative newspaper-in-bed-reading, I hauled myself to the gym at Carn Brea for an hour of stretching exercises in a bid to get some semblance of mobility back. A sauna and a shower afterwards and I felt ready for some more reading and a bit of the athletics on the telly.

Then it was off to Truro for some celebratory grub and a few cocktails with the newly-elected Councillor Hayley Waller and the campaign team. We are all looking forward to working with Hayley and I’m sure Steve Leverton will keep up his community work round Camborne.

Cornwall staycation – Day 5

The first day of my staycation upon which I had to set my alarm – had to happen again at some point! As it was for the distinctly unappealing time of 05.30am, I did take the precaution of setting my phone alarm as well as the digital bedside clock.

After dousing my face liberally with water and shovelling some muesli down, it was off to the Lib Dem office to grab several hundred leaflets to deliver across Camborne North and Camborne South for the Camborne Town Council double by election.

The weather was “refreshing”, to put it politely. After about 3 hours of being soaked, I did give in and popped home to change into something dry.

A quick breakfast in Wilson’s and it was back out to knock on doors and introduce our two great candidates. For the remaining 12 hours! Residents were welcoming on the doorsteps and it was lovely to see that in a relatively short space of campaigning time, Steve Leverton and Hayley Waller had got to know many local people and helped them out with some community issues already.

Must give a special mention to the very wonderful Camborne Deli: one of its splendid giant filled baps saw me (and Steve Leverton) through the afternoon.

With weary legs we made our way to the count at close of polls at 10pm. It was great news with the first result, as Hayley Waller was duly returned as the new ward member for Camborne North. I was no longer the youngest member of the Town Council!

Sadly, Steve Leverton just missed out to the Conservative candidate in Camborne South. An adverse result is always disappointing, especially as Steve worked so hard. Despite Labour failing so miserably at running the country, not bothering to deliver any leaflets or do any work for this by election, the Labour vote share in Camborne South would have easily tipped the ballot in Steve’s favour had the Labour Party not put a candidate’s name on the ballot paper, apparently just for the sake of it. I hope Labour is pleased that there is now a Conservative councillor, directly as a result of their decision to field a candidate whom the Party had no intention of backing or campaigning for.

Shortly before midnight, it was time to wend my way back to Penponds for a very long and well-deserved sleep.

Cornwall staycation – Day 4

Another relatively grey day, but no matter as the morning had been set aside for a lie in and a haircut and colour. As usual my hairdresser was running late and I had forgotten to take any money out if the bank. Nothing changes!

A couple of hours later, with my barnet shorter and blonder, I popped into Camborne to buy a spot of lunch, before the rigours of campaigning for the following days Town Council by election called.

This year, Cornwall Netball has trialled a summer league on Wednesday nights. It’s been good fun and the cool air outdoors is certainly better at keeping you cool on court. We’ve had the opportunity to play against teams from higher divisions and pick up training tips before we go back indoors.

After a nice soak in the bath, it was time to conjure up the illusion of a balmy summers evening again, relaxing in the garden with friends and family.

Cornwall staycation – Day 3

Day 3 was set aside for some quality time with friends and family.

It was down to St Ives first of all, to visit Nan again. When arriving back at home, I was a little surprised to see two gentleman standing outside photographing my house! This actually turned into a delightful interlude however.

The two men had known my great aunt and uncle many years before, when my Uncle Joe was their Sunday School teacher. We swapped memories and it was really nice to be able to pass their regards on to my Aunty Thora when I visited her that afternoon. I was pleased to let the walkers know about an historic walk of Camborne next Tuesday (25th), which will be led by the wonderful David Thomas.

It was fitness time next, with an hour of personal training, followed by some delivery for the by election, followed by a session in my friend’s gym. Phew!

After all that, it was certainly going to need to be a relaxing evening, with some friends, wine and nibbles as the sun set over Penponds. Having a staycation may not be quite as hot as flying abroad, but there’s certainly something pretty quaint about padding into the sitting room to fetch a blanket and some candles when the dusk sets a chill to the air.

Cornwall staycation – Day 2

Day 2 of my staycation dawned just as my contented dreams the night before had hoped. The golden August sunshine streamed in through my bedroom window of my Penponds cottage and I rolled out of bed with a spring in my step.

Sadly, no sooner had I washed my face and eaten my muesli, than a rather inhospitable dark cloud had appeared. Undeterred, I decided to pop in to Camborne to fetch my groceries. During my shopping trip, particularly when I was inside shops, the crisp sunshine blazed again.

Almost simultaneous with me finishing unpacking my goods and grabbing my beach bag, was the reappearance of the black cloud. I headed off to Hayle nonetheless and stretched out on a small part of it’s three miles of beautiful golden sands.

Alas the simple pleasure of reading a magazine whilst trailing your fingers and toes through the sand was short-lived and when I exhausted my supply of smaller layers I did retreat from the beach. It was plenty warm enough for a lovely long walk down through the towans and out as far as the millpond ropewalk, before heading back home.

The evening was a girlie one, with my sister and I hitting the gym at Carn Brea, followed by dancing the night away in Newquay. The town has suffered some bad press recently, but I found Berties nightclub to be warm,welcoming, very clean and with friendly staff. Then it was back home in bed to recharge for day 3 of my Cornwall staycation.

Cornwall staycation – Day 1

The newspaper travel supplements have been filled with tales of “staycations” this year. As people are tightening their belts during the recession, it seems the trend is to holiday in Britain, instead of abroad.

Not to mention all the carbon emissions this is saving, it also gives us a chance to appreciate our own area. For my week of annual leave, I’ll be updating you daily on what I did the day before on my very own Cornwall Staycation. I’m looking forward to enjoying the simple things in life and appreciating attractions and activities which I normally never have time for.

Day 1 was a Sunday, which after a pleasant morning jog up to town to the cashpoint and back, meant picking Ma Pascoe up to take her for a delicious roast lunch at the Tyringham Arms. We went on to visit my Nan, who sadly isn’t too well at the moment. It was nice to see her sleeping peacefully and to spend some time with her.

On the way home, we called in at Dee’s Farm Shop on the old St Ives road. Lovely little wooden shed of a farm shop, with an amazing amount of local and ethically-produced products crammed inside. I’m looking forward to indulging my penchant for poached eggs with the box of Kehelland-laid beauties that I picked up there. For the fishers amongst you, there is a very picturesque pond in the grounds, across which ducks swim in regal formation.

I then spent the next couple of hours sweating, as I collected some patio furniture (an important accessory for any self-respecting staycationer), squeezed in a quick swim at Carn Brea and leapt about at my friend’s garage gym.

In anticipation of a few busy days of staycational gallivanting, I caught up with a few chores at home whilst the bathwater heated up, lounged on said patio furniture with The Observer and then did the face mask/body scrub/moisturising girly thing, with a mixture of products from Glamour and Glitz and REN.

This left just enough time to curl up with Jack Bauer in the feature-length pre-season 7 episode of 24 and then enjoy a relatively early night. Do pop back to discover how Day 2 of the staycation goes along…

The Big Lunch

Some of the best occasions and events are those which one comes across by chance or by accident. Certainly a walk round Penponds, Barripper and Kehelland (before the weather became disagreeable) heralded many joys, from homegrown fruit, vegetables and flowers for sale on garden walls, to adverts for coffee mornings taped to lamp-posts.

Dodging the rain for my favourite forty minute Penponds-Barripper circular stroll earlier this week, I saw the posters for Barripper Big Lunch. It’ll be taking place this Sunday, July 19th, in the clearing behind Barripper Chapel.

A simple but friendly premise, the Big Lunches are taking place to promote community spirit, getting to know your neighbours over some shared food and chatter. You can find out more about the project and your nearest big lunch at www.thebiglunch.com. Hope to see you at the Barripper Big Lunch on Sunday at 12!

The Penponds Pirate!

Taking a break from campaigning today I was reading the Penponds Parish Church magazine.

They’ve got lots of exciting community events planned for the coming months, but the one that really caught my eye was the Penponds Pirate Competition!

Entrants must make a pirate and display it in their garden week beginning July 13th, not forgetting to let the church know so that the judges can come along and take a look.

I’m sure all the different efforts will bring a smile to the face of local residents and those passing through the village.

Community Prayer Week at St Martin and St Meriadoc Church

I popped in to Camborne Parish Church this morning to support their Community Prayer Week. Volunteers will be staffing the church so that it can be open 24/7 this week, for local people to drop in, take a look at the community displays and reflect on things.

The church has gone to a lot of effort to operate this week, and you can spend time in different areas, learning about help/support organisations andĀ leisure activities in Camborne, as well as taking time to pray for your neighbours and your community if you wish.

Well done to the Revd Mike Firbank and all of the staff and volunteers at the church for their hard work in arranging this week.