Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Cold old start to the 2018 year

It has been a cold and wet start to the year, with plenty of challenges trying to ensure the sheep and horses all have some grazing and are not in too much mud!
I am sure it is the same over most of the UK and probably our friends in Europe are struggling too with the wet, but life is full of challenges, whether you live in the city or in the countryside, some of them are very different......mud may not be high on the list of problems in the city......but keeping cheerful and warm, when life is a little challenging, is a problem wherever you live. So I hope all our potential campers are keeping both cheerful and warm.....
...and making the most of any views they can get - to 'keep the soul happy' - when the sun does come out and the rain stays away. Here I am, on a quick lunch-break in the car.... no more perfect a place to live than Cornwall!
Hens have been out having a 'perfect' dust bath underneath the steps to the compost toilet too.
For a short time they are having to share with the Pomeranian and the Call Ducks. Mr Fox came a calling yesterday and picked off one of the Pomeranian ducks for tea, so in an effort to keep them alive I have moved them to the reservoir garden with the hens. Last time I did this they just flew and waddled right back to their sheds at the top of the long field. 
So today they will have to share in the little pen and sleep in a different hut adjacent to it, in the hope that tomorrow if I let them out, they will be content to remain in their 'new home' which is closer to me and hopefully further away from the hungry fox.
My new year's resolution was to try and live off-grid in the new cabin for the campsite manager, to see how it works, in preparation for being on-site for the camping season. I like to set myself a challenge. No point waiting for the season and finding it doesn't work as an option. It also sounded like a bit of fun.
I am adapting! It can be a little cold first thing in the morning - because the cabin has no insulation - a chilly 4-6 degrees sometimes, approximately 1 degree more than the outside temperature, but no wind chill factor. However, my Nautipod stove
is AMAZING and so worth every penny spent on it.
Let me introduce Nelly! Not only does she look gorgeous, but she is bonzer to cook on: chilli, stir-fry, toast, eggs, omelette, pasta, rice (she cannot do a sunday roast but I can go back to the cottage for that) and she can get the cabin from 6 degrees to an almost ambient 12 degrees by the time I have finished the first cup of tea!  And when I am in the cabin working, she will keep me in a lovely 16 degree environment, which is perfect. (She will also take me to a high of 20 degrees, but to be honest that is too warm and I have to start peeling layers off then).
Welcome to my tackroom and campsite manager's office.

I do cheat a bit. It is too cold at the moment to use the outdoor gas heated shower - or one could argue that I am not hardy enough - either way, the cottage is just fine for showering and laundry.

The cabin brings me really close to nature and it's rhythm. I love hearing the sound of the rain and feeling the wind 'rock' the cabin. When the gusts are up to 46mph I worried a little initially, but since I have not been 'blown away'- like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz - I now just ride them out and enjoy the movement from nature. The cabin is almost like being in a tent, but not!
Here's a 'view from the loo'.

Bookings are beginning to come in for the coming camping season and I look forward to the weather improving so that the garden can be tidied in preparation for campers from Easter. Meanwhile, when I can, I am on my usual beast on the beach ensuring a picture to keep the bloggers happy!

Welcome to 2018.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2018

Happy New Year to all bloggers, all those who have camped with us in 2017 and all those hoping to camp with us in 2018.

I have been decidedly 'slack' on the blogging and twitter front in 2017, lots of excuses and not really any, so my new year's resolution is to do better in 2018!

As a quick 2017 resume then, our camping season was fairly strictly based around the school holidays. Families and children were our predominant guests for the first 3 weeks and it was lovely to be really family friendly. We only have 6-8 pitches at any one time, so we keep the site small but roomy, which is just as well, because 2017 saw some enormous tents for some relatively small families - which has caused me to rethink tariffs for 2018 - more of that in another blog.
Couples and groups of friends favoured us for the rest of the holidays with a Duke of Edinburgh group and several people en route to the Isles of Scilly, using us as a stop off point.
There were a few additions to the site this year, we built a small cabin for the campsite manager to be on hand for 'meeting and greeting' in 2017, which doubled as a shady spot for the hot labrador!
The cabin also provided a comfy and 'cooling' den for the nephews to read and relax, whilst their parents took down the tent and packed up the car.
Next year, the plan is to rent out the campsite cabin with bunkbeds for two, as an alternative to sleeping in a tent.
There were a few new is one..............not mine, it belongs to the fourteen year old
this one is mine, although most of the time it is commendeered by the boys in my team......
As always the weather was variable, with our fair share of the wet stuff, which I have to say has continued into the 2017 autumn and winter - as can be seen from this winter picture of the ride-on lawnmower 'toy'! Fortunately, we also had an equal amount of sunshine, enough to keep us smiling and walking and cycling and swimming and surfing and horseriding and paddleboarding, lying on a beach and eating icecream and so on.  And on a sunny day, this is the sort of view you can expect on a cliff walk on the southern coastal path from Porthgwarra.
You can swim in a crystal clear pool through a chasm in the cliffs.....with or without the dog. Wonderful!
wander along gorse and heather footpaths
Look for creatures and faces in the rocks and stones, this cliff even looks like an Easter Island face.
And as a project to keep us busy over the autumn and winter, we have created...
with hard work and diligence and a lot of manpower from the dedicated campsite team
a slightly bigger cabin, for tack and 'tat' and the campsite manager to do more meeting and greeting...............
Despite all the hardwork from the boys and all the varnishing, varnishing and more varnishing that she needed to complete, it was necessary for the campsite manager, as always to ensure the equine was exercised - all work, no play makes Jill a very dull girl after all -
More recently it has been the season to be jolly, so a little christmas shopping in St Ives was required
.....not a bad place to christmas shop? Actually it is am amazing place for festive shopping.
And then there are the lights of Mousehole to enjoy and Tom Bawcock's Eve to dance and jig at
and not forgetting the homemade mince pies
and the festive winter walk on a beach....Sennen
Happy New year everyone....see you in 2018!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Golowan and Mazey Day 24th June

The month of June brought a couple of 'pop-up' campers, just dropping in, either hot and weary and looking for a shower and a quiet campsite, or looking for the beautiful agapanthus' fields that border us.
Despite not really being open until July, we have not turned them away, we love 'providing' for weary travellers!
And an email from some hopeful campers who stayed with us last year and once again were visiting Cornwall for Mazey Day prompted us to open for part of the Golowan week.....what a good idea!

Love Mazey Day, with its giant sculptures and bands and market stalls and music on every street corner and food galore! Perfect. And this year was no exception.
June also indulged me in a little tourist tripping..... I visited the Tate in St Ives and loved their present display of pottery and ceramics

That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today

and surprised myself by finding a "WOW" factor in the ocean facing gallery with

Jessica Warboys
large scale tip though, would be to enter the gallery the opposite way to how you are signposted, for the wow factor.
Another wow factor, but more of a slow-mo WO-OW was visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum.
It was my first time visiting and I immediately asked myself the question "how I had not managed to visited before?" What a tranquil space. Both the garden itself and the combination of garden and sculptures are just a delight to dally in. It was a beautiful sunny day when I visited and had I not been hungry and in need of some scrumptious St Ives food, I could have stayed there all day!

I am not sure what Barbara intended with these sculptures, but they remind me so much of the Merry Maidens and the Piper stones.

Here are the real Merry Maidens, dancing on the Sabbath.

The sunshine in June was unparallelled, it was hot and blue and sunny and impossible not to spend some time on the beaches, here are some of my favourite pictures from Pednavounder, across to Porthcurno

and across to Logan Rock
and from the coastal path above Treen beach

Even treated myself to some cliff walks, past Porthchapel beach
and along the headland

It has been a lovely month to remind myself how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful part of Cornwall and the UK, but if walking is not really your 'thing', there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the cornish coast and countryside, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, cycling whether road or mountain biking and motorbiking ofcourse, the north coast road from St Ives to St Just and beyond is just awesome. And ofcourse there is horseriding! Our campsite has a very local riding stables, as seen through-the-ears-of-a-horse, just a short ride or car journey along the lane to Tremenheere.
At home, we have been tending our sheep and poultry....the garden is still a little wild, but is on my agenda for August and I managed to catch a family of pheasants, including a chick, if you look closely enough, benefiting from the chicken corn!
A good month and a good omen for the rest of the summer I believe. Bookings are beginning to fill our pages in the campsite diary and we are getting excited about meeting new and returning campers, so let me welcome you to Cornwall. See you soon!