Monday, February 17, 2014


The new header is rather drear, but I look forward to going to Cornwall in April, and this view will be seen from the cottage we have taken for this holiday.  My first reaction to the village of Minions as I looked out of the pub bedroom window was an inward 'wow', rain was streaming down with that slight mistiness that comes with gray rocks and moors, and in the far distance I saw an engine house clinging to the side of a hill. Surreal was my first thought, like some apocalyptic scene from the end of the world, these tall austere buildings, set in a bleak lonely landscape, had housed the mechanics for the extraction of tin, they amazed me with their ugliness, I still do not know how they worked, but can feel the distant past of hard work embedded in their bricks.

I know other landscapes, the soft gentle hills of Somerset, the chalk lands of Wiltshire, Wales with its rivers  and the beautiful Yorkshire valleys which always make me catch my breath.  Bodmin Moor does not fit easily into any characteristic beautiful view, the tors  look like some drunken giant has placed pebbles on top of each other in a childish manner without much thought, great rocks balanced precariously on each other.

I want to go back and wander round the great stone circle at The Hurlers, but all I remember is the gray mistiness and the squelch of water underneath my feet, the mares hiding their foals under the gorse whilst they slept,  The paths leading further on into the moors, the quarry filled with water where people swam in summer, the almost vanished stone circle somewhere....

Looking at houses in Cornwall on the net, and the first thing that strikes you is that everyone either uses oil or LPG gas for heating, expensive at the best of times.  Wood burners adorn sitting rooms, and an aga or rayburn the kitchens, so perhaps if you live by a town and mains gas is on offer you are alright but the countryside offers a different option.  What excites me about Cornwall, is the adventure that beckons, reading and finding out about its history.  The first thing I note from the websites I follow, is a strong nationalism, if Cornwall could cut itself off from the rest of England, there would be quite a few happy people, this slightly worries me, Scotland is getting into hot water over wanting to be independent and is being strong armed both by Europe and Osborne into giving up the idea. 
Resentment of 'incomers' must surely be part of the 'native' viewpoint, I am never sure how to take that, movement of people means movement of money, but by the same token house prices become too dear for the young.  One day we shall stop living off what I can only describe as the inflated price of our houses, and price them at a more reasonable level for everyone, though sadly a socialist viewpoint of caring for all the people and not just the few seems a long way off.
The header photo is showing the Heritage Centre, rather badly signposted, we sheltered behind its wall one day out of the wind, only for LS to go up and discover what was happening inside so we were grateful for its warmth. 

Industrial heritage


  1. I love the new header - what a fantastic building. I'd love to live in it! I'm afraid moorland is very much my idea of a beautiful view; Bodmin, Dartmoor, Scotland or anywhere supposedly bleak. When I watch programmes (am I the only person who spells it this way?) where people are buying properties, I'm always amazed at what is considered a great view. Perhaps I'm spoilt.

    We can't afford oil or LPG and it is extremely hard work chopping all the wood but we worked out that we probably spend around £700 a year on fuel as opposed to the £2-3,000 it would be in oil, at least. That's a very conservative estimate too given how bad the weather is up here. We were made very welcome when we moved into an ex-council house when we first moved down here, but we made a huge effort to be friendly to what was a very aged population in the estate and I guess we're not pushy and ostentatious people. Even though we've been here 12 years now, we'll never be considered local, but it's getting easier! I think the economic divide in Cornwall is even worse than that in Cornwall which helps a bit. i'll stop rambling now Thelma - sorry! Back to my ironing pile. Sigh.

  2. Replies
    1. Lots of information there Em, thanks. I had seen your £2000/£3000 oil bill elsewhere so that is no great shock, just we won't be heading for oil heating on our respective pensions ;) and I note what you say about being incomers, but probably that is power for the course anywhere you move in this country.
      Your Dartmoor is beautiful, though given to retaining lots of water ;) and of course Bodmin is similar but I think it has more settlements on it....will go on house hunting, trouble is they come on the market then disappear very quickly.

  3. Love the header Thelma - it is such an interesting house.