Saturday, June 27, 2015

England 2015: Day 2--Pencarrow House & Gardens in Cornwall

Day 1 of my week's birthday trip to England was a breeze because, was a short day.  I told you each consecutive day would be longer.  But at this pace, I may just finish the trip before g'son Nicholas arrives on July 17th!

So, moving right along....

Lisl and I got up bright and early on Tuesday, 16 June, to take the train from Westbury Station, Wiltshire, to Cornwall, where we would spend two nights with Pauline, a long-time friend of Lisl's and another Shutterchancer.

How many times have I told you I love the trains of Europe!

And the longer the ride the better.  This one was 3.5 hours,
with enough time to have a bacon-buttie elevenses.

See how close we came to the coast?

There were spots when we were right at the water.
In fact, last year the heavy rains actually covered the tracks!
I especially felt lucky to get the Pegasus vane in focus passing by!

By the time we got to St. Austell, we both had taken photos and enjoyed the sun.

Pauline met us in St. Austell and drove us to her home nearby where we got settled for our stay.

Back at the end of her yard near the shed are her gorgeous chickens.
You'd swear they were her children by how much she loves them.  Seriously.
And guess what!  I never once heard them crowing the two nights/mornings I was there.

 Here's a sampling of the scads of flowers all over Pauline's yard,
preparing me for what was yet to come.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

We spent the afternoon at the Pencarrow House and Gardens in Bodmin, 30 minutes away.

 We weren't there to visit the house but to walk the land and see the gardens.
From the house there's a one-mile walk down the carriage drive to the iron age hillfort.

The closer we got, the trees whispered to us and drew us in.

By the time we got to the hillfort, we luxuriated in the strong energy of the area.
The banks and ditches aren't archeologically excavated but go back to the 3rd-1st centuries BC.
The ladies knew I wanted "old" and old I got!

And while walking along, I also got flowers!

These weren't in gardens, mind you.  They mostly just lined the road,
both coming and going back to the house and the Peacock Café.

It was time for an English afternoon tea when we got back to the house,
but what I didn't know was that the ladies had planned a proper Cornish CREAM  tea for me,
with candles, no less, for my 70th birthday.  I'm actually welled up with tears in that above photo.
A cream tea, in case you're clueless (as I was), is tea with scones smothered in clotted cream and jam!

And that's where we saw the peacock and hen, strutting their stuff.

After tea, we headed off to the small lake on the other side of the house, 
passing the largest Cornish cross of its type, found in a hedge at Trescowe ca. 1870.

Cows were off in the fields along the way, caught by my 1200mm lens, thankfully.

 But it was the wee lake, covered with lily pads, that became a long resting place for us.
All 3 of us walked around, sat, and absorbed Mother Nature.

Even the flowers there seemed different.

We didn't see any foxes but the weathervane of the Pencarrow house was a treat,
in shadow and in sun.

What a way to start a 3-day stay in Cornwall!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I can't leave this post without a shout-out to the SCOTUS decision yesterday,
ruling that Marriage Equality is now the rule of the land nationwide in the USA.
I'll never forget the date:  26 June 2015.
My mom would have turned 99 were she still alive.
And it's still my birth month, celebrating my 70th birthday.

It happened in my lifetime, Folks!


  1. That is quite the train ride, looks very comfortable. And look at that weather, don't they always say, you get what you deserve?? Great pictures, those trees, who would have thought 'this is England'.... Those flowers, everything. Meeting Pauline looks like great fun and one day you and I will spend the weekend with her and her husband. The celebration with the candles and the scones and clotted cream...70 years young, who would have thought that this year would be a special year. Yes, on the Marriage Equality.... finally. A wonderful post, I love your pictures, you did a great job of making another memory to keep. IHVJ

    1. The only thing missing that day was YOU! But, yes, Pauline wants us both to visit her and Chris one day...and we will. You will love that part of England! Thank you, my biggest Fan Clubber. :)

  2. Really splendid, Boots! It seems that I only have superlatives for your posts. But with such a life and seeing such things, how can I help it?

    I'm elated with you about the SCOTUS ruling, as you know!

    1. It's hard to get better than what we see in England or the Netherlands, Ruth...and the rest of Europe. It's a treasure trove of wealth, isn't it! Thanks.

      And thank you for being so "there" with us throughout this Marriage Equality struggle. FINALLY. But I'm still pinching myself.

  3. Your second day in England looks fabulous and it looks like you had good weather to enjoy your day. What did you think about the cream tea?

    1. Each consecutive day just got better and better, Cherry. And because I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE scones and clotted cream, I was in heaven with the cream tea!

  4. Well it's kinda hard to get passed that bacon buttie thingie!! And then there's those trees...and those amazing looking scones...and all that beautiful scenery! You were in my thoughts the Pride Parade here in my city!

    1. One day you'll just HAVE to visit England, Robin. There's no getting around it. But it would take you many trips to even get started, I'm afraid!!!

      As a btw, shortly after the SCOTUS ruling, I started reading opposing responses on Facebook (like what Franklin Graham thinks will now happen to Christianity in our country) and quickly dipped into a slough of despond. After telling a friend what I was feeling, she replied with something that snapped me out of my despondency:

      "Don't let it get to you. Think about it... with a federal ruling, this means that these people who are speaking out represent the MINORITY thinking now. When people feel threatened, they feel compelled to advocate and proselytize their position. The problem for them now is the more they speak up against something that is now legally protected, they look stupid and small. What they say no longer angers me, because it has no power anymore. Now I just feel sorry for those who have their whole world hung up on being against this one thing, something that has absolutely no impact on their own personal lives. There will be a period of time where folks will be all wound up, screaming at the rain, and then they'll realize their temper tantrum will be ignored OR silenced because the MAJORITY will no longer tolerate their public displays of ignorance.

      For those who silently are opposed and truly struggle with what must feel like a real challenge to their beliefs, I harbor no resentment. My opinion of them hasn't changed. Just as I expect them to love me and my family for who they are, I will do the same. My beliefs aren't any more valid than another's. At the end of the day, this is simply about inclusion and equality.

      Keep celebrating... allow people to voice their own opinions (it's another right afforded to all of us)... don't get drawn into the drama, and simply go on living the way you have, as a happily married gay woman."

  5. Now that is the way to spend your birthday with a cream tea and surrounded by gardens, beauty and friends....i need to find a friend in the UK who would like to be my guide of gardens and beautiful spots to see.

    1. Oh, yes, Donna. I have felt very "birthdayed" this time around. What a milestone. :) And yes, it really does help to have friends in another country who can and WANT to show you around. We feel so lucky!