Rain with bright spells

Featured image: The raindrop dabbled sign says 40 minutes to Porthleven; double that in mud.

Cogitation 10 Saturday 10 March 2018   “Isn’t it wonderful!” exclaimed the raingear clad woman, her dog on a lead, of the rain and sleet we encountered on the walk to lunch last Sunday.

Our party of four going to the Halsetown Inn included niece Rachel Bender, her aunt Evelyn, Marty and me.

During the week we were out on foot locally from the Atlantic to the English Channel, with  travel to starting points, other than foot, by train, bus, car and taxi.  We had rain with bright spells, rainbows, days where sunscreen came in handy, persistent rain and fog on Friday,  a warmer gray Saturday that by midmorning had turned to blue sky and sun.

I’ll keep weather-related cogitations to a minimum, partly because I’m just getting into two  books, How to Read Water: Clues and patterns from puddles to the sea, by Tristan Gooley (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2016), and The Right Attitude To Rain, by Alexander McCall Smith (Little, Brown, 2006). Promising reads.

The key to contentment, then, according to McCall Smith in this mystery, has a lot to do with attitude. It’s making the most of what you have. According to Gooley, it’s like getting one’s mind, body and soul wrapped up in the magic contained in water. Stay tuned.

Every day this week we were out in the elements, walking along rivers, the Atlantic, the English Channel, and through fields. We covered 50 miles on foot in six days. Thursday we had nothing but wind and the continuous radiance of sun. Friday we had rain all day. Thankfully, Friday was St Ives day: library, lunch, shopping, Tate St Ives and cream tea. Dinner at Beck’s Fish and Chips in Carbis Bay capped the day and week.

Rather than describe the week further in words, I’ll try to tell the story in photographs.

Monday was memorable for muddy paths, sea views, companionable lunch

From left: Sue Doggett, Marty, Rachel Bender, Evelyn Pope. Sue kindly drove us to a Monday walk from Penrose Estate, near Helston, to the seaside town of Porthleven, We had rain, sun, mud, and sweeping vistas. Nice lunch at The Harbour Inn.
Monday’s walk got us negotiating muddy paths lined with left-over snow from the extreme weather event of the previous week. Miraculously, everyone stayed on their feet. “Sole-sucking muck,” Rachel called parts of the path.
View of Porthleven and the sea as we walk into town.
Green fields, cloud and blue sky, fresh air, a view over Loe Pool–what more could a walker want, other than less mud.
Wild daffodils that survived the two-day snow cover of last week.

Tuesday, a day in Truro, capital of Cornwall, population 20,000 

Lenten Rose.
Farmyard wall on a walk out of Truro, destination Heron Inn in Malpas for lunch.
Sunny Corner, on the way back to Truro; tide’s out in the Truro River.

Truro Cathedral where we attended Evensong, after a walk out of the city. Always a blessing. We sang one song with the 13-boy choir: “Forgive our sins as we forgive / You taught us, Lord, to pray; / that you alone can grant us grace / To live the words we say.” (Rosamond Herklatz, 1909-87).

Wednesday, walk along St Michael’s Way

Wednesday’s walk included this section through the Marazion Marsh to St Michael’s Mount.
A marsh marigold beside the boardwalk in the Marazion Marsh.
St Michael’s Mount.
Low tide gave us a four-hour window to walk the causeway to and from St Michael’s Mount.

Thursday, cliff and sand dunes along the Atlantic, lunch at the Godrevy Café 

Birds nesting at Hell’s Mouth, start of our walk back to Hayle with a stop at the Godrevy National Trust Café for lunch.
View along the South West Coast Path from Hell’s Mouth on the Atlantic near the village of Gwithian, to Hayle.
Seals, probably a hundred or more, hang out on their beach.
On the  walk from Hell’s Mouth to Hayle we came upon this adder sunning in the middle of the path.

Friday, walk along the South West Coast Path to St Ives

We’re walking to St Ives on the South West Coast Path, looking out to sea, with the branch line train visible below.
High tide seen from our table at the Lifeboat Inn in St Ives.
Barbara Hepworth sculpture, Rock Form 1951, at the Tate St Ives.

Saturday, gray to start, sun by mid-morning, Rachel and Ev going home

Rachel and Ev, and others, wait for the 10:31 train to St Erth; view of the sea beyond.

Justice for mud

Rachel found this verse by Gareth Lancaster, I’m in love with mud: “I’m in love with mud, / It’s sad I know, but true. I just can’t help but splash in it, / Or stomp a path right through.”

Mud is beneficial for birds, if not quite the stuff of fondness for many adults. For wading birds it provides a glorious meal. Eat on ye wading birds.

Among the benefits of mud, are the mud banks for wading birds, offering worms, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Bright spells in your new week.

John

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