Post 8/2022 Friday 18 February / Cornwall Cogitation AB . . . What’s with the AB? By combining two alphabetical letters in order, I can cover 13 blogs during our time in County Cornwall, UK. That’s AB, CD . . . YZ. An alphabet’s worth of Cornwall Cogitations. What’s with cogitations?
Roughly, that’s to think deeply about something. If it had anything to do with codger, I’d say ouch. Aren’t you glad I’m not trying to pin a summary in words and photographs of thoughts, observations, musings, and opinion that surface from travel, walks, books, media, discussions, church services–and weather on the term cognoscenti? Nothing about connoisseurs in these humble utterings. So be it; ruminations depicted in the alliterative Cornwall Cogitations. I protest too much. On with it.
We arrived between storms
Travel on Tuesday and Wednesday went smoothly, no hitches anywhere. In fact, the pace was leisurely, unlike the sometimes anxious rush, rush of travel. Friends Gwen and Dean took us to the airport at South Bend, with lots of time to spare for a delightful lunch at Aladdin’s Restaurant in Mishawaka.
Our Delta flight took us to Atlanta where we switched to Virgin Atlantic for a 10pm departure. With strong tailwinds we arrived at Heathrow London early, in under seven hours.
Sailed through Customs, took Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, where we picked up our reserved train tickets for the five-hour Great Western Rail journey to Cornwall. We had left home 24 hours earlier and now had to wait for our 17:04 (2:04) train departure for St Erth, Cornwall.
The wait at Paddington proved a pleasant surprise. More in a bit. The timing of our travel was fortuitous, given that we arrived between Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice. There’s the alphabet at work again. More in a bit.
We have a Two-Together Rail Card that gives us a one-third discount on train travel. Comparing all the ticket options, we opted for First Class tickets that cost only a modest bit more than the regular carriage fare. But it meant we had to travel at the designated time, not on any other of the departures of the day.
The perks proved a surprise lesson from history.
Our tickets allowed us to use the First Class lounge at Paddington, which provided comfortable waiting; a suite of three rooms, complete with sandwiches, drinks, and that face-to-face encounter with history.
After we had lounged for some time I got up and read the plaque on the wall. Whoa! Wait a minute! At one time this was the private waiting room of Queen Victoria. For most of the time we were the only ones in this part of Queen Victoria’s quarters. Oh my, did I say restful, provisioned, relaxed, under the gaze of frescos and guilded mouldings?
“At GWR we’re proud of our heritage, and want to share some of the history of this room. Which at one time was the private waiting room of Queen Victoria. The framed area to your left, shows the original decoration finish of the room. We think this would have been the same for the whole suite.”
The lounge was restored in 1985, “as part of the celebration commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Great Western Railway.”
At St Erth, the last station before Penzance, friends Noel and Lynne picked us up and took us to their home for a light dinner and then delivered us to our rental flat in Carbis Bay. We slept well after 26 hours of travel–trips to the loo notwithstanding after what seemed like a week’s worth of hydration.
We are fortunate to have arrived (Wednesday) when we did. Some days earlier Storm Dudley had passed through and on Friday the weather came with the Mets highest rare warning Red, for Storm Eunice, bringing winds of 50-90 mph, high spring tide with up to 29 foot waves, possible power outages, delays and disruptions, repeated warnings to stay put.
On Thursday, almost everyone at Tesco, where we walked for groceries, was wearing a mask. They, like we, were getting groceries ahead of Storm Eunice. What a pleasure to have a shopper call our names and stop for a hug and brief chat. Also on our walk back to our flat we chatted with Gloria who was out working in her garden (yard). Gloria likes to add the wow factor to her neat shrubbery and flowers.
Thursday pix in Carbis Bay
Today, Friday, we stayed put–snug, warm, food at hand, no power disruption as of this afternoon, no rain or hail or power outages as others nearby have reported, no uprooted trees or missing roofs as has been the case across the county and country. Actually, at this upper part of Carbis Bay, along with the whistling wind, we’ve had mainly sunshine and patches of blue sky, along with dark skies blowing over.
All public transportation across the county has been halted. The Tamar bridge from Devon to Cornwall was closed, people stayed home whether they wanted to or not. The temperature is 46 degrees. Simon Calder, a travel writer, reporting this morning from Paddington, said that if trains were running at all, they’d be going 15 mph rather than 125 as is typical. Whee! We’re in tonight, leek and potato soup for tea, Pointless on TV, Olympics, an eye to the sky. Our flat is small–like a cabin, snug, in a quiet area, with a field behind, well-appointed, near footpaths. Loads of gratitude that we’re here, safe and sound.
Queen Victoria would be nonplussed, I believe, by the vicissitudes of weather. She reigned from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901, ruling for 63 years and 7 months. Queen Elizabeth is now celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, 70 years as Monarch. God save the Queen!
Time yet, for a lesson in the Cornish language. Tea is te; coffee is koffi; travel is travalya; goodbye, to more than one person, is Duw genowgh hwi.
Duw genowgh hwi!