Things to do in August

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August sees regatta season in full swing across The Roseland and whilst you may not want to compete yourself, there are plenty of chances to get on the water without having to be a Master Mariner.

St Mawes Carnival is the first week in August with plenty going on – for the easy option just settle yourself in Chandlers Cafe outside area or watch from the harbour edge there is always something to see!

If you have seen all the press about Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) then Summers Beach in St Mawes is the place to give it a try. You can book a lesson and its a great place to learn as there are hardly any waves. We have tried ourselves and it really is not as hard as it looks and is great fun. If you are worried about falling in there is even a wetsuit hire stand on the beach for the summer.

If kayaking is more you, then you can hire these from St Mawes where you can potter round the harbour and beaches or head across to Place Manor. For a quiet meander you can hire at Percuil and have a lovely drift along the river valley away from the hustle and bustle and here you can expect to see little white egrets, grey herons dunlins, whimbrels and lots of other wading birds.

The second week in August is Falmouth Week with a huge variety of events – take your pick from the extensive brochure and hop on the foot ferry from St Mawes to join in the fun, without having to worry about parking your car.  The highlight for us is always the Red Arrows display – this year on the 12th August.

The joy of the estuary is that if you like crowds and atmosphere you can head over to Falmouth, but if you like peace and quiet then just find a spot on the river footpath between St Mawes Castle and St Just in Roseland Church and you can have what feels like your own personal fly past!

Not to be missed is a Fal River Boat trip from St Mawes to Truro – extra trips run in the summer and you can stop off at Trelissick Gardens on the way if you wish. We have to confess we have done this trip several times and it’s always wonderful with so much to see. If it’s low tide you are dropped at Malpas and bussed into Truro or you can just stop at the Heron Inn and have a leisurely lunch… just check to see where the later boats are leaving from. it is a lovely walk from Malpas to Truro if you need to work off the lunch before coming home.

There are lots of spots to hire small motor boats for a day or half day and then you can go where you like on the water at your own pace or for the really extravagant you can hire Pinuccia, the most stunning, sleek and very fast yacht owned by the Tresanton Hotel, hire includes the crew and the most glorious picnic.  We are still saving for this one but are determined to do it one day!

Of course if your enjoyment of the water ends at a quick paddle there are plenty of beaches for you to sit back and relax on, just check our earlier blogs for the best beaches in Cornwall.

Scones, cake, curds etc – it’s the annual St Just in Roseland Show

Having been here for 4 summers now, we decided to enter the local Village Show.  It’s a combination of all of the good bits of the WI (home baking, veg from the garden) and the lovely relaxed feel and fun of a school/village fete.

We decided to enter a few of the baking/veg competition categories…..

Mark baked a marmalade cake, some of his scones. and cooked up a passion fruit curd.  We also raided the vegetable garden and entered our shallots, red and white onions, runner beans and a hydrangea in the show.

In a packed village hall (ages 6 – 90), we found out who won what…..

Our curd was a complete non-runner according to the judges.  They didn’t like the taste (although we love it).  Back to the drawing board next year me thinks. That said, we were pleased with a 3rd place for our scones (the recipe wasn’t Cornish enough apparently) and a “highly commended” for the marmalade cake.

On the veg side, we had bit of success too – picking up a 2nd for longest runner bean (although it was completely inedible), and a 3rd for our white onions.  Our red onions, shallots and hydrangea’s did not feature in the judge’s awards.

It was astonishing just how much effort people had put into the village show.  There was a prize leek which, I swear was as wide as my forearm and about as long as my arm!  What on earth do they feed this things with?…

The kids section was also fantastic – everything from handicrafts and creative writing to cup cakes and photography.

The whole show was a massive tribute to the organising committee’s hard work – Wendy & Susan in particular.

We will have to rethink our entry strategy for next year (sounds a little too serious doesn’t it!)….

Tractor ablaze in neighbouring field

The local farmers have been hard at it recently, ploughing the fields and sowing spring wheat and barley.

Imagine then our horror when we see one of our neighbours’ tractors ablaze shortly after 5pm a few nights ago.  We thought the worst and that someone might be trapped inside.  Fortunately, the local farm-hand had made a safe escape but was powerless to douse the flames.

Within minutes the entire tractor was engulfed, the body-work melted and the tyres disintegrated, but not before they released an acrid black smoke.  There was little left by the time the St Mawes firebrigade arrived!…  but they did at least get the opportunity to turn on their two-tones and speed along our windy roads.

The following day, a low-loader removed what remained of the old tractor.  What a mess it looked.

We have recently seen a new shiny tractor in the surrounding fields.  We’re not sure as yet whether its on hire or whether our local farming friends have already purchased a new John Deere to replace the burned out wreck.

It’s high drama here you know!

What you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts

So, the only airport open in the UK recently during the Volcanic Ash crisis was the one down at Mens Pants (aka Penzance).  Flights to the Scillies were going albeit intermittently.

But the Ash did affect us down here in a couple of ways – not only were our cars covered in a layer of incredibly fine powder but we had some guests who ended up having to cancel…  Not because they couldn’t get down here from somewhere else in the UK, but because the poor husband was stranded in Mumbai Airport for nearly 8 days!  What rotten luck. We felt very upset for his wife – heavily pregnant and at home having to get everything sorted out.  This was to be their last break before the baby was born.   Naturally we refunded the couple’s deposit without question.

But as the old saying goes, what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts.  Within hours of the blanket ban on air travel (excluding Mens Pants), we took two additional bookings – one set of guests who were originally planning a short break in Portugal, and the other set (bless them), were supposed to be honeymooning in the Maldives and ended up in Cornwall instead.  We tried to make both breaks here extra-special, given the circs…

It’s great news that air traffic control has opened up our airspace again.  Let’s hope that the volcano doesn’t start grumbling again. Fingers crossed also for those poor folks in America having to cope with teh recent crude oil spliiage.  Let’s hope that the winds change and teh coast is not too poluted.

And the mobile phone goes around and around

We said goodbye a few days ago to two lovely guests from Plymouth – Paul and Nicola.

We thought they had enjoyed their stay with us, but an hour or so after they checked out, we saw them walking back down our driveway – were they here to check in again?…

Oh no, Nicola thought she had left her mobile phone in their room.

So we all searched high – no sign of the thing….

We searched low – Mark even crawled under the bed to look despite his bad back.  No luck there either.   The bathroom….  not there…  The dining room – nope…  The check out desk – no luck there either….

“Nicola, have you tried looking in the car – are you sure it’s not slid under the front seat.  Use our home phone and call it…..” we said.

No luck.  The car was silent.  Not even the faintest ting-a-ling ling.

Nicola left convinced that she was losing it a bit.  She gave us Paul’s mobile number and their home phone number in case  we did find it somewhere.  Lord knows where we thought, we’ve looked everywhere.

We bade them farewell again and settled down to a cup of tea – only to be interrupted by the beeps of one of our bloomin’ appliances – was it the dishwasher, the tumble drier or the or the washing machine.  T’was the washing machine this time.

We dragged the load out of the machine into the laundry basket and returned to our cuppa and a chat.

Twenty minutes later we finally decided to attend to the pile of clean but damp bedding.  We hauled it to the washing line – and hey presto – out pops a gleaningly clean but completely useless mobile phone and an even cleaner mobile phone case…

The lesson – if your mobilephone is dirty, we’ll clean it but we can’t guarantee it will work again!

We called Paul and Nicola – they were actually relieved we’d found it even though it was completely useless.

Hey ho!…  another fine day at Roundhouse Barns