Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The adventure continues!

One of the major reasons Top Gear are in England is so we ( meaning he) can attend the Beaulieau Autojumble and then the Goodwood Revival car event. We managed to book a little cottage not far from either event so I would have a place to go should I need respite from cars,cars and more cars.

This is Chestnut cottage.......quite cute, except no shower, bath only, and no washing machine but we did have a resident squirrel, who was busy collecting hazelnuts and chestnuts from the trees around the cottage all day.

I only managed to spend one blissful, solitary day there because, again, I was the GOOD WIFE and attended all the car events, even on the rainy day.
The Goodwood Revival car event was mega. We got into the swing of things by dressing retro and for Top Gear it was three days of car heaven.....I lasted two! There were car displays, car races and demonstrations, air displays, music and dance venues, food and champagne halls, and extensive markets full of all things car and vintage, including beauty parlours where you could go and get your hair and makeup done to suit your chosen outfit. The theme for the event this year was the WWII years so there were lots of soldiers and airmen stepping out with their girls and all the venue staff were dressed as MPs or ground army from the 40's.

But for Top Gear it was all about the cars.......precious ones that are usually only ever kept in museums and are worth millions of dollars......

Oh how he would have loved to be part of that era, but this was a close as he could manage!

After Goodwood we managed a few quieter days just exploring near where we were staying. We decided to visit the nearby city of Chichester but found this in the next village!!!!

This the Arundell castle, home to the Duke of Northumberland and still used as their private residence, but open to the public on certain days so we headed off for a visit. It was stunning especially the gardens. The village below the castle was great too.....full of antique and old book shops.
Didn't manage to get to Chichester that day.
We did, however, make it to Chichester the next day and of course we found the patchwork shop! The Eternal Maker was overwhelming, so much fabric, so disorganised. I walked out with nothing because there was just too much there!
So after a not so restful week it was time to start moving again, heading to Cornwall.
Our stop for the night was Weymouth, a harbour and seaside town. I thought it was great. It was originally built around a small working harbour but became popular as a seaside resort so along the water front was the kitschy amusement parks and fun fairs. It had just hosted the sailing for the Olympics so was in holiday mode.

We could have lingered longer but Cornwall was calling.
Next stop was Dartmouth, home of the Royal Naval College, last breakfast for the Pilgrim Fathers, safe haven for Drake and Raleigh and home to Agatha Christie. We decided to stay a few nights here cos there was lots to do.
First a river cruise.......

Then a ride on a steam train..........

Then a walk along the seafront......the beach huts were amazing.

Not to mention fish and chips and icecream!
Still following the coast we headed off to Plymouth, not such a nice city but along the way we found this.......

Burgh island is only accessible by foot at low tide otherwise you have to ride the sea tractor. It was the setting for one of the Agatha Christie Hercule Perroit books and subsequent movie, totally 1930's art deco. Top Gear parted with the £2 fare to get across but I had to take my shoes off to walk back.....and that water is cold! The view from the top was spectacular!

Overnight in Plymouth then finally into Cornwall and we headed for Mousehole, a little village west of Penzance. Mousehole was an experience. Tiny, narrow streets leading down to a small harbour full of fishing boats, quintessentially Cornwall. Getting the car in was a bit nerve wracking as they only just fit and when you meet another coming in the opposite direction you just have to reverse until you can squeeze past each other. It was awe inspiring watching the buses maneouvre!!!!! We had booked two nights here, right on the harbour and thankfully I had chosen one with parking provided!
Mousehole was delightful.......

It was a rabbit warren of streets, with little hole in the wall shops, selling all you needed as well as lovely art and ceramic galleries and local craft work. We even found a Michelin star rated restaurant for dinner ( specialising in local produce) and it was very inexpensive and very, very good. What a treat!
From Mousehole we visited the awe inspiring Minack theatre. A working theatre, cut into the cliffs over a period of forty years by Rowena Cade. Makes any effort you make at gardening look pitiful!

Whichever way you look Cornwall is beautiful. It is a patchwork of fields separated by low stone walls, grazing cattle and sheep atop rugged stone cliffs broken by small sandy coves and little seaside villages......just gorgeous! I can see why the people of Cornwall think they live in a separate country to the rest of England.

But for me, the best treat was yet to come.......stay tuned and
Happy Stitching!
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