Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Weekend in Polzeath, Sun, Sea and Storms

Several months ago surf shop Anns Cottage held a competition to win a weekends stay in Polzeath, even though Polzeath is just over 18 miles away from where I live I had to enter, I love Polzeath and very rarely go there. 
A month later a notification popped up on Facebook that I had been chosen as the winner and I was over the moon. The weekend break was planned and it just happened to be the weekend of celebrating six wonderful years with my partner James. 
Polzeath Cornwall
We arrived in Polzeath on Friday morning and enjoyed the sunshine whilst it lasted as the weather forecast for the following day was awful.
Polzeath beach Cornwall

Daymer Bay Cornwall
I've lived in Cornwall for 8 years now and it's very rare that I actually do 'touristy' activities, it's easy to get into the daily grind of work and keeping a home and although I do go to the beach on a regular basis it's normally for a quick surf after work and then straight home. With no agenda and no plans we got ourselves some ice cream and headed for a walk on the coast path. 
Ice creams at Polzeath
As we reached Daymer bay and headed around the estuary we started to notice damage still visible from the storms. I witnessed the storms first hand in Cornwall and photographed many locations from Perranporth, Portreath and my favourite Watergate Bay but hadn't ventured anywhere else so it was quite shocking to see the damage to dunes and coast paths as far up the estuary as Daymer. However thoughts of the storms where a distant memory as we enjoyed some amazing springtime sunshine.
Storm Damage Daymer Bay

Boat trip to Padstow from Rock
Once we reached Rock we had a little boat trip on the ferry to Padstow for a spot of lunch before walking back to Polzeath to check into our holiday cottage for the weekend. 
Ferry from Rock to Padstow
Our home for the weekend was right on the main road about 3 houses up from the beach and with views across the sand from the front of the cottage and views across the sea and to the point from the back of the house I couldn't keep myself away from the window thinking how amazing it would be to live with the ocean so close. A massive thank you goes out to Tristram Campsite and their holiday cottage YoHo where we stayed. It was a beautifully restored cottage, right in the centre of Polzeath with loads of quirky beach art work on the walls and the perfect place to celebrate being together for six years.
Holiday Cottage Polzeath
As Friday evening arrived so did the wind and rain and after a lovely meal out we got truly soaked through to the skin by gale force sideways wind and rain. We headed back to the cottage and listened to the wind, rain and waves howling outside. The following morning the waves were storming into the beach and the rain horrendous at points. We had a lovely day despite the rain with a nice walk around Wadebridge darting between shops and avoiding the rain, and several hours spent in the coffee shop chatting the day away. 
Stormy Seas at Polzeath
When we headed back to Polzeath there were a few brave surfers having lessons in the swirling white water and one little car left a little bit too close to the incoming tide. 
Car in the sea at high tide Polzeath
We had a brilliant weekend and really relaxed and enjoyed the local area and it made such a change to stop and enjoy another little pocket of Cornwall. 

A massive thank you to both Anns Cottage and YoHo cottage for a wonderful prize.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Cycling in the Cornish Sunshine

With the sunny weather in full force for the Easter bank holiday weekend I decided to make use of my new Christmas present that so far hasn't seen much use due to the consistently poor weather at the weekends and rather than start off my cycling lightly I decided that I wanted to cycle to the beach. 
St Columb Major
Leaving the house I headed around the back of St Columb Major and joined the back road to Mawgan Porth with the sun shining and the fields literally glistening in the spring sunshine being out on my bike with my music playing felt amazing. 8 miles later and rolling down the hill into the beach of St Mawgan felt amazing. Growing up in Essex and now living in Cornwall I still get excited and overwhelmed when I see the sea and getting to the beach via pedal power alone felt wonderful.
Cycling in Mawgan Porth
With a quick stop on the beach for a photo I then headed up the horribly steep hill away from Mawgan Porth heading onto the airport road home. 
Mawgan Porth Beach
This is only my third cycle on my new bike that I got for Christmas and was very pleased when i got home to realise that I had clocked up a very presentable 16 mile cycle,

Friday, 25 April 2014

DUNCAN DISORDERLY & THE SCALLYWAGS Play The Travellers Rest, Trevarrian

Last night I had planned to see one of my favourite bands at the watering hole in Perranporth the wonderful Willie and the Bandits, however when nearly everyone of my friends announced they were going to see Duncan disorderly and the scallywags at the Travellers Rest in Trevarrian it felt rude not to go.

Arriving at the pub the crowds were already starting to arriving and with a group of around twenty of my close friends it felt impossible that this wouldn't turn out to be a great night. I've not seen the band before but after a quick listen on the internet before I left I was excited to see this band. However one pint of cider washed down and a lovely sensible chat with some friends around the table the time passed by and their was a distinct lack of the band.

With a start time of 9pm and the clock edging closer to 10pm their was still no sign of the band, and the rumours racing around the pub was that the band had broken down on route and were currently on the back of a recovery truck but were still on their way. Not long after 10pm the band finally arrived and to their delight after such a terrible journey to the gig the locals rushed out to help them unload their band equipment and get set up better late than never.

The band warmed up with a slightly light hearted reggae song before throwing themselves full swing into their live set. The music was very different to anything i've heard before but it was good. Their sound was a cross between Latin, fiddly diddly Irish, reggae, ska with a small dose of beat boxing thrown in at the end. The pub was rammed with people all dancing their socks off with low lighting, low ceilings and lots of drinking made up for their late arrival. For a small pub in a small village they know how to throw a good party and their amazing selection of Cornwall and Somerset cider made for a perfect night, If you get to see this band I would highly recommend that you check them out and with rumours they are playing this weekends Porthleven food festival I highly recommend that you give them a listen.

Land of the giants at Lusty Glaze

With the spring weather popping it's head through the clouds I have been making full use of the sunshine with cycling, surfing and running but that has meant that my little blog has taken a slightly quieter role in life. Two weeks ago I went to a gig at Lusty Glaze to see the band land of the giants, I'm a massive fan of the summer gigs at Lusty and previous gigs I've attended include The Levellers and Feeder but these were both gig's on the beach in the summer. The land of the giants gig was a smaller, local, low key event but it was still an amazing night.

Arriving at the pub on the beach I knew I was in for a good night and seeing lots of familiar faces headed to the bar for a pint of my favourite tipple. Cider and live music at a beach bar what could go wrong, well sadly only having one till working behind the bar got everyone off to a slow start and it took half an hour in an orderly queue to get a drink. Loaded with a drink in each hand it was time to move down to watch the band, but with some guests still eating their meals the band started with everyone crammed between tables desperate to clear the area and dance. With everyone watching the diners like hawks the minute they had stopped eating, politely, they were asked if tables could be moved and like a swarm of locusts everyone at the gig swept in and helped pack up chairs, clear tables and move in to create a dance floor.

The band were amazing even if they got off to a slightly unusual start and with the lead singer claiming to have a chest infection was clearly loosing his voice throughout the gig but kept on pushing through to end the night with the whole place dancing their socks off.

Another really great gig at Lusty even if their was a distinct lack of cider in my belly by the end, however on the plus side, I saved money and saved myself a hangover the next day!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Please keep our beaches clean in Cornwall

Yesterday local charity surfers against sewage were proud to announce their recent and very successful beach cleans all over the UK. Over the winter the UK coastline was continuously battered with storm swells, giant waves and strong winds causing widespread damage and uncovering buried litter in the sand which left our beaches looking very sorry for themselves.

Surfers against sewage rallied over 3500 volunteers, cleaned 130 beaches and removed 25 tonnes of litter, this is all brilliant news and we should all be proud.

Here is some fascinating statistics from surfers against sewage on the work that they and the volunteers achieved.

  • 130 – The number of beaches cleaned by Surfers Against Sewage volunteers.
  • 3,500 – SAS Big Spring Beach Clean volunteers.
  • 25,000 – Kilograms of marine litter removed by SAS volunteers.
  • 260 - Volunteers at Perranporth in Cornwall. A Big Spring Beach Clean record!
  • 3.5 - Tonnes of marine litter removed from Perranporth in Cornwall. An SAS record for one single beach clean!
  • 100 - Or more volunteers at 10 of the SAS Big Spring Beach Cleans!
  • 28 – The average number of volunteers per SAS Big Spring Beach Clean.
  • 500 – Kilograms or more marine litter were removed at 6 SAS Big Spring Beach Cleans.
  • 1000s - Of Sewage Related Debris items reported at all Big Spring Beach Cleans.

I didn't take part in a beach clean organised by surfers against sewage but took part in an earlier beach clean after one of the first storms. With a group from our local surf club we took to Fistral beach in the pouring rain with bin bags and rubber gloves and walked the length of the beach picking up litter. 

Fistral beach Clean

Recently with the nights getting lighter and the weather getting briefly better I have been getting in the sea more and am shocked by the amount of litter on the beaches and coast path. This litter hasn't been buried in sand dunes for years and uncovered by the recent storms this is new litter recently dropped. Walking along the coast path down into Watergate bay there were a large amount of beer cans and bottles all looking shiny and new and recently left. Then there was the horror of going for a surf at Fistral recently where I parked my car up at Pentire, got my board out the car and put it on the grass and to my horror had put my board straight on top of a used condom! I was with some of the girls from my surf club and we did have a laugh as I poked the condom off the fin of my surfboard with my toe and joked about 'for the love of surfing' but then thought who would leave litter like this on a public street! Where this week with the schools breaking up for Easter will have many families and children visiting the beach. 

I'm utterly disgusted, the storms were bad but they were natural and we have to deal with the damage caused and the 3500 volunteers just shows how many people really do love their coastline and prepared to give up their time to help clean them. But it is absolutely heart breaking that after all that hard work by so many people that people come down to enjoy the beach and leave fresh new litter for somebody else to pick up. 

With Easter upon us and the tourists on the way to Cornwall, Please enjoy the beaches we all love so much but