Friday, 10 August 2012

111. 'Leven. Mevern. Neven. Peven. Reven. Etc.

28th June.
Having spent the last few days at Lands End YHA in thick mist, I thought I had a pretty reasonable reason as to why I wasn’t actually leaving my van let alone the grounds when I was not working.
Today was a slight change in pattern, starting off relatively normal I helped served breakfast to the big group of primary school kids who are currently staying (quick note – I haven’t permanently moved to YHA Lands End, just giving them a hand in a busy moment!), I then went on to avoid having to do any cleaning as Chris saw the poster I had made for YHA Perranporth & wanted one for his own. Painty painty paint, did that for a few hours… nothing much else to do – still misty/foggy outside! What’s the point in going for a walk in the mist? I thought, there won’t be any view… occasionally other thoughts came in:
“But there could be some cooool and hip misty photos to get…” (it seems misty photos were in for a while, are they still?) “stop being a lazy bugger!” (story of my life, as they say).
So I didn’t get out (although I DID plan a walk along a route of Geo Caches, maybe next time…).
But then today I DID get out! Finally the sun came out and I wandered up to the farm for 3pm or so.
It’s funny how you can get into the lazy mindset of “urrrgh no, I don’t wanna go out and do things… sitting in bed / general van is so much easier” and when you get out you a) feel a little bad that walking (at speed up a hill) puffs you out a little more than it should, b) you should have gone for that GeoCache walk as you KNOW there is one by this kissing gate… but where? And c) you’re actually really enjoying being out and the work you do is fun and easy.

What did I do at the farm?
Well, first I went and gave Horace & Popo belly rubs (Popo at least, Horace – being the only boy pig left with balls – made a load of I AM A GRUNT MALE PIG noises and wandered off to eat more). Then I helped move Ebony! We had to separate her from big boars Butch (with balls) and Barney; biiiig boy pigs with tusks still remain relatively terrifying. This is due to her going to EXPLODE WITH LOTS OF BABY PIGGIES in a few weeks. We then went and managed to separate one of the little girl pigs from the rest… both pig separations were easier said than done (though not as hard as expected) and included a lot of manoeuvring, forward planning, and plotting. It later turned out that Ebony (big mummy big) didn’t recognise her daughter and kept trying to attack her… so Ginger was moved back to her other siblings, and Ebony is alone with the chickens (according to Hugh’s book on traditional pig keeping, it is fine to keep pigs on their own if they’re soon to give birth). Then tea break. It’s funny how at home you can feel in a place even though you haven’t been living there for a few months…
Then went on to collect eggs (I still sing the Chickadee ABBA song to them… a hard habit to kick… not that I WANT to kick it…!), washed them etc… everything I used to do! The sun was by then fully out so I sat outside and nattered to American WWOOFer Bryan. It’s so different there in the summer… in the winter sitting INDOORS to chat was cold, screw outdoors!
Noticing it was time to make supper (Bryan’s go) and me being me ended up cooking. I like cooking for people when I get to eat it too. Made a random veggie curry, a little potato turmeric curry (too much turmeric by accident, thankfully houmus & natural yoghurt were at hand!) and ginger/garlic rice. We all had this with my blackcurrant mead (from Phil for my birthday).
All in all, a nice time. Yes yes.
I wonder if I’ll go back there for some of the winter.
Anyway, walking home at 9pm was glorious… of course it was still light, and everything felt so good as I stomped through those long grassed meadows!
Why on earth do I find it so hard to get up and out!
Silly Bex.

On a more recent note, I’ve been researching what to wear in Morocco. For me it will be all about the long skirts, and I’ll have to find some more t-shirts / things which cover my shoulders (wonder if mum has any nice scarves in her crazy huge collection…).

1st July. 6:38AM.

CRAZY O’ CLOCK. Admittedly I haven’t really slept yet… but it’s been really nice driving from Falmouth to Perranporth at 5:43 – 6:10am. Amazing morning light (I really wish I’d wake up early EVERY morning! Am willing to go to bed earlier!) and pretty much no one else on the roads (which was good, as I haven’t actually really slept since the night before). The only problem, was hoping to avoid hitting the billions of baby rabbits hopping about on the roads… thankfully only nearly hit 2 (though one of them I’m not entirely sure I DIDN’T hit… but hey, the life cycle will go on – scavengers will have it for breakfast!).

But why on earth am I up this early?
Well yesterday was lovely, having got up at relatively normal o’ clock and Arnold having a cold (he doesn’t cope well with lurgs). After a brief trip to Sainsburys for some evil Coca Cola product to keep him awake / alive, and some lunch, we drove off to a little place called Rinsey which is roughly half way between Helston & Penzance. National Trust car park YAY and after deciding that the beach wasn’t actually there due to high Spring tides we went for a walk.

I’ve been there not so long ago with Squidget Rarr & Alex (Geo Cache walk) so I knew a few good little spots for lunch and such. We stopped at one and were just looking at the old bits of mine when I noticed a black bird.
“Is that a blackbird? It kinda doesn’t look like a blackbird… and far too small for a crow… WHOAH!”.
IT WAS A CHOUGH! I’ve finally seen a Chough. These are very rare Cornish birds, though “often” seen in the Rinsey area as it’s a known ground for them. So that was all very exciting. Arnold then said “oh, a shag” and pointed to the sea where upon I went “OH!! DOLPHINS!” A WHOLE POD OF DOLPHINS! I’d say roughly seven of them, but easily more. They were all arching their backs out the water and looking super duper. Sadly I didn’t have my camera out quick enough for either of these things, but I’ll remember them well in my mind.

After lunch we continued the little walk, I found a couple of possibly Chough feathers, and we climbed about on the big high up rocks (well, I did whilst Arnold fretted about me falling off) (I’m a mountain goat, you know! That’s what my parents always used to call me when we were out walking when I was younger).
After these meanderings we upped & off’d closer to Falmouth (Maenporth) for a swim in the sea. I did some backstroke for the first time in forever, and it was all good.
In the evening we went to Miss Peapods in Penryn for some gig, I have to admit that I don’t reckon it was my £6 entry fee (even if I HAD remained inside for the entirety of it, as I actually decided to stand/sit outside and watch the estuary mud). The singers with their guitars were admittedly very nice and talented, but no more so that the field lot or Mr Arnold, and I can listen/watch them for free. Nice sitting by the estuary though.

Getting a lift back to Fal I went to bed whilst everyone else went to the basement to listen to records and get drunker. This was loud. So Bex did not sleep. At all, really. So now she is tired and grumpy and back at Perranporth and someone from this group who are checking out today has nicked her nice little “home” parking spot so she’s on an awkward corner but hopefully won’t be disturbed now until 9:50am when she wakes up after a few hours of sleep.

But at least she got to see the early morning light, which was really nice.

Yes yes.

8th July.

One week later… Bex is in bed again. Going to sleep again. But this time, it’s a reasonable hour for doing so (almost 11).

The past week has mostly been filled with dealing with a group of 25 15-16 year olds filling the hostel; a post-GCSE group. No parents, no teachers, just them.
Right from the start I decided there was no point telling them to keep single sex rooms… it’s not as if bed jumping wouldn’t happen!
But thankfully they’re now all gone. Admittedly they weren’t totally awful, they were just loud, ridiculously messy (6 hour clear up!), and relatively irritating in part… but I shan’t go in to any of that too much as I did enough ranting on Farcebook at the time of the happenings.

To pick things up at the end of the day, I got to drive to Falmouth and have a lovely evening in The Field with Dan, Dave, and Lisa – I cooked a butternut squash risotto and we all sat in Dan’s slowly improving caravan to natter and whatnot. It’s always enjoyably “hanging” with that lot; a wonderful lack of modern day objects (lighting being the stub of a candle in a Dan-forged curly candlestick, and one of the main sources of entertainment being a book on mammals, gifted from Dan to Dave (anyone else ever heard of “badger-like-dog” or was it “dog-like-badger”? Safe to say I had a dream of many (very cute) little fluffy creatures that night.
Waking up the next morning (Arnold’s bed, having driven the daaaark, daaark lanes from The Field to Fal) we set upon chasing a rabbit round his garden – it recently escaped it’s pen next door and decided to eat all Will’s peas and beans (and the rest), thus being a huge source of irritation. I reckon we should shoot it, the neighbours don’t seem too fussed about getting it back and it’s impossible to catch by hand. Plus it’d be like some sort of payment for all the vegetables it’s eaten (and I reckon it’d taste good, big rabbit with not too much exercise!). Non-vegetarian Phil(lipa) apparently very much does not agree with this plan. Supposedly vegetarian Luke seems fine with the shooting of the rabbit.
Anyone got an air rifle?

The rest of Saturday was relatively un-eventful, running a couple of little errands in Fal, finding Mr William L. Arnold a straw hat (easier said than done for someone with a huge head, and a small wallet – who ever knew straw hats could go up to such ridiculous prices? He is now however equipped with suitable headwear for Morocco).
Come the evening, and the ending of having to pay for the car park at Maenporth beach, we drove down and went for our weekly swim. The sea seemed colder than usual and so I didn’t do any of my usual duck diving antics as to keep my head slightly dry. This lead to practising head up front crawl (I’m getting pretty good! Maybe one day I’ll get back up to racing standard…). Will is getting much much better, he certainly kept swimming more than I did (me being a lazy one, keeps stopping).
After swimming, fuelled on toffees, we drove off to the Forge to see if Dan & Lisa & Dave were there – Lisa has been forging a big church screen thing, I haven’t seen it… so I went to snoop. But we were too late. Nice little explore though, sadly one route to the quarry pool was well and truly flooded (even the board walk had floated off) and the other route was too overgrown to walk whilst wearing thing trousers & sandals. Good to be stomping about outdoors though on a reasonably pleasant evening.

Life is still good.
This evening after shift ended I decided to try something out of the norm and climb up the hill behind the hostel to find mobile signal. I found some! So with a fresh mug of Yogi “Sweet Chilli” tea, sweetened with honey, I called Imy.
But she was doing a bit of sleeping.
I then looked through my ever shortening list of phone contacts and wondered who I could call to have a good natter to. I suppose it’s my own fault that I don’t really talk to anyone anymore! Everyone I called had their phones off (or perhaps they’ve just changed phone numbers and I don’t know?) until thankfully Golant Rachel rung back. Ahhh yes… YHA gossip… talking shop, some folks call it. I like it.
So we had a good little talk about the ways of the YHA.
On the mention of which, I read the book “Black Sail” by ex-warden Steven (Sol) Freeman. I don’t reckon anyone who doesn’t work for the YHA would enjoy it, for it wasn’t much really apart from him commenting on his every day life at YHA Blacksail in the Lake District… but us insiders, we know! Some bits were pretty rude, but they seemed like good honest thoughts and so why bother censoring.
I guess this blog is slightly like what he did with his book.
I wonder if I know anyone who knows him, it sounds like he thought of applying for the manager / warden job here at Perranporth some years back.

I should sleep soon. Or read some of Arthur Ransome’s “Winter Holiday” then sleep. Reading before snoring is good.

Where is this supposed severe weather? This weekend was meant to be full of it down here in Cornwall, but if I’m to be honest we’ve had more sunshine than we have in a few weeks! I shan’t complain though.

Sitting on the toilet-just-inside-the-front-door earlier, I watched a little centipede trying to walk up a sloped piece of floor before deciding it wasn’t possible and reversing out of the situation. I watched it walk forwards and backwards for a while, amused by it’s back going abilities. I wondered if it knew it was right next to the nest of a frisky little spider (if the spider didn’t decide to leave the hostel when the noisy teenagers were in).

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