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The Sennen Cove Diary

Sennen Cove: the final frontier. These are the witterings of a West Cornwall shopkeeper. His seemingly interminable mission: to plumb new depths in literary rambling, to seek out the boring and banal, to boldly sink deeper than any Diarist has sunk before.

Previous Months:

November 17th - Friday

As spectacular days go, this one was pretty spectacular. Although a tad sharp, the sun shone from start to finish with only some high level cloud moving in towards the end of the day, which gave way to a spectacular sunset.

It was the sort of day to take a bleddy hound down to the beach for a bit of a stank and some ball throwing and because it was pretty much a summer's day without the crowds or beach restrictions, it was a shorts, flip flops and ball launcher day.

Flip flops
Flip flops and ball launcher type of day

The sea is still a reasonable temperature at this time of year and good enough for a paddle. In the middle of our end of the beach is a sizeable pool, which was even warmer. I had left it until a little later in the morning, largely to allow sufficient time for breakfast and for the sun to get to all the parts of the beach it was going to get to. We paddled and threw balls to our heart's content in the sumptuous warmth of the sunshine until we had our fill.

Wide open spaces despite summer being here.

Another reason for coming back when we did was to receive delivery of our new card payment machine. I did not bother to install it straight away, there is no particularly hurry, and I also wanted to investigate small ethernet switches that will get around having to route another cable for the other machine, should we decide to use it. I also noted that the new machine is equipped for the devil's own invention of contactless payment. Fortunately, it does not indicate this on the machine so, if we want to, we can still pretend, for the purposes of our sanity, that it still does not do it.

With time fast approaching for the return of the Missus, I set about with some last minute tidying, working out how the vacuum cleaner worked and dusting off some dusty things. I also laid out her white gloves so that she can run her fingers over surfaces and the tops of doors to ensure that my work has been up to scratch. Actually, I did not bother with the tops of doors, as she cannot reach them.

She arrived on time at the railway station, a testament to our efficient and speedy train service. Despite being 150 years old this year, the service is only slightly slower than when Brunel connected everything together, which is an amazing feat of longevity.

Her suitcases, which were near empty when she left, were weighted down with spoils raided from the New World; I felt like Raleigh's quartermaster, lugging them into the back of the van. It was like Christmas when we got home with packages being distributed hither and thither. I am the proud possessor of three pairs of shorts which are in colours vibrant and gay but, sadly, plain. I shall look forward to brightening our customers' days when the weather becomes a little warmer. I was quite surprised that the Missus pandered to my delight in wearing bright clothes as she has always criticised in the past. The proviso was, however, that I ensure that I also wear other clothes that 'go' with the particular colour chosen. Hah, as if the master of sartorial wit would do otherwise.

Just like Christmas, it was all over in a trice and something close to normality returned to our little corner of The Cove.

November 16th - Thursday

I realise that some of you have less than an hour for your lunch break so I solemnly promise to keep today's Diary entry under 1,000 words.

With the Missus returning tomorrow from her excursion to the far flung corner of the known world, I thought that I would be a bit dutiful and do some cleaning, even if the rest of the time had been all dancing girls and wild living. The kitchen and the bathroom are now sparkling but probably not as sparkling as if the Missus had done it, for which I will be marked down.

Contrary to popular belief, I have actually been doing the washing up, or at least our little machine has been. It is due to this that I had to journey into town with the bleddy hound to purchase some more dishwater powder. The type we use is only available at one shop and unfortunately that is a Tesmorburys on the outskirts of town. Because we also needed to eat this evening I decided that I would pick up the few items we required from the very good independent shops in the town centre, first, where I could get top quality produce for a very reasonable price.

We detoured via St Buryan so that I could wash the van. I know that we have booked the very good Spandau Valet next week but I would prefer our man to concentrate on the polishing and waxing element rather than being distracted by additional cleaning. Even here, the bleddy hound stressed that I was not in the van with her even though she could see me the whole time running around the outside of the van with the hose. Having calmed the dog sufficiently, we made our way into Penzance, looking new and shiny - apart from some annoying rust spots that I noticed around the windscreen. I mean, what have we got to do?

As well as the food shopping, I had an errand to run at our bank. I dislike visiting our bank because it represents the worst of customer care and if the senior management could actually see what it looks like, they probably still would not give a darn. The three automated tellers provide services which are generally available online, other than the deposit and withdrawal of cash. Notwithstanding that there are some people who do not have online access, these machines are largely superfluous.

It is particularly poignant to note that the automated tellers were standing idle while a queue of six or seven people waited patiently to see the only human teller. There are always a couple of staff circulating to ensure that the people queuing are not queuing for a service that can be provided by the machines. These staff asked us all and not one person in the queue could carry out their required service using the machines. I suspect that there would be huge potential for error in changing a dozen direct debits, else I would jump ship in a flash.

The bleddy hound tied herself in knots when I returned. I caught her out by returning to the van from a different side; she was staring fixedly in the direction that I left. I took her home via our accountants who had been holding all our end of year paperwork for a while. There were roadworks causing chaos last time I tried. It was not until I got home that I discovered that I had not gone to Tesmorburys, my sole purpose for heading into town. I think I have one more washing up in the powder bottle under the kitchen sink, which should be sufficient if I remember to get some when I go into town tomorrow to pick up the Missus.

I slipped across the road after my last prepared tea. We had some proper training, led by the Second Coxswain, leaving the very excellent Shore Crew to engage in some first aid revision. It is quite revealing how quickly some of the detail leaves you but also how much stays with, and quite refreshing the re-reading of our booklets.

We naturally repaired to the OS for a bit of quizzing, where we came second, once again. It was a pleasant enough night made more splendid by the revelation of a host of stars on the way home. Both Neptune and Uranus were about but probably hardly visible but not so Vega, the brightest star in the north west. Along with some Milky Way, the sky was an abundance of glittering starness to gaze up upon.

Oh, how we scoffed, earlier, about the sighting of a gritting truck in The Cove; our temperatures were still in double figures during the day. It was not until we walked home that we realised how deeply the temperatures had dropped. It was fair near freezing, though not literally, when I ran the bleddy hound around, last thing.

Oh yes, 829 words, without checking once.

November 15th - Wednesday

By one o'clock in the afternoon I was just about ready to catch up with myself. I could list my accomplishments during the morning and find that it was a very short list. I felt much revived after a cup of tea and a sit down.

It did not help that the bleddy hound was previous with her wakings up, by about half an hour this morning. Since I knew that I would not get back to sleep again or convince her to do so, I got up. A gymnasium session this morning would have helped but I did not get one. Instead I saw to my toilet and went downstairs to ready a couple of gifts that two people, on the same day, decided to buy from our online shop. I will not explain, dear reader, as I know that you will find it tedious.

While I was there I decided to call one of the companies associated with our card payment terminal services, to get our mobile telephone top ups working. I may have explained that after six weeks of waiting for one of the companies to process our re-application for the service, I had become fed up and written to the mobile top up company to tell them that I could no longer use its services. This had the desired effect and it contacted the other company that was holding things up and a very pleasant lady from that company called to ask what the problem was.

The lady explained that there was a mix up with the account numbers. I told her that we already knew about this, which was why she had sent me a re-application form that I had completed and sent back, twice. She told me she would investigate, presumably with herself as it was she I had sent it to, and call me back. She duly returned to speak with me the following day to tell me that everything had been sorted out and that I could call the technical company to have the appropriate software downloaded onto our machine. She did not explain why it had taken six weeks to resolve something that she had managed to resolve in a day when pressed.

I spoke with the technical company this morning and it took a few minutes to download the software and have everything working tickety boo. While I spoke with the technician I asked about the possibility of getting a spare terminal that I could swap out if the present one broke during a busy time. Very helpfully, she explained that it was perfectly possible to do that but I may wish to hold back spending any money. The machine I was using was to become obsolete on 31st December, she told me, due to changes made by one of the payment card bodies.

It was no longer than thirty seconds after I closed the call from the technician that the telephone rang again. I answered to a representative of the company that provides our payment card machine who told me that our payment card terminal would become obsolete from 31st December. I told her that I knew that because someone had told me thirty seconds earlier, which surprised her too. In truth, the lady who had called originally about the mobile top up issue had suggested something of the sort and had warned that my telephone top up service would not work on the new box. I verified this with the new caller, who confirmed that if I wanted to have both services I would have to run two terminals. Not only would this be a tacky solution to the problem, it would also require me to run an additional cable to our downstairs computer switch and since that is already full, I would need to buy a bigger switch or an additional switch and daisy chain it.

The new machine will be with us tomorrow, rendering our revived mobile telephone top up service defunct after just over 24 hours duty with the shop shut. I will discuss with the Missus if we want to run with two machines or not.

I had recalled that at her car's MOT, Big Sis had revealed that one of her tyres was close to wearing thin. She coincidentally raised the matter the previous evening but since she has to work through to the day before she leaves us on a small holiday, she would not have time to replace it herself. I can be a bit slow sometimes but I can take an unsubtle hint and volunteered to go to St Buryan Garage to have it changed. This would have been ideal but St Buryan Garage could not do it but did recommend a Newlyn garage in Stable Hobba, the small industrial estate by the river.

Since we would be on main roads, I felt it sensible to swap the bleddy hound's chunky car seat to Big Sis's car and was fortunately able to park the car next to the van to carry out the swap. The garage has told me that they would be able to do the work nearly as soon as I arrived and, sure enough, I only had to wait ten minutes before it was our turn. The bleddy hound looked a little concerned when the car was jacked up but other than that things went smoothly. The service was excellent and the price very reasonable, so if you need your tyre changed while you are down here The Diary can recommend Newlyn Tyres. I am beginning to wonder if I should run a product placement service to boost our winter income.

Once again Big Sis and I had no regard whatever to what we would eat for our tea this evening. In desperation, I had imagined a succulent burger mixed with something pleasant, topped with mozzarella, bacon, little chips of roasted garlic and a few leaves - yes, I have a very detailed and vivid imagination. It was to this end we, the bleddy hound and I, found ourselves on the road to St Just, once again - although it was a different road - to acquire the necessary doings.

Was it any wonder that by one o'clock I thought that I had probably done enough for the day. I had sat down for no more that a few minutes when I considered that the bleddy hound had been either stuck in the flat or in the car seat for most of the day. In truth, she probably does not give a stuff and quite enjoys dozing for the entire day. Unfortunately, in my minds eye, she needs to be out gallivanting and enjoying the world - perhaps that is just me that needs to be out gallivanting and enjoying the world, especially when the day is half decent and dry.

The beach would have been an ideal, short run out but the tide scuppered that idea. Therefore, I took her up Mayon Cliff, along Maria's Lane and down the footpath beside Cove Hill. I have mentioned the condition of this path before and have drawn it to the attention of our Parish Councillor. Apparently, the path was funded initially by SUSTRANS, a sustainable transport body, but no ongoing funds were made available and so the path has fallen between the various stools of Parish, County and SUSTRANS care.

The path gets worse, year on year, although because the steps at the top are now so high, people have worn a kinder step to one side, which makes it easier. Further down, where wood framed steps filled with loose stones, barely a foot length tread width, I have the greatest difficulty with. The treads slope forward, provide little grip and are steep, which plays havoc with my dickie knees and poor balance. I am much relieved when we get to the bottom.

It was here that I started to regret not changing into my little boy trousers and even the two layers on top that I was wearing appeared to be two layers too many. The bleddy hound, also, showed signs of wear and tear and by the time we hit the beach she was little interested in running after a ball. I had chosen this route because it drops us out near the valley where, at high water, there is a little sand to run about on but it is all soft and deep. The bleddy hound did one run on this and gave up.

To add to her troubles, I thought it a splendid idea to stop by the OS for a small libation or two. Clearly, I would have walked on but she looked like she needed some water, honest, guv.

Our burgers were very nice, though.

November 14th - Tuesday

It was a day that I was supposed to take Mother out for lunch but had somehow managed to double book a Lifeboat launch instead. I would have arranged it for another day, Mother's lunch, that is, they would not change the date of the launch for some reason, but she did not have another free appointment in her packed social schedule.

The weather forecast on the television last night told us that we were in for a prolonged dry spell, which had me all excited because I thought that I may be able to start my painting. The rain was not particularly heavy during the morning but it was enough to cancel any thought of external painting.

Instead, I found myself driving out to St Just to collect some ingredients for a hurriedly invented tea that I was not expecting to have because of lunch with Mother. St Just is a good place to shop since it is full of independent stores selling top quality produce at reasonable prices. The one thing that you cannot get in St Just is mascarpone, probably because it is too exotic but apparently crème fraiche is not, so I had some of that instead. The lady in the shop suggested I try the rice and corn pasta, which is very toothsome, I was told. What put me off was the big gluten free label, which I thought was only for poorly people and if you were not supposed to eat glutens they would not have put them in food in the first place and even though rice and corn does not have any glutens to start with it is twice as expensive because of the label. I had ordinary pasta, which has many glutens, apparently.

The smoke in the kitchen from our smoked haddock the other day has now cleared, so I thought that it was probably alright to smoke some chicken, which I did. I felt that I had accomplished quite a lot in a morning where things changed quite radically, quite quickly before a Lifeboat launch at twelve o'clock.

The boat launch was to pass out one of the crew who had completed his course work to become a mechanic. It is the final test before he is handed his mechanic's badge that he can sew onto his jumper, if he has enough space from all the other tests he has passed. Since I had no one else to look after the bleddy hound - I did not dare ask Mother - she had to come over to the Lifeboat station with me and suffer the being tied up to a bench leg while being left alone. For some reason, probably that reason above, she will not descend the stairs to the crew room and had to be carried.

The boat launched and we set up the short slipway for the high water return of the boat about an hour and a half later. It was mild, and dry, enough for us to sit outside the front of the station and while the hour and a bit away before we had to go back inside again.

The boat returned shortly after quarter to two o'clock and lined up on the short slip. We were a neatly numbered team and effectively brought the boat up in what was very possibly a textbook recovery to cheers and flag waving from the public gallery. After hosing down the boat we brought in into the boathouse and nailed shut the doors, another good job, well done. We are after all, a very slick, very excellent Shore Crew.

The afternoon bottomed out into a placid, advancing selection of minutes, punctuated by not an awful lot until around five o'clock, when I was about to take the bleddy hound around the block. Out in the Harbour a lone paddle boarder was gliding in followed by an expensive looking RIB manned by two men in black sailing waterproofs, very much like my own - except mine is dark navy. I thought that they might be Border Force, since I saw what looked like the mother boat running around the corner - it turned out to be Seacat Endeavour, whatever that might be and it was not stopping.

It looked a mite suspicious, especially as after the paddle board had beached, it was loaded back onto the RIB. I reasoned, however, that a bunch of naughty chaps would probably not land by paddle board, unless one was an avid Tom Cruise fan and wanted to look cool. The RIB, with just one of the men on board, tarried a long while, too. I have no idea where the others went, unless they were signalling to an enemy submarine waiting offshore, to bring in a landing party to take the strategically important Cove in a dastardly plot to upset the Cornish tourist industry.

No, I did not think so either and besides, it was getting dark and my tea was begging.

November 13th - Tuesday

Big Sis was off work today and could look after the bleddy hound, so I was able to go to the gymnasium. It was a fine day to go to the gymnasium as there was not a cloud in the sky, the morning light was dancing on the cliffs and the battering wind from yesterday was no more than a little puff, today. I had thought that I would be bereft of my tri-weekly exercise with the Missus away, so this was something of a bonus.

So exuberant was I that when I came home I thought to share my enthusiasm for the day with the bleddy hound, who I had thrown on top of a slumbering Big Sis, as I raced out of the door earlier. I had decided to get geared up to go for a walk, replacing my plimsols with walking boots and slipping on her going out sack - minus the ball launcher - before I extracted her. I was in mid getting ready when Big Sis opened her bedroom door and ejected the bleddy hound. I guessed that she had heard me getting ready and had started making a fuss.

The going out sack on my back confused the bleddy hound no end; I usually do not take it on our walks in the interior but had decided it might be useful today. At the foot of the stairs she turned in the direction of the beach, an idea I had to quickly disabuse her of since we are in neap tides, which have the beach covered for most of the useful parts of the day.

When I had her right, we headed up Mayon Cliff on our way to Land's End. When we got to the top of the cliff we were in glorious sunshine and the air temperature improved no end. I was still, mainly, in gymnasium going gear, including my orange hooded sweatshirt, which was a little too warm in the sunshine but kept my little greenhouse effect going, which was ideal. There was also a light breeze that kept me from being too uncomfortable.

Irish Lady
Sun shines on Irish Lady

I had decided to trek out to Land's End, a regular off season route during neap tide days, and had sallied forth from the lookout at the top of the hill in that direction. The bleddy hound, still clearly confused by the sack on my back, decided that we should really be heading in the direction of Maria's Lane and the beach. I told her once to follow me instead and fifty yards further looked back to note that she was not following me. Climbing up the bank slightly, to get a vantage point, she has happily prancing down the wrong path, still. I let her know again that I was going a different way and after a pause and a look of disapproval, she diverted.

Roofless. I know it was windy yesterday but ...

We rarely call into the complex and, this being not exception, skirted around to the north along a de facto path made by the National Trust's tractor, when they were hardening the path as it approaches Land's End. In doing so they took another small chunk of RAF St Mark's Castle, the last remnants of which, perhaps, should be preserved as it was a significant lump of history that has all but disappeared from memory.

Joining the cycle path, we headed back from whence we came. It is maybe not quite as interesting as the Coast Path but has its own features and today, was exceptionally peaceful. There was also an abundance of colourful birds floating about, though I could not tell you what they were if they fell on my head - they did not stop still long enough for starters.

Cycle Track
On the cycle track with the bleddy hound and me, a shadow of my former self.

Maen Castle
Out towards Longships with Maen Castle framed

It is now customary for us to hack back to the Coast Path across the moor before we reach the end of the cycle track. The path has become quite overgrown, though not so much as to make it impassable. It was, however, impossible to avoid the brambles and the gorse which, not being blessed with a furry coat, scratched at my legs as I pushed my way through; the bleddy hound fared much better.

Back across the moor

We came across one of the elderly and frail of The Cove as we approached home. The bleddy hound was doing a fair impression of this on the last bit of our journey, too. She perked up a bit when we saw our friend and I stopped to help her up the hill with her shopping bags. Her house is perched on the hillside with steps leading up the greater than 45 degrees slope, which she fair bounded up, leaving me struggling behind. Well, she is obviously used to it.

Naturally, we took the weight off for the rest of the afternoon. Big Sis came back from town bearing gifts of chocolate biscuits, which was good of her, and stuff for our tea. We are going vegetarian and Indian tonight but I do not intend to make a habit of it.

November 12th - Sunday

We were up with the lark this morning, although it would have to be a seriously tardy lark to be up at the time we got up. For once, it was me hauling the bleddy hound from her slumber but she made no particular fuss about it and was quite happy to go look out the window and bark at some unfortunate passer by and wake up the rest of the household.

Mother had agreed to look after the bleddy hound in the morning while I went off to the range. I had rather thought that I may have to miss another week, so this was good news. What was not good news was the blasting wind from the north west that persisted for most of the day, although we had some pleasant sunny bits, too. We had been told that the beginnings of this breeze came from the Arctic and therefore carried a bit of a chill with it. They were not wrong.

I had acquired a pair of gloves that I had determined might be clever enough that I could use them while shooting. I had tried them out in the comfort of the flat before I left and reckoned that they might well be alright. On the first use at the range I found it not quite so easy to pick out rounds from my pocket and the loose bit of the left index finger got caught in the magazine tube. They lasted all of two minutes and, although I used them throughout the day between shootings, they were not that warm, either. I will have to man up for the coming cold season and put up with numb fingers that are just as useless as my gloves.

I collected Mother on the way back from the range at half time. It took me a little while to get into the van because I had parked rear on to the wind. It was a struggle to get the tailgate open to throw in my gear and when I went to open the driver's door, it was nearly wrenched from my hand. The gate, too, at the end of the lane decided to close again after I had opened it, before I had driven through it. I managed to push it away from the van as I proceeded and give it a final shove so that the rear end of the van could get through before it banged shut again.

I risked seafood for tea, although we did not let her take any home; I poisoned Mother last time I sent her a seafood takeaway. I will call her early tomorrow, just to make sure. After tea I took her home and as we went up Cove Hill I could see blue lights flashing in the sky. It was a sort of rhythmic flashing and I expected some emergency vehicle at the top of the hill. There was nothing when we got there, although the flashing persisted, over the fields to the south. As we drove along the farm road to St Buryan, we saw fireworks going off across the fields towards Treen but not that far. There is nothing much in that direction other than a few hamlets and when we got to the St Buryan road there was nothing at all to suggest a large firework display, ongoing or just finished. It will forever be a mystery I fear, unless someone out there knows different.

November 11th - Saturday

I had expected today to be full of poor weather and not worth going out in and I was not disappointed. Apart from the few walks around the block with the bleddy hound, who was remarkably chipper after her adventures yesterday, we did not foray far from our door.

The wind was in the west northwest for most of the day and made itself very apparent. The bleddy hound's ears did a very good impression of Biggles' scarf when we ventured beyond the Lifeboat station and she needed to be dragged the first hundred yards to get her going. At the last daylight walk out, she elected to go down to the Harbour beach for a sniff around, leaving me standing on the slipway fending off vicious gusts of wind.

She had got me up early again, which makes for an even longer day during which we had nothing planned. For some while we have had replacement flooring for the shop on our wish list - the Missus and I, that is, the bleddy hound does not care about such things. It has remained on the wish list as it will be difficult to do, as many things that need to be tiled under are heavy and many parts that need to be tiled around are awkward. In short, it is not only on the wish list but it is also on the too difficult pile. Alright, that was not quite as in short as I had intended.

It was the only thing that I could think of to occupy myself: to measure the available bits of floor and hence get some inkling as to the cost of the project. The shop, as you may know, is a fairly large irregular shape, with alcoves and granite pillars to be worked around. I had taken the view that the shelves would stay in place and that we would tile or lay flooring around them. This made the shape even more irregular. I am sure that measuring the area of an irregular space was covered in some geometry class, long ago but that was long ago and I was probably more interested in flicking bits of rolled up paper at whoever was below me in the class pecking order. On reflection there was no one below me in the class pecking order, so I was probably more interested in not being hit by bits of rolled up paper being flicked at me.

Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Ah, yes, measuring my irregular space. I carved up the shop into zones, which were roughly rectangular and measured the free space and adding these together at the end. I also measured all the used space and worked backward from the total space to make sure that I had roughly the same number as I had calculated for the free space.

We will probably still not replace our flooring, despite it needing desperately to be done as it is still in the too difficult pile - the easiest option, to get someone else to do it, the most expensive. However, the process of measuring took a good hour and a half and stopped me, again, having to etch the passing of time on the living room walls like some condemned prisoner.

At least by the time I had finished it was nearly time to make tea. We have two more meals before our list runs out, then we must contemplate starvation.

November 10th - Saturday

Today was as fine as any other day this week with a bit of a punchy blowing coming in from the west somewhere. The bleddy hound had seen fit to give me a bit of a lie in this morning, which was very good of her. Either that or she had given up trying to rouse me.

It seems to be taking longer this year to acclimatise to being closed and having nothing that needs to be done. I am sure that there are things that can be done, it is just that I have not got around to knowing what they are yet. There are things such as painting the front of the shop that must wait for the right weather conditions and also for the Missus to be here, so she can look after the bleddy hound.

The Missus has set me up with a programme on my computer tablet that permits me to look upon her smiling visage while talking with her during her holiday. It is a miracle of modern science and it is as if she were in the room with me, which is obviously a delight. Even though she is on holiday on the other side of the Atlantic there is scant delay and the picture is clear and smooth running.

She called from her hotel at the airport before she left the country, resulting in my tablet computer making a clicking sound. So soft was it that it took me a good while before I realised what it was. This morning I resolved to arrange to make the sound a bit more sensible, such as a ringing tone and set about fiddling with the options. This resulted in a bleary eyed Missus appearing on my screen telling me in soft and dulcet tones that I had accidentally awoken her at just after six o'clock in the morning. My word, how we had a little chuckle over my mistake. We agreed that she would call me back later when it was daylight where she was and that I should not touch any more buttons on my tablet computer unless she told me which ones. I thought that a splendid idea.

The weather is set to turn a little tomorrow, notwithstanding that boredom had once again set in, so I decided that I would look a little further afield for somewhere to run the bleddy hound out. With low waters arriving in the middle of the afternoon in the Duchy I thought that if we set out in the early afternoon there would be plenty of beach to play on, wherever we went. I had initially thought about Upton Towans, the other side of Hayle, but it would be pretty exposed to the wind, which is not so bad for me but has sand blowing in the bleddy hound's eyes. It then came to mind that we had not been to Perranuthnoe for quite some time and I very quickly remembered the Cabin café there that did rather excellent cakes.

Perranu 1
West at Perranuthnoe

The car park used to be free during the winter months but now costs £2 for however long you wish to stay. Given that the chap that owns it also provides the toilets there, you can hardly knock it. Quite how that becomes viable when there is a lady sitting there collecting funds, I do not know. Perhaps she works for tips. I hope not because I did not tip her.

Perranu 2
East with the bleddy hound

There was plenty of beach for the bleddy hound to gambol about on, even with quite a few other people running their dogs about. It is a large enough beach to accommodate all of us with out us interfering with one another and we ended up at the easterly end admiring the scenery. I tarried while the bleddy hound dug a sizable trench - she would normally dig a sizable hole but the sand here is quite firm - and we watched the world go by, she and I.

It was on our way back to the slipway that she gave me the best uplift and giggle that I have had for quite some time. Just off the end of the slipway was a largish pool in the sand, maybe a yard wide and several yards long. We had come to this point with her just carrying the ball and walking alongside me. At the last moment she dropped the ball at my feet for one last chase, which I was happy to provide. She turned to watch the lofted ball and headed off across the pool, the shortest route. It came up to her flanks as she proceeded and then, before my very eyes, she disappeared completely from view; the pool at that point must have been more than a couple of feet deep. She emerged seconds later with a look of sheer nonplussedness on her face. She recovered well, presenting that 'nothing happened' appearance as she set off once again for the ball. Me, I was a weeping wreck. I have no idea what the other beach users made of it but it took me a full five minutes to collect myself.

Perranu 3
Cooling off ahead of a proper dip

We stopped for our tea and cake, well, my tea and cake; the wet bleddy hound made do with a bowl of water. She got her own back to some degree by getting muddy footprints on the driver's seat of the van as she mounted her bed. There was worse ignominy to come because I had to give her a shower when we got home. While she dried off I had a look on the Internet for video cameras that can be strapped on a person; I really do not want to miss a moment like that again.

November 9th - Thursday

Our visitors at this time of the year are some posh, it seems. There has been a chunky Bentley in the Harbour car park for the last few days along with a top of the range BMW and a couple of other expensive lookers. This afternoon there was an F-type Jaguar attracting the attention of the parking attendant as it had parked astride two parking bays. It was either very bad parking or a statement.

I took our somewhat less than posh van into town this morning to collect the items on the shopping list we prepared last night. It gave me another chance to visit the comedy team in what is now Harvey Brothers butchery, which is always jolly and gay. I sympathised with the lady in Baker Tom's bakery as she was on the telephone trying to fix her high tech' till. Like us, she was trying to balance serving customers as her priority and receive instructions over the telephone. Unlike us, she was having to record the detail of every sale so that she could input it into the till when it was fixed; we have a manual till that is only one step ahead of the quill and will still operate after a nuclear attack … for any customers who may be interested at that time.

The very good green grocery next door to the bakery had just about everything else on my list, apart from the dried beans which I had from the shop opposite. Fortunately, the car park is adjacent to the majority of these shops, which made the whole shopping trip quick and easy. I would say that you could place all these fine independent shops in their current locations inside the foot print of, say, one of the big superstores, outside town, for example.

I have to shop swiftly, as the bleddy hound will get stressed if left too long. Let me correct that. The bleddy hound becomes mortally apoplectic if left alone for more than three nanoseconds. She was in knots the first time I returned to the van and took five minutes to calm down after I returned. I drove around to the store that sells vehicle accessories as our windscreen wipers required replacing. Here I was able to park next to the shop door and was less than five minutes out of her sight. It still took five minutes to calm her down.

We spent a completely carefree afternoon, which I still cannot get used to. It was mind numbingly dull until time to make the tea, which, because of Lifeboat training, was a simple toasted sandwich. We were joined by Head Launcher and Sidney, the small hound, which was a pleasant interlude before we needed to depart.

There was no launching of Lifeboats due to the sea conditions but we learned that our health and safety procedures needed to be renewed and tightened up ahead of an inspection coming soon. While it is easy to deride such things, and in several cases it has been taken too far, the Lifeboat launches and recoveries occur in risky environments and in emergencies it can be easy to overlook the safety aspects. At least the derision and the poking fun brings it to the forefront of the mind, even though it can be a complete pain in the bottom.

There was nothing whatever important about the OS quiz, later in the evening in which the Boat Crew won the day. We strongly suspect that marking your own sheet might be against the rules but I am sure that they will have played the game with a straight bat, bearing in mind that using a bat is also against the rules.

There were stars in the sky earlier in the evening but I do not recall seeing them on the way home. The wind was our chief concern as it had improved its game and appeared to be in our faces. The bleddy hound did not seem to care too much as I ran her around the block, now all I have to do is persuade her to not get up too early.

November 8th - Wednesday

It was an early start this morning but not quite as early as the Missus had to get up. She is away deep, for a week and the whole process started today. It is rare that she gets up earlier than me, so I suggested she took the bleddy hound around the block. I was not that far behind the Missus getting up and after I had taken the bleddy hound around the block I went and got the van for her bare necessities bags. These are bags that are essentially empty, apart from the bare necessities, but will return full. I have already turned white, cold and sweating.

We took the bleddy hound with us, as she does not do 'on her own' and there was a small likelihood that I may have returned home a few moments after Big Sis had gone to work. I was mildly surprised at the lack of traffic on the roads, being past eight o'clock, but the Missus assured me that it was still the middle of the night and that no one but me gets up at this time. I dropped her at the station with fond farewells.

Given that the chief cook had just vacated the building there is a yawning gap in meal provision in the household. Big Sis, who cooks exceedingly well, is sadly working until nearly tea time, which only leaves me to prepare evening meals for the two of us. I had decided upon kedgeree that requires an abundance of smoked fish. Alright, it does not; it only needs a little bit. However, I like an abundance of smoked fish and headed to Newlyn where they sell fish in abundance, haddock in this case, that is not smoked but can be smoked at home if you are blessed with a stove top smoker - as I am.

I returned home and smoked my abundance of fish. I only ate a little bit, having carefully ensured that I ate a full and 'ansum breakfast before I started to do the smoking. Had I not had a full and 'ansum breakfast, the likelihood was that most of the abundance of smoked fish would have been eaten straight from the smoker.

In between smokings - it took two sessions - I returned to the living room where, first I would not take on the aroma of a smoked haddock and, second, could observe the beach.

From the very outset it was a day of sparkle and wonder. The skies were clear but for some fluffy white clouds and high level cirrus and the sun was bright and unseasonably warm. Despite having only been to the beach the day before, the big beach cried out to be gambolled upon and the sea, at least at low water, called for bare legs to be dangled into it. (At high water it was fair banging over the Harbour wall and was the last place you would wish to dangle anything, let alone bare legs.)

As soon as the fish was smoked, finished and the washing up done, I lassoed the bleddy hound and followed her in the direction of the big beach. It does seem that this year she is pulling less at her lead or perhaps she was just not quite as enthusiastic to be gambolling on the beach as she was yesterday. She took a while to get going but soon got into the swing of chasing the ball.

The sea had carved deep, random furrows in the sand in the middle of the beach, where it was sunny. This only left the immediate tide line, which we were chased off after a while by the encroaching tide. We repaired further up having first crossed the furrows, which was hard going and tarried quite a while until I realised the time.

It was time for a quick dip into the OS for a livener before going back to cook the tea. As many of you have seen, the bleddy hound can be trained to perform tricks. The greatest of these is for her to dig her heels in so fervently that she has to be dragged across the threshold of the OS. Once in the bar, she sulks. The Missus did a fine job on this one. I ignored her, the bleddy hound, that is - we do not ignore the Missus - and enjoyed a swift couple before returning home.

On the way out - I was too busy dragging a bleddy hound on the way in - I noticed that the front porch has been demolished. The workpeople had made a very clean job of it, too. Apparently it is to be replaced as the old one was old and leaked a bit.

While I finished off the kedgeree, we had an evenly balanced discussion about meals for the next few days where Big Sis told me what we were going to have and what I needed to buy to make them. We did not discuss where I would buy the ingredients because, obviously, I would seek out the best quality for the fairest price and we all know where that may be had, do we not, boys and girls.

November 7th - Tuesday

I had absolutely no reason not have to a lie in this morning, so the bleddy hound got me up early. I am not surprised, as we could hear the wind howling and the sea lumping over the Harbour wall and the rain lashing at the windows. Why would anyone want to stay in bed with that lot going on?

I took her at her word and stepped out into the tempest. It was definitely raining and the wind, knocking in from the north west, was whipping it into my face. I had taken the precaution of a full metal waterproof suit to ward off the worst of it. The bleddy hound got soggy, instead.

It may have been wet but the temperature still has not dropped below double figures. Sunday appeared to have been a one off, as even with the howling breeze today, it was still reasonably temperate. We are quite looking forward to the 'worst winter since '63' that has been recently mooted, for some proper seasonal weather. I can still remember several months during the season where our forecasters struggled to get close to an accurate forecast for the next day, so I think we can take the icy winter with a pinch of preserved anchovies.

In fairness, the forecasters correctly predicted that the weather front that gave us our rain, passed through and left a dry, if windy, remaining half of the day. I had surveyed the scene through the window and considered the 'doing nothing' situation from yesterday and decided that it would be far more pleasant to have a run around the circuit with the bleddy hound. Since she had gone back to bed with the Missus, I was able to prepare without her yapping at my heels.

Windy bay
Windy bay

We started up the hill to the old coastguard lookout to discover that the Marines are back in residence with their flag flying. They were busy throwing themselves off Pedn-men-du, so we left them at it and struck back along the top of Mayon Cliff and down Maria's Lane. The work on the new build on the postage stamped size of ground by Esther's Field has crawled along since we were last there and the foundations have been laid. We looked over the hill at the Cove Hill end to see that the land behind the pair of houses perched above the road has been cleared. I looked at the, thankfully refused, plans for a massive build here, with a sweeping driveway taking over much of the hillside. The size of the property would give the OS a run for its money. We do hope that the planning authority up country do not put it through on the nod like normal, as it will ruin this end of The Cove completely.

Marine Flag
Marines jumping off cliffs today

Crossing the road, we moved up behind Carn Olva and along the hill behind the beach and around to the top of the valley. On our way I caught a fleeting glimpse of what I thought was a teasel head lying in the path, shortly before it was covered by the bleddy hound's head. The bleddy hound spotted it too and was in a position to see that it was a mouse or, more likely a vole or shrew. Still not knowing I pulled her back by her harness at the same moment that she started to shake her head from side to side. Fortunately, she dropped the animal and, dragging her off, I looked back to see it rolling about on its back. It managed to right itself and padded off into the long grass at the side of the path. It is the first time that the bleddy hound has caught up with a bit of prey; I did not think she would have the first idea what to do. She obviously does.

We made our way down the valley in the searing heat of the middle of the day sunshine. Up to this point I was glad I had elected to wear a few layers, which did a good job of keeping out the blustery wind. Now I was glad I decided to wear shorts as well, as the valley is a proper sheltered sun trap on days like these.

As usual, the walking thus far had all been for me. Now we were on the home straight to the beach and the whole reason that the bleddy hound had deigned to come with me. By the time we had come to Carn Keys she was at me to get the ball launcher out and as soon as I did she was off down the path to the sand.

I kept an eye out for Portuguese Man O'War but fortunately there were none that we noticed. There was nothing else but the constant throwing of the ball and racing off to catch it from one end of the beach to the other. This is the bleddy hound in her absolute element and I do not think that there is another place anywhere that she would rather be. It is not often that it happens but I found myself in utter agreement today.

Marine Flag
One happy Bleddy Hound

November 6th - Monday

The bleddy hound decided to let me have a lie in this morning, the only day that I was quite keen to get started early, although I cannot remember quite why. I know that I got down to the gymnasium quite early, which I prefer as it gives me the rest of the day to get on and do things. It is just that I did not have anything to get on and do.

Whatever it might have been that I was supposed to do, it was a perfectly pleasant day to be doing it. That bitter north wind had evaporated overnight and there was hardly a breeze today, at least not one that bothered us at all. It meant that there were a few fellow human beings floating about as I came back from the gymnasium and I was able to interact with other people not in the immediate family. This will become a rarity as the winter drags on. One told me of more scandals going on in the world, which I was happily unaware of since I have been deprived of my daily access to the newspapers. Sorry, did you expect that I should buy one, like normal people; I am a grumpy shopkeeper, for heaven's sake.

With both Big Sis and the Missus still languishing in beds, I held a lonely vigil with the bleddy hound, until she too decided that being in my company was not all it was cracked up to be and went back to bed again with the Missus. It appears that I have my uses and being company is not one of them when there are alternatives.

When you are faced with total isolation and the ale houses not open for another few hours, there is only one thing to do: make some award winning pasties. I had already purchased the doings for them at the reasonably priced and high quality independent stores in town at the end of last week. All I had to do therefore was to set about the preparation; I did not even have to make the pastry. I had purchased this from our pasty delivery company during the last weeks of our opening and had frozen it in anticipation of this very moment. I did make an extra pasty for Mother but realised that I could not refreeze it without cooking it first and that having cooked it there seemed little point in freezing it, so we forced it down between us as well. Sorry Mother.

It did cross my mind that I would take the bleddy hound around somewhere in the later afternoon but reckoned without a lump of grey mizzle descending upon us. I might just save this as something delicious to do tomorrow instead. Or there again I might just do nothing if I could only stop feeling guilty about doing it. Perhaps I could philosophise whether 'doing nothing' is actually possible because the verb implies that something has been done and that it might be more accurate to describe it as not doing something. That should take up an hour or two.

November 5th - Sunday

I apologise now to those of you who like to settle in front of a screen and luxuriate over the thrilling revelations of the day's Diary; this will be a tad short.

I was awoken during the night by the howling of the wind in the eaves; it sounded quite severe. When I looked at the weather records for the night, the wind barely reached 30 miles per hour, though it might have been sheltered in both locations I looked at. The wind had moved around to the north northwest and had become bitterly chill. It is the first day since records began, at the beginning of the season, that I wore big boy trousers around the block with the bleddy hound.

In my defence, this was partly due to me being dressed for the range, the first whole day up there since the shop opened in March. The Missus dropped me up there as she wanted to go around to Mother during the day and needed the van. I had taken the precaution of taking a woolly sweater with me, as I anticipated it being somewhat breezy, with the wind being in the north. I was not wrong, although in the direct sunshine - and there was quite a bit - it was warm enough to forgo the extra layer.

As the day pressed on, not even a fair amount of physical activity could keep us from feeling the increasing chill. By the end of the day I think we were all feeling a slow down as the cold got into our bones and our brains. Having said that, we all had a jolly wheeze of a time to the point of largesse as demonstrated when I was awaiting my turn of the final phase of clay shooting. I was waiting patiently, with shotgun in hand and cartridges in my pocket when I shout went out from the ranks. I looked in the direction suggested to see a large rabbit sitting in the butts. It was neither white, nor did it have a large watch but it was just as surreal as we watched it casually make its way up the side of the range wall. That was one very lucky rabbit.

November 4th - Saturday

The bleddy hound has developed quite a gentle way of waking me up in the morning. First, I have two paws settled upon my lower leg, then top half of her body and head. After a minute she will creep up a little further and wait a minute more. If I have still not stirred myself to action at this point she will set about licking the first available flesh that is above the bedclothes, in this morning's case, my face. We shall have to work on her timings as she appears to be getting earlier rather than later each day.

I had expected some rain and there was clear evidence that a shower or two had passed through. There was also evidence that after several days of calm, the wind had picked up. In fact, there was a gale of wind knocking in from the north west, which made it a little breezy in The Cove.

After sorting out the bleddy hound I lazed about for an hour or two. It did not seem particularly pressing to go and sort out the fan, so I paid a few bills and read a few articles on existentialist philosophers in the 19th and 20th century, boy, did those guys know how to throw a party. It was not easy to pull myself away but the Highly Professional Craftsperson wrenched me from my study with a text message to say that he was keen to come and inspect the broken fan.

It might have been irony that delivered the furniture lifter after I manhandled the freezer out of the way but it was downright bad manners for the Highly Professional Craftsperson to turn up after I had finished. I did check later to see if I could have been observed from outside the shop blinds in case he had waited on purpose.

As expected, the dismantling of the fan was relatively straight forward, other than it needing a little more of a shove than the new one yesterday. Having brushed off the slats and made sure the configuration switches inside were set correctly the new one installed quite easily, too. However, it did not initially turn on when the button was pressed. It was the Highly Professional Craftsperson, without the aid of a manual, who spotted the 'learn' internal switch configuration. I vaguely remember this from installing the first fan that the wireless remote control needs to be tuned in. It all works just fine but we will have to wait until next summer before finding out whether it works in earnest.

I considered returning to the exciting lives of Sartre and Dostoyevsky but thought it just as interesting to contemplate my navel for the rest of the afternoon. I was being careful not to peak too early for we had fun and excitement aplenty lined up for the evening.

It transpired that the Highly Professional Craftsperson has birthdays and the one that he had decided to have soon was quite a large and round one and worthy of note. To mark this event, and with some help from the Missus, he had been cajoled into booking the Mexican restaurant in town, the one we had gone to for his less large and worthy of note, birthday last year. It was quite a gathering, although it was suspected that he had paid many to be there, down to the laying on of transport that oddly had locked doors and bars on the windows. The Missus and I would have turned up out of sympathy but I can see that others would have probably have found that they were washing their Nietzsche or shaving their pet armadillos without some kind of inducement. Having said that it was a remarkably enjoyable evening, with no one being forced to wear daft party hats or blow squeekers. If you enjoy food of the Mexican sort, they do it very well here.

We had a short time left after leaving the restaurant and waiting on the arrival of the bus. We entered one of the town's finest hostelries and enjoyed the diverse and interesting local inhabitants revelling in their natural environment. We narrowly missed observing a cat fight - not real cats, of course - which I thought that the Highly Professional Craftsperson had laid on for our delectation but apparently it was spontaneous. It was difficult for us to tear ourselves away from the many faceted spectacles and find the bus. What a splendid night it was.

November 3rd - Friday

I do not think I was expecting this week's weather to be so mild and delicious. The beach looked every bit as attractive as it did yesterday but I avoided going down with the bleddy hound today. In retrospect, this would have been the ideal week to paint the front of the shop, had I been on the button thinking about it and these things need a bit of preparation. I will have to be on the look out for another dry period, although I doubt that I can expect it to be quite as mild.

We took a take away breakfast from Little Bo Café this morning. While I was waiting I unpacked the replacement fan. There are only three screws holding the cowling on and the main fan unit simply twists onto the frame. It should be fairly straightforward replacing one for the other and all the other new bits can be returned with the broken fan unit. All that remains is to pull the freezer out from its position in front of the fan so that I can get to it.

The freezers have an interesting design with castors at the rear and feet at the front. This makes it easy to push them back into place but a real struggle to pull them forwards. There is nowhere to hold and lift the front of the freezer, so fingers need to be placed under the bottom to lift it, then drag it backwards. It is the sort of position that is depicted in cartoon form in manual handling pamphlets, representing how not to lift heavy loads; a red faced chap with lightning symbols stabbing at the lower back.

I had anticipated this at the beginning of the week and quite fortuitously found a furniture lifter - a lever on wheels - that would most likely be ideal to lift the front of the freezer. The tool came with four corner dollies, which may or not be useful, too. The hope was that it would arrive in time to save me damaging myself by trying to shift the freezer in front of the fan manually, so I waited all day in case it arrived. It did not, so tomorrow I shall be risking having to join a male voice choir as soprano.

In my cups on Thursday night, I had rashly offered to cook pasties, particularly as I was keen to try out the frozen pastry supplied by our pasty delivery company. I had not intended to make the pasties today because the pastry is frozen but I was not to be let off the hook so easily and the Missus suggested, in a firm and robust manner, that I find something else to cook for tonight.

For this reason I found myself driving off in the direction of town. Here, a plethora of small independent shops await, with a splendid choice of top quality goods at reasonable prices and all within a short walk of the car park, the charge for which is easily made up from the savings made against, say, going to an out of town Tesmorburys. I do not know whether I have mentioned this before but it is an option worth pursuing. The Butcher shop, particularly, not only provides a wide choice of excellent meats but is also a hotbed of comedic entertainment. The business has recently changed hands but it was good to see the same staff retained.

Unfortunately, I did also have to visit the out of town store on an errand for the Missus. Since it did not have the particular brand of product she wanted I had to travel further out to Hayle on the same request. It seems that, at last, something is being done about the St Erth junction, which is exceedingly busy due to railway station traffic and the lorries frequenting the tip, sorry, Household Waste Recycling Centre there. Given the much maligned council's track record on such things it could conceivably end up worse but we will reserve judgement until the work is complete.

Hayle is a town steeped in industrial history and once was a busy port with large ships using its quays. The channel has long since been allowed to silt up and had required years of expensive and controversial dredging to keep it clear for the small fishing vessels still using it. Therefore, it was good to see the Carnsew Pool sluice gates reinstalled and back in action. With the tide on the push, there was a fierce current flowing into the Pool. The resultant release of the retained waters in the Pool at low tide will help to keep the channel open in a more economic and environmentally friendly way. It was designed long ago by people who actually knew what they were doing and consequently works.

Oh yes, the lettering on the Lifeboat channel marker flags is coincidental. An old plastic banner was recycled to make them. All we need to do now is wonder what the sign said before it was chopped up.

November 2nd - Thursday

The bleddy hound got her wish, albeit just a little short of twenty four hours later. I took her down to the big beach, first thing, which confused her slightly but she did not say anything. We were not the first down there but where we went the sand was still virgin. It was sublime having the wet sand under my bare feet again; it has been quite some time. The bleddy hound was not minded to have a dip, which was just as well as she would be heading back to our bed not long after she got back home again. She chased the ball for a while and met a couple of friends who arrived just before we vacated for a spot of breakfast.

Beach 1
One person and plenty of sand.

Beach 2
The marks of a bleddy hound enjoying herself

It was never going to be a particularly action packed day; I had to stay in to await the probable, or likely, delivery of our replacement fan. If it was going to arrive today it would do so at the latest possible time to provide me with the least possible opportunity for doing anything else that was meaningful.

Instead, I decided to do lots of meaningless and irritating tasks such as chase up our mobile telephone top up service and complete our long outstanding Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) documentation.

The former did not take long at all. The whole idea of chasing them up did not so much occur to me, as I had only just had an electronic mail from them to say that there were some discrepancies - how, what and where they were was a mystery. What triggered my interest was a call from them that I missed and no message was left. I called back and asked to speak with the lady who had sent the email but apparently us mere customers cannot reach her by telephone, we must wait until we are called or have electronic mails sent to us.

The PCIDSS was something that I could deal with, however. I had discovered, quite by accident, that I had mixed up my dealing with customers in the shop account with my receiving orders over the Internet account and the two had to be swapped around. I had already done the Internet one but needed to re-set up the shop one. With nothing more exciting to do, I embarked on this enlightening journey.

The process asks a lot of daft questions, well, they are daft if you are a two man shop with only one, stand-alone payment card terminal. They are a bit more meaningful if you are a big corporate where DMZs, multi-layered firewalls and protocol analysis are reasonably important. I do hope that they never ask to see my Information Security Strategy document or my network diagram, which is a straight line with a box at either end. It would have been helpful, however, if they had taken a bit more time over how they phrased their questions. For example, "'Electronic card data is not stored on the premises?' Yes or No".

It is an uphill struggle to try and argue that placing a question mark at the end of a statement does not necessarily make it a question and in most cases yes and no are both affirmative responses. You learn after the first half hour conversation with a call agent trying to explain this that you should have just pressed the button that they expect. I pressed all the buttons they expect and passed with flying colours, rendering the whole process a glorious waste of time and energy. Well done me.

Since we had near perfect weather conditions, it would have been churlish not to have a Lifeboat launch and not only that, two Lifeboat launches. I concerned myself, again, with launching the Inshore boat while the good number of other bodies went about launching the big boat. I retired for my tea and returned to recover the Inshore boat. It is a little weird sitting in the recovery vehicle in perfectly still waters, looking at the seabed all about the tractor.

I returned to the boathouse in time to help, mainly observe, since we do not have enough lifejackets to go around, the bringing of the big boat up the long slipway. Had there been the numbers of people about that there were for the launch they would have looked upon an obviously textbook recovery. We are, after all, a very consistent, very excellent Shore Crew.

After being told last week of my propensity to not write down answers given to me in the OS quiz, I decided to only write down answers given to me in the OS quiz. We lost. I make no comment other than even with me not participating, we still loose. That is it, nothing further.

I rather enjoyed a turn around the block with the bleddy hound. The moon was waxing gibbous and while there was a bit of cloud about, there was still a star blessed sky. There was enough light to watch the bleddy hound nose about the Harbour car park and spy, with curiosity, someone with a big light mess about in Cot Valley.

November 1st - Wednesday

I called our fan people again yesterday to vent my spleen, which seemed appropriate. I was told that the lady who was on holiday would have been back to work yesterday and I had given her an extra day, which I thought kind, given the circumstances. She was not there again, works half days apparently, but would call me tomorrow. I suggested that should the call not come I would escalate the issue.

The call came in this morning asking that I nominate a day for the broken fan to be collected. I suggested that it might be a better plan if they nominated a day for the new fan to be delivered first, then we could talk about collection after that. She agreed, which was the right thing to do. I must now wait in all day tomorrow when the new fan should - I did not like the should bit - turn up.

The bleddy hound was all over me when I came back from the gymnasium. She had been chewing a bit of greenery on her way around the block this morning, which normally indicates a bit of a tummy problem. I assumed the worst and hurried her out the door. She immediately pulled me in the direction of the big beach and I knew immediately that I had been had. Unfortunately, I was a little pressed this morning, else I would have taken her. She reinforced her demand when she got back into the flat by pawing at her ball launcher. She sulked for hours afterwards.

I cannot blame her for wanting to run down there today; the beach looked magnificent and the sea like glass. The day stayed pretty throughout, although the cloud rolled in later in the afternoon. The bleddy hound definitely had her carpe diem moment right as the next time I looked, the tide had race in and cover most of the beach.

I took a trip into town early in the afternoon to visit my bone cruncher. I had intended to go in the early part of the season as I like to bookend shop opening with a visit. My theory is that I spend eight months standing up and four months sitting down and need to be adjusted for each. Whether that maps out in practise I do not know but I failed to make an appointment before the season started and felt in some need by the end of it. I know that there are varying opinions on bone crunching but it seems to work for me, so I do not knock it.

It was quite exciting to go on a little excursion - alright, I do not get out much. I had a reasonably clear run into town but when I arrived I could not quite believe the amount of traffic, even though I did not go into town itself. Fortunately, I did not get caught up for long but shall allow longer to get in next time.

The Falmouth diving team were here all day, in a couple of boats. It is the time of the year to replace the Lifeboat channel markers and we now have bright yellow ones with white flags atop, although the breasting buoy is still the same. New this year is a lettering system on each flag. The eastern one had a 'W' written on it, presumably in case you approach it from the wrong side. If you approach it from the wrong side the least you would have to worry about was the direction of west; you would be on top of the rocks. The last one on the western side has an 'O' - Open water? - or a 'C' - Continue? or Close if you are coming the other way - while the inshore western buoy has nothing at all that I can see. I shall make enquiries tomorrow night, I think.

Big Sis and I were very naughty in the afternoon and binge watched a television series sequel. Apparently, an ex-Prime Minister and his missus are hooked to it but I doubt whether they watched all nine episodes in one sitting. It was quite good fun at the time but I do not think we will be making a habit of it - not until the next series, anyhow.

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