Today’s lunch

Today’s lunch was actually a breakfast, not because we slept in but because the Cliff Top Cafe do a great all day breaky.


I took teenage son along and we sat in the window and we pushed the boat out and had homemade cake to follow.


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Concrete Cabin envy

Refugi Lieptgas is a holiday cabin in the Swiss Alps designed by Selina Walder & Georg Nikisch at Nickisch Sano Walder Architects.  At first glance this looks like a wooden cabin but closer inspection shows that those grooves are actually concrete, the previous building was used as, for want of a better word, a mold for the concrete.



For more photographs of the interior, and the back with lashings of snow, click here.

There could be a Swiss trend happening here, below is a 200 year old wood and stone home in Linescio, Switzerland


which looks untouched but …inside, voila…


has been reconstructed with layered concrete by Buchner Brundler Architects.  Photos by Ruedi Walti       Buchner Bründler Architekten

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Last year I posted on the chalet facebook page that I had seen  a couple of large swedes in the road as I was driving down the back lane, by this I meant large root vegetables and not a resident of Sweden. The other day him indoors also found a couple of swedes in the back lane, stopped to pick them up and brought them home. When he showed them to me we both knew they were not swedes, or any root vegetable that we knew of…but… in the far reaches of my memory I came up with mangelwurzels. How I knew that word I can’t remember but its not a word that you’d forget in a hurry like people’s names for example.


And sure enough a quick trawl of the internet led us to many images that looked just like ours.

The farmers driving up the back lane on their tractors and trailors had obviously dropped them on route to where these crops are being stored and as we are in a rural location one assumes they are being grown for winter cattle feed. Not sure what to do with ours now, compost them or leave them in the field for the wildlife to feed on or, we could attempt to make manglewurzel beer, a recipe for which was found in a 1830 book The Practice of Cookery.

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the daffodils of East Cornwall

The daffodils are in full swing down in East Cornwall, as you leave Torpoint (via the Torpoint ferry, which is the easiest way to reach the Rame Peninsula from Devon) and head out of town there is a large bank of pale yellow daffodils waving you goodbye. Further along, about 500 yards or so there is a triangular grass verge outside the entrance to Anthony House which is always full of daffs and again just past the entrance. Another few hundred yards along the road to the village of Anthony you suddenly get a whole field of daffodils on the left, there are so many that the effect is like an impressionist painting with little dots of yellow amongst the green.


Then just before you turn into the village of Anthony, and on to the coast, another field on the right has regimented rows of yellow, the orange middles giving an intensity to the overall colour. The village itself has pots of daffs outside the community stores and then as you climb the hill to leave the village you turn a corner and a large vista of fields becomes level. You can see the daffodils in the distance, some fields of many different shades of yellow haphazardly growing together, which gives a sunshine tapestry effect. In some fields they are in rows and segregated by shades and some daffs are growing right next to the road but you only catch a glimpse of brightness, every now and then, peeking over the top of the Cornish hedges. Coming back in the opposite direction gives you another aspect of the roadside field and then you can see the full glory. At the top of the road you take the left turn at the T junction and then you see the fields where the daffs grew in previous years (there seems to be a rotation for daffodils much like allotment vegetables) and here you get odd clumps that have been left behind so there are golden splodges dotted about. Turning into the back lane there are quite a few daffs growing in the verges, but how did they get there?


It’s not like they are plants that can be spread by wind or birds. I’m no expert but thought the bulbs reproduce new bulbs from the roots of the original. So how do clumps of daffodils grow out of the tops of walls? You can see them all the way along the lane and as you turn into the chalet a host of them welcome you into the field until finally…


my big pot of daffs (just about to bloom) outside our back door welcomes me home.

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Best dog walks


The online tourist board visitor guide for Cornwall have posted their  best 5 dog walks in the county and its there, Cawsand to Whitsand Bay, 5.2 miles with Whitsand being a dog friendly beach all year round. The SW coast path follows the paths on the cliff but  when the tide is out who wouldn’t want to walk on the beach.


Interestingly another one of the five, Padstow to Harlyn Bay, is a regular walk I take with mad friend which I have posted about here.

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the way down

Having not seen any storm damage for ourselves but hearing of it second hand we thought we would venture out and check for ourselves especially as there was an article about a uncovered wreck at Freathy beach. We had been told that the path onto the beach had been damaged so we would have to pick our way gently. The paths to the beach are usually pretty much like this below, worn earth with wooden risers.


When we reached the lifeguard hut there was a notice that the path to the beach was dangerous. Work to repair had already been started by cutting into the cliff face away from the edge to make a wider path.


This was how it looked on the way down but it wasn’t until you looked back you saw that constant battering of waves had taken away the earth from underneath the stone steps.



Early last year when there were landslides and part of the cliff path collapsed the council said it would be repaired by July 2013. Many people were sceptical, and rightly so as nothing has been done to repair it, maybe partly because locals found another route down clearing the undergrowth and making good the stairs.

Next Saturday volunteers are heading down to try to fix the path so that the beach is accessible for the start of the season, that is the Easter holidays. There will also be a new lifeguard hut arriving which I personally have mixed feelings about as I was always fond of the old green hut.


We didn’t see the wreck, as the tide was not in our favour, we will have to wait for a low tide to see. Watch this space!


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from the ridiculous to the sublime


After St Pirrin’s day and the official start of Spring last week it felt like the weather gods had taken note and decided to send a few rays of sun our way. So after endless weeks of gales and rain the weekend was awash with blue skies, sunshine, birdsong and smiley happy people. It also gave us ample time to check over the chalet and see if the weather had reeked any havoc after a preliminary look a couple of weeks ago. The major casualty was the Torbay Palm tree which was pushed over by the wind at a 45 degree angle, so we brought it back to upright and tied it to the fence with rope (above pic). Unfortunately it’s quite obvious visually but it will be worth it if the roots take hold again, we are not holding out any hope but keeping our fingers crossed.


The sheep are back in the field again and are so used to people using the track that links to the South West Coast path that one even posed for a picture. We were heading through the field to go to the Cliff Top Cafe for our morning cuppa, the tide was in so we walked along Military Rd, which gave us a chance to see all the little jobs people have been doing to their chalets. Everyone had windows and doors open, lots of DIY was in evidence and people were making the most of the weather, some finding unusual spots for some light reading (see below). At the cafe everyone was crowding outside and we met lots of friends who had already been down to the beach and even tried out the waves, minus wetsuits!!



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