Cornish Rural Touring

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In the autumn months there is a flurry of cultural offerings within the villages and small towns of Cornwall  via an agency called Carn to Cove. Cornwall has been hosting this kind of touring for years and it’s extremely successful partly because of the dearth of large scale theatres in the county. During the summer months there are many different outdoor performances to choose from but as the nights draw in where do you go? Carn to Cove is an arts scheme for rural communities where local people select the shows they want to see in their village halls choosing from music, dance, poetry, comedy and drama. The success of the scheme is down to the village communities, each venue has a promoter who are invited to a ‘menu party’ twice a year, where selected shows for that season get pitched [sometimes even by the performers themselves]. Once a show is selected by a venue then Carn to Cove administrate contacting the performers and deciding on convenient dates for everyone. Then, bar some paperwork and marketing the event for the village, the company will turn up and then it’s down to the village to run the event.

Me and Him Indoors went along to two such evenings this week, one in a local village hall on the Rame Peninsula via Carn to Cove and one in St Austell Arts Centre, both were packed with audience. There were volunteers running the front of house [issuing or checking tickets], staffing the raffle table and running the refreshments. In the Rame village hall the refreshments were through a hatch off the main hall that led to the kitchen, from where the wine and bottles of local beer were dispatched; in St Austell they had a separate bar.  Both had raffles, which are an added way of making money for the community and I was disappointed not to win at either place, there were the usual bottles of wine but also some tulip bulbs, which I had my eye on. Both shows were female led and both performed by mainly Cornish based professional actors; being local to the area can often help to bring in a bigger audience.

Having been on the other side of the stage at such evenings I know how adaptable you need to be, you may not get the designated dressing room you would have in a theatre, you may be changing in someone’s office, or a sports changing room or, like in one case when the venue was a museum, we had to share changing facilities with life size waxworks dressed in medieval costume [with the small addition of moths]. Sometimes depending on the size and lay out of the space you may have to share the toilet facilities with the audience and you may have to mingle with them ahead of the performance so you can use all the facilities. Aside from all these small compromises I also know how enthusiastic communities can be about these evenings as some villages become quiet in the autumn months after a busy summer holiday season and a show can bring a bit of life back into the place and, most of the audience know one another so there is a buzz going on before and after the show. The best thing about it is you are far more able to talk to the audience afterwards than in a traditional set up where you finish up back stage and by the time you have navigated your way out most people have left to get home.

There are various other schemes like Carn to Cove in the south west; Beaford Arts and Villages in Action cover Devon, Takeart covers Somerset and Arts Reach, Dorset.

 

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cabin envy NZ

 

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This large cabin is owned by the director of a New Zealand architectural practice so its obviously going to tick all the boxes design wise and for practicality. What you can’t see from the above picture but get a glimpse of the open doors [with black frames] is, that the same amount of window space is opened up on the other side leading to the wrap around deck with the outdoor fire. It also has two tubs sunk into the deck so you can bathe outdoors in front of the fire [I wish].

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Photo by Designboom  source  

 

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Marine Conservation Society’s 3 year survey

 

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The Marine Conservation Society have conducted a three year quarterly survey of 19 UK sites, one being at the eastern end of Whitsand Bay. Facilitated by Rame Peninsula Beach Care  Polhawn beach was cleared four times a year and the results came in as to what was collected from it. In total they cleared away 68,739 pieces of rubbish and that doesn’t include the tiny micro plastics that were too small to pick up and collected when, at times, the beach looked relatively clean to the naked eye. Some items came from large container spills, like the lego spill from 1997 and a load of HP Printer cartridges, but the most is just broken bits of plastic – 34,546 bits.

As Rame Peninsula Beach Care says

‘ we hope these figures, when combined with those from the other locations, will help to provide a useful set of baseline data about marine plastic on UK shorelines that can be used in future to draw up effective policy to tackle the marine litter problem..’

The full itemised list of what they collected over three years is on their Facebook Page.

Click on the highlighted words for the links

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locals foodie tips in Oahu

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a local beach in Haleiwa, on Oahu’s North Shore

The joy of staying with friends on holiday is that you get an experience which is as close to local as possible. We’ve been visiting Oahu for many years and in all that time we have stayed on the windward side on the east of the island, about half an hour away from Honolulu and less touristy. Yet over the years our favourite places have started to be more popular and now, to us, they don’t feel special anymore… I know, how selfish of me!!! Yet over the last few weeks we’ve managed to find some spots that are still off the beaten track. The great thing about Hawaii is that all beaches are for public use, apart from Government owned ie those by the U.S forces. There are beach parks dotted everywhere and you only need to walk a short way further along the beach to find the quieter spots although without the facilities including life guards local knowledge re water safety is requisite.

We also had some great recommended meals out, here are our friends tips.

Mud Hen Water 3452 Wai’alae Avenue, Honolulu: This is modern Hawaiian food by local chef Ed Kenney;  we ate the Opah [moon fish] that had been wrapped in banana leaf with local vegetables and buried under hot coals – fantastic. Recommended by Vincent

http://www.mudhenwater.com

Kalapawai Market  306 S Kalaheo Ave, Kailua, A short walk from the soft white sand of Kailua beach Kalapawai is so laid back. Help yourself to the daily coffees, around 6-8 choices, from Kona or Vanilla Macademia or Hazelnut or Coconut and the super large muffins or local banana bread. There’s a small kitchen selling breakfast and lunches and there’s a couple of rows of grocery goods and tasteful holiday trinkets. Recommended a long time ago by Bud 

http://www.kalapawaimarket.com/section/store/

Ai Love Nalo 41-1025 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo: A vegan restaurant in a super local area that sources ingredients from local farmers. It’s more than a restaurant its a whole wellness centre with a great ethos. Recommended by Laura

https://ailovenalo.com

Merriman’s, 1108 Auahi Street, Honolulu. Known across all the islands Merrimans in Honolulu is the newest addition. It’s a proper dining experience and the prices can be high but there are small plates at smaller prices and Happy Hour offers at the bar, and with live music every night you can listen to a slack key master included in the price of a meal and you can’t argue with that when the musician is Jeff Peterson

https://www.merrimanshawaii.com/honolulu/

Koko Marina Pub 7192 Kalaniana’ole Highway, Honolulu. The second home of the Kona Brewing Company [the first being on the Big Island, Hawaii]. The 48 beers on tap are great and even better during Happy Hour, which starts at 3pm, my current favourite is Lemongrass Lu’au, a blonde ale with lemongrass and ginger tones. Sit at the bar with a beer and a plate of pupus [poo poos] – Hawaiian snacks. Not sure who recommended this first but Him Indoors would highly recommend to anyone!!

https://konabrewingco.com/come-visit#koko-marina-pub 

Island Brew 377 Keahole St, Hawaii Kai. Its the location more than anything, you can sit shaded under umbrellas whilst looking out over water and sipping iced coffee. Maybe a bit pricier than other coffee places but its all about location location location. Recommended by Joyce.

http://www.islandbrewcoffeehouse.com/locations.html

Foodland 1450 Ala Moana Blvd Honolulu Yes Foodland! if you go to the one in the Ala Moana Centre [shopping mall] in the middle they have a u shaped bar that serves beers, wines and plates of cheese and charcuterie from the deli. You can also collect a selection of salads or hot food and bring it back to eat at the bar. Recommended by Marion

https://www.foodland.com/stores/foodland-farms-ala-moana

Shave Ice you can find shave ice all over Oahu, if you are at the North Shore then the queues at Matsumoto’s are very long but make sure you get condensed milk on the top, you will never want it any other way again. One of the best shave ices is Island Snow and the one in Kailua is a stand in a clothing store [600 Kailua Rd, Kailua] – one of Obama’s favourite spots, so lets just say that this was recommended by the Obama family.

Back on the Cornish cliffs for the next post.

 

 

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Cabin Envy Hawaii prototype

 

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We were driving past the University of Hawaii campus at Manoa on our way back to our holiday digs and we saw this structure being built, so the next day we made a point of parking and taking a look. It’s a project that is taking the wood of an invasive tree which is being cut down, the Albizia [al bee zee a] and turning this wood into a new cabin prototype. As I said in my last post Hawaii has a large homeless population and by using this material for these structures this project is trying to tackle Hawaii’s affordable home problem.

 

 

For more information http://thealbiziaproject.com and https://www.instagram.com/albiziaproject/

and this article in Hawaii News

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holiday hurricane

‘Posts may be sporadic for the next few weeks’ so said my last post but, I was anticipating days of outdoor life; swimming, walking, eating outdoors with no time to sit and write a post indoors, but…

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When we headed off for our holiday last week we were slightly smug that we were leaving a cooler, misty and wet Cornwall for warmer climes. We were feeling sorry for all those families who were having a rotten time and if you choose our part of Cornwall there isn’t much else to offer except for a few miles of beach, mind you that’s what people love about it when the weather is good. Regular readers of this blog will know that we have a penchant for Hawaii and have been going for many years. We were heading out again last week unaware of weather patterns in the Pacific ocean until our flight attendant reminded us to be safe during the oncoming hurricane.

Excuse me, did you say Hurricane… yes its a category 5 – the worst it could be.

You have to realise that we don’t do hurricanes in the UK, we’ve had winds of up to 75 mph and rain that floods [a previous house was flooded] but the reality of tropical storms and worse are something we’ve never experienced. Mad friend had to You Tube a Cat 5 hurricane – she wishes she hadn’t. You see them on the news or TV programmes called things like ‘The World’s Worse Weather’ but if they’ re happening on the US mainland people living in the path of the storm given ample warning are able to move away if they so wish, but here on a small island, a dot in a huge ocean, there’s no where to run.  We hear that some airlines are quoting silly prices to leave the islands ahead of Hurricane Lane hitting.

So we sit and wait it out, but it’s moving quite slowly, 5 mph; what was originally meant to hit on Thursday, becomes Friday and then Saturday so anxiety levels go up as you wait and wait and…wait, especially when it turns dark and you can’t see outside. Oahu tells all public buildings to close on the Friday and people head to the stores to stock up with emergency supplies. Shelves of water and groceries become empty making one wonder what will happen after the storm, as the island is reliant on flying or shipping supplies in.

We sit indoors for three days except for a quick trip to the takeaway, as we don’t want to eat all the emergency supplies. We watch the rain falling and the wind picking up and think ‘is this it?’ we refresh the hurricane tracker as it inches closer. At 4pm on the Friday we have a hurricane warning go out across the island, mobile phones are sent emergency texts and local radio stations are looping automated emergency announcements.

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By Saturday morning Lane has been demoted to a Tropical Storm, at the final hour it has made a 90 degree turn west away from the islands;  a MASSIVE thank you to the weather gods.

We head outside into the mall, the relief is palpable, people are tweeting ‘what am I going to do with twenty litres of water and a tray of baked beans?’ ‘Well there’s always food banks’ says our friend and host. Oahu has a bad homeless population living under canvass, had the hurricane hit they would have been hit homeless for a second time. No wind now but still a lot of rain, in two days we will have been here a week and still no sun.

Another beautiful day in paradise, as the radio announcers usually say.

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Time & Tide

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This clock is situated on the banks of the estuary at Cremyll in East Cornwall where the foot ferry takes you across the water to Plymouth, or Stonehouse to be precise. Prior to 1914 there were three towns; Devonport, Stonehouse and Plymouth, in 1914 they merged to become the borough of Plymouth and yes, there are still grumblings in Stonehouse and Devonport particularly the latter, which was once a thriving town.

I love the inscription on the clock ‘dost thou love life, then do not squander time’ a simple  motto and with this spirit in mind we are heading off to see old friends, and to recharge our batteries, so posts may be sporadic for the next few weeks.

Below, a nineteenth century map of the three towns drawn and engraved by John Rapkin (1815-1876)

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