Au revoir to the cliff

So it’s au revoir to the cliff for teenage son as he heads off for university in ten days time.

On a beautiful sunny day last week we walked up to Rame Head at the east side of Whitsand Bay. I took this photograph of him and afterwards thought it reminiscent of the image for Psycho with Norman Bates standing outside the hotel – but that’s as far as the analogy goes, there are no rocking chairs in the chalet!! The view was pretty glorious, to our left [top right] a sweep of Devon coastline and to our right [bottom right] east Cornwall.

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Poppies Wave

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whilst in Plymouth city centre for a meeting I popped up to the Hoe and was greeted by the beautiful art installation Poppies Wave that is touring the country and will be in Plymouth until November. It surrounds the Commonwealth War memorial which commemorates those men who haven’t a grave, the thousands of sailors who were lost at sea, there are three large memorials celebrating these lives, at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. Originally the wave surrounded the Tower of London to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and thousands arrived in London to view it, this tour of the wave allows many more to engage with the art work. Tom Piper, one half of the design team, is a well known theatre designer and it’s therefore understandable that a theatre workshop would build the installation and the poppies were made in Plymouth at the Theatre Royal’s workshops at TR2. Looking at the #poppiestour page on the website where people can upload their images, they say its worth a trip to see them in the evening as well, so I will be heading along – but I’ve got plenty of time for that.

returning to my car I came across a wild flower patch on the hill down from the war memorial and I smiled at the ‘live’ poppies, a stones throw from the art ones.

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Hidden Stories: Hidden Places

 

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Over the past few months I have been working with my colleague Derek on recording some stories that will become part of an audio trail for a hidden cemetery in Falmouth. The Ponsharden Burial ground is a dissenters graveyard that runs alongside a Jewish cemetery and on Sunday September 10th it will be open between 2-4pm. This is in conjunction with the European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage. Prior to the opening Derek and I will be giving a presentation at the Falmouth Poly about the wider project called Hidden Stories; Hidden Places, how some stories we have found have connections that run across and through the eighteenth and nineteenth century Jewish communities that were scattered across the south west of England. On the same day [the 10th]we will also have audios playing in the Exeter synagogue that are about people buried in the old cemetery at Bull Meadow and there will be an accompanying film.

For more information go to https://rippletheatreco.com

Hidden Stories: Hidden Places is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Exeter City Council’s small grants scheme and FEAST, a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall.

FEAST harnesses the talents and energy of Cornwall’s artists and communities, generating new opportunities for everyone to enjoy the arts. The focus is on bringing people together to share experiences as audiences or participants, and on animating local celebrations and cultural life.

For the link to book your place at the Falmouth Poly see below

http://thepoly.org/whats-on/event/491/hidden-stories-hidden-places

For information on the September 10th open days

http://www.dissenters.moonfruit.com/open-day/4587242113

https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/exeter-synagogue2

 

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Dam the plastic flood

‘The EU wants to fight the waste problem, but behind the scenes, the plastic lobby is fighting for its interests – for example, against bans on single-use plastic. It’s up to us to tip the balance.’ [WeMove.EU]

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photo by Chris Jordan

This is a petition to the EU commission to reduce the production and use of plastic. Over the next month or so the commission is reviewing it’s plastic strategy, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that plastic is clogging up our seas. With one click you could sign a petition to make the EU take notice of us. Plastic is getting into our rivers and seas at an alarming rate and is tipping the eco balance of the waters, eventually coming back into our food chain.

By 2050, our oceans will have more plastic trash than fish.

In 2015  Rame Peninsula Beach Care did a call out and these were the items they felt were most relevant – they still are so we need to keep talking about it.

1) The need for plastics packaging producers to accept greater responsibility for their disposable products. We need a bottle deposit scheme for plastic bottles. Systems like this have reduced plastic bottle litter by up to 90% in countries where they are in place. We currently discard 15 million plastic bottles in the UK each day, of which over half are landfilled or littered.
2) A small surcharge on disposable plastic packaging. A 1p tax on bottles alone could raise £1 million a week. This could be spent (for example) on (a) a major nationwide online and media awareness campaign, (b) environmental warning labels on disposable plastic packaging and (c) a redesign of disposable plastic packaging to ensure it is 100% recycling.
3) An extension of the forthcoming charge on plastic shopping bags to all businesses rather than just stores with over 250 employees, as in the other countries of the UK.
4) Providing better disposal and recycling facilities for fishermen,
5) Banning all plastic micro-beads in cosmetics and taking stronger action on plastic sewage-related debris
6) Classifying balloon releases as littering, and therefore a criminal offence.’

Here’s the petition https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/plastics-strategy-INT-EN

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Summer in the back lane

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Above is the back lane at the height of summer with Tregantle Fort in the background.

Many times as you drive down you will see a buzzard sitting on the pole looking down into the verges, or a dragon fly flit by with the countless butterflies. Sometimes you may encounter a pheasant who will waddle along until it decides to hop aside. Then, as the light goes you may have to swerve for the occasional rabbit and once we stopped to watch a young deer stare at us and then in one push jump over the hedge. Of course those are the sort of encounters you look forward to but most times it will be an encounter with another four wheeled engine, cars are okay as long as you make a mental note of the passing places along the route and it’s pretty democratic who will pull in for the other but tractors you have to back up for no matter what.

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Port Elliot 2017

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This years Port Elliot festival was a wet one, after a few years of glorious weather at the festival it was bound to happen one year. A highlight is to watch folk swimming in the river and getting muddy, but this year it was hard to see the difference between the banks of the river at low tide and the state of the paths and grounds in general.

Unable to see the larger picture because of a mizzly haze made me pay attention to the smaller details and escaping the rain you could be surprised at the impromptu talk you might have happened upon. Marked up timetables went out of the window as performers cancelled or went up late and venues plus times got changed. This sounds far worse than it was in actuality, I felt far more connected to the talks and interviews this year than sometimes in the past when, to catch the sun you would sit somewhat further away lapping up the rays.

A favourite hour was spent listening to half a dozen folk [comprising of a poet, writer, businessman/gardener, actor, & conservationists] discussing the US poet W S Merwin and his garden on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Merwin believes that mans separation from nature is, and will be, disastrous for the world; he made his garden in an old pineapple plantation and in doing so has restored the land to its original rainforest, which has one of the most extensive palm collections known to exist on earth.

It is now on my list of must see places. https://merwinconservancy.org/open-garden-days/

And then on the final day the sun returned reminding us what a special weekend it can be when the weather shines. This is certainly a place where we get a glimpse of nature, here’s hoping the grass will return… as will we.

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Landscape Theatre

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Normally at the beginning of the summer holidays I am heading to the Lost Gardens of Heligan for Kneehigh’s Asylum which I mentioned previously here and here. This year is a barren year for the Asylum but although that sounds harsh I think it’s to allow the field to re coop. So, we headed off to see Cornish based Wildworks’ production Wolf’s Child [originally commissioned for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival] that has now returned to the company’s home county. The performance is landscape theatre, which isn’t normally specific to the site but a performance placed within an outdoor space and yet, they have found the most perfect landscape in the Trelowarren Estate. that it almost feels site specific. A lawned amphitheatre, a wild meadow with lines of washing and the woods themselves, which almost become a character in themselves. The audience, get taken through the grounds to watch the performance; sometimes we chance upon a happening in a glade and sometimes we are asked to sit on the makeshift log seats. As the evening draws in and as we get taken further into the woods there are torches and flames to light our way. It is a mythical, magical story, a grown up fairytale which fits Trelowarren like a glove. I am not a theatre critic and will not write about the content but I think its one of the nicest ways to spend a summer’s evening, whether you are on your holiday or not. You will need good stout footwear and some insect repellent and be prepared for all kinds of weather, I mean come on, its the UK and the school holidays, it’s bound to rain!

Unfortunately we were told not to take any photographs so I can’t illustrate the magical quality, but here’s one from the postcard that was handed out, image by Steve Tanner/Wildworks.

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At Trelowarren Estate from 11th to 30th July 2017.

Daily (except Mondays) at 7.30pm, 7pm on Sundays.

Matinees on Sat 15th, Sat 22nd and Sat 29th at 2pm.

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