Thursday, 13 November 2014

The last of the summer wine

I feel these days contain the last of the summer wine as misty damp morning suddenly clear to sparkling afternoons. And with the gentle decline of the year an elderly Tom cat has found his way back to us after quite a few years away. Wilbur - well we had to call him something and "Wilbur" just seemed to fit his lugubrious features, suddenly returned and took over my stray cat cafe saucers as a frequent diner. I often referred to the silent enigmatic tabby in my blogs of around 2009 and then one day after an altercation with Ollie cat he didn't appear again  .........until now!

Wilbur is an elderly gentleman now and keeps to a strict routine of two days at Ednovean followed by one days cat patrol before returning ravenously hungry. He appeared again, as though he had never been away and slipped back into his cat routine in that seamless way that cats do. 

The years have not been kind to him though or maybe he has lived life to the full in his time away. His chest is wheezy now and he moves very slowly with a slight limp and he has acquired permanent a kink in his tail but he still maintains his aloof, feral distance never approaching his saucer until I have moved away. Still it is good to think he remembered us when his needs changed and I have a horrible idea that even if I could catch him and take him to the vets they would just say he's very old and put him down. One day I'm, sure the day will come but until then the dignified old feral is calling the shots - saucers filled twice a day and maybe, just maybe he'll take a snooze in the open garden room these days as a concession to age, bless his old feral soul.

As I watch the old cat at the closing of the year with endless nights and days when no one seems to have turned the lights on, I really do feel I'm watching the last of the summer wine. And yet tomorrow the sun may come out again!

Apologies not the best shot of Wilbur taken through the glass of our front door of the old cat waiting for his breakfast. The camera had wanted to use flash and I wanted natural light and so it retaliated by using the slowest exposure possible!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A trip to Penberth

Fishing boats drawn up out of the water at Penberth

The autumn mists wrapped Cornwall in warm liquid blanket for days towards the end of October in a haunted half light. It was on such a day that we set off for a picnic eastwards towards Rinsey and just a quickly turned around again as the fog thickened towards Rosudgeon. And so instead we turned westwards away from the fog bank toward Land's End in the hope of dropping down below the clouds.

The road stops just short of the Cove or to be precise the signs direct you to "No cars beyond this point" and so we parked beside the stream that gurgles down passed the thatched cottages and followed the mossy tarmac down to Penberth Cove.

We finally crossed a "poo sticks" type of bridge and found the cove just as we remembered it and probably just as it had always been - a steep granite slipway topped by a vast Capstan with a gaggle of fishing boats pulled up out of the sea. The ropes and crab pots of the fishing trips lay casually piled around sure in the knowledge that they were safe from prying fingers in this half forgotten place from another era.

Crab pots stacked under the capstan

We chose just the right bolder to one side of the slipway and comfortably began the autumn picnic ritual of unpacking freshly made bacon sandwiches and pouring hot sweet tea from the capacious flask that is a veteran of so many picnics. And so we sat in this timeless place, with the steep valley sides carpeted with bronzing bracken and the sea churning and tossing relentlessly about the rocks that frame the cove.

The timeless scene at Penberth Cove

All too soon it was time to go

All too soon it was time to go and follow the stream back out of the cove and back to our waiting car with a little memory tucked away of a few hours stolen from the mist in a quiet fishing Cove. It really is a cove where time, to quote the cliche really "has stood still."