The Dog Days Of Summer Come To Cornwall

After all the rain and grey days last week, Monday was beautiful. It was a Bank Holiday here and John reminded me last night that it’s the last one we’ll see before Christmas.

It’s no wonder then that it all went to the dogs yesterday … in our village at least. It wasn’t actually all about dogs, but the dog show was a huge draw and much of the afternoon was spent judging and being judged.

 

I was asked along with John and several other people to photograph the event for our Parish magazine. I had a hard time remembering to photograph more than what interests me, but when I reviewed my 222 photos, (can you say overkill) I found I had managed to capture enough to present a good overview of the day even though my photos were a bit dog heavy.

Speaking of dog heavy, I’m not sure I’d like to feed this big boy. I sat next to him earlier and he was a very well-behaved, but he wanted to cuddle when he saw a smaller dog crawl into my lap.

There were loads of different breeds.

This little dog was in an event for older dogs who were referred to as veterans which meant dogs over ten years old.

I had a chance to play with these puppies when I caught up with them later outside the pub.

This is one of our neighbors. She runs marathons with her Dalmatians and unless something changed over the summer, only three of these dogs belong to her.

My friend Patrice once offered shelter to a friend of hers who came with what she referred to as a damnation versus a Dalmatian because it was so uncontrollable and made her miserable. She was happy to see the back of it as they say here when the dog and her owner found a new place to live. Let me clear about the Dalmatians above, they are always very sweet and well-behaved and completely different from the experience Patrice had with the big D.

There’s so much going in this shot and you might think it too busy, but I love seeing all the different actions and knowing that many of these people live in my community. You may remember the little girl in the sunglasses from this post. She’s always a cutie!

This little girl was loving her puppy.

Waiting patiently for the judge’s decision.

There was a good variety of food with burgers and sausages being sold here. I didn’t have one, but I did see a happy dog scarfing down a hamburger that had been dropped accidentally .

There were other nibbles too like the scones and jam you see here.

If you got tired of dog watching there were different games you could try like the girl above.

Lots of boys seemed keen to do this one and had what looked like a bit of competition going with their scores.

Splat the Rat seemed like the most fun to me, but I tend to like games that involving whacking something. It’s a good stress reliever.

 

My friend Tina was making dreams come true yesterday and she told me later that this was the first time this little boy had ever had his face painted.

You could pick up bargains too as people set up tables and sold off a variety of things.

Here’s a shot of some more of my neighbors. Andy looks very stern in the background, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him without a smile. I love the shot of Gary with the teddy bear. I actually followed him for a few yards trying to catch just the right shot of the bear next to one of his colorful tattoos. This was my favorite.

There were quite a few vintage cars on the village green including an American made Chrysler Imperial (blue car) that you see in this shot. It’s so wide that I’m not sure how it makes it through most of the lanes around the village. The black Austin Seven (about 1935) was my favorite.

Here are a few more that caught my eye. Even though I loved the Austin Seven, if I were going to own one to drive it would be this silver one. I’d have to keep my scarves short and inside the car though so as not to end up like Isadora Duncan.

You could get out of the sun if you wished in the Village Institute ( it was a one room school originally) and pick up some jam or artwork to take home with you too.

Many people had a Kelly’s Cornish ice cream while others finished the day at the pub. I passed by this mobile dairy treat on my way to find John who was sitting with friends in front of the pub enjoying a pint in the afternoon sun.

The best part of my day happened earlier with this young puppy. He was totally irresistible and so cuddly and calm that I had trouble giving him back. I expect I’ll see Ziggy again since his owner is local.

He’s such a beauty and at the risk of sounding like Paris Hilton, look how his eyes match the color of my shirt. (I know dogs are not accessories)

I took this myself and he was a little distracted. I had trouble getting us both in the shot and in focus so I gave Ziggy first priority.

The photo below is my favorite as he gave me a little kiss while I was trying to stay steady and snap the shot. I love the light in this one. It looks like the last days of summer.

Hazy Dog Days & Puppy Love - Ziggy Kissing Elizabeth

When Your Reputation For Alcohol Precedes You

Exmoor Ales - Empty Glass

For some people this empty glass is an invitation to buy another round. They do that in our village pub. Buying rounds in they way they do was new to me. It might well be the same in the US, but due to my lack of alcohol consumption, I don’t have much experience with these things.

I tend to have a camera in hand more often than a pint when we’re at the pub and I’m always trying to capture the best images I can using a small point and shoot camera without a flash so as not to disrupt the naturalness of the scene. The image above I shot standing on a picnic table outside the pub while looking in through a window. I don’t think anyone saw me that time, but sometimes I do get funny looks.

This poorly lit image of John was taken on the restaurant side of our village pub. He’s drinking a cider (I think they taste like apple juice gone bad) and I’m having my usual diet lemonade which is like a diet Sprite. On quiz night I splash out as John would say and go for a double.

Elizabeth Holding Jess At The Pub

Here’s a shot John took of me last February holding one of my favorite pub pooches. Jess tolerates me cuddling her for a bit, but her gaze is never far from her John who I wrote about here. (It will make you smile)

I was sitting on the same stool last night holding her as I joined John and some of the other Friday night regulars who stop in for a drink and to catch up on the week. It’s a nice way to relax with friends and I make do just fine with my diet lemonade or diet Coke.

Most Saturday nights we have live music at the pub and tonight we have a local family doing their annual night in August where they’re billed as the Spriggs Family Robinson.

A group of us are meeting at the pub this evening to support Jos, Connie, Rebecca, and other Spriggs family members, and as we were confirming our arrival times among our group last night I said, ” I might even have some alcohol! ”  As I am so well-known for not drinking anything with more kick than a bit of carbonation, this comment quickly elicited a rousing chorus of ” Oooooo! “

I’ll let you know tomorrow if I decide to splash out or spend the evening as I usually do with my camera and a diet drink.

I think I need to consider my options carefully as it seems that I have a bit of a reputation to maintain now.

 

Hot As A Rocket Turkey Sausage Blues

My husband John is always teasing me about how competitive I am. He likes to say that it’s an American characteristic and lets me know when I get too invested in winning. I have two words for him when that happens, ‘ American Revolution! ‘

Saturday night I might have shown more of my American side than usual while participating in what Helen, our party organizer kept reminding us was meant to be fun. I need to say that even though I was the only American there, there seemed to be quite a few Brits thinking and talking about how the trophy below might look on their shelf.

Helen, the woman I mentioned above for her peace keeping, party planning skills, also makes a great trophy. Last year it was the Pasty Making trophy I wanted to win and this year it was all about the sausage. Sadly, the picture I took while holding the 2011 Best Sausage trophy was the closest I got to bringing it home.

While my entry, Hot As A Rocket Turkey Sausage Blues, did not win or even place, my super spicy turkey with blue cheese was very tasty and there was nothing left on the plate when the night was over.

With only one sausage maker between about 20 or so contestants, we talked and tasted each other’s entries as they came out of the oven while waiting to stuff our skins with the secret mixtures we made at home.

We made eight each with four to going to the judges and four to the table above for peer-to-peer judging.

There were some interesting names and some crazy mixtures. The Chicken Delight was not too wild, but it was tasty.

I’m afraid I had to skip the Fish Pie sausage because I’m not a big fan of fish, but John really liked it.

Now this one was interesting. It looked a bit like something that you would try not to step in if out for walk, but it was actually a Christmas Pudding sausage.

These guys were two of the courageous judges and I have to say, I would rather cook it than eat as much as they had to that night.

Anne moved to the village from London about a year ago and her sausage (I think it was pork) came in first place. That’s the third judge standing behind her. He’s a professional sausage maker.

Ian and Irene tied for second and no, they did not drink all those empties alone. This is Ian’s second year coming in second place. I’m going to have to really watch out for them next year.

If you look closely at this photo you can see John’s head way in the back of the room in front of the woman in orange. John was responsible for the baked beans along with two other men, Steve and Mike, who made mashed potatoes and onion gravy to go with the sausage feast.

Gill tied for second place with Ian and Irene and she had a fabulous Chicken sausage with sun-dried tomato and feta cheese.

Way back in the top middle of this photograph is Rebecca, the winner from last year. She’s the laughing woman in green and purple. She made a venison sausage with pickled walnuts and I think she called it, Pickled Bambi. (Click to enlarge)

Craig doesn’t live in the village, but likes to come by every so often to party with the locals like Mandy who always has something funny to say. She made me put away my knitting and act like it was Saturday night.

Irene and Elizabeth

After our evening of sausage making, eating, drinking, judging, and being judged, most of us ended up at the village pub where we shouted over a great band, had a few drinks, and took a turn on a dance floor barely big enough to turn on.

I’m hoping we will do desserts next January because I have more than a few killer recipe’s, not that I’m feeling competitive, well, not yet anyway.

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Mister Rogers would be proud of the people in the little village I now call home. We’ve spent the last week fairly well snowed in and the care and concern I’ve witnessed among my neighbors has been lovely to see. I’ve never lived in a place where I knew so many people. In a village of 500, it is easy to learn not only the names of the people who live here, but often a bit of their history as well. Today I want to share a little with you about a few of my neighbors who help make this such a special place to live. If you are unsure as to who I am referring to when I mentioned  Mister Rogers earlier, this little video will help explain, but be forewarned it might make you cry.

Fred Rogers always began his children’s program with a special song about being neighbors and I’ve mixed in the lyrics which I’ve highlighted in blue with a few pictures of my neighborhood and neighbors.

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

This is the way to my neighbor Janey’s house. Yesterday when I couldn’t get to Port Isaac to have my stitches removed from a small procedure done the week before, Janey volunteered to take them out for me. Now a clinical psychologist, she trained as a nurse in her first career and offered to help when she heard me saying that I might have to do it myself.

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,

In the three pictures below, you can see Gary and Margaret who own the village pub. Margaret is also the post mistress and while I’ve seen them involved in fundraising for charity events more times than I can remember, they have been such good neighbors during this week of snow that it’s really been something to see. Our village shop which houses the post office among other things became a sort of command central staying open and supplying necessary items to keep the people in our community from doing without. Watching Margaret directing and coordinating the restocking efforts while continuing with her regular responsibilities was impressive. Her husband Gary was able after the first 24 hours to make trips in and out of our village maneuvering through the icy lanes in his 4 wheel drive vehicle picking up supplies for the village shop and giving people rides on some of his trips.

Gary cooking at a fundraiser for cancer research.

Gary behind the bar in the pub.

I had trouble finding a picture of Margaret in my files, but managed to find this one of her in the pub. Margaret is rarely seen behind the bar which explains why it looks as it does. I was shooting on the fly and not very well I’m afraid.

The flowers and cottage above belong to Jeff, a 77 year old man who I kept seeing with Gary when I would happen to run into them at the village shop as they were moving about the village giving some people rides in between their frequent trips to get supplies. I usually bump into Jeff three or four times a week and I was surprised to see that I did not have any pictures of him to post.

I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

Len and Mary are the couple you see here with their dog. I caught them just after they had returned our neighbor Betty’s dog after taking it up on the moor for walk for her. Having watched Len and Mary pick up deliveries from the village store all week to take around to some of the older people who could not walk to the shop, I can almost guarantee that what ever is in the bags they’re carrying, it is almost certainly a delivery for someone who can’t manage the snow. All of the good neighbors I mentioned have been tireless during this time making sure everyone who needed something was able to get it. I wanted to acknowledge these folks who did so much for the neighborhood and managed to look as if they were having a good time doing it.

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t you please,
Won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?