English Weather And Other Things

Bedruthan Steps

Weather in Cornwall can change dramatically in a short amount of time. I lived in Germany for several years when I was in the army and it was much the same. One might wake to a day that was grey and wet, see that give way to blue skies, and then be surprised by a short burst of hail from the same sky an hour later.

Two days ago Bedruthan Steps was wrapped in a sheet of cloud cover and rain which was a continuation of the winter weather we’d been having. It looked as if it would stay that way all week, but yesterday we were pleased to have blue skies when we toured Lanhydrock.

I know from visiting some of my readers online, that they are still being slammed with loads of snow so I won’t whinge (whine) on about how wet and grey it is again today.

John’s eldest daughter has been with us since late Thursday and had a chance to visit the house and gardens with us at Lanhydrock. She’s been before, but it’s a great place to revisit. I never get enough of National Trust properties and there are plenty across the UK. I must admit that I have a special attraction for Lanhydrock and joked yesterday with several of the staff that as National Trust members, we visit so often it feels like our second home.

I never get tired of shooting this view from an upstairs window.

Having a church right on the property must have been pretty amazing for the family that lived there and Lanhydrock is one of only three National Trust properties that have churches on the estate. You can read more about it here.

Not all the gardens are as formal as the small bit you can see here.

The church is a working church that still has Sunday services.

Remember a few photos earlier when I said that I can never get enough of this view, at least this one is taken from a different window.

I’ve photographed the light through this window before and I always want to grab a book and a cushion and curl up there for a few hours. If I dressed in period clothing and sat very still, do you think anyone would notice?

There are several heart-shaped door handles in one of the gardens that always get my attention. This one is usually covered over in greenery and more difficult to shoot than it was yesterday.

I had to get really low to the ground to get these tiny buds pushing up through the soil.

This was a bud on a tree that looked kind of odd to me, but pretty in a different way than the more traditional looking bloom below.

I walked all the way around the churchyard taking photographs as I went, squeezing through hedges and actually climbing partway under one to get the shot below.

If you look to the right you can see the hedge I crawled under and partly through. I can’t imagine what someone would have thought had they walked up while my backside was sticking out from underneath it.

This is one of my favorite angles because of the gravestones and the mounds you see around them. Even though the church is active, the cemetery is closed to new burials.

A view from the gate house.

The greens are electric with color especially wherever you see moss. The daffodils are just beginning to bloom here and soon this field will be full of bluebells.

While I have never seen a cow or a sheep anywhere near this gate or even in a field close by, I do as I’m asked like any good guest would do.

After a morning of rainy grey skies and a bit of hail, the sun has come out again today. It’s still overcast, but with patches of blue I am optimistic that we may still have a dryer afternoon. I never thought I would spend so much time talking about the weather, but everyone does it here and it just seems to go with my English life.

Shades Of Cornish Grey

 

This is my third winter in Cornwall and while we get more sun than many places in the UK, some would complain about the amount of grey days during the coldest months. Grey can seem fairly bland when compared to colors like red or yellow, but with shades of blue and lavender like you see below, I believe I can ‘ tolerate ‘ what I like to think of as shades of Cornish grey.

This part of the moor is very close to our house with only a short walk through the lanes before you leave the road to cross on foot. There are roads that go across the moor in places, so you can drive, but not in this spot and it’s one of my favorite places to go locally, second only to the buttercup field and Lavethan Wood.

We’ve got wild moorland ponies here who don’t always act like they’re wild. These three were happy to come closer to say hello to me. I’ve been known to carry sugar cubes in my pocket so perhaps they’ve heard about me through the PNN. (Pony News Network)

I took this from a favorite spot on the moor as the sun was going in for the day. If you click to enlarge it, you can see the wind turbines on the hill. Most people don’t like the way they look, but they are so far from us that I barely notice them. In fact, the telephoto on my Canon G11 had trouble with the distance so it’s not the best image quality. They do give a more modern look to a landscape that most days looks like a movie set from another time period so I can see why people might be put off by them.

What Remains The Same

Elizabeth Harper – Athens, Greece – Summer 1981

Yes … that’s me. This image came from an old slide from my army days, one of many that I’ve been moving from place to place for years. With twenty-one just around the corner, this younger, thinner version of me thought she knew a few things about life and while I’d had some experiences by then that most of my friends from high school had not, like breaking down an M-16 rifle in the dark, or leaving home at eighteen for my first military assignment in Germany, I was clearly not rocking the world with my fashion sense.

I mean, really …what was I thinking with that tight curly perm and if that wasn’t bad enough, how in the world did I think it was okay to go out in public wearing those cutoff short shorts! That sock-less running shoe look while not pretty kept me from getting blisters when I ran my first marathon in those bright yellow Nikes and I was still wearing Nikes twenty-six years later when I ran my second one.

These days, I wear my shorts a good bit longer and I ditched the perms twenty years ago, but check out that camera I have hanging around my neck … most of us change a great many things through the years such as behaviors that are no longer useful, bad hair styles, career choices, and sometimes husbands and partners, but there are some parts of us that are with us for the duration and central to the core of who we are no matter where we’re standing or what direction we may be looking.

I bet you don’t need three guesses to know what remains constant for me. It’s there in almost every photograph whether it’s around my neck, hanging off my shoulder, or in my hand, a camera of some kind is always with me and while not exactly a fashion accessory, it appears now it is has become a necessory item for completing my look. How about you, is there something about you that people have come to expect will be there, always the same whenever they see you?

Elizabeth Harper – Cornwall, England – Summer 2008