Crazy old people

For breakfast today, we decided to wander down to the (world famous) Mylor Cafe. As they say in their literature, it is the perfect place to people or boat watch. It’s directly over the road from the harbour and, on a fine day, I expect it is perfect for people and boat watching. The sign in the window said it was closed.

This was a bit annoying as it was supposed to be open every day from 9:30. I figured it must have been like the ferry to Falmouth – it only operated when there wasn’t a breath of wind or hint of rain. I was, however, being unduly harsh. The Mylor Cafe was, in fact, open but their sign was lying. We left about an hour later and it still maintained that it was closed.

The Mylor Cafe makes splendid eggs and bacon (or bacon and eggs as Mirinda prefers it) and, wonder of wonders, has hazelnut syrup for their lattes. I was in heaven and thoroughly enjoyed breakfast.

Before wandering back up the hill, Mirinda was determined to find out if we could hire a boat for the day. When she eventually found someone who would talk to her, it was to discover that it was too windy and all the boats were grounded. She also found out that the people who normally operated the boat hire place were away on holiday. She thinks this latter is the real reason and the wind a convenient fall back excuse.

There was a rather scaredy cat dog on the wharf who Mirinda tried to befriend but he wouldn’t allow it, running away from her constantly.

041_scaredyDog

On the way back to the house, I insisted on visiting the church of St Mylor, a Breton bishop who popped over the channel in the fifth century. He found a fresh water spring and decided to settle there. A small enclave of fellow missionaries grew up around the spring and, eventually, they built a church.

There are two St Mylors, though. This one (the correct one) seems like a boring, normal chap who died an easy death, perhaps in his sleep, and never had to suffer for his religious beliefs. The other one, however, is easily my preferred option.

He was the son of King Melien of Cornwall who died when Mylor was just seven. He was brought up by his uncle Renald (or Rivold…he couldn’t really make up his mind) who was destined to be the next king. Now, at the time, it was pretty normal behaviour for royalty to, every seven years, sacrifice the next king or, if the king preferred, a royal substitute. It seems this discouraged people from wanting to be king. Pity about people born into a ruling family though.

Well, Renald (or Rivold) decided it was not in the best interests of Cornwall for him to be sacrificed so he pushed Mylor forward. Christian influence had started to take hold in Cornwall so this sort of pagan sacrificial lamb stuff flew out the window (a bit) and so it was assumed that sacrificing a bit of the body was a better option. So they cut off Mylor’s right hand then, for reasons known only to the weirdos organising this sort of stuff, they made him one that worked as well as his old one. Seems to me they could have saved a lot of time by just not cutting it off in the first place.

Anyway, seven years later and he was expected to give something else up. This time it was his left leg that was offered up to…well, who knows? And then, seven years later, they took his head. I think that was probably when he became martyred. Clearly they didn’t have the skills to make a new head for him.

Anyway, as I said, the church isn’t dedicated to him but, rather, the less exciting St Mylor of Brittany. His church has long gone the way of mud huts and straw walls. The church that now stands on the site has bits that date back to about 1100. Nicely Norman, then.

There’s lots of brilliant little bits and pieces in the church but, by far the most interesting, is the Chair. This is a particular Chair that was clearly not designed for sitting on. The seat is carved, for a start and the arms go back at an angle. No-one really knows when or why it was made. It’s been in the church since 1948 when a local butcher was having a bit of a clear out at home. The wood dates from various periods from 1,000 to 500 years ago. The younger bit of the Chair includes a carving of the Tudor rose.

056_stMylor

We headed back to the cottage then, after a bit of faffing, set off for Pendennis Castle. Linda took us straight there, though Mirinda tried to squeeze us into the wall on the side of the road just after leaving the house. The only problem with Linda taking us to Pendennis Castle is that she actually needed to take us to the car park.

We stopped outside the entrance to the castle and I wandered up to a woman standing outside, to ask her where the carpark actually was. I had to wait while a group of extremely old American women, who were in the UK on a walking holiday, asked the woman three separate questions. I’m not sure their walking holiday is going to cover a lot of distance because they were remarkably slow. I stood for ages, just waiting for each of their questions to be digested then answered by Shirley, the very (possibly, too) helpful English Heritage lady.

Eventually the final woman started to turn away from Shirley and head towards her friends. Shirley looked at me, a questioning look on her face and I was about to ask about the carpark, when the old lady turned back and asked about the price of a senior lifetime membership.

All things, however, come to he who waits and the location of the carpark was no different. We found it, we parked in it, we walked back to the castle.

Bob braved the wind and went on the organised tour while Mirinda and I just went our separate ways, meeting up occasionally to take a photo before heading off again.

078_pendennis

That's Mirinda in pink

That’s Mirinda in pink

We all learned lots of stuff about Henry VIII and his need to protect Britain from an invisible invasion from France before heading to the tearoom where we found out what a homity pie contains.

As we left Pendennis Castle, I made the mistake of trying to buy my mother a fridge magnet. Bugger me if I didn’t wind up behind another old woman (this one was English and about 350 years old) who couldn’t push the buttons on the EFTPOS machine. She had quite a few goes, with the sales person and I counting the key tones each time. I really wanted to reach over the old lady’s shoulder and just press the buttons for her. She kept missing one out! It was extremely frustrating. Still, eventually she managed to do it properly and I could go.

We had a lovely wander up and down Falmouth High Street (I needed a fleece which I managed to buy in Peacocks) buying fresh veg and bread from a couple of independent stores rather than Mirinda’s choice of Tesco before heading back to the cottage.

The weather had been changeable but with a lot of sun and blue skies but, we hadn’t been home long before the rain started coming down in sheets. Perfect timing.

I invented a new way of preparing pork chops using honey and apple juice with a dash of elderflower wine.

The homity pie we had was, basically, asparagus, cheese and potato in a pastry base.

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