So, we’re sitting in the Harbour Inn, a lovely pub in the equally lovely town of Porthleven, and who should walk in but Mr 1962, his partner and his hair dye victim brother, Mr 83. These were the people from a couple of days ago who entertained us so much in the Pandora Inn. It felt like Casablanca (Of all the gin joints in all the world, you had to walk into mine…or whatever the quote is). Denise and I were in hysterics.
They even sat at the table next to us until Mr 83 decided he’d rather sit on one of the comfy lounges in the next room. This was a good move because we’d have had to strain to listen to them as well as carry on a conversation with Kim, our cousin once removed. I think.
I’m never sure how the whole relative thing works. In simple terms, Kim’s mother was our mother’s cousin. I know that sounds like one of those trick riddles where it turns out that someone’s father was also someone’s aunt, but it isn’t.
Kim lives in Cornwall now and, when she heard that Denise was visiting AND she was visiting Cornwall, she and Denise arranged to meet. Denise sent Kim the postcode of where we’re staying, and she suggested we meet up in Porthleven as it was about halfway between both our houses.
And what an excellent choice.
I admit that I was a bit concerned that we wouldn’t find her around the harbour, which is one postcode she sent us but, as wonderful good luck would have it, she pulled into the car park at the same time as we did. We all greeted each other like the long lost relatives we were, and headed into town.
It’s important to realise that I’ve never met Kim. Denise may have but, if she did, it was a long time ago; back when she came over to live in the UK when she was 18. I almost met her a few years ago when I was going to attend a wedding or birthday or something but, because of public transport limitations, I couldn’t work out how to get there.
Still, family ties and all that…we headed to the harbour and a delightful walk towards the sea wall and beyond.
Unlike Louisa Musgrove, I took great care not to fall, even without the aid of a Captain Wentworth, and managed to navigate both ways without mishap. I do wonder why Jane didn’t employ an effective sign, as we see above at Porthleven. Mind you, I don’t think Louisa would have set much store by the warning. Her intentions were otherwise engaged.
Regency intrigue aside, we walked (almost) to the end, where we discovered the red ball in a raised position, then back again, before stopping at a handy café which, surprise, surprise not only had syrup but hazelnut syrup at that. And the woman behind the counter did not flinch or question me when I asked for an extra shot. She even took Denise’s order without flinching.
We sat outside at a bench with lots of other people. It was here that I witnessed a crime of daylight robbery, the like of which is clearly an indication of the decay that society has fallen into. A man and a woman were delivered a scone each by a café staff member. The woman took hold of hers. The man was chatting to another couple sitting behind him with an Alsatian, not paying attention to the delivered scone.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a seagull swooped down and stole the man’s scone. The whole thing. It hadn’t even waited for the jam and cream. The seagull found it difficult to fly with an entire scone in its beak, but it managed it somehow. Very quickly, it was forced to land and was instantly surrounded by a whole bunch of seagulls that managed to wrestle the scone away from it.
In the meanwhilst, the man who originally expected to eat the scone was a bit glum. I was disappointed, because I didn’t get a photo. I did, however, get a photo of Denise and Kim.
You can see how sunny it was. In fact, the day was glorious. It would also have been quite warm if only the wind had stopped. Denise managed to get quite burnt but it wasn’t so much the sunshine as windburn.
After sitting on a café bench long enough to be shooed away as if we were three scone thieving seagulls, we headed for the pub for lunch, where we discovered yet another jolly barman. That’s every barman that’s served me so far this holiday. All jolly. Denise was surprised I was surprised, but I’ve experienced some less than jolly barmen in my time. But not in Cornwall, and definitely not at the Harbour Inn.
The Harbour Inn is a St Austell pub. It was thanks to a handy plaque outside the pub that I discovered that St Austell Brewery is the oldest in Cornwall. The brewery has been going since 1851. The latest St Austell beer is called korev. Korev is a lovely, flavourful lager which I first experienced on our recent trip to Devon. I have also enjoyed it at the Pandora Inn.
It turns out that I also know one word in Cornish as a result of discovering this new beer. Kim, who is learning the Cornish language, informed me that the word ‘korev’ is Cornish for beer. Which, rather nicely, means it’s beer lager, or beer beer. Whatever it’s called, it’s bloody nice.
In fact, it’s so nice I had three pints of it.
Lunch was lovely. I had the catch of the day. I asked the barman what the catch of the day was. He told me. I then said, I didn’t really care, I was going to order it anyway, I just thought it would be nice to know what the fish was before eating it. I have since forgotten what the fish was, except delicious.
As if we were cursed, we were again moved along when advised that the table we were sitting at was reserved from 2pm. We headed outside, to sit at a bench overlooking the inner harbour which, over the course of the day, had filled up with water. And a group of kids learning to paddle board.
They kept us royally entertained as the instructor managed to teach them how to fall off in all manner of ways. The most effective way was to tell them to spin around by jumping up and turning. It was all very funny.
It was while we were sitting outside that we were almost joined again by Mr 1962, his long-suffering partner and his brother, Mr 83. They started to sit down next to us then, for reasons unexplained, they decided to sit further away. I asked Denise if she thought they recognised us. It was possible, but there was no sign of recognition. Anyway, their moving made it easier for us to talk about them to Kim.
And we talked to Kim a lot. And she talked to us. It was a marvellous day with lots of laughs, exchanges of anecdotes and general dislike of the same relative.
And, best of all, it didn’t rain!