September 14th – day two of Andrea’s little vacation, a day with Cornish Claire.
I have known Claire on a TG online support group since late last December and she kindly offered to drive me round the sights of Cornwall. I was rather more nervous than normal getting my face on, anxious I suppose on what Claire (who came out over two years ago) would think of me. Then I got nervous about going down to breakfast at my B&B… but only for a second coz I told myself to just get on with it, so down I went. The two guests at the table were quite old, the lady probably 70 and her husband at least 75… so I thought, oh dear, what will they think. But no! All was great, the hosts greeted me and asked what I wanted for breakfast, and I told them not much as I had to soon meet someone, then I sat down and just tried to be friendly…. and we had a lovely chat, they were from New Zealand and were doing a long trip taking in several countries. Eventually I had to dash, so wished them a good day, grabbed bags and headed to the harbour to meet Claire.
At the corner as I walked towards the harbour was a female foot sticking out from someone sitting just beyond, and it was Claire. We greeted with a hug, then headed towards her car… which could do with just a wee bit of a clean! But I am not royalty, it didn’t matter, we got in, and headed off, immediately chatting away just fine. After a while we got on a car ferry and I nipped to the ladies while Claire paid, then went to the upper level as it set off for a better view, then down again, excusing myself past a cyclist to take a photo. Then on we went, past lovely countryside, some local haunts of hers, and at lunchtime arrived at Marazion in order to visit St Michael’s Mount. The tide was in so we walked along the beach then went into the village for lunch, eventually settling on Cornish pasties – Claire told the girl at the counter what she wanted them I ordered the same, then asked what one of the cakes was on the counter, asked for one of those, then paid for it all; the till girl was pleasant. We sat in a nearby little park area overlooking the Mount and ate lunch; Cornish pasties are not the easiest thing to eat in a ladylike fashion, but I tried my best…. though the flaky pastry went all over the place! But my face survived, and after a bit of lip gloss we headed off and walked along the causeway. It had become a bit windy and my hair was all over the place, mostly stuck to my lip gloss! So I decided to tie it into a little pony tail.
St Michael’s Mount is a National Trust property, so I approached the till myself, eagerly used my new card for me and paid for Claire, with a bit of chat to the staff who were all nice. After a loo stop, to also further rescue my hair, we started to head up the hill and showed our tickets to a lovely girl who said my ring was very pretty! A compliment!! I told her where I got it from, in a sale, and she said it was a bargain, and I headed off with a smile. We climbed up the Mount, talking photos as we went and, after Claire kindly took a couple of me with my big camera, we went in the castle and church – a nice man greeted us and told us we could take photos without flash, which Claire was especially pleased about as she had been several times before and could not do so. A bit later on we were in a room and a cute toddler came towards me and I said hello to him sweetly (?), then he started climbing on something he shouldn’t and the mum rushed towards him – I joked that they (toddlers) are very good at doing that, and she laughed. We walked around all the rooms and church, I said ‘excuse me’ / ‘thank you’ / ‘you’re welcome’ several times when navigating around people, partly to be polite, partly to just keep using my girly voice. Then back down to the harbour and, after another stop at the ladies, returned along the causeway and beach to the car.
Claire then drove us to the North coast and near St Just we stopped at an area with some ruined mines, including a magnificent one perched halfway up cliffs. Then onto Lands End, where we arrived at around 6.00, a great time… as all the awful tourist paraphernalia had closed. So we absorbed the views and, after a few photos, walked to the ‘End’ itself where there are amazing views looking up the coast. We decided to have a take away and had just turned to go…. when we were greeted by a large-framed, big-hearted Italian guy who struck up an animated conversation with (mostly) me, and we had LOADS of really friendly chat, I just couldn’t help myself; I wonder what his wife next to him thought. Eventually we parted though, went to a nearby village, and bought supper at a fish and chip shop where the staff were nice enough, then returned to Lands End again to eat, then watched the sun set, a beautiful site.
The drive back was quite long, but full of ongoing nice chat, and eventually I was dropped at my b&b where we hugged and parted. So, I think owing to the reams of stuff I have written it is fairly obvious that I had a blissfully FAB day out, I was SO content and happy the whole time. Thank you Claire; if one is stuck for a tour guide, Claire is your woman! Her knowledge of the area and its history are amazing.
A brilliant day!