Sunday, 2 October 2011

Cornwall Day 1: 365 Doodles Day 274

'Hello. Hello. It's good to be back ...'

And with those undoubtedly ill-chosen Gary Glitter lyrics still ringing in your ears, I'd like to say a jaunty 'Hello!' from Cornwall where I'm having an excellent time. I'm here to catch up with my folks, visit some lovely places, eat far too much great food and have to recharge my batteries. So here's the diary in handy daily instalments...

Sunday - Arrived at the cottage in Sancreed, just outside Penzance. There's a great view over to Mounts Bay and St Michaels Mount from here. Or so I'm told. Today there was mist and light drizzle. I arrived too late in the day to go anywhere and most everything is shut on a Sunday so I took a walk down some nearby lanes, trying not to fall down any old mineshafts. As chance would have it, I stumbled upon an ancient holy well.

It was all a bit creepy as, above the well itself, there was a tree draped in hundreds of strange offerings or 'clouties'. They came in all kinds of shapes and sizes from feathers and buttons and ribbon to teabags, jam jars, bangles and stuffed toys. Very odd. The well itself is about six feet down inside a small grotto reached by a set of stone steps. Mosses line the walls and more clouties were stuffed into gaps between the loose stonework. I've read that the radioactivity levels inside Sancreed Holy Well are much higher than in the surrounding soil. Glad I didn't stay in there too long. I'd be glowing in the dark now otherwise. An extra dollop of creepy was added to the whole scene by the isolation - there is nothing for miles around- and the almost constant background 'crarking' of angry crows; hundreds of them jostling and swearing at each other among the gnarled trees and telegraph wires.

Naturally, being a rational kind of chap, I didn't leave any kind of offering and carried on enjoying my walk. It was only when I got back to the cottage that I realised that I might have upset Beelzebub. The cottage, small as it was, was full of flies. And I mean full. I emptied an entire can of Raid! during the course of the evening and seemed to be picking their twitching corpses up for hours. In total, I killed over 70 of the damned things. Here are just some of them (look away now if squeamish or a fly lover):

I'm pleased to say that this was the end of my fly troubles for the week. I did hear from many people, my mother included, that there has been a plague of them just recently because they've all been woken from hibernation by the unseasonal warm spell. Whatever the reason, it did mean that Day 1 in Cornwall started off on a macabre foot. But it did lead to my doodle for Day 274 (Sunday). This is me upsetting the Lord of the Flies ...

'Leave an offering? What kind of nonsense is that?'

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