It wasn't intended to be a working weekend but it turned out to be one. Unless that was Rhiannon's cunning plan ... luring us down there with talk of a relaxing weekend by the sea, walks along the coast path and barbeques in the garden.
Being Cornwall, the work she'd organised in the orchard, hadn't been done. They were probably aiming to do it sometime in the next month, Cornish time being somewhat like 'manyana' in Spain, so on Saturday morning we set to with loppers, strimmer (that's why it was in the car!), secateurs and electric saw, to clear the boundary ready for the surveyor on Monday morning.
Hacking our way through buddleia, brambles and nettles, we made a pretty good job of it by the end of the day, inspite of the odd shower. My arms looked as if I'd been dragged through rather a large hedge backwards, which in effect I had. At least the jeans prevented my legs from coming to too much damage. Hard work but good fun. There's nothing like a bit of good old physical exercise to make you feel like you deserve a glass of chilled wine at the end of the day.
The steps down into the orchard were well covered with clippings deposited by the neighbours and as it hadn't been cleared all summer, the brambles were pretty rampant. My clearing efforts were interrupted at frequent intervals by blackberry picking. They were far too large, juicy and numerous to be ignored.
I was also left in charge of the two dogs, who had already disappeared off to explore on a couple of occasions since we arrived but had at least returned. After keeping them shut in while Rhiannon and Karen went off to gather supplies, I managed to let them out and keep them in the garden without them disappearing off down the coast path towards Land's End!
On Sunday, we visited Looe, along with a few hundred other holiday makers and after a drink in the pub where we caught up on Big Brother, the TV being one of the things that just wasn't going to fit into the car, had a pasty on the seafront followed by a Cornish ice-cream.
Away from the crowds, a very different experience up at Duloe Stone circle. A small bronze age stone circle of quartz granite set at the edge of a field. The circle was rediscovered in 1801 and bisected by a hedge until it this was removed and the stones placed upright.
These ancient sites are associated with rituals or astronomical observations and although I'm not sensitive to it, there's an energy to be found within these circles or from the stones themselves. It certainly felt a warm, calm and comfortable place to be.
It's not far from a 13th Century church which has an interesting history in itself, dedicated to St Cuby - a 6th Century celtic bishop, with an ancient pre-christian font. Births, deaths, lives lived - condensed into names, dates and ages on blocks of slate and granite.