Pixie-Led: Closing Chapter 15

Despite a little light discouragement from this little furry girl, my morning and afternoon writing session has finally got me past the tricky section I have been struggling with on this novel for the past couple of weeks. I am happy to report that the first draft of Chapter 15 of Pixie-Led is finally complete. Phew (wipes sweat from brow).

Seaglass Search at Ogmore

Making the most of the unseasonably good weather, I took an unplanned long stroll along the beach at Ogmore-By-Sea today.

The tide was already heading in by the time I reached the beach, so I did not get the chance to explore the rockpools the place is renowned for, but the weather was pleasant enough to just sit on the rocks and chill. Though the tide was coming in at quite an incredible speed and nearly caught me out a few times:

Despite the incoming tide, there was, luckily, still enough sand to partake of one of my favourite hobbies - searching for seaglass. I use the word luckily here for a particular a particular reason as, although there was not much seaglass on the beach, what few pieces I did manage to find were beauties.

Seaglass - Ogmore-By-Sea
One piece I found, in particular, made my day - a complete and perfectly smoothed glass bottle stop. Over the years, I have literally collected many hundreds of pieces of seaglass from innumerable beaches the length and breadth of the UK, but this piece is, beyond doubt, my best find to date:

A perfect bottle stop piece of seaglass
As well as seaglass, I also found lots of hag stones, such as this piece below:

I enjoyed the beach so much that I decided to stay and watch the sun go down.

It was a perfect sunset too, a brilliant end to a lovely sunny day :)

Sunflowers in bloom

Funny how the garden seems to grow fastest when you are away from it. Getting home from Cornwall, I stepped out into our back garden to see this:)

Another Cornish Buy

We only had one day during our week-long stay in Cornwall when the weather was really bad, and we decided to take a wander around Newquay on that afternoon. We could see the lights of the town twinkling across the bay from our holiday cottage in Mawgan Porth, so it was great to actually take a look around the place in the daylight. 

Newquay turned out to be a typical seaside touristy town and the poor weather stopped us exploring the place in too much detail. The highlight of our visit there though was a little fishmonger shop that had a display case of shells that were for sale. Within the glass display cabinet was this beauty, a decent sized Nautilus shell. 

Nautilus Shell, purchased from a Newquay fishmonger
I spent a little while taking some photographs of it when I got back to our holiday cottage and the pic above and immediately below were the best of my endeavours.
Nautilus Shell

I was nervous of it smashing during the long drive home and was relieved to see it still in one piece when I unwrapped it upon my return. Here it is now, safe and sound on my bathroom windowsill:

My bathroom windowsill set up

Old Cornish Piskie Mead Bottle

Oh, I couldn't leave Cornwall without this little lad. I have already grown very fond of him :)

A Farewell to Cornwall

It was with a somewhat heavy heart that I bade farewell to Cornwall. It truly is a magical place and I wish I could have spent a lot longer exploring its coastline, its ancient sites as well as its folklore. I ended my holiday with a brief lunch at what is, without a doubt, Cornwall's most famous pub - the Jamaica Inn, made famous in Daphne du Maurier's classic novel that was named after the inn. 

The Jamaica Inn Pub Sign

Lunch with Du Maurier' characters in the Jamaican Inn

The Cheesewring, Bodmin Moor

...Leaving The Hurler Stones, a moderate walk leads across Bodmin Moor to the Cheesewring, seen below in the first pic on the horizon behind the entrance to Daniel Gumb's Cave. It is difficult to believe, but this is actually a tiny constructed house, built by Daniel Gumb to accomodate himself, his wife and his half a dozen children! His decision to live out on the wilds of Bodmin Moor and with such limited public utilities and conveniences was apparently made to avoid paying taxes.

Daniel Gumb's Cave and the Cheesewring
The Cheesewring itself is a truly spectacular sight to behold, the result, legend holds, of a rock-throwing competition between Uther, a giant, and Saint Tue. Giants, the original occupiers of Bodmin Moor, were, it wa said, unhappy with humans moving onto their land and the competition was set up to repel Mankind from the moorland. If the giant won, the giants would be left in peace, but if St. Tue became the victor then the giants would have to convert to Christianity and allow people to settle on the moor.  The objective of the competition was to throw stones, with each stone landing upon the other to form stacks. With the aid of an angel, Saint Tue finally won the battle with Uther's thirteenth stone rolling back down the hill. The giant, being a creature of his word, conceded the match and he and the rest of the giants were baptised as Christians. Humans have lived and utilised Bodmin Moor ever since.

The 20 foot tall Cheesewring
The whole Tor around the Cheesewring is impressive and my walk around the summit and these amazing stones was definitely an experience that was up there with the very best of my Cornish adventures.

The stones neighbouring the Cheesewring are also impressive

Like all the places I visited in Cornwall on this holiday, I cannot recommend visiting this remarkable site highly enough.

The Hurler Stones, Bodmin Moor

Heading home from my stay in Corning, I stopped off on Bodmin Moor to visit a couple of intriguing sites. The first of which was this triple ring formation of standing stones, known as The Hurler Stones.

The Hurler Stones, with ruins of old tin mine in the background
The site was gently animated by a group of small horses grazing on the grass there, as well as a few tourists, who I managed to keep from my photographs with careful image cropping and crouching down low to the ground and waiting for them to disappear behind the ancient megaliths before I took the pictures on my trusty Samsung Galaxy S7.

Horse Grazing at The Hurler Stones, Bodmin Moor

The Hurler Stones earned their names from the legend that they were once men who caught playing Cornish Hurling on a Sunday. For their 'crime', each was turned magically to stone!

To the edge of the stone circles, stand two further megaliths, known as The Piper Stones (pictured below). These, according to folklore, were once pipers who were caught playing their musical instruments on the moor on a Sunday and befell the same fate as the hurlers!

The Pipers, with Sheep

My next stop on Bodwin Moor appears on the horizon behind the Hurler Stones - the fantastic Cheesewring. It is a moderate and easy walk, with enough of an incline to gently raise your heartrate as you reach the summit. But it is the scenery of the Cheesering that truly takes your breath away...

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle is steeped in folklore. It is said to be the birthplace of the legendary King Arthur, as well as the site where he was infamously conceived. From Tintagel village, a well-kept path leads down steeply to the coast and the steps up to the castle. Often though, the least trod paths are the most picturesque and I found this far more scenic route located very close to the main tourist route:

The more scenic route to the coast of and castle of Tintagel
Unfortunately, when I visited the site, both the beach and castle were closed due to works on a new bridge that connects the island castle to the mainland. I was, however, able to get a photograph of the castle from the coastal path:

Unable to explore the castle, the beach or the legendary Merlin's cave, which is located beneath the castle, I sat back on the coastal clifftop and used the opportunity to relax and just soak up the atmosphere of this truly unique part of the Cornish coastline. :)

Feet up, it's time to soak up and enjoy the Cornish sunshine

Rocky Valley, Cornwall

Energised after my walk through St. Nectan's Glen, I took advantage of the hour or so of light that still remained to the day by continuing my walk down along the Trivillet River through an area of woodland known as Rocky Valley.

Like St. Nectan's Glen, Rocky Valley is charged with a feeling of magic and the woodland is abrim with votive offerings, dressed wishing trees and evidence of spellcraft.

Rocky Valley is best known for its two labyrinth carvings and it is around this site that most of the evidence of spiritual activity within the woods is found. The carvings themselves, though relatively small, are easily found and are quite a sight to behold. Their prehistoric heritage, however, is arguable, with scholars divided about dating the carvings to the Bronze Age.  The fact that they appear on quarried walls has led other experts to date them as no more than 300 years old.

Heading back to the car, I bumped into an American tourist who was as equally taken to the locale as myself. "Wow!" She said, as she reached the labyrinths. "This whole place is like something out of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings." I could not have agreed more.