There’s something about our presence in a place, and the Met Office issuing extreme weather warnings. It seems to happen with abnormal frequency! We’ve become accustomed to that red banner and the little yellow exclamation mark icon that says WEATHER WARNING!!! We had it many times when we were on the bikes and now here we are again, with the Met saying WARNING! The problem today was extreme wind, as in EXTREME wind! Wind of 60 m.p.h. (96 k.p.h.) was forecast and one of the National Trust houses we’d intended visiting today was closed due to the extreme weather. Oh well, other things to see and do, so let’s get out there and see what Cornwall has to offer, apart from gale force winds!
We choofed off, with the van being blown and rocked around in the wind; wind that was indeed extreme! We drove through Falmouth and past the shipyards, which very appropriately for Steve’s recent experience, is a place where they custom make and refit super yachts! Then up the hill we went and stood on the cliff where we could just see down to Pendennis Castle, which was built by Henry VIII in the 16th century as a fortress. During that time Henry was putting in defences all around the country and coastline to guard against his worries of a Spanish invasion. Man-o-man was it blowing on top of that cliff! It was all we could do to walk against the wind, and I was losing my footing constantly because it was blowing me forwards at such a rate of knots. Unbelievable!
Inland we went, navigating those squeezy little country lanes, avoiding a couple of head on encounters with other Sunday drivers. We explored the countryside and more tiny little villages with gorgeous stone houses, encased in a network of stone walls and hedges. We went through the little village of Sithney and then the “blink and you’d miss it” Truthall, before heading south again to see some more of the coastline.
St. Michael’s Mount is a castle sitting atop an island near Penzance, which can only be reached by foot at low tide. In 1066, it was owned by the same monks that inhabited its sister island, Mont St. Michel in Normandy and in the 12th century they built the church and priory that are still in the castle today. The castle was closed today, so we couldn’t go inside, but it was low tide so we braced ourselves and fought the wind to walk across the causeway and have a look around the island. Just getting there was an adventure! The stones on the causeway were very slippery and very moss covered and the wind was FIERCE, EXTREME, POWER-PACKED AND WILD! I was walking sideways, against the wind, just to try and keep my footing. There were a lot of other hardy folks out and about on the beach and walking across to the island too. Everyone was laughing, just as we were, at the side-stepping and dancing we were all doing, while the wind pushed all of us around and sideways and this way and that.
We strolled around the small island and then the wind really gave me a battering. We were crossing a stone slip way and the stones were slippery and the wind was blowing me down the slope. I couldn’t get my footing and it was so strong, I was slipping down, down, towards the water and couldn’t get any headway against the wind or purchase on the rocks. Then, a lovely Japanese tourist came to my aid and held my arm, then together we edged across the rocks and he kept his hand on my arm, to give me some balance, until I’d reached the sand and could get a foothold against the wind. The kindness of strangers.
It took us a while to make our way back to St. Austell where we’ve been staying, so that was essentially our travels for today. Some motorised meandering around the coast and country, some wind-blown wandering and taking in the wintery wonders. We’ll continue our Cornish exploration tomorrow and maybe the wild weather will have eased a bit. Ha! What am I saying!? We’re here for heaven’s sake, there will be another red banner and another little exclamation mark to say WARNING! I don’t think they need to give warnings about the weather, they just need to issue general warnings and alerts that we’re coming to town!
This is a broadcast by the BBC on behalf of the Office of Meteorology. A pair of Tasmanian tourists are currently approaching the Cornish Coast. The Office has been tracking their progress for several months and a pattern of extreme weather and meteorological anomalies have been observed and are predicted to continue. Residents are advised to either:
- Remain indoors for the duration of time these tourists decide to grace our town with their unfortunate presence. OR…
- Leave the county. OR…
- Leave the country.
Should residents choose to stay and venture outdoors, they should not approach the Tasmanians who are described as an “odd couple” and somewhat entertaining in appearance. Residents should take care as they are currently wanted for crimes against fashion. The Office of Meteorology is warning of possible rain, hail, extreme wind, snow, ice, sleet or all of the above in a twenty-four hour period in any area this pair passes through. Take care. The warning has been issued.