Wednesday 13 December 2017

Let it snow..

Not a hint of snow here, but as ever more rain and some very strong winds.

But I'm not writing to have a gripe about the weather but to talk about Potager Garden, a very special place that Tony took me to several years ago. We went for a party of a friend of his, who has a workshop there and , as it was February, it was freezing. The party took place in the cafe which is in a greenhouse type conservatory room that was a little more open to the elements than might have been desired for winter.

Now, the place has been double glazed, though the woodturner is continually lit in winter and all the better for it. I have taken several friends there recently, as part of a walk for the next book, and every time I go I am delighted by it. The garden was a derelict nursery years ago and has been recovered over the years, to form lots of little separate areas where, in summer, people can gather to read, to talk as well as to garden. Dementia groups have started there; a singing workshop was held the other week and a workshop on making wreaths is to follow tomorrow. You can play table tennis, badminton, lounge around in hammocks outside, or just sit and read the papers.

The cafe serves homemade vegetarian food, cooked in the kitchen at the far end of the conservatory, accompanied by cafetieres of coffee and a range of other drinks. It would be quite possible to while away hours here quite happily. But we had a quick coffee and cake stop before doing a walk along to Scott's Quay, a mile or so away, and then back to Constantine over the fields.

It is a secret, magical part of Cornwall where you can rarely see a house, let alone meet anyone. And as we walked along the silent lanes, save for a noisy blackbird or a chatty robin, it made me wonder again at how many different faces of Cornwall I am privileged to see.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Gloves wanted - for the Invisible Men

In case you can't read the caption, this is the Invisible Man in St Ives the other weekend. You may see the relevance after reading this post.

Last weekend, our musical director asked for donations of gloves, as a friend is volunteering in Calais where there are a thousand people sleeping outside in the freezing cold - it has been snowing. They need gloves, particularly men's gloves, and if anyone could give them to her, she would send them off on Thursday after choir.

Strangely enough, I'd been digging out my gloves as I've started getting chilblains (an occupational hazard for those of us with bad circulation) and found a pair of men's thermal gloves that I'd got for Pip. As his health declined, and due to the medication he was on, he felt the cold more and more, so I was always thinking of ways to keep him warm. For some reason he'd never really taken to the gloves, though he had worn them a few times.

Seeing this post on Facebook, and finding Pip's gloves made me think - well, he would be delighted. So am I - to think that these gloves have been sitting here, unused, for years, and now they can go and help some poor fellow freezing out there and give a little bit of comfort. Well, I can think of no better use for them. And I know Pip would agree.

So please, if you have any spare gloves or anything to help these poor people sleeping outside, do give what you can. Stuff Christmas presents - this is the kind of thing that's really needed.