Cottage-in-the clouds

Welcome to our magical cottage which overlooks Lamorna Cove in mystical,wonderful West Penwith,Cornwall.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A lovely rainy day in Lamorna.

As usual,for our early morning walk Elaine and I set off from The Magazine down into the cove then to Lamorna Woods.The early sky is steel grey with the promise of rain to come but for now it's dry and still and humid. The restless gunmetal sea is flecked with foam as it surges onto the rocks in the bay.

It's mid-June and the drought is but a memory. Last week Lamorna Stream was merely a trickle with isolated shallow pools connected by tinkling tiny rivulets. Now though it gurgles and roars again,drak pools overflowing as it dashes headlong down the wooded valley to the sea.

The daffodils and Bluebells have come and gone but always the woods have an earthy,heady scent and and with darkling,sun-dappled halflight are a place of infinite beauty and mystery.

In our pockets we have some breakfast snack for Pete.He's a gentle giant,a twenty eight year old horse who lives in a nearby field. A whistle from me and he comes a-trotting eagerly up to the fence,licking his large lips in anticipation and greeting us with a deep chested whinny.We feed him the half dozen carrots and a packet of Polo mints,truly his favourite. We pick burrs from his forelock and he smacks his lips in delight and rubs his massive head on us enjoying a scratch.

Then its off up Well Lane past Gyp,the Welsh Corgi who is in his garden and barks and cavorts as we toss him some biscuits. Along the Donkey Walk(Tangye) to Carn Barges passing the Chough Project-Natural Englands attrempt to lure back breeding Choughs to the area. There are now Exmoor ponies on the land,too and they stare expectantly at us as we pass.

To majestic Carn Barges,along the coastal path of Rosemordress cliffs and back to Lamorna Cove where we do a little beach-combing. Just yesterday I found a large orange net float encrusted with strings of jewel-like Goose Barnacles.

As we climb the lane to the cottage a mist,like a lacey white curtain envelops us and a warm drizzle begins to fall.

We sit in our new conservatory(The Bridge!)overlooking the cove as the now heavy rain drums loudly on the glass roof. The mist has thickened and it's hard to discern a neighbours bcottage across the bay where smoke rises from an ivy-clad chimney before being whisked away by the increasing wind. Thick grey clouds roll in,heavy with moisture and wind-driven sea spray and rain merge around us so our world becomes a hidden,ethereal place.

What better time than a visit to Oliver Land! So clad in rain gear I leave Elaine in the snug comfort of the cottage and head out into the storm. Back into the cove and up along the slippery rocks to Lamorna Point,the sea wild below. Turning onto Tregurnow Cliffs the howling wind blasts me and the flying rain and spume lashes my face. Through the gloom I can just see the vague outline of a small fishing boat plunging wildly on the rearing waves,tendrils of vapour streaming from it's mast as it's runs before the storm and battles onward to Newlyn harbour.

Above the contant roar of surf crashing onto the black,shiny rocks and rain beating on my oilskins I hear the high-pitched plaintive moan of Tater Du lighthouse,and reaching Carn Barges,through an opalescent veil it's bright warning light winks at me.

Dorminack is merely an ephemeral shape off in the gloom.Impossible to see clearly.There would have been no "There It Is!" moment for Jeannie Tangye today.

I trudge on,despite the wet weather gear thoroughly soaked,to Oliver Land. A few brave Wrens and Finches flit through the sodden bracken and gorse otherwise it's just me and the rain. Minack cottage is shrouded in rain and mist,the massive chimney poking above the sea of fog but no Gull today. I sit on Ambrose Rock and think and listen oblivious to the torrent. Afterwards I make my wish(always the same one and so far,always coming true)then visit Honeysuckle Meadow where the Honeysuckle is in full bloom,pale lemon and pink blossoms with a sweat heady aroma pervading the damp air. It's beautiful despite or perhaps because of the weather.
There always seems to be a particular atmosphere at Minack leaving me sometimes a little sad and melancholy,sometimes elated.Today,hidden amongst the swirling,enveloping cloak of mist and rain,isolated from the rest of the world it has truly been a place of solitude and reflection.

The winds chivvies at me and pushes me along the cliff path on my return.The rain now pounds on my back and trickles in cold little streams down my neck. My once waterproof boots squelch soggily as I plod homeward. I turn at Lamorna Point and climb down into the cove,the comforting glow of the lighted windows of The Magazine shine welcomingly through the gloom where it is perched snugly and imperiously on it's granite ledge overlooking the cove.

When I get home I sit and luxuriate,steaming gently in front of the roaring log fire and reflect upon the day.

Outside the rain still lashes at the windows,the wind screams around the cottage and the serried ranks of massive waves steam into the cove,humping their huge ugly grey green backs rising,rising before toppling and smashing in a welter of foam and wind-maddened spray onto the rocks. The cove is swathed in it's cloak of invisibility and we are alone in this mystical place, warm and snug and content.

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