Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Cornish Treasure

The door-knockers of Penryn
Sometimes things work out rather nicely don't they? Mr Kitsch and I had no thought of going on holiday this year, when a friend asked if anyone fancied looking after her cats while she went away. And this friend just happens to live in a cottage in Cornwall. Suddenly we had the chance of an ultra-cheap getaway, and doing our friend a favour at the same time. Win-win!

So at the very end of May we set off for two weeks in Penryn (next door to Falmouth), and we had a brilliant time! I'd forgotten just how gorgeous Cornwall can be. There were wild flowers everywhere, and the sea was blue! Now, some of you may not be amazed by a blue sea, but those of us who live near the Bristol Channel are used to the sea being permanently brown, as all the silt flows out of the River Severn. So golden sands and blue seas are a rare treat for us.
We also benefited from the - ahem! - use of a pair of National Trust membership cards that were very kindly lent to us. Now before you 'tut tut' at this, you have to realise that without the cards, we wouldn't have visited these places at all, and we did buy a cup of tea or an ice-cream at the three places we visited. Two of them were gardens - Trelissick and Glendurgan.

On our last full day, we went to St Michaels Mount, (the third NT place). The sun shone its socks off all day, so the views across the bay seemed positively Mediterranean. It didn't feel quite like that though, as there was a violent wind blowing all day too. The climb to the top was pretty challenging - stumbling up over a steep uneven rocky path with my hair blowing across my eyes, and my knees in a sorry state from all the other walking we'd done. But it was a place I've wanted to visit for a while, and I'm so glad I got there. I loved the huge variety of succulents in the gardens - so sculptural.
Windows in St Michael's Mount
This travelogue stuff is all very well, I hear you cry, but what about the important stuff? Did I buy any kitsch? Did I? Oh, you know the answer to that, don't you? Penryn and Falmouth both had marvellous car boot sales, where I got a bit carried away. Yes, that is a teacup FULL of mother of pearl buttons in the picture below! (Gloat, gloat!)
And there were really good charity shops, where I got some wonderful bargains - (a pile of vintage knitting patterns and magazines for £1? I think so!). I really had to restrain myself, and I didn't spend more than £1.50 on anything - most of it was a lot less.

The knitting pattern ladies display a variety of 'natural' poses.
 Amongst a stash of cards from the 1900s to the 1940s, I picked up a few old photos including this formidable-looking old lady. I think the caption says she's 'Aunt Eliza'.
All-in-all, I had a lovely time with sun, sea and frugal vintage shopping. It reminded me that you don't need to spend lots of money to have fun - but it really helps to have such lovely friends!