Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thought's on the season and the importance of family...

I have just spent the last few days with my brother and his family, and if your like me, I hope your fortunate enough to have spent this sort of holiday in the company of family.

The holidays are tough for people who are single, and though I'm certain that there are a few of us who'll claim that they enjoy this time of the year alone, I find that the only way that I can truly feel festive is in the company of friends and family.

While I'm blessed with friends and adopted families, I must admit that for me there is nothing better than enjoying it with my own, and enjoying the spirit of the season through the eyes of my brothers son's. It brings a bit of what I recall in of my own youthful memories to the surface, and for that am very thankful.

I hope that anyone bored enough to visit my blog this season, is fortunate enough to have enjoyed the holidays as much as I am now.

Warmest regards and may the new year be a joyful and safe one for you all. 

Joe

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Part VI - 1st Time European Travel - Impressions (Cornwall Part III)

OK so clearly there is at least one person out there that is demanding that I finish what I started...she knows who she is. So let's get back to St. Ives...and look at the pretty pictures shall we? Here's a lovely shot of All Saints Church from the other side of the storm wall.



With spring just around the corner, and bringing with it what is likely to be a increase in tourists, there was bustling activity everywhere, fresh construction and painting.



One of my favorite things about England and soon I would say the same about Belgium, was the signage, and especially those for the pubs. Each was unique and each really identified, or rather to me, seemed to give more then just common identity to the locations.



The tide was just beginning to refill the bay and a lone vessel was starting to shake it's bonds with mother earth.



As we wandered the streets of the old fishing port, turned tourist heaven, the foodie in me couldn't help but notice the cute little cubbie hole restaurants and wonder at the fabulous dishes served within. One day I would have to return and sample the wares of each one...



Here's a a likely avenue to find a restaurant specializing in seafood, Fish Street...just our luck, they were closed... :(



We'd crossed to the other side of the peninsula that shapes the town, and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the Chapel of St. Nicholas. 


I found a pretty cool website that provides the following history and some great interior panoramic shots of it...

This small stone chapel is one of many in Cornwall dedicated to fishermen. It's not known when St Nicholas' was built, but there are records of its repair dating from the 15th Century. In the 18th Century the chapel was used by revenue officers as a lookout for smugglers and in the early 20th Century it was used as a store by the War Office, whose attempt to demolish it in 1904 was met with angry local opposition. The Chapel was restored in 1911 and again in 1971. The floor tiles depicting fishing scenes that run under the window between the pew and the fireplace are by the famous St Ives potter, Bernard Leach.

So who knew the Tate Museum had a branch in St. Ives? Apparently everyone except me...



Virgin Street? OK there's either a really good story about the origin of this streets name, or Richard  Brandson has just gone too damn far! Maybe these folks up ahead know the story...

 

Leave it to the warmonger in me to spot the memorial dedicated to the men of St. Ives who fought and died in WWI and WWII.



Lots of pretty churches in town, I loved the bas relief over the entry way to this one.



One last look back at St. Ives from the bus stop, before we said good bye to our tour guide and headed back to Penzance.



Stay tuned for our last adventure in Cornwall, Mousehole...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BP Uses Classic Defense Tactic

Good news everyone, BP has completed it's own in-depth, unbiased, truth revealing, investigation of the incidents that lead up to the Deep Water Horizon disaster.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that I am so thrilled that we, the American public, wont have to bother with our own. I mean damn! Thank you BP, that's just so darn big of you to take on that sort of responsibility. 

So it must have been awfully hard to suss out all the facts and determine what we already knew, how your companies stratospheric levels of corporate greed and arrogance blinded you to the risks that you were taking against the fragile ecosystem you were willfully pillaging.

What's that? Oh? Wow, so your saying that though on the surface it looked apparent that BP was at fault, your hard hitting investigative team has only just determined that BP has actually been victimized by a well planned, highly organized group of people out to frame them?!

Holy cow! So what this means is that...you really didn't do it. It was those other guys, those echo-terrorists, led by eleven radical's who willingly chose to burn and or drown in the Gulf to be rewarded in the afterlife with fifty virgin mermaids?

Who would have thought it?

Thanks again BP, it's good to know the truth, my day is now complete.

BP, you complete me.

Joe

Thursday, August 12, 2010

White House Has Hurt Feelings...

Dear White House,

From those of us on the left, those you like to alienate by defining as the "Professional Left", you know the ones who don't feel like rolling onto our backs when you talk to us real pretty and give us the rare pat on the head?

Were sorry that you haven't actually lived up to our expectations, were sorry that you seem to cave to republican demands on every freaking bill that comes down poke. Were sorry that you don't seem to have the political balls we thought you had, to bull dog into reality all those flowery promises you made during your campaign.

Mostly though, right now, were real sorry your such a bunch of reactionary babies that you can't take our criticism of your efforts thus far.

So from all of us, to all of you - shut the (expletive) Up, and get back to work or we'll fire all your asses!

Sincerest Regards,

Joe

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The truth...


Hey guess what everyone?

Our government has been lying their proverbial asses off about how well the war is going! I know what your thinking, Joe is off on another one of his silly rants involving corporate conspiracy and political corruption, brace your selves...

And your right! But let me ask you this, after you've checked out some of these leaked documents that the government is all in a huff about, are you really all that shocked?! I mean hasn't the obvious snow job covering the reality of the situation in Afghanistan, made the whole thing that much more bearable for all of us?

I mean, we've know in our hearts that we've been doing all sorts of bad shit over there, accidental and incidental, but just so long as we didn't have to be reminded about it in gory detail, who cared. Which by the way makes us all culpable. You see the law in this country says that if you knew your next door neighbor was conducting vigilante style justice, torturing and killing the guilty along with the collateral innocent, and you didn't turn them in...well you'd be tossed in jail if it was found out that you knew.

But hey, that's a reflection of where our morals have gone to in this country.

I think it's a real defining moment when all the attention is placed on seeking out the source of the leak, the documents of which have yet to be refuted by the government, as apposed to exploring the reality of what they're telling us....you know...the truth.

Joe

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inception -

Wow, what an incredibly well written and directed movie!

Folks, if you are tired of the crap you've been fed thus far from an industry that continues to offer the same old candy assed, teen angst ridden, vampric slop, you need to see this movie!

OK, just so your prepared, you will need to use most of the brain functions that typically turn them selves off while watching the previous mentioned vampric slop, because without them you may get lost. This movie's story line is so fast that there's simply no room to get a snack or to use the bathroom. You must simply stare aghast at what's taking place before you and try and grasp the levels of it's complexity.

Trust me, I was there, I never looked away and my mind never wandered. I was simply trying desperately to hold on to the concept and the story, but all the while loving the ride.

For those of you wondering if this was simply a remake of the 1984 film Dreamscape, while it shared some of the idea's, I likened it more to the 1983 film Brainstorm with a twist of Dreamscape.

Christopher Nolan, of Batman Returns and Memento fame gets writer and directer credits for this masterpiece. The actors, all of them the very best of the best, Leonardo DiCaprio,  Josef-Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cottilard, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine, & Lukas Haas, were all brilliant.

Best move so far this year folks, Inception sets the benchmark to judge all others by for sure.

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What could you buy with nine billion dollars a month?

This week, the headline that has stood out most for me was not the loss of a senator, but the continued hemorrhage of this countries blood, sweat, and tears, for a war which is just catastrophically insane.

The CNN posting of Julian E. Zelizer's commentary titled, "How Afghanistan became the ignored war." mirrors much of what I feel and makes me wonder even more about the cost in dollars.

Folks, we cannot treat this expenditure like a gym membership we don't use and refuse to cancel due to the embarrassment accompanied by such a thing. It's a sad analogy, and certainly not something we want to associate with the loss and sacrifice of lives.

As a member of the largest consumer driven economy in the world, I have gained an education that serves me well enough to ask, "What is my money buying me?" 

But instead of stewing in the realm of buyers regret, lets pretend for a moment that we had a choice to take the money for a war we have already lost, and lets use it instead for something that will make a difference at home in a most immediate way.

The latest statistic I've seen is 9,000,000,000 (NINE BILLION) dollars a month for the war in Afghanistan alone. OK....Let's see, what on earth could you buy with such a paltry sum of money?

You could...
  • Start helping states recover their deficits, specifically those who's economies are closest to bankruptcy
  • Start paying teachers, instead of firing them
  • Start to fund more scholarships and grants to students
  • Start providing veterans the health-care benefits they truly deserve
  • Start the largest job creation event since the depression, and start rebuilding this countries infrastructure
  • Start building new power grids that can connect to new power sources
  • Start building huge fields of wind and solar energy farms
  • Start building a viable security system at all points of entry into this country in order to protect ourselves from crazed terrorists
Let's stop blowing shit up, lets stop killing innocents as indiscriminately as we kill the guilty, and lets start taking care of business here in our own damn back yards. The weeds of greed, corruption, selfishness and ignorance are going to choke us to death if we don't start yanking them.

If you want a wake up call, a veritable slap of reality in the face about the ever growing price tag of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, go to http://costofwar.com . It's a pretty informative web site, I especially liked the part where you could see the trade offs. 

California currently has a state deficit of 16,000,000,000 (16 Billion) dollars, it's contribution in tax's towards the war since 2001 has been 132,000,000,000 (132 Billion) dollars and counting.

I have two questions people, what the fuck are we doing, and are we out of our fucking minds?!

Maybe...?

Joe

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    Part V - 1st Time European Travel - Impressions (Cornwall Part II)

    My morning began with the sound of birds, seagulls to be exact, and not just the occasional seagull, but a damn convention of them. Now keep in mind that at this time I was still unaware that the window was open, I was plenty warm thanks to the extra comforter.

    Contrary to my good-natured friends, who found it quite amusing that I would be surprised by seagull chatter near the ocean, I am well aware that they are the predominate majority species of bird for the area. It still doesn't change the fact that I didn't ask them for a wake up call! If you want an example of how loud they were, go rent Hitchcock's classic "The Birds", and take the scene from where the kids were running from the seagulls, and then amplify the seagulls cries by a factor of three.

    Oh well, just so long as my suffering provided some small measure of comfort, and entertainment to my traveling companions who'd actually had a far worse first night than I...

    Breakfast was served, I had ordered...yes the favored English breakfast. It was tasty...but I must say I found the sausage (local & farm raised) to have an odd flavor. So with food out of the way, two of us headed off for a walk towards St. Michael's Mount. We'd already determined that there would be no actual visit as it was still closed for the season. Still, I thought it would be nice to try and walk to Marazion, a small coastal town directly across from the island. It can be done, and I would have done it too, but it's 3.4 miles and we were supposed to be visiting a friend in St. Ives that day, so we went...a third of the way?

    It was a nice walk, though a bit cold...there was a breeze and with the typical early morning seaside overcast. I did manage to take a few pictures before the batteries in the camera died...

    This was a shot of...the Jubilee Pool, very popular in the summer...but closed now... :(


    Here's the Penzance WWI memorial and a picture of an old coast guard house, apparently never used but made for a nice pic. :)


    This was looking back at Penzance as we headed toward Marazion.


    And lastly our unreachable goal just before my friend declared that we'd better head back if we were going to make it to St. Ives on time.

    So, swearing to one day to return and to give the Mount it's proper due, we turned and headed back. Trekking up Jew Street, where I caught my first glimpse of real life in the thriving little town.

    Keep in mind that this was still early in the day and of course we are not yet into the typical tourist season that Penzance has come to depend on. There were a lot of nice little shops that I was just sure my mother could easily kill an entire week to explore, and oh look...a jewelry store...yeah she could spend a good hour or three in there alone...

    Of course my favorite shops were the bookstores and the cafe's with their wares shamelessly displayed in glass cases for everyone to stare at...

    At some point we turned left heading down Morab Street and back in the direction of the Warwick House. I'm never quite certain why, but it seems that every sea side village that I've ever visited always seems to be a haven for artists. Proof positive as we walked past the old Penzance Public Library and School of Art...

    Seeing this place and others like it always reminds me of my grandmother, these little towns with their artist colonies were her bread and butter, she would have loved Penzance. Further down Morab street, we took a quick look at the Penlee House Gallery and Museum, well the grounds, which were beautiful. This looked like a place I would want to revisit in the future, but all I had time to do was take a few quick pictures.

    "Penlee House, Penzance, is the only Cornish public gallery specialising in the Newlyn School artists (c.1880 - c.1940) including Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes, Walter Langley, Harold Harvey and Laura Knight."

    The garden was lovely but we had to get back quickly by this time as we still had yet to call for our cab. Having returned to the Warwick House, with the taxi on it's way we had just enough time to freshen up before Stuart arrived in his trusty cab. And so we were off...on our journey to St. Ives.

    With a deft hand, our man at the wheel did navigate us beyond the village and into the rolling hills beyond, promising to provide us with the most scenic of routs possible. He did not disappoint...
    Stuart knew these roads like the back of his hand, and wasn't afraid to admit it. Lived in Penzance all of his life, and with nary a thought of ever leaving it. Course that didn't stop him from marrying a fine Tattler Girl from the big city, way to go Stuart! :)

    At some point early into our journey Stuart pulled over at a spot he knew we'd want to take pictures from, it was fantastic!
    Back into the car and we were off again, next stop St. Ives... there it is just over on the left, but first we must meet up with our friend and local who's going to give us the grand tour.
    Now without giving too much away about our friend, he wasn't someone I knew before this but a friend of one of my traveling companions. They met in London many years ago, they both had a common love of art and theater.

    Most interestingly, is his mothers history as a well known puppeteer. The two of them had been working on a new project, the remains of which were all about the house and simply demanded an explanation. In an ode to the English language nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty, the two of them have done a little rendition of their own. The pieces are fantastically crafted, and the story line from the rough cut that we were given a screening of, was charming. So of course we took lots of pictures! :)

    Sorry no video available, but perhaps we can talk them into providing us with a clip of high-lights or perhaps a video trailer? Stay tuned. Powered up on chocolates and tea provided by our gracious host, we set out on our grand tour of St. Ives...
    Our journey took us north along St. Ives Road, where we took a right on Pannier Lane towards the sea. After a bit of a gloomy morning, the day was really shaping up to be quite spectacular. Our guide was leading us to a lovely little path called the Hain Walk, that runs parallel to the coastal train tracks and offers a fantastically serene view of the coast.

    This path can be a little precarious at times, with a few steep slopes and loose gravel, so wear your sturdy shoes. Trust me though, the views are well worth the effort!

    There were really nice homes nestled along the way, and you could not help but feel extremely envious of the folks who lived in them.

    Here's something that I thought was uniquely British, I was resoundingly corrected on this assumption by my fellow travel companions. Apparently this sort of thing is done in the States too, I'd just never seen it done. As we were traveling down this lovely section of the walk, we came upon a row of small stone buildings, at the end of which was a little hutch containing chicken eggs. It's all based on the honor system, note the little change jar in the corner.

    Everywhere you looked along the way, there were pretty things to look at...



    Finally in the distance we could see our destination...

    St. Ives (old city) came into view and it was truly beautiful. Oddly it was more like looking at a Mediterranean fishing village, and not the Cornish coast of England. The water was this lovely shade of green against white sand beaches, coupled with the mortar and stone buildings of the village, it could have been a village on the Med.

    More to come...

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    What is missing...

    To those who are satisfied with Obama's efforts thus far, we would like to explain what is clearly missing...

    Immediacy! In particular a declaration of WAR against our addiction to oil, not offers of prayer, not carefully crafted and well presented pretty speeches.

    This country's national security is threatened daily by the thing that's used to make so many of the items we use in our daily life, from fuel in our vehicles to much of what I'm typing this very blog to you today. Our dependency of petroleum is poisoning our environment, and thus we our poisoning ourselves.

    As a consumer based economy, we are not solely at fault, powers greater than we have inundated us with conditioning designed to keep us ignorant and apathetic of reality.

    The two regular excuses we're fed by those who represent the interests of the status quo are...
    1. The technology to produce vast quantities of power needed to replace that which is provided from coal and oil, are still years from availability.
    2. The available green technologies for electricity today are without the needed infrastructure to bring them on line.
    Here's what I know based upon easily available information...
    1. The technology to produce vast quantities of power needed to replace what's provided by coal and oil based power is available right now. We have it, it's proven, it's not science fiction, it's science fact. If you don't believe that, then stop listening to corporately owned media with it's own agenda's and explore alternatives on the web! I have listed a few on the right hand side of this blog under "Alternative Energy Solutions Available Now".
    2. Green power sources are having problems getting hooked up to the nations power grid.
    3. American's are desperate for solid, well paying jobs.
    4. We have spent billions if not trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan under the guise of fighting terrorism. The cost of these two continued occupations continues to hemorrhage our economy. 
    We need to cap our losses in the middle east, get the hell out of there and take those resources, and that same measure of commitment toward fighting our dependency on oil here at home.

    What's missing, is a presidential mandate stating that we will be free of our dependency on oil in a handful of years!

    Prayer will not do this.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Trillions of Dollars In Minerals have Been Discovered in Afganistan!

    Wow!

    Imagine my surprise when I woke this morning to a Reuters Report that stated, "Untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan may be worth more than $1 trillion...." Followed by, "The mineral wealth, discovered by a team of Pentagon officials and U.S. geologists, is scattered throughout the country including in the south and east along the border with Pakistan, where the Taliban-led insurgency is the most intense."

    Yeah isn't that just an amazing coincidence...,I mean that we would have just happened upon these sorts of things..., what with all of our time being spent keeping AMERICA SAFE FROM TERROR. I mean, what great news for the people of Afghanistan!
    Of course the best pieces of the story, and please feel free to read the entire article, are as follows... 

    "Afghanistan does not have any mining industry or infrastructure, so it will take decades for the country to exploit its mineral wealth fully, the paper quoted U.S. officials as saying."
    Not to worry about the delay though, as usual there are already countries and corporations waiting in the wings to exploit the countries wealth at a drop of a hat...

    "Two Chinese firms have committed themselves to a $4 billion investment in the vast Aynak copper mine, south of Kabul, the biggest non-military foreign investment so far in the country.
    Another big contract to mine an estimated 1.8 billion tons of high-quality iron ore in the remote mountainous region of Hajigak is expected to open for international bidding this year.
    Firms from India and China are eyeing the contract, which the Afghan mines ministry says is the largest unmined iron deposit in Asia."


    So here's what we all want to happen, were hoping for honest Afghan leadership to take charge here, and to insure that the deals signed with international corporate interests will insure that the vast sums of money received by them will be shared by all of the peoples of that third world country.

    Yeah that's what we want, but history says what we want and what we get are regularly complete opposites. I recommend you take a look at what's happened in other third world countries where vast untapped resources were discovered and then signed over to large corporations with a history of being real skilled at exploiting resources.

    This sort of thing only serves to prove my previous points as to why we're really in Afghanistan.

    Monday, May 31, 2010

    Thoughts on Memorial Day

    I used to equate this day to patriotism and the ultimate sacrifice for country and kin. This day for me was about barbecues, flags and parades down main by veterans young and old. It was a day to feel good about your country, to reflect upon the very best it had to offer, and to thank those who'd given their lives for our freedoms.

    And it still should be, but...

    What taints that once innocent and altogether foolhardy naivete, are facts that are too easily confirmed by multiple sources showing that war is rarely about good and evil, but that all too often, it's simply about lining the pockets of the worlds elite.

    The facts and sources impossible to refute, but easily ignored and glossed over by corporately owned media, show that the American public have been duped by a criminal syndicate the likes that would put any in recorded history to shame.

    During the eight long years of the Bush Administration, while American soldiers were giving their lives to keep us all safe from terror, large corporations capitalized on the influence of former CEO's who used their positions of power to fill their own bank accounts and those of institutions that they once openly worked for.

    I wonder how they feel when watching a parade of surviving veterans, those with missing limbs, or in wheel chairs, and then of course those not so obvious but no less part of the walking and forever wounded. I'm guessing a minority of the guilty benefactors might occasion a slight twinge of regret, but the vast majority wouldn't bother themselves with such things and they sure as hell wouldn't be caught dead at a public parade and barbecue.

    To those that have served, I thank you.

    To those that gave your lives, limbs and psyche to defend our way of life, I thank you and apologize for those truly responsible for putting your families through the sorrow of your sacrifice.

    Joe

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    A voice from the Gulf

    The following observation was provided by a very good friend, someone who is intimately experiencing the BP created environmental catastrophe in the Gulf.  

    Tragically Beautiful
    I learned what that phrase really meant last evening.

    I went out on deck for some sense of being outside and to watch the sun set over the open sea.
    You don’t go outside for fresh air as the spill has a pretty strong odor.

    As I was watching the sun set as a big orange egg yolk in the sky, I started to look at the inky waters below. The water is a blue/black with occasional rainbow swirls and eddies. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a blue light below the surface. I figured it was just one of the many submersible units they have working out here. As I continued to look for it, another and another appeared, until there were about 5. After a moment I realized that they were fish with a bright blue luminescent stripe on their sides. They reminded me of the small glowy ones you can get for your aquarium, but these were much larger, almost a foot long each. As I watched them, more and more appeared. There were at least 50 blue lights dancing beneath the surface of the water as they too came up for the sunset.  I was amazed by the beauty of nature and the luck that I had in seeing such a thing.

    Suddenly I realized….They were all going to die.
    I then went below decks for some “fresh” air.

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Part IV - 1st Time European Travel - Impressions

    Monday morning came along and we found ourselves heading by taxi, to Paddington Station to catch our First Great Western, Penzance bound train.

    I'm not sure I've mentioned this before, but do try and tip your taxi cab driver. It's best to start figuring out how much your going to give him ahead of time, then to wait at the last minute. These folks do a hell of a job and considering the cost of living in this gigantic city, they can use every spare pound you have.

    Paddinton Station was as I remembered it from our arrival in England the first day, a glorified albeit gigantic, Quonset hut full of very large trains. It's organized, efficient, crowded, and not at all what I'd expected...I mean, where the hell was the train to Hogwarts?

    Uhm...you got the wrong station...that was King's Cross.

    Oh crap, are you back again?

    Sorry, I'm just sayin...is all...

    Yeah what ever!

    While I had flat out refused to shell out the extra coin for the flight to England, I had decided that it would be great fun to travel first class to Penzance, especially since the price was within my budget and it was a five and a half hour ride.

    It was a great way to see a big chunk of England, and a memorable way to enter the part of it that gave birth to the single greatest King that ever lived, Aurthur of course! The countryside sped by at a dizzying pace and honestly, I don't know what happened but I never once thought to take pictures. I guarantee you that it looked something like this though. :)

    We had a lot less blue sky out of London, but the closer we got to our destination, the better the weather and the sun finally came out.

    It was gorgeous, and it was pretty much everything I'd expected it to be. Rolling hills, bordered fields of farmland, and patches of trees.

    It's a long ride, and though the scenery is pretty, be sure to bring a book or something to listen to. I chose an audio book for my trip, James Patterson's, "The Lake House". It's a passable story, the villain is truly diabolical, and the story was extremely well narrated by Hope Davis (a favorite actress of mine) and Stephan Lang most recently of Avatar fame. I wont say I wasn't just a little disappointed with the end of the book, the characters seem to get overwhelmed by a sudden case of stupidity. Sort of like how the heroin in so many movies always seems to stumble and fall while being chased, man I hate it when they do that!

    Anyway it entertained while I watched the scenery pass by, soon enough the coast came into view and we were heading across the Royal Albert Bridge in Plymouth.


    It's a grand bridge with a fantastic view of the River Tamar and it's boats. I loved the ride over and was thrilled to know that I had officially left the county of Devon and had entered Kernow, in the lost Cornish language, now more commonly referred to as Cornwall.

    Yes, before me lay the birthplace of Arthurian legend! Here was the land I had read about in so many grand stories from my childhood. From the classic's like T.H. White's "The Once & Future King", to Susan Cooper's, "The Dark is Rising" series, and of course my recent favorite, "The Little Country" by Charles de'Lint. Granted, the last story contains no reference to the mythical King, but it is a lovely story, wrapped in Celtic legend and lore. To those of you wondering why I made no mention of, "The Mists of Avalon"...sorry ladies, while I know you enjoyed this admirable work by Marion Zimmer Bradley, we manly men could find no use for it. Oh yeah,
    even now I can hear the cry's of disgust from my female friends.



    Hooray, the sign...not this one mind you - because somebody was neglecting to take pictures, but one very similar, welcomed me like an old friend. It's odd, but I did feel sort of like I'd been on a long journey and was in fact coming home. My actual family lineage has Welsh, and Irish roots, so there's definitely some Celtic heritage. I'm not sure if any of the family ever came directly out of or ever lived in Cornwall, but I wouldn't find it surprising.



    I was so thrilled to see that we were nearly within sight of the Atlantic, only to be teased as the tracks lead us away toward more very charming countryside... :(



    I noticed there were a lot of fields that had recently been harvested, what I saw remaining was the odd stray flower. Apparently Devon and Cornwall grow vast fields of daffodils and we'd probably missed the harvest by a week or so. After stopping at Bodmin Station, the train finally made it's final turn towards the sea.


    And there it was Carlyon Bay, and the Atlantic beyond...We were so close to our goal now! I could see the the tip of Lizard Point (not really) the tip of the peninsula that shelters Mounts Bay.

    Yes I was in my own little euphoric high, finally the place I'd dreamed about seeing all these years was nearly within sight!

    Penzance was just around that last bend, no..., no that bend..., or maybe that one? Dear god I had to get off that train! My butt was becoming one with the seat and my mind was all atwitter, and...I was very hungry. I began to imagine the seafood, oh the mountains of cod, the succulent fillets of soul, cooked in butter with shallots!

    And so...many, many more miles of train track later we finally rounded that last proverbial bend and low and behold, there it was in all it's splendor, Mounts Bay and it's sentinel St. Michael's Mount!

    Legend says that a mythical giant named Cormoran once lived on the Mount, and he used to wade ashore and steal cows and sheep from the villagers to feed his gargantuan appetite. One night, a local boy called Jack rowed out to the island and dug a deep pit while the giant was asleep. As the sun rose, Jack blew a horn to wake the angry giant who staggered down from the summit and – blinded by the sunlight – fell into the pit and died.

    Definitely a place which we would have to try and see before our trip here was through, but first on to Penzance Station. After roughly five and a half hours from London's Paddinton Station, we had finally arrived and we were all anxious to get the heck off of the train.

    With sore backsides, hunger pangs, and luggage in tow we made our way out of the cavernous confines of the station and into the brilliance of day light. We were met right off by a man whom we would come to know and love as Stuart, of Stuart's Taxis.

    Of this fine Cornish gentleman, what can I say, but a better example of native Penzance hospitality, you would be hard presses to find. Recognizing our needs immediately, he stepped up and provided service par excellence! The trip was really not far from the train to our B&B, but it was enough time for the three of us to know that Stuart was a resource to be counted on during our stay.



    The Warwick House is a very charming, small yet elegant bed & breakfast inn, championed by a very hospitable husband and wife team, who do their very best to make your stay cozy and memorable.

    The rooms were fantastic, though a little chilly especially since the first night we all unknowingly slept with our windows wide open. The ladies had a very nice room, with a spectacular view of the bay.

    The bathroom was oddly large and yet it contained a very small shower. The home had obviously been redesigned for a more low flow, or low water usage system. Penzance and neighboring Newlyn have to conserve water for the dryer summer months as human consumption during that time of year is in direct competition with that of local agriculture.

    I applaud our host's convictions and though I found it challenging to take a shower, I appreciated the reasons for it.

    My room was built for one person in mind and neatly stashed away under the stair case that took people up to the second floor. It had no view of the bay, but it made up for it with a sort of small ship sleeper cabin like feel, and I really loved it.

    It had a small single bed, very comfy with an extra comforter, a nice little writing desk and a tiny tiny bathroom...or the loo as they say...when in Rome and all...:)



    Having filled our breakfast cards out for the next morning, we were off on a mission of mercy... We needed water, snacks and dinner. Since I was traveling with two ladies, they determined the priorities, and as it turns out that was the order it went in. So we exited the Warwick House and wandered on down to the promenade, it was a singularly spectacular day to have arrived in Penzance.

    We traveled north along the Western Promenade Road in search of our quarry.



    There was a surprising amount of traffic for a mid March Monday, but we were determined. One of the ladies spotted the sign to Mousehole, the back drop to de'Lint's "The Little Country", while I of course was looking for more important things...like food. :)



    There were a lot of very nice looking restaurants along Promenade Road, but none looked better than Sophia's Cafe. So after finding a small cooperative grocery store, we returned to the quaint little eatery where we were met by Sophia upon entry. Oh my, I think the three of us just about died and gone to heaven as we dined on the most lovely Cornish delights. The ladies had chicken stuffed with Cornish brie and wrapped in bacon, while I of course had my Newlyn sole, cooked in a lovely lemon butter sauce with minted potatoes and veggies.
    The decor of the place was light, warm and cozy, the meal was fantastic, the service slow but well worth the wait. The deserts were fabulous!

    More to Cornish adventures to come...