Mega holiday update

Well, it’s all after the cut…

Sunday 20th July

Got up at about 10:30 so as to set-up the Sky box and to troubleshoot the SCART switching box. Discovered the reason that the VCR isn’t recording is that it needs another SCART cable connecting it directly to the Sky box. Also. the 4 way SCART box’s power supply isn’t man enough to power it if the Sky box is plugged into the RGB port and it is displaying in widescreen.
Other than that the only other items to note were that I fitted the GeForce 3 Ti200 card into the PC, it rained heavily now and again during the whole day and “The Legend of the Rangers” was on Sky Movies.

This was the second time I’d seen the film and can see why it didn’t become a series in some respects. The acting wasn’t really up to standard, but it could have matured quite quickly.
Oh, and the Grand Prix was quite fun too with lots of overtaking. In that respect it was delightfully unusual.

Monday 21st July

Not a great deal to report. After getting up quite late and then having lunch, we popped over to Redruth to do some shopping in B&Q, Big W etc. We didn’t actually get to buy anything in the end.
In the evening I downloaded the latest NVidia drivers for the GeForce 3 card I put into my dad’s PC which took rather a long time. I’d forgotten just how slow a modem is.. 18MB took about an hour and 20 minutes.

Tuesday 22nd July

I got up pretty early for a holiday day, ie. 8:30am so that we could go down to Penzance. I did a little window shopping, my dad got a SCART cable so that I could finally finish setting up their VCR/DVD/Sky box so that everything worked together properly. I bought the new Computer Shopper.

The evening was spent watching the first DVD of The Goodies set.

Wednesday 23rd July

After discussing issues brought up by a Radio 4 programme about the judiciary with my Dad, I finally got up at about 11am. Again, as has been normal this week, the weather hasn’t been conducive to going outside and doing things, so I had another boring, if restful, day on the sofa.

The evening was spend watching the second Goodies DVD in the set.

Thursday 24th July

Another pretty boring day generally caused by the weather. Although it didn’t actually rain until quite late in the day, it threatened to do so for most of the day. So, instead of going out I sat around playing with my laptop’s configuration, played the “same game” game under Linux and looked at the code for the vacation(1) program replacement I wrote 18 months ago. I decided that although my level of enthusiasm has increased quite a bit since the start of the holiday it hasn’t done so enough to battle the complexity of the code needed to finish the project, especially the set-up program.

The evening was spent trying to find ways of not sitting down as my legs and bum are getting a bit tired of doing so. I t also involved watching BBC “science” programmes on BBC2.. Neither of which really lived up to the standard I’d set.

Still, tomorrow I’m off to see Meriel and Chris, so that’ll be a different sort of day, though it’s likely to be more sitting down, but at least this time with interesting conversation.

The weather for the next few days looks decidedly awful. More days stuck inside I imagine then.

Friday 25th July

I got up at about 9am, had a shower and was out of the house by 10am. On the way to see Meriel and Chris I popped into the Turnpike BP garage and put £10’s worth of petrol in the car as I was down to a quarter of a tankful.

The day at Meriel and Chris’ place was spent merrily chatting and was a fun break from what has become a little bit of a boring holiday.

In the evening when I got back there was hardly anything watchable on telly at all other than the news.

Saturday 26th July

It’s raining yet again! The forecast is that it should clear up later today. Let’s hope so…

The rain continued. We went out to Helston to see what options for DVDs to watch were. After visiting Woolworth’s and finding their selection of cut-price DVDs to be somewhat small and filled with only those DVDs not many people would want, we went back to the car so as to change car parks so that my mum wouldn’t have to walk quite so far. The only problem with this was that there was a massive cloud burst which, even with the help of umbrellas, was rather wettening.
Suffice it to say, W.H.Smith’s didn’t have much of a choice of DVDs either, so we had to go into Helston’s answer to Blockbusters, namely Ultimate Video. This is nowhere near the level of even the smallest Blockbuster Express shop. It also looks very seedy. There seems to be scaffolding constantly up on the front of the building.. I think you can get the picture.

I hired “The Bourne Identity” and my mum got “The Importance of Being Ernest.”

The rain finally stopped completely at about 6pm and the sun came out.

The evening was taken up with watching these two films. The first was far better than I expected and was pretty decent for its genre. The second film was ok but nowhere near the 1940’s version from the original Ealing Studios. There seemed far too much music in the modern version which rather took away from the comedy.

Now, it it time to go bed.

Sunday 27th July

Yippee! It’s a nice day outside.

After listening to the all important Broadcasting House on Radio 4 at 9am I got up and had a little bit of a lazy Sunday morning. Still, this afternoon we’re going out to make the best of the good weather.

In a little while we’ll be going to Redruth to visit a couple of preserved mining engines followed by a nice trip along the coastal road. There may even be some photographic opportunities. This is the first chance that I’ve had to really use my camera all holiday. The weather has just been too awful to even think about such things.

Well, we went off to the Cornish Engines and Mines at Pool, Redruth, and thence on a drive up to Hale. The engineering of the large cornish steam beam engine was pretty impressive for something from the 19th century. How they managed to cast the massive beams and get the metal to flow that far without solidifying is amazing. The only real down side of the day was that my mum was reticent to do very much. Also, on the drive to Hale we passed a model aircraft open day which I would have dropped by to see if I’d have been on my own. I’d have probably also stopped off at one of the cliff top car parks for some more photographic opportunities.

Still, as I’ve been fighting a sinus headache all day it would have been likely that I’d not have enjoyed many outdoor things after all.

This evening we watched the full extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring. I’ve forgotten, however, how to get the easter egg allowing the Two Towers trailer to be shown. I’ll have to look up how to get that again on the web.

Monday 28th July

It was an early start this morning. By early, I mean 7:30am. I had to get up so as to drive to the Vauxhall dealer in Helston along with my dad so that he could take his car in for its annual service.

We set out at just about a quarter past 8 and drove towards Poldhu Cove. Half way down the hill we had to stop as a van was turning around in a field entrance. After he did so he came to each vehicle in turn and told them that there was an accident on the road at the other side of the valley and that the road was blocked.

Anyway, we drove down to the cove and turned around there. From the look of it a camper had gone around the 90 degree bend near the top of the hill and had broken down not far beyond it. Then a car and a lorry had tried to take the bend and failed to stop when confronted by the camper. I’m making quite big assumptions here as I was never nearer than about 200 yards from the incident at the bottom of the valley.

So, we drove to Ward’s garage using the other way out of the village. When we arrived my dad had a little problem getting the car booked in as their computer system had crashed during the weekend and they had no record of who was bringing cars in today.

Upon getting home, I suggested a trip into Truro as otherwise we’d not do much at all today other than wait for the garage to phone. So, that’s what we did. I filled up my car with petrol along the way. It was just nice to get out of the house and walk around the city, despite the showery heavy downpours. I also picked up a Microsoft Force Feedback joystick in GAME which they had as 40% off their own price (ie. about the same as the cheapest you can get it mail order).

The afternoon was spent playing games on my dad’s computer with my new joystick with breaks to take my dad back to the garage to pick up his car and to eat meals and things. By the time of the garage trip, the weather had fully closed in and it was just normal wet, drizzly, rainy mist. You can have weeks of weather like that in the winter here.

Much of the evening, however, was spent watching telly (Andromeda and Firefly).

Tuesday 29th July

This morning we went off to see the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth.

Although when we started out it wasn’t yet raining, I knew that the rain wasn’t far from arriving, so I remembered to take my large SAAB umbrella with me. This was a very good move as the rain indeed started to fall before we got as far as Falmouth docks.

The museum itself is an interesting building, being purpose built. It’s also of a somewhat unusual construction. Basically, it’s built using concrete pillar onto which is bolted a wooden superstructure.

Anyway, the exhibits inside were pretty interesting, though I thought it still rather small and not heavily populated with items or exhibits. The exhibition itself felt more artistic than informative. There was very little real information. The architecture was more on show than marine history and what was shown was rather shallow. All in all, however, it did take up an interesting couple of hours. It was rather crowded in there by the time we left and the normal Cornish clag (hill fog and heavy drizzle without the hill bit) had settled in so there was very little to see from the observation room at the top of the tower.

We drove home through the gloom.

After lunch I merely lay back on the couch and snoozed most of the afternoon. There was little point in doing anything outside in the very wet and dank fog and there was nothing on the telly to entertain.

This evening, in desperation, we watched “Lethal Weapon 4” as my parents had picked it up in a 3 for £20 sale along with a few other far worse films that they didn’t know anything about. My mum didn’t really like this film due to the number of expletives being used by the characters portrayed by Joe Pesci and Chris Rock. Films with Jay and Silent Bob are to be avoided with my mum around.

Wednesday 30th July

Today we went off to visit a couple on National Trust properties. My mum had previously decided that we were going to Trerice despite the fact that we have visited the house a number of times before. I then looked for other things to see after we had been there. Initially I had thought that a visit to the Lappa Valley Railway might be interesting even though it is more of a toy railway than a real one.

Unfortunately, the forecast sunny day didn’t materialise. Instead the morning was dull with frequent heavy downpours of rain or drizzle. This put me right off the idea of travelling on open carriages for a couple of miles behind a 25 year old model steam loco.

The visit to Trerice went as expected, ie. after picking up some lunch at ASDA on the way we arrived at about half 12, ate lunch and then headed for the house at about 1:15. We managed to whisk around the house and the small gardens within 45 minutes. At least I managed to finish off the film in my old instamatic film camera in the garden. It’s only taken me about 3-4 years to do so. I have no idea what’s on the beginning of the film now. I very much doubt that I’ll ever use that camera again now.

Anyway, when we got back to the car I had a quick look at the map and saw that another NT property was on the way home, or at least only a short diversion from it, namely Trelissick Gardens. Despite my mum usually being interested in gardens she wasn’t too keen on going but we did so anyway.

In my opinion, Trelissick is quite a nice, pleasant place to ample about in nice weather. By this afternoon the rain had stopped though it was still cloudy, so it was not a bad day to amble. I had taken my camera along and did manage to take a few pictures.

This evening was mostly spent watching a odd film about a photographer who was obsessed with fairies. The only reason we watched this strange period piece on the Sci-Fi Channel (which seems to have no Sci-Fi on it other than cancelled shows anymore} was that there was nothing else on.

So, now it’s time for bed. The weather forecast is for miserable weather right through until Saturday. The good weather is supposed to return the day I return home with hot weather beginning as I go back to work. Let’s hope that the forecast is as reliable as today’s, which would mean some more nice days to come. At least it’s looking positive for Cropredy.

Thursday 31st July

Well, the weather wasn’t up to much today so I didn’t get up until 11am. I spent most of the day playing Collin McRae Rally 2.0 on my dad’s PC.

OK, it’s not exactly an exciting day but at least I found some brain stimulating entertainment. My dad still beats me in the two player special stage mode though.

Friday 1st August

This morning the weather didn’t look all that promising to begin with. It was dull and drizzling. However, by lunchtime it had improved so much that the sun was starting to break through the clouds and blue sky was almost equalling the grey!

Hence, after lunch we went off to visit places which are only really useful to visit in good weather. As it turned out it was decided to see how Lands End had been changed since the last time we had visited the site in the late 80’s when we had first arrived down here.

The main change to the place has been the increase in the number of cheesy gift shops and car park prices. Though the car park price did seem to be a variable affair. When we first arrived they were asking for £3 to park in their rough car park. This we balked at and drove back half a mile to the free car park and walked back to the site. By the time we walked past the kiosk on the way out of the site, a little over an hour afterwards, the price had decreased by a pound. Maybe it was the number of people who turned around and drove back to the free car park which made them think twice about their tariff?

I took a few photos while there but not that many as there wasn’t much which was really photogenic, unless you find tourist fleecing “attractions photogenic, which I don’t.

We had to get back home reasonably early as my mum had decided to make a bread and butter pudding. Some things are just more important than scenery.

Saturday 2nd August

At last, a nice day. What a pity that it’s the last full day I have here on holiday as tomorrow I journey homeward again.

After popping into an almost deserted Helston just after lunch to get a battery for my dad’s old PC (which, unlike the newer PC I gave him, actually runs the motorcycle racing games he likes) and rent a DVD for tonight, we went for a nice walk.

The walk entailed going down a byway to the cliff tops were a monument to the first trans-atlantic radio message by Marconi then north along the cliff path down into Poldhu Cove and then back up the other side before returning via the road. In total the walk took 1 hour 20 minutes, most of which was the out-bound part as I used it as a photo opportunity.

This evening we watched “Minority Report” on DVD and then “Lake Placid” on BBC1.

I’ve now pretty well fully packed now. I hope to be able to get away by 9:30am so as to miss most of the traffic. It should also mean that I get home in time to get my shopping in Sainsbury’s and possibly Touchwood Sports. If I do manage both of those it will mean that I won’t have to go out on Monday evening.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.