The night before last I decided to go for the free upgrade Zen Internet were offering to go from their 512Kb/s ADSL to the new “Max” product which is a variable speed ADSL depending upon what your line is capable. There is a 20GB per month traffic cap but I’m never going to reach that.

It turns out that this was actually surprisingly quick and painless. After filling out the web form that was that. I got a number of e-mails from Zen stating that it’d take 5-7 days, then at the end of yesterday that the regrade would happen today between 8am and midnight. This morning I find that I’m up and running.

Just to show how bad my line is though, the maximum stable speed my ADSL modem will sync at for the downstream is 2.8Mb/s with a signal to noise ratio margin of a mere 4dB! I think you can see why I’ll never get to that 20GB/month downloa

The voyage home

Seeing as the weather this morning was fine-ish with very light winds I decided to do an experiment. I tried driving at the speed limit or as close as the road conditions allowed from Mullion back to Oxford but changing gear early and being as light on the throttle as possible to see what fuel effciency I could get out of my 5 year old SAAB 93 2 litre light pressure turbo car.

So, after journeying for 5.5 hours (with a half hour stop) I finally got home with an average fuel consumption of 44.9mph. Not bad for a performance car.. and even with a very light foot on the throttle I was still out accelerating some cars from some junctions.

Anyway, that’s the end of my Easter holiday. I’ve nearly unpacked, I have dinner to get and then it’s not too long until it’s time for bed and thence back to work tomorrow. :-/

The final day

Yes, it’s again the final day of a holiday down in Cornwall.

Dispite the weather forecasters saying that it’s going to be calm, sunny and warm it’s windy, cool and with watery sunshine through the milky blue hazy sky. Still, it did give me an opportunity to take my 1:25000 OS map and try to follow some footpaths.

Erm, ok, trying to follow marked paths and failing was a better description. The first path/bridle path I tried was so torn up by horses’ hooves and puddle riddlen that it would be impassible without wellies. The second footpath I tried to find wasn’t marked. I then walked around on the road to where the path should come out and found a sign (woo-hoo!), followed it and found that the “footpath” actually followed the bed of a stream. Hmmm. I tried yet another footpath with a road sign.. for the first 200 yards it was fine, and then it entered another farm’s land and it disappeared. On one side of the cornish hedge was a set of steps going up but on the other side they had gone. Add to this walls or fences across the path and you get the picture. After that I gave up and walked back.

I did manage to give my Dad the opportunity to get out of the house on his own for a little walk earlier in the day by keeping an eye on my Mum for him. There is absolutely no way he can do so normally as my Mum needs supervision constantly in case she get confused or hurts herself. My trips down here are definitely a great respite for my Dad.

Another slow day.

The highlight was visiting Godrevy, near Hayle, and attempting to photograph seals relaxing on a beach at the bottom of a cliff. The weather wasn’t helpful, the wind was trying to blow me over the cliff and even with a good tripod the vibration was noticable at full 300mm zoom and caused a little camera shake blur, though this was nowhere near as bad due to the softness or lack of focus the lens has (it’s going to take a trip to Sigma for adjustment after the holiday).

The evening was spent watching episodes of Firefly on DVD.

A slow day. Not much to report other than grey skies and a bit of breaze.

The only thing of note was on the way back from the tip^H^H^Hrecycling centre we went past Goonhilly Downs Earth Station to see how the demolition of Aerial 2 was going.. it’s down to a pile of grey I beams now. It seems a bit like sacrelige to destroy that dish. That and (the now preserved) Aerial 1 were two landmarks which made Goonhilly what it was. It’s like knocking down one tower of Tower Bridge. THe coming and going of the other dishes makes no difference, just the first two from the mid-60s, the pioneering days. Oh well, there’s now only one left. Oh, and even the “Telstar Cafe” across the road has changed its name. Obviously the “bright, exciting future” is all in the past now.

Easter Monday

Yet another late morning, but hey, it’s a holiday. 🙂

Early afternoon I set off for a little walk with my camera. I decided to start where I finished yesterday and so walked down the bridle path I’d walked up before down to Polurrian Cove and then headed south along the coast path.

When I got to Mullion Cove it was still only just gone 2pm so I decided that rather than head back along the road I’d continue along the path and hoped to meet up with the path which goes to Predannack Farm.

A couple of miles later I was sure that I’d missed the turning so headed back for another mile to the junction of two paths and headed inland. It was quite interesting trying to traverse one bit of trackway which passed through an old quarry as it was extremely boggy ground with a huge puddle on the road itself. To one side of the trackway was some higher follage so I tried to walk along it… it turned out to be moss which hardly held my weight.. a rather precarious and bouncy experience.

At the end of the track I met a junction between a road and another footpath which looked to be going in the right direction so that it would cut off a large chunk of ground and seeing as by this time it was half past three I chose that route. It was quite a nice walk, mostly along a sort of hollow way and was obviously an ancient right of way, passing a stone cross at one place. The stone stiles were in varying degrees of delapitation and all of them were a potential death trap, but I survived. It was only in one point where there were no stepping stones over a small stream where I got my shoes a bit wet and that was as I almost reached the village and looked as if the reason had been due to agricultural destruction of the previous stone path over the stream.

Anyway, although it seemed like a long walk, in the end, looking at the map, it turns out that the whole thing was amere 5 miles, the same distance as from my house to the city centre. How strange it is that distances seem so different when you’re walking country paths.

Easter Sunday

A bit of a slow morning, I got up at half ten.

The weather didn’t look too promising at all. It was dull and grey. So, after playing some “Colin McRae Rally 04” for a bit it was time for lunch, roast beef and Yorkshire pud. 🙂

By the time lunch had finished miraculously the clouds had cleared and moved to the north, leaving mostly blue skies over The Lizard. Having seen the weather forecast for the week ahead on “Country File” I decided that it’d be a very good idea to take advantage of this window in the weather and go for a walk (with my camera).

So, after fitting my chunky F2.8 Sigma lens on the camera I proceeded to the Marconi memorial then south along the coast path to Polurrian Cove and then followed the bridleway back into the Village and home again. A total of about one and a half hours of pleasant walking and photography.

At Meres Cliff is noticed that the gorse bushes had been very much killed off relative to a year ago when I took a picture. So, as a contrast I tried to recreate the original photograph. I didn’t quite get the same site of framing but it’s close enough. It’s amazing the change just one year makes.

Surprisingly, there was a reasonable amount to watch on telly this evening, starting with “Time Team” and then following through “Bremner, Bird and Fortune” and “The West Wing” and finishing with the update programme for “Balderdash and Piffle.”

So, that’s the end of another day in Cornwall. If the weather holds out I may go for another walk tomorrow.