We have moved…
We have moved to Pendeen on the north coast of the far west of Cornwall, 7 degrees, or half a time zone west of Ipswich.
The house is about 150 years old: a granite tin miner’s cottage with three gardens and the front at the back (it shows its back to the road – the best side faces the garden).
It is a few metres from the moors that form the centre of the west Penwith peninsular and importantly, is an off-lead walk for Fred, the dog. In the other direction the sea is about 800-900m walk. The local beach, Portheras Cove, at top of the picture, is only accessible on foot, which means is a mostly deserted.
We have a bit of work to do on the house, although it is liveable- in as it stands. So far we have the wood burner installed. It heats the water and runs the central heating, and provides me with hours of fun tending in it.
Well actually, when I say we have moved, Jenny has moved properly: I commute weekly from East Anglia, first on the rather sub-standard National Express East Anglia service into Liverpool street, then on the almost sublime First Great Western. There is more than a nod to Brunel’s Great Western Railway in the name, and the style carries over too. The GWR was never the longest or the fastest railway; didn’t have the most powerful locos but Brunel made sure it had style. Paddington station with its hugely wide platforms, a passenger waiting area called the Lawn, and unusually for a modern London terminus, its train shed intact, is a reassuringly reliable place to catch a train.
The train itself an old HST, although not GWR in orgin, fits Brunel’s ethos perfectly: only eight carriages but with a class 43 loco, powered by an only slightly modified engine a small warship engine developing two and a half thousand horsepower, at either end, is the fastest diesel train set in the world. Several attempts at de-tuning the engines to make them quieter and less thirsty were abandoned. So now the train is noisy (though only from the outside), not very fuel efficient but, for a diesel, very fast. Very Brunel.
The trip back on Sunday is on the Night Riviera Sleeper, again a name harking back to GWR: this time to the legendary Cornish Riviera Express. The loco is even in GWR colours and sports the name of a steam loco of the 1940s – the Pendennis Castle
It’s not exactly the Orient Express, but I do get woken with a breakfast in bed: a pot of coffee, a croissant and the Times.