Friday, 7 August 2015

A Delightful Hill Top Picnic

Throughout my life, I have been a fickle mixture of both painfully shy and ferociously outgoing. I am both introverted and extroverted. I enjoy deeply the company of others yet treasure isolation. Over my college years, with the help of my closest friends and incredibly supportive Nan, I constructed for myself a cushion of confidence and self assurance to replace what had been for a long time a void of low self esteem and anxiety of social situations. I eventually re-discovered that overly chatty, comfortable-in-her-own skin four year old that I was, who wasn't afraid to do weird animal impressions in public and do exactly what she wanted to do without fear of judgement.
I am delighted to say that these days, I live largely unburdened by anxiety and low self-worth and I've been able to shake off the demons that sat on my shoulders and whispered awful things in my ears. Very occasionally for no reason at all, I might have a relapse but it will last for a few hours rather than weeks. My inner sun shiny days are many and this year I've really managed to push myself to do things I never would have done seven years ago.
One of those things, was making friends with strangers.

In December, I made it my mission to make a better habit of blogging. I'm still not entirely decided what I want to do with my blog or what my end goal is, but what I do know is that I rather enjoy it. My blog serves as my electronic journal where I can share my days with my scattered family and friends and anybody who enjoys reading stories about an absent-minded outdoor-loving southern girl. In those six months, I've taken pleasure in this structure in my life (something it severely lacks) but most of all the inspiration you can find in other peoples thoughts, blogs and seeing the world through their eyes. What I love most of all about blogging is that it's a window into a persons life, into their perception on how they view the universe and that sort of thing is invaluable. The Salty Sea Blog is the world through my eyes, all of the photographs are visual communications of the world I inhabit and every body else blogs serve as their minds translated into words and pictures.

I rather admire a few particular souls and their wonderful perceptions of our beautiful shared world and two of them, I've had the absolute pleasure to meet with this summer. This is one of those things I would never have been able to do once upon a time - Meeting with people I didn't know.
Alex from On Serpentine Shores and I have become great friends this summer after realising we both lived on the Lizard and shared a mutual love of Cornwall, photography and outdoor exploration and soon met up (more on that later!). We had been discussing the importance of community and creativity and have been talking over and planning a picnic of creative folks from Cornwall who too enjoy community, peace and outdoors. One of the people that immediately sprang to my mind was Laura.
Laura, who has just launched a brand new blog 'Eggshell days', I vaguely knew through a mutual friend and her amazing conceptual art work and photography that was often wafting about the internet, always catching my eye with its ethereal charm. She has the most beautiful little family and her son Robin is quite possibly the cutest baby I ever did see. All of the superlatives.
When she started her blog I was pretty darn excited to get to read all the stories behind her dreamy photographs and on a whim, we decided to meet up and spend a day together picnicking and being photographers and sneaking into places we weren't meant to be.

We drove to Feock to the National Trust's 'Trellissick Gardens' famed for it's Rapunzel Tower and heart stopping views over St Mawes. Since I didn't work for the National Trust anymore and no longer get free entry, I invested in a young persons membership as I knew I was likely to make it worth my while as George and I go to National Trust places a lot and use their carparks! 

Above photo credit - Laura DL from Eggshell days blog :)

We ventured through the manor house - protected by a stern, tourist-disliking housekeeper who told me off about 3 times - and found our way into the glorious art deco orangery. We wanted to take lots of pictures by the window but that wasn't permitted (I found out the hard way) so we settled for appreciating it from the outside. The light inside these places is just so pretty and perfect! This is Laura below! She is really, really cool :)

It was really hard to do this place justice with a 50mm lens.

Laura is the kind of person who has really great thoughts - always has something interesting to say and doesn't bother herself with the sort of irrelevant, superficial fluff that clogs up perfectly good minds. I really enjoyed her company and playful aura. We were like two children let loose in a forest turning it into a magical kingdom with our imaginations. Playfulness is a trait I really value and love in friends and family - it's the biggest reason I'm so mad about George. Playfulness is his biggest attribute - that, and gentleness. 

At one point we found the most glorious chair that looked abandoned - overgrown in brambles, vines and bracken. We squealed with excitement at what a great photo opportunity we had found and I valiantly fought my way through the thicket and briar to pose in this nature-reclaimed chair. I sat on my throne of nettles and ivy as Laura snapped. She began to climb up a little mound to get an 'above' few shots when she shouted something like "QUICK! GET OUT OF THERE!" and hastily put distance between herself and this delightful patch we had found. It turned out there was a reason this bench was abandoned and left to the wild. Confused and terrified that there was a giant spider above my head around the size of Aragog that was descending from the trees with it's pincers nashing, ready to gobble me up, I hastily detached my skirt from the snagging brambles and clambered out of the patch of death. Laura pointed out the hornets nest in the mound next to the bench and I peered in to see something no-body should ever have to witness - A crawling, mothership of enormous wasps. YUCK.

Most of my life, I perceived my part of this rainy isle as some sort of fairy tale kingdom. It's not difficult to see why when there's Rapunzel towers overlooking a beautiful river and castles on islands dotted about casually. 

to the river 

Working with other artists is always a joy (not that I consider myself an artist). Perhaps I should rephrase - working with someone who shares your burning need to jump into bushes because the colours or light is happening or stop every two foot to snap an interesting lichen is refreshing. I don't need to constantly apologise for being distracted by photogenic lichens or gateways because likely hood is, they've spotted it too :) 
I am so delighted that I clambered out of my little cubby hole of shy to spend the day with Laura for she is a delightful, intriguing and super company who has a fascinating imagination which is reflected in her beautiful photographs and art works.

The day went far too quickly. After exploring as much of the gardens as we could manage on empty stomachs, the rumbles eventually became too much and so we heeded the pleas of our tummies and traversed the parklands until we happened upon sublime views of the river towards the Roseland. 

photographs c.o Laura 

I had prepared a quintessentially Cornish picnic (minus the orange Juice!) of Strawberries and cream, Blackberries, Locally made Pasties from Horse & Jockey, Helston (my personal favourites!) and kettle chips. We had so much space and it was peaceful, a far cry from crowded beaches as is the norm in the summer. I'm starting to discover a love for the quieter alternatives to beaches such as headlands, cliffs, rivers and parklands.  

We got caught up in the food and conversation and time flew by so fast it was time to say goodbye before we knew it. I left feeling refreshed and recharged by the things I love - Outdoor fun, exploring with kindred souls, beautiful nature and of course delicious food. 
I'm back in Bath for a few days while George and I are moving into our new flat together which is a huge milestone for us! (More to come on that) we'll have two weeks back home in Cornwall after that to cram as many little adventures in as we can and get through my usual summer rituals - the persuades, camping on the beach, sunset on the dunes before returning back to the pretty little city in the valley where cars whoosh by and deadlines must be met. I'll admit, I'm anxious about coming back for my final year because I can't bear to be parted again from my darling Sea now that we're reunited. But the bones have spoken, and they say I must return to complete my education and make something of myself and so I shall do my best. 

June and July, you have been cloudy, windy and wetter than most but August, I beg of thee will you spare me some clear night skies so I can watch the falling stars? The Perseids enchant and entrance me and I'm eager to learn more of the constellations I've been studying. 
Happy August folks - tomorrow, I hit the Bristol Balloon fiesta! 



  1. How magical is this place? I've just looked it up and I think we're going to visit here on our way back from Cornwall next week! It's so beautiful and just my kind of place :) xx

    1. You must! it's so so pretty and peaceful! :D Make sure you take a walk on the parklands too ^_^ it's perfect for picnicking and photos! I hope St.Michaels mount is one of your stops too :P xxx

  2. everything is so lovely, wonderful, and beautiful! <3 so dreamy :)

    xoxo, rae

    1. Naw Shucks :P It's all down to living in such a photogenic place! ^_^

  3. Ah what an adventure! I'm so glad you've developed the kind of confidence to let you do something like this. It sounds like it was so much fun and I cannot wait to have a similar experience in just over a week. ^-^

    1. Yay! :D Thankyou Carly ^_^ I wish you all the luck and magic and hope you have a wonderful time next week! :D xxx

  4. What a beautiful post! Such an amazing place to run around and explore, and even better that you got to spend the day with Laura, you both take such beautiful photos! The picnic looks perfect too, I completely agree about Cornish beaches in the summer time! Alice xx

    1. Thankyou :D Her photo's are amazing and whimsical! It was certainly lovely to get together :D I had a wonderful time! Thank you for your lovely words ^_^ xxx

  5. This looks like the perfect place! Absolutely stunning photos as always. And it's lovely that you've found such great friends through blogging. Also, good luck with moving into the new flat!

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

    1. Thankyou Mimmi! :D we're all moved in now but it's certainly been hectic! Driving back down to Cornwall this evening for the rest of the summer holidays ^_^ We've definitely got lucky with the flat - the location is great! :D xxx

  6. I'm so sorry my comment is late! I've been caught up with work and abandoned Bloglovin' for a couple of days.

    I have been awaiting this recap of our lovely day together with much anticipation. As always, your words and photos are absolutely beautiful. I have a terrible memory so being able to read about our day together is such a treat! I really do need to give myself a kick in the rear and write my own blog entry about our adventure.

    First off, it was an absolutely honour and a real pleasure to meet up with you. We'll certainly have to do it again! I really learned a lot - both technical and personal. It is always truly wonderful to receive knowledge from another person.

    Secondly, thank you for your kind words! I may be blushing a little.

    Last, but certainly not least...WAAAAAAAAAAAAASPS!

    - Laura

    I am hoping you managed to capture an image of the bench before we were forced to flee for our lives from the girl-eating giant wasps of death, as I sadly, failed v.v
    Sorry the post was so late :P I too have been tres busy with work and blog writing has been sporadically sporadicked over much longer than I usually spend. I tend to try and keep adventures as close to their real time as possible so that this feels more like a real time diary ^_^
    I'd love to do it again! :D Now that we both have National Trust passes the opportunities are endless! :D The Merry Maidens standing stones of West Cornwall beckon! And everywhere else that is adventurable of course ^_^

    I shall now wait in eager anticipation for your rendition of the tale :)

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend ^_^



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