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here I am in a little cottage that evokes the energies of my ancestral lands - a cottage on the moors of Cornwall, or on the cliff tops of Ireland or Scotland. It has a hearth. I am a hedge witch {of sorts}. I wear upcycled clothes, patchouli oil and Redback boots. I am a gypsy; an eccentric and a mystic [I often live with a foot in two worlds]. I serve my guests, tea from an old silver teapot. I love Vervain, yarrow, chamomile & mint. Star watcher and Moon gazer. story cloth weaver. keeper of family dreams and wishes. good friend and creator of life. herbal tea drinker and potion maker.

Monday, December 3, 2012

[December 2] - Tintagel Castle - setting off to explore the famous castle connected with King Arthur.

we woke to drizzle after our first night in our first cottage in Cornwall. Clematis Cottage. 1/2 mile from Tintagel.
within walking distance, down a lane.
off to see the castle
of course the first thing we had to do was buy the 'park and display ticket'.
* Sunday. beginning of winter when the car park is empty and most shops closed and you still have to pay for parking. ridiculous.
both of us just about stamped our feet at this. like I said, we are over these charges every time we want to park somewhere. When Joe expressed an expletive, a french tourist standing nearby, laughed out loud! and when we told him that we don't have to often pay for parking, he remarked that 'Australia is a big country, plenty of parking'.. yes, but we don't bloody well park in the desert!! of course there are parking charges in Australia.. but we usually get a few hours free, then if we stay longer we pay.. so, yes we are over the parking costs. it adds up as you travel.. I think our parking costs could be 20 pounds or more a week while we are here!!

but first to a local pub to catch up on emails because we don't have internet access at our cottage. that is another thing that is beginning to frustrate me.. we bought sim cards and dongles so that we could be in touch with home.. and they don't work very often. the cost of that has been over 100 pounds all up and we end up having to drive somewhere to get free wi-fi. [now I seem to be complaining too much! but it is all a big learning and realizing for me.. that there truly is no place like Australia]

we walked down to the National Trust house, bought our entry tickets to the castle and started to watch a short presentation on the Legend of King Arthur and his connection to Tintagel.. and this is where my rose coloured glasses were tainted. the presentation was that of an historic & academic viewpoint of Arthur.. and they pretty much said the story was all myth and legend and not true to fact.. my head is reeling with all of this.. why does modern man have to destroy myths, legends and folklore as they do? are we all too sophisticated and learn-ed to believe in things that we cannot prove or see?
that is what i loved so much about Glastonbury.. they accept and encourage all of this kind of thing.. dammit, I sat in front of where Arthur and Guinevere's remains had been found, buried together &  felt emotions that I have never felt before..
oh well..I have to sort it all through and believe what is right for me.. as much as people may scoff. That said, I am now realising also that Arthur was most probably a war monger & tyrant.. like most Kings & knights of the time were.

we walked down to the 'beach' and into Merlins Cave.. was Merlin a myth too? I think not.
 I believe.
I believe in the legend of King Arthur, i believe in faeries, pixies and elementals. I believe in Angels.

this photo above was part of the chapel in the castle. I guess the stone platform was the altar.

then off to explore the ancient ruins, which by now had lost their appeal.. and the rainy day did nothing to help my experience of Tintagel Castle. ancient ruin.

the coast line here is dramatic. green and yes, beautiful and as I gazed on it, i knew that I don't belong here,.
sitting at Echo Point at home or at Katoomba Falls, I am always, always touched by the wonder of Mother Earth..
here, I could see the beauty of creation but it did not touch my soul self like home does. what a great learning i am having. well, that is one of the reasons that I made this pilgrimage, to put the ancestral ties to rest and I do believe it has happened, or is happening as I travel.

Up steep steps to the ruins..which was not made easy by the added weight of rocks that I had collected on the beach near Merlins cave. Rocks gathered for gifts at home, a bigger one to put in my garden,.. at one stage, as I ran from stone to stone, rock to rock, looking for the perfect one to take,  I did hear Joe say 'not too many. Lucy'.. I think he is worried that I could end up like Lucille Ball in the Long, Long Trailer!

The paths very slippery so we didn't get to see it all.. it started to rain quite heavy and being there just wasn't fun. And it seems as if I may becoming immune to all the ancient buildings here, because truthfully, the castle ruins were.. ho-hum.. they did not have the same effect on me as Lanercost Priory or Glastonbury Abbey did.
 I am starting to see a pattern.. I am attracted to the old churches and abbeys more than castles and grand homes. When we drive into towns and villages, I always seem to stumble upon a church connected to Mary, Mary Magdalene or the Benedictines.

and this is reinforcing my belief in Mary, Mary Magdalene and Jesus and their connection to Glastonbury. It is as if, this trip is bringing my own beliefs all together.. into something that i can use when i go home. and being ok with that. and not following rules making me feel as if I must do it someone elses way.

[ragged robin, growing along the road side here in Tintagel]

I am getting more enjoyment from walking around the villages and seeing cottages and gardens and experiencing the stay in the cottages as we travel. and I think Tintagel may have been a little of an anti-climax after my time in Glastonbury.

and so back to Clematis Cottage..

this is a traditional Cornish Cottage and while not the best we have stayed in, it is definately not the worst.. I think the rain puts a different perspective on it and I guess i am a little fussy.. but there is a garden out the back and i hope to gather some ivy and create a wreath to hang and some red berries to decorate.. I am also going to buy some fake greenery to drape on the mantels in the cottages as I travel because I am actually beginning to miss home and the experience of decorating for Yule and Summer Solstice, is having a bigger effect on me than I thought it would - [I tend to decorate for both at this time of year, to celebrate all of my own beliefs]


  1. It's a helluva climb between Merlin's Cave and Tintagel, isn't it? The Arthurian Legends must be believed with the same spirit as we use for anything mythological and spiritual. Cold, hard historical fact sucks all the fun and mystery out of them. Ignore it and believe!

  2. You were right to be careful on those slippery slopes - hobbling around Cornwall in a plaster would not be fun! You and Joe take care in that wet weather- it sounds challenging. Thanks for sharing Tintagel.

  3. Robin I was so happy reading what you said: "It is as if, this trip is bringing my own beliefs all together.. into something that i can use when i go home. and being ok with that. and not following rules making me feel as if I must do it someone elses way."

    As for all that rain, by now I'd be ready to head home! I can't imagine traveling in it every day.

  4. You will be back in your beloved Australia before you know it Robyn, and you will never regret this trip to England. xoxo

  5. Glad you went to Boscastle, I stayed there on my honeymoon.
    Other good place till you get to Fowey are: St Ives ,Mousehole, Polperro,St Michels Mount but not Penznace. Not Lands End but yes to the Minack Theatre or the Cape of Cornwall if the theatre is closed. If you go back slowly through Devon then yes to Salcombe even if it is full of London types and Dartmouth is a treat. Ashburton on the edge of Dartmoor is good. Bovey Tracey is a sleepy friendly un trendy town also on edge of Dartmoor. If you go back through Dorset on your way to London then the hill in Shaftesbury is astonishing.If you have time then Dulverton on Exmoor is charming. I agree with you keep away from big places. Hope you get to enjoy the rest of your stay and the nastieness of Tintagel and other over commercial places hasn't spoilt your trip for you. xx

  6. Have you had Cornish ice cream yet?

  7. I think 2012 has been an exceptionally wet year, even by English standards. I didn't walk right down to the castle ruins as when I was there I was with Mum and she didn't want to do it.It was very early morning and she said she had a bad feeling about the place, so I just looked from afar.
    What is that in your photo of the 'altar'? It may be the sun, but on the picture it looks like an orb?