About Me

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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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

yesterday, a sobering day.. today St. Ives

yesterday, we did a tour of a Tin mine nearby at Pendeen.

I had, of course, a romantic vision of them going off to work with a little tin pail with Cornish pastie inside.. and then to the mine to work and home again later. not so.

they did long hours and Cornish pasties were not 'created' until the 18th century. They actually ate what was known as 'Hoggan' which was pork fat and barley, rolled into a ball. Not cooked. and they did not return home at night, sometimes they stayed underground for days at a time. Because, if they left their place, another miner would come in and reap the benefits.
boys as young as 7 having to carry heavy weights up from the mines..  The youngest known miner was 3. 3 years of age.. can you imagine a child that young working anywhere?? some being sent into small 'caves' to remove the arsenic from the walls of the mines.. scraping it off.. some of the men having to blast away rock using primitive goose feathers filled with gunpowder. No wonder so many of my ancestors passed away at very young ages. I never understood why really. now I do.

and as I sat in the mine museum cafe eating my pastie, gazing out at the deep blue/grey Atlantic Ocean, my thoughts wandered to my mining 'tinner' ancestors.. they may have worked mines similar to this in beautiful surroundings.. looking out to sea but their mind would not have been on how beautiful the landscape was but how they had to work hard to get their quota in to earn a living. just to survive. not to be able to travel or for leisure but to survive in the harsh land that I am discovering that Cornwall was.

every morning after breakfast.. when we get ourselves ready.. we head off. but first we have morning tea just down the road at Trevaskis Farm.. a working farm that sells produce and has a cafe. ..

at this time of year, they also have Christmas trees for sale. these are Noble Fir and sell for about 30 pound. they look like the perfect tree... but don't have the quirkiness of our pine trees at home which are cut out of the bushland and are all manner of different sizes and shapes. I miss that at the moment.. seeing Christmas trees going down the road on the back of trucks.

and they also sell mistletoe. something that I got quite excited about. we don't see bunches of this at home. unless its plastic.

then we headed to St. Agnes.. for a Sunday drive, except it is Tuesday.. a pretty little village but we didn't stop.. and the usual fools on the road harassed us, pushed us onto the verge and generally drove like ratbags.
and on to St. Ives...

a seaside village overlooking the ocean.. [I am continually amazed at the sea of houses that dot this small land.. house upon house, roof upon roof... reminds me a little of Mary Poppins]

first , to the post office [I think we are keeping them in business at the moment..]

and a stroll around the streets.. into some shops..

there are streets everywhere.. steps and little homes tucked into corners.. cute.. and obviously a thriving town in summer.. I am so glad that I chose to come at this time of year - I think the summer crowds would have bothered me some. I bought a little Cornish pixie to take home and chatted to the guy who owned the store. He was a potter.. and had been to Australia about 10 or so years ago and couldn't get over the fact that we have free BBQ facilities in parks .. he told us 'you won't get anything for free in this country, you know'.. yes we know.

then a walk to the seaside.. of course not on the beach... then for lunch. where I had the worst pastie I have ever tasted. rude waitress. bad cup of tea. Rudeness is common here in many parts. sad but true. I don't care if these people are Cornish or not, no need to be rude. Not like my Pa was at all, nor his sisters [and they would be appalled at the cup of tea we were served today!!...]
 of course, another knife in the cake of disillusionment for me.

then a few more errands - buying some more decorations

and we headed home..
a cup of tea then we walked to the Post Office ..

Carnhell Green is a little village.. a post office, a farm supplies and a pub which is closed..

then I hung our wreath on our door for the week.. I am really missing decorating my home at Katoomba.. missing the carols, the build up and planning. the packing of gifts into a basket and visiting friends, sending out invites to our Christmas breakfast.. and deciding a theme for my home.. .. it hurts my heart alot.. but this trip is also teaching me alot about myself.. and I am so happy that I do have the opportunity to let go of Cornwall once and for all.

yes, it is beginning to look - a little - like Christmas.


  1. Glad your getting into the christmans spirit Robyn, the photos are lovely. Its hard to comprehend little children having to work in those conditions, life was very hard then we have so much to be grateful for now(but some still whinge we are hard done by)shame you have come across so many rude people in your travels.

  2. We do have so much to be grateful for. I always try to be grateful no matter what.
    You're lucky to not have bad service and grumpy waitstaff at home. We are so used to it here we take it for granted!

  3. You are doing wonderful cleansing and healing...:)

  4. I loved the photos of st ives... thank you for posting them in. When dh and I stayed there we stayed in a b and b for many years , run by a mrs curnow... any relation?

    those tiny lanes are so gorgeous! thanks for sharing!

  5. As you were going to St. Ives,
    Did you meet a man with seven wives?

  6. Oh that last photo is beautiful! How did the visit with the Vicar's wife go, or is it yet to come?
    40 degrees here in Adelaide today, 42 in Port Augusta!
    Have never seen real mistletoe- enjoyed seeing your photo here.
    Those miners worked hard - a lot came to Kapunda here in South Australia. There's a giant statue of a Cornish miner at the entrance to the town to commemorate them.
    I hate to think of small children forced to do adult labour - still happens in impoverished countries. Those who find it heartbreaking find rescue only creates more problems,including family alienation. How lucky we are here Robyn.
    On a brighter note, that's not sun I see in some of those photos is it??

  7. Don't let go of Cornnwall; it's a significant part of who you are. Just place it in more realistic context and know how much you've helped me now by reading this. I'm glad you've had the chance to experience Christmas as I've always known it in the cold and deep of December here in the Northern hemisphere. And, I'm even more happy to hear that you now know that you love your Christmas traditions in the warmth of summer. I'm glad you are realizing that you are living in the right space and life. What a gift Cornwall is giving you!

  8. Love your photos, all those cottages look so picturesque. I would be tempted to walk by them at night so I could see inside...LOL

  9. Oh Robyn im so glad i called into your travels, im sooo sorry ive not been before now. Im so please you made it right down to bottom of Cornwall, my neck of the woods, St ives where my little shop used to be, trevaskis farm nr where i used to live and the mine at pendeen right near my little garden :) we must have passed you somewhere on your travels without even knowing. I'm not Cornish but have been here for over 10 years now, and love it sooo much i dont very often leave. It has such healing magical energies, an am proud to call it home. As you have discovered there are some places which are less than welcoming and stuck in the past lol but on the whole most are lovely. Mostly all the homes are cold and damp, it is a problem with buildings made of granite and lack of good heating, so i hope your breathing has gotten better now out of damp cottage. Oh i so kick myself, there are so many magical places i could have told you about to visit while here, my friend Cheryl Straffon is the local orracle of holy sites and wells and has written extensivly on the subject and the Goddesses ect.......... look Her books up if you get the chance. Today ive learned a lesson to try and be less self absorbed i have truly missed a wonderful opportunnity. Blessings dear one on your travels have a wonderful new year x x x x

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love your photos. I'm thinking of having holidays at St. Ives holiday cottages and get to stay at the beautiful place.