For one week the population of the tiny Cornish hamlet of St Veep has just been 15% Jests. The cottage was a sumptuous affair, spookily kitted out as an almost exact replica of our own dear Jest Acres, even down to the tea towels and crockery. Not that the tea towels are that surprising really, Cornwall being a much more appealing vista with which to bedeck domestic linens than grimy old Brum and environs…
The parish church was also built in the hamlet even though there are other somewhat larger settlements in the vicinity. At some point in decades past the church yard appears to have been renovated and a number of memorial stones discarded. Some wily former owner of the cottage we rented saw an opportunity there and so the path that leads from the gate to the front door saw us treading over elaborate 1830s copper plate inscriptions remembering Eliza, wife of Joshua of this parifh and the like. Somehow I suspect this simple act of thrift means the worthies so recorded come to more peoples attention now than they would have done remaining in the churchyard. They may also be remembered more widely since the visitors book suggests our recent predecessors in the cottage hale from several different flavours of abroad.
One of the delights of staying in such a small settlement is that for the sake of a five minute drive along one of the narrower Cornish lanes, you get to feel all the advantages of remoteness, without the attendant trekking and so forth. The traffic past our window was more hoofed than wheeled all week .
If you ever find yourselves in this neck of the woods, we can recommend the food at the Ship Inn in Lerryn, though the service is a little idiosyncratic. Still the salad tastes as good off the table top as it would have done on the plate, and the young waiter was ever so willing, if a tad dyspraxic…. The kids would also give the ice creams from the Lerryn village shop an honourable mention.
On the drive down the aforementioned lane from the cottage to the pub we discovered a new sport, Squirrel Racing. Three times during the week as we trundled our nervous way along one of the more single-tracky bits in the Famille Jeste Tour Bus, out from the hedge popped a squirrel. (We think it was the same one, but they may have a relay team in training….) Said squirrel then pelted along the lane alongside us for twenty metres or so before popping back into the hedge. The honours ended 2-1 in favour of the squirrel(s), though one of those was because the cheating little blighter kept weaving in front of us, plainly out of his own lane.
But the uncontested highlight of the week was a magic fifteen minutes on a small boat in Fowey harbour-mouth in the exultant company of a bottle nosed dolphin.
Sadly, already, just four days back in good old Ambridge, the hol’s seem a million miles away and half a lifetime ago. It’s been a bit of a week, But perhaps more of that anon….