Grand Medieval Joust

Another annual event, this one at Pendennis Castle.

Henry VIII's artillery fort was built in the 16th century to defend Cornwall against invaders from Europe.
Under dull skies, we arrived at Pendennis at 10.30. Tents in the medieval style had been set up on the wide expanses of grass.

Musicians welcomed the crowds and accompanied all the events.

Canons were lined up opposite St Mawes across the Fal Estuary.

A life-like display, complete with sound effects of shouted orders, the deafening sound of the canon being fired and real smoke, impressed visitors exploring the halls and rooms of the artillery fort.

Emma of Raphael Historic Falconry gave a display with an excellent commentary. She showed several beautiful species of falcon and demonstrated their hunting skills while giving a history of falconry in Britain.

Bred in captivity, this magnificent falcon originates in the snows of Iceland.

The jester amused the crowds all day long with tricks and jokes, making fun of anyone who caught his eye. In the medieval courts, he would have been allowed to ridicule the noblemen and even take liberties with the king.

Small children were invited to play-fight like soldiers of old. Before the attack, safety rules were explained.

The Red Knight and Blue Knight competed in authentic armour on strong horses. Blue or red flags were waved by the crowd.

The Blue Knight won the thrilling joust of several runs.

As we left the grounds, the sun decided to emerge from behind the clouds.

Photographs by Christine West

A walk on the cliffs

Today we walked part of Cornwall's Coastal Path. Superb weather, glorious views across the cliff tops from Blue Hills to Perranporth.

The beach at Blue Hills

Cligga Head, a little further on, showing iron deposits and heavy copper in the rock face. One of the disused Blue Hills mine shafts comes out of this cliff.

Perranporth beach.

Photographs by Christine West

Sixteen minutes by car from our home

We are taking advantage of the beautiful weather to walk by the sea almost every afternoon.

Fields at Mawnan run down to the sea.

Looking towards St Mawes.

Further round, at Durgan.

The famous entrance to the Helford Passage.

Helford Passage.

Emerging from a shady section of the coastal path, holiday cottages at Durgan.

To my horror, after a long walk, not a pub in sight, only the old school house, now converted to holiday accommodation.

Photos by Christine West

More bluebells

It is worth travelling a long way to see the glorious bluebell woods that we have in England. Fortunately for us, only a 10 minute drive away, are the Enys Gardens, said to be the oldest in the country. The bluebells there are an amazing sight; when the sun warms them, their perfume is wonderful.

As you can see, they seem to go on and on.

There are many magnificent ancient trees: oak, beech and chestnut, in the 'wilder' part of this 30 acre garden.

A door leads into the more formal walled garden.

There is some serious gardening going on here with many species, both rare and familiar.

The pond used once to be stocked with fish for the big house's use.

This old water wheel, now obviously disused, pumped water supplies to the garden and house.

Beautiful parkland surrounds the gardens. Sheep and lambs are reared among the enormous trees.

Try pushing this around the lawns!

Five Minutes From Our House

Today was a wonderful spring day so we decided to go looking for bluebells. Five minutes from our home is the estuary running down to Falmouth.

How old must this be.