17 April, 2014

Magic Of The Fowey Hall Walk Where King Charles I Narrowly Escaped Death - 30+ Exclusive Photos

River Fowey, Cornwall

Yesterday we went on one of my favourite walks, known locally as the Hall Walk. For me it's very magical, to think that King Charles I trod the very same paths in the mid 1600s: during the civil war on 17th of August 1644 King Charles narrowly escaped death when a shot killed a poor fisherman who was standing where the King had stood but a short while before.

The walk is at Fowey, Cornwall and is about 10 miles from where I live. The photo above shows the banks of the river where the walk takes us.


After parking the car we head straight to the road over looking the river ...

Polruan Cornwall

... and take in the views until we reach from what was once Sir Arthur Quiller Crouch's house - by the side of this is the small passenger ferry that will take us across the River Fowey to the small village of Polruan.

House of Sir Quiller-Couch at Fowey Cornwall

We didn't wait long for the ferry, they run quite frequently.

Passenger Ferry Fowey to Polruan Cornwall

From the ferry there are good views. This old sailing boat was moored up.

Old sailing ship on River Fowey Cornwall

Once at Polruan we pass the Lugger Inn on the small quay ...

Lugger pub Polruan Cornwall

... and then wind our way along the narrow street as we head for the hills along by the river.

Polruan Cornwall

We climb quite steadily but the views are magnificent once there is a break in the trees.

View of Fowey from Polruan

You never know what you might see on the wooded path. Goodness knows how this cockerel got there, but he didn't seem too bothered about us.

Woods along Hall Walk Cornwall

As we walk further along the path  we leave the villages behind and the part of the river we are now walking is a small tributary of the River Fowey called Pont Pill.

Hall walk Fowey Cornwall

The tide is out so the river here is very low as we walked.

Hall Walk - National Trust - Cornwall

After quite a climb we see Pont below us and this is where we will cross Pont Pill.

Hall Walk Cornwall

First though we make a detour to visit the lonely church at Lanteglos-by-Fowey. I'll write more about the church another day but will just say for now that Daphne Du Maurier was married here in 1932. She renamed it 'Lanoc Church', and featured it in her first novel, The Loving Spirit.

Lanteglos-by-Fowey church

We return to the walk and reach the tiny quayside hamlet of Pont. It's hard to imagine that this was once a thriving quay where sailing barges would unload coal, fertiliser and limestone.

It's now a lovely quiet spot and we had some lunch here - which we had brought with us - sitting by the wooden bridge.

Pont, Cornwall

There's a sign on the building from 1894 showing charges once made at this quay for discharging Grain, Timber, Manures, Coal and Sand. Today though we sit there completely undisturbed.

Old sign at Pont Cornwall

After our lunch, having crossed the Pont bridge, we head up the other side. The rocks can be quite slippery when wet but for us the sun was shining.

Hall Walk rocky path from Pont

For a while a lot of the views are hidden by the trees.

Hall Walk heading towards Boddinick Ferry

We cross an old stone cattle grid ...

Very old stone cattle grid Cornwall

... and into a farmer's field where there is a 'right of way'.

Farmers field Cornwall

Once out of the field and back on a path the views open up before us, showing the entrance to the River Fowey. On the hill to the right of the photo it's possible to just make out the Gribbin Beacon on Gribbin Head. This is where much of Daphne Du Maurier's book Rebecca is based and also the house Manderley. The Gribbin farmland is the location for the murderous avian attacks on The Birds.

River Fowey view Cornwall

Continuing the walk we can now see the small town of Fowey on the opposite of the river.

Fowey and river Fowey Cornwall

We leave the coastal path and head down a road to the Boddinick Ferry to make our way across the Fowey River once again.

Near Boddinick Ferry Cornwall

We pass The Old Ferry Inn and ...

Lugger Pub Cornwall

... wait for the ferry. This time it also transports cars as well as walkers.

Boddinick Ferry Fowey Cornwall

Slap bang next to the ferry terminal is Ferryside the house where Daphne Du Maurier once lived. By a fluke the gate was open so I snapped a quick photo of the property.

Ferryside Daphne Du Maurier's house Cornwall

On the ferry there is a frontal view of Ferryside.

Daphne Du Maurier house Cornwall

Once off the ferry we make our way through the streets of Fowey ...

Approaching Fowey Cornwall

... but the river is always within reach.

Fowey and Fowey River

We pass the shops ...

Fowey main street, Cornwall

... a pub, of course ...

The Lugger pub, Fowey Cornwall

and the local Fowey church.

Church at Fowey Cornwall

From here we head back to our car, once more taking in the river views.

Fowey River Cornwall

It's not a long walk. I think we did about 6.5 miles by taking taking in the Lanteglos church as well.

Fowey walk

Photos: © Mike Perry

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The Magic Of Fowey Cornwall

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15 April, 2014

Mysterious Black Circle UFO Seen In The Sky

Taken from the video below and enlarged
Here's something strange: a black ring or halo in the sky. Have no idea what it actually is /was. The very short video below shows it in more detail.

The video was taken by 16 year old schoolgirl Georgina Heap. She was playing tennis with her mother, in Leamington Spa, England when she looked up into the sky and saw this enormous black ring with a smoke like appearance. The ring remained in the sky for about three minutes on Friday evening and then simply disappeared.

Georgina said of her sighting, "It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. It was just floating there like a cloud and then it disappeared. It wasn't birds. There were about ten of us who stopped what we were doing and watched."

 On an official note the Fire and Rescue Service have said that there were no reports of fires around that time and the Met Office have confirmed that it does not believe the ring was weather-related.

So what was it?

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14 April, 2014

Improbable Coincidences Happen Every Day - But Why?

Four-leafed clover

When I started this blog, way back in late 2009, my main theme was coincidences and synchronicity. Since then I've often wandered way off track and delved into all sorts of other things. However, I've always believed that there is something very special about synchronicity - it is, after all, defined as meaningful coincidences.

Classic well known 'coincidences' are fascinating. Take, for example, Anthony Hopkins, in 1972, being offered a part in a film based on the book The Girl From Petrovka by George Feifer and then - after searching to buy the book, and not being able to obtain a copy - he found a discarded copy of the book on a seat on the London Tube.

But there's more to this story as sometime later Hopkins met Feifer and told him of his experience. Feifer told him that in November 1971 he'd loaned his copy of the book to a friend who had then lost the copy in Bayswater, London. When Hopkins later checked some of the handwritten notes on various pages, it proved to be the very same book. (Another vesrsion of this story here).

If something like that happens to us we'd think of this as being something very special - unless, that is, you are a mathematician.

Law of large numbers

The mathematician David Hand reckons these sort of happenings will always occur. It's down the the law of truly large numbers. Once you start dabbling in these sort of huge figures everything is possible. After all winning the UK lottery has odds of something like 14,000,000 to 1 yet someone still wins the jackpot virtually every week.

Hand breaks down and crushes the idea of synchronicity being meaningful. It's bound to happen. For example: most clover has three leaves, but approximately one in 10,000 has four. Faced with such odds it's a wonder that anyone ever finds one, but people do. I have found several myself. He explains that if 1000 people were searching for a four-leafed clover and looked at just 10 clovers each, one of them should statistically find what they are looking for. So no magic there then. It's simply mathematics.

Most of us would attribute something like finding a four-leafed clover as being very lucky but a mathematician will say it's because we don't understand how numbers work. Everything, no matter what the odds is possible, over time - because of that law of truly large numbers. A miracle has to happen somewhere every day.

Mmmm! So there you go. There is an element of truth in the mathematicians opinion, but I still don't feel that it is the whole answer to synchronicity. There is something more. And if you have ever experienced true synchronicity you will most likely agree.

I guess we could say that remarkable coincidences can happen because of sheer numbers - but synchronicity is something else, on a different level.

Resource: The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day

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13 April, 2014

Swift Retribution For a Photobomb


Photobomb: An otherwise normal photo that has been ruined or spoiled by someone who was not supposed to be in the photograph. The most common photobomb is someone in the background making a face. ~ Urban Dictionary

I came across this photo on Twitter from @SegoviAira and it made me smile.

A photo was being taken of her mother so 'Sam' stood behind her in a typical photobomb pose only to find a dog also getting into the act - who started eating her ice-cream. A swift retribution.

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12 April, 2014

The Tea Towel Spoke To Her And Led Her To A Castle Of Nuns


Jane Shilling felt that she may have a calling to become a nun, something she first felt in her teens - but two marriages and three children soon squashed such thoughts. In her late 50s the idea arose again.

A Canadian order of Anglican nuns, the Sisterhood of St John the Divine were running a month long programme for women who were seeking direction in their lives. Jane applied and was accepted.

The regimental timetable and contemplative silence seems to have been hard going for her and her faith wilted. But then something strange happened.

One evening while in the convent kitchen she heard a mysterious inner voice which seemed to emanate from a tea towel. I said it was strange!

The tea towel had a picture on it of Sneaton Castle in Whitby. The voice told her, "You need to go there."

It turned out that Sneaton Castle was home to a community of Anglican nuns known as the Order of the Holy Paraclete. She made enquiries about them and they were happy for Jane to pay a visit.

Sneaton Castle, Whitby
Sneaton Castle, Whitby, England
Before going to Sneaton Castle she arranged to go to a Benedictine order of nuns on the Isle of Wight. She found this place to be troubling, to say the least. A couple of sinister apparitions appeared to her.

The first was a strange man with 'a lascivious smirk ... and an aura of evil' who followed her into an abbey. There was also a small devil like creature 'with grey, leathery skin ... muscled legs, cloven hooves and a thin tail covered with scale-like protruberances.' Jane says of this, 'I saw it clear as day ... I had not been drinking.'

Happily her experience at Sneaton Castle was much better and the nuns allowed Jane to discover how best to follow her compelling inner voice.

Jane has written a memoir of her 'nun' experiences: And Then There Were Nuns.

And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures In A Cloistered Life on Amazon UK
And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in A Cloistered Life on Amazon USA

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10 April, 2014

50 Things You Might Want To Know About Your Favourite Number 7

7 the magic number

It's official (well sort of) that 7 is our favourite number.

A survey was carried out this week by the mathematician Alex Bellos. The poll was of 30,000 people and they confirmed that 7 is overwhelmingly our favourite number.

It's a little strange, but we do seem to have favourite numbers. Bellos said of this:

"When I give talks about maths and ask the audience if they have a favourite number, half stick up their hands. I suppose we are all a little bit obsessive compulsive. It's comforting to have a favourite number."

Not sure if I agree with that, but 7 does seem to pop up everywhere like ...

1. Japanese mythology talks of Shichifukujin - The Seven Gods of Fortune.

2.  There are 7 colours in a rainbow.

3. There are 7 days in a week.

4. The seven deadly sins - pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

5. Seven notes on a musical scale

6. Shakespeare's seven ages of man.

7. There are seven virtues - humility, liberality, chastity, kindness, abstinence, patience, and diligence.

8. Seven seas.

9. Seven continents.

Sinbad the Sailor
10. Sinbad the Sailor had 7 voyages.

11. There's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

12. There were 7 wonders of the ancient world.

13. If you break a mirror it is said you will have seven years bad luck.

14. According to the Talmud, the universe is made of seven Heavens.

15. The Qur'an frequently mentions the existence of seven (Samaawat), or heavens.

16. Vedic Hindu tradition tells us that the human body features seven basic chakras.

17. According to the Bible there were seven days of Creation - God rested on and sanctified the seventh day.

18. In Genesis 41 there were Seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in Pharaoh's dream.

19. The seventh son of a seventh son has magic powers, according to Irish folklore.

20. The city of Rome was built on seven hills - Palatine, Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine.

21. Seven days of blessings - Sheva Brachot - follow a traditional Jewish wedding.

22. Seven demons were driven out of Mary Magdelene - Luke 8:2.

23. There are seven books in J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series.

24. According to Buddhism, Buddha walked 7 steps at his birth.

25. Mammals have 7 cervical vertebrae.

26. In both the Challenger and Columbia NASA space shuttle disasters, seven astronauts were killed.

27. The Seven Sisters is a series of chalk cliffs on the East Sussex coast, England.

28. There is the 'seven-year itch' when a man is said to have the urge to roam after seven years of marriage.

29. Ian Fleming decided on 007 for James Bond.

30. Seven Sages Of The Bamboo Grove.

31. 7 was considered a God number in ancient Egypt.

32. Seven is the optimum number of hours of sleep for humans, according to a US scientific study.

33. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son was the seventh studio album released by heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

34. Seven is the atomic number of nitrogen.

35. Seven is the sum of any two opposite sides on a standard six-sided dice.

36. In the Harry Potter series of novels by J.K Rowling, seven is said to be the most powerfully magical number.

37. In Greek mythology, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the sea nymph Pleione.

38. The Secret Seven is a children's adventure book by Enid Blyton.

39. The diameter of the 45rpm format gramophone record was 7 inches.

40. Sevens is the 7th album by Country singer Garth Brooks, released in 1997.

41. Seven Dials in London's Covent Garden stands at the intersection of seven roads. Now part of a shopping area, it was a notorious slum in the 19th century, and hosted seven pubs on each of its apexes.

42. Sweet 7 is an album by Sugababes.

43. In Star Trek: Voyager, Seven of Nine (also called Seven for short) is one of the crew members.

44. Seven days of the feast of Passover (Exodus 13:3–10).

45. Jericho's walls fell on the seventh day after seven priests with seven trumpets marched around the city seven times (Joshua 6:8)

46. Netball and handball are played with teams of seven players.

47. Ancient astronomers believed there were seven planets in the solar system.

48. Seven demons were driven out of Mary Magdelene - Luke 8:2.

49. John Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture set out seven leading principles - sacrifice, truth, power, beauty, life memory and obedience.

50. The Seven Years' War (1756-63) was described by Winston Churchill as the first real world war.

Okay, I think 50 is enough! My favourite numbers are still 67 and 76.

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