Sunday, 11 October 2015

Tintagel

Waking up and taking a bath in a room with sunlight streaming through mullioned windows is not a bad way to start a day. I was also rather thrilled to discover whilst I ran the bath this morning, that, after carefully and systematically unsubscribing from all junk mail, I only had two spam emails in my inbox. I call that a fairly marvellous result. We had a relatively early breakfast this morning before taking ourselves off to Tintagel Castle, reportedly the birth place of the legendary King Arthur. I'll be honest and say that the Knights of the Round Table is a myth which has largely passed me by, so, I wasn't really aware of the place's mystical significance. It is, however, beautiful in an almost staggering way. It's not a place to visit, however, if you have an issue with heights, or climbing steps! For those who haven't visited the place, Tintagel castle is a sprawling Medieval ruin which clings to a pair of cliffs which are linked (these days) by a wooden bridge and the steepest stone steps I think I've possibly ever climbed. The views are tremendous. You can see as far as the South Coast of Wales. The Atlantic Ocean was indigo today and glinting and glittering majestically in the sunlight. The highlight for me was the little beach below the cliff, whose crowing glory is a tall, white frothy waterfall which drops thirty or so feet from the rocks above onto the sand. The beach has a huge cave in it which is has a second entrance on the opposite side, so from about half way in, you can see the sea bubbling hazily on both sides. It was a breathtaking spot, and an ideal day to see it; warm with a lovely breeze, and off season, so there were only a couple of other people there. We had Cornish pasties and a cheddar Ploughman's in a little restaurant in the rather tatty village at the top of the hill, where the service was lousy but the food, after the relentless climbing up and down flights of stone stairs, was delicious. We've come back to the manor house for fabulous food and a quiz about the Tudors. Everyone staying here (there are fourteen of us) is gay, which, if I'm honest, I'm struggling a little with. The majority of my closest friends are female, and find myself much happier in mixed or all female company. Gay men can get a bit noisy and trashy en masse and in these instances I rather vanish into myself despite the fact that everyone is absolutely charming. Anyway. It's time for bed again. One of our number was awoken in the night by the sound of scratching and footsteps behind his door. I saw odd lights in the night and a rather weird shadow drifted across the wall at one point... So we're convinced there's a ghost.

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