Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Taking the Mik

After Tuesday’s busy and full day, we were aiming for a quieter day. A lazy start followed by a little bit of shopping then a trip across to St Mawes. Everything went to plan, if you call that a plan. We stopped at a couple of shops and the Gorse Fox picked up a small rucksack and a bag in which he put larger items to keep them dry. These all part of the preparation for later.

We wandered onwards and arrived at the Quay in time to board the ferry with a couple of minutes to spare. Though warm, it was very overcast, and the Gorse Fox was experienced enough to know that it would be chilly sitting out on the top deck - so we made ourselves comfortable inside.
There isn’t a great deal to St Mawes. There’s a small harbour surrounded by a few shops and hotels and lots of cottages. We wandered along to the tourist information point - but really that didn’t reveal anything else. This only really left the castle.

We headed out of town, along the coast road. It was only about 15 minutes walk and we found ourselves on the headland, opposite to Pendennis Castle. St Mawes Castle isn’t as big overall - though the keep seemed bigger than Pendennis. It was clearly at the leading edge of defensive technology when Henry VIII had it built, and it had exceptional views over the estuary, giving it control of any ship that might dare to approach. We took a seat by the walls and sat there watching the world go by. The sun was trying to break through and was getting quite warm. Eventually we had to move on and wandered back to the harbour for a cup of tea and to await the next ferry back to Falmouth.

Again experience told us that the comfortable spot was in the saloon and soon after the ferry pulled out of the harbour several other passengers realised that we were right and came inside.
A couple more shops and then back to The Shed for a late lunch. We wanted to ensure that we had lunched well, as the evening was unlikely to afford a chance to eat more than a snack.

We headed out and south-west. The evening was to be filled with Gilbert & Sullivan. The Cambridge University G&S Society were putting on The Mikado at The Minack Theatre.

The Minack, for those unfamiliar with the theatre, is carved an open air theatre, carved into the cliffs near Land’s End (Porthcurno). We arrived in plenty of time and took our place on the lower terrace. The cushions and blankets we had with us would prove useful. The theatre was packed and in the run up to the show everyone was tucking in  to their sandwiches, drinks, cheese, and heaven’s knows what else.

As the last vestiges of daylight disappeared and the backdrop of the sea faded to black, the spot lights came on and the show began. What an excellent job they made of the story. Great voices, great diction, and some very up-to-date variations on the original libretto. (Commentary in the songs featured Am-dram students, Farage, Pokemon, Selfies, David Cameron, the Labour Party - all with suitable humour and a degree of satire).

By the interval it was beginning to rain. Some whimps left this point. We were there for the duration. The rain set in with vengeance and billowed across the site. Our waterproof jackets gave us protection,  but whenever the Gorse Fox shifted position, the rain would run off the jacket and down his trousers. Never mind. It’s all part of the experience.

The show finished at about 10:30 and we made our way back up to the car. By midnight we were home - damp - but home. Wouldn’t have missed it. A terrific evening.


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