Friday, 12 April 2013

St Michael's Mount

Day Three weather did not look as bad as forecast, but we had decided on a day to St Michael's Mount. You have probably seen the photo of this amazing castle, perched atop a hillock off the coast near Penzance. The bus from Sennen Cove took us on a wristy-twisty route inland through some pretty villages and hamlets, via Land's End and our destination town for the night - Porthcurno. From the bus station at Penzance and straight on to Marizion, the town next to St Michael's.

Lots of history on this castle, which you can research yourself. An interesting thing that can be pointed out, however, is that the Lord of the Castle (David) passed away (died, that is) ONLY LAST SUNDAY! Think of THAT! His nephew, Andrew - Lord David having no issue - is already ensconced in the West Wing and carrying on AS IF NOTHING HAS HAPPENED! "Only in England", I say!

We had walked out to the castle at low tide and hoped to avoid the £2-a-head boat trip back, but Mother Nature beat us and we paid the ferryman. [So the answer to "Who pays the ferryman?", is: "We".]

This is not another blog of "First we went here, and then we went there" (as promised), but of rollicking adventure, so no more descriptions of that kind. The bus ride back to Porthcurno provided an unwelcome distraction.

We had hopped on the bus at the bus station and had scurried up top of the double-decker to claim the front seats. Bewdy! At the first stop, however, a little family hopped on and sat directly behind us. Mummy, Frances (8-year-old), and her slightly younger brother Rowan. What ensued was not pretty. Two naughty children and one powerless mother. "Get down off the seat, Rowan." "Get over on your seat, Frances." "PLEASE Rowan"; "STOP Frances!" [From the mother.]. "I HATE you, mummy, I HATE you, mummy" [From Frances]. "Put your shoes on, Rowan" and on and on - right in our ears.

This was too much for me. I stood up, turned around and grabbed Rowan. "Just you sit right there and look out the window, Rowan", I commanded. Turning to Frances I pointed to a seat beside the mother and told her in no uncertain terms just want her mother had sacrificed to get her to the situation she was now in with a clean roof over her head and a good few meals every day. She would only realise what her mother had done for her when she turned 32!

The mother looked at me with a look of shock, horror and gratitude and the bus journey continued peacefully on to the family's destination at Sennen Upper. The mother shook my hand and thanked me sincerely. We watched them head on up the lane in a slow, contemplative fashion, each considering the lessons they had learned from me.

Of course, except for the shocking behaviour of Frances, Rowan and the mother, none of this happened. I did not intervene. No lesson was learned. It was a bloody awful bus trip made all the worse because it was raining and there are (is) no wipers on the windows in those upper decks.


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