Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Good Afternoon Newlyn

'First thing' became ‘nearly lunch time’ and our planned trip to Town to buy a replacement for the ageing Chinos that had failed me last night started late. The first and last shop we went to was Burton's and there it was that I discovered that there is no longer a 'standard fit' that I'll ever get in to. It took 3 changes of trousers of various descriptions to realise this. I don’t shop for clothes well and three changes were trying my patience. Why aren’t companies making trousers for men of my shape? I know it’s a sizable market because I see them in pubs wherever I am. How hard are short and pot belly sized trousers to make?
I eventually left Burton's in a pair of jeans 2 inches larger in the waist than my M&S Chinos and 2 inches longer in the leg to boot. As we walked down a damp Market Jew Street I realised that the legs were far too long to be practical. We swung left down New Street prompted by an ‘A’ board inviting us to an ‘All Day Breakfast’, then left again into Princes Street for a 'proper' breakfast which we found at Country Cousins Café (there’s bound to be a story behind that name). The Café is a wonderfully traditional cafe serving everything with chips, toast or fried bread and pots of tea.
The search for a seamstress began following breakfast and was concluded when Wonder Web was purchased in the Sewing and Craft shop where we'd enquired after a seamstress. Quick bit of shopping in the Co-op and back to the 'self-catering' to iron in the Wonder Web ready for our day's adventure (Coronation Street on TV and is winding me up).
Plan - get to The Fisherman's Arms before the forecast rain arrived. The reason I wanted to visit The Fish, as the regulars have it, was that I had met a man from Newlyn called Perren in The Coeur de Lion in Bath and had been advised to visit the pub and say ‘hello’ to Brian his father.
It was a pleasant walk we took down the back lanes to the Boating Pond before strolling along the seawall into Newlyn, past The Tolcarne Inn, through the village past the fish docks and up the hill towards Mousehole. The Fisherman's Arms is a revelation of local community togetherness.

Quite apart from the atmosphere the beer was the trustworthy Trelawney and Proper Job from St Austell Brewery. Closed from 4-6 Monday to Thursday 'out of season' it was a delight as every conceivable inappropriate comment could be squeezed out of today's Daily Mail. Raw and hilarious, we and the pub were in stitches. 4 o'clock came too soon and as we left, the rain established itself for our walk back to The Red Lion.

Its only 50 yards way and we were already wet as we entered. We were customers 2 and 3 and ordered Addlestones Cider and Dartmoor Brewery's Jail Ale. After acquainting ourselves with the pub cat (Milo?) and this week’s copy of The Cornishman we started back toward Penzance. A quick detour left off the main road took us through a collection of lanes, unreachable with Google Earth, which proved to be a delight to us both, before coming out by the Swordfish Inn. Across the road and thoughts of chips entered our conversation, ”If I can see a 'chippy' from over here we'll nip back for some”. Alas the wooden buildings by the Fisherman's Mission obscured my view back up The Strand. Turning and walking back toward the Penzance road there it was in all its delicious signage, 'Fish and Chips'.
The smell of fresh cooking oil and batter met us as we entered. At the top of the Menu on the wall was Fish of the Day £3.70. As soon as we were asked, I quickly responded with "Fish of the Day please, with Chips". "What fish?" the girl replied. "Fish of the Day" I repeated. I didn't mind what it was but after a dig in the ribs I realised there was a choice. We could have had Scallops or John Dory and even Lemon Sole 'huge ones'. Embarrassed I chose the Lemon Sole. Once it was cooked and packed with salt and vinegar we left the shop with several “Cheerios”'. The rain was coming down in buckets as we walked back round by The Tolcarne Inn toward the seawall I tore open the paper wrapping the food and we got stuck in to beautiful chips. After a few mouthfuls and while the rain began to wick its way up our trouser legs we grinned at each other and walked on. Having made some space in the styrene tray, the golden batter on the sole was beckoning. With an inviting crunch the batter gave way to the most delicious Lemon Sole I have ever eaten. It just oozed essence of sea with every bite of the soft white flesh. Soaked and in taste heaven we smiled our way along the seawall toward the bottom of Alexandra Road.
We didn’t dawdle once the last of the food had been devoured and the rubbish was stuffed into the bin at the bottom of Alexandra Road. Hurrying now, in our soggy trousers we puffed and panted our way back up the lanes to Morrab Road and on round to the ‘self-catering’
The kettle went on as soon as we could get across the living room without tramping rain across the carpet.
Wasn't that a day and a half!!

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