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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Evidence that Fran has seen plenty of wildlife in Cornwall, including the pasties

Thoughts from Cornwall on seagulls and pasties

On seagulls.

I am on holiday in Looe, Cornwall. Have you been there? If you're a seagull reading this, the answer is yes. In fact, you are probably reading it in Looe itself. Every seagull in the world is here, either as a permanent resident or on its own holiday. Very near our holiday home is the fish market. Every day the boats bring in mackerel or gurnard or haddock. The seagulls wait for their moment, flicking through their copies of 'Fish Burglary Tips for Birdlife' and then, in packs, like SAS troops, they pounce, hoping to grab as much as possible from the plastic ice boxes layered with the morning catch. The fishermen wave them away with their copies of 'How to Keep Seagulls from Stealing all your Stock' but back they come. It's like a war of attrition.

When our son was five, we were in Tenby in Wales and he was eating chips out of a paper cone while we stood on the beach. A seagull swooped down, its beak pointing due south towards the paper cone, and then STAB, STAB, STAB. Three chips, skewered on the end of his beak, and our son's mouth open in horror as this monster bird from a Daphne du Maurier story ravaged and pillaged his supper with not a hint of an apology.

The same happened to my sister earlier this year only this time with a long sausage roll. The seagull had obviously seen one of those rom-coms in which lovers eat spaghetti by taking an end each and slurping it in gently until their lips met in the middle, and wanted to try the same trick with my sister and her sausage roll.

This seagull's mother said, 'If you keep your mouth open like that all the time and the wind changes,
don't blame me for what happens .....' 


Talking of pastry.

On Cornish pasties ....

We decided to try the local pasties for lunch. I knew the pasty would be sizeable. I've seen them in the bakery shop windows, nudging aside Chelsea buns and doughnuts as if to say, 'Move over, small fry.' But I wasn't expecting to have to clamber inside the bag to fetch the pasty out, as you do a duvet from inside its cover, hauling it out by its corners. I wasn't expecting to climb my cheese and onion pasty, straddle it and control it before I could eat it. You do that with horses, don't you, not pastry goods?

It took some taming but finally I managed to negotiate my way from one end of it to the other. Afterwards, I felt triumphant, as I would had I lassoed a herd of wild bulls or silenced a cage-ful of roaring lions. I also felt as though I wouldn't need to eat until three days later and, even then, perhaps a thin chicken broth or a tomato salad.  I got up from my chair to say, 'Shall I put the kettle on' but the chair came with me because my hips had widened by fourteen centimetres and I was wedged into it. The Chair and I went to put the kettle on regardless. After enough pastry to line the basin of the Atlantic, one needs a hot cup of tea, if only to calm one down after the tussle.


The ship in the distance delivered this pasty to Cornwall. It has gone back to fetch the next one. 


18 comments:

  1. Enough pastry there for a whole flock of seagulls.

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    1. And a whole flock of Frans, if the truth be told.

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  2. Revisit Cornwall when the Seagulls have their chicks to protect. Squadrons of aggressive attackers pecking the heads that pass below.
    Very enjoyable writing that brought back many memories.

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    1. I really don't relish having my head pecked. I even hate going to the hairdressers and having it touched.

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    2. You can avoid having hairdressers pecking at your head if you share your pasty with them!!

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    3. (^^ fishducky wins this round ;~)

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    4. I told you when you got your hair cut that you would be happy if you went to my Sam. Same with having your head touched. She gentle massages all sorts of potions into my hair until my scalp cries with joy. You must get on a plane bound for Jacksonville, Florida. I shall take you to Orange Park to my Sam. As she makes your hair and scalp happy, she will also show you adorable videos of her unbelievably cute little boy. Oh, how I love my Sam.

      Love,
      Janie

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    5. I am at the airport and will be in Jacksonville by midnight. Put the kettle on.

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  3. That's a huge pasty, I would only need to buy one of those and feed my entire family.

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    1. River, I don't know why your comments keep dodging the system, then I find them in the unmoderated section of my blog ages later. So sorry!

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  4. I admire your heroism. Consuming that pastie - just to buoy up the local economy, of course - was a truly selfless act.

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    1. Someone has to make the sacrifice ... it may as well be me.

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  5. What adds insult to injury is that they poop on your head as they fly off with your chips or pasty.
    Could the pasties be sewn together and used to mop up oil spills or floods ? I imagine that could put off even the most brazen seagull.

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    1. That's such a great idea, the pasty oil-spill mopper-upper. Pastry is so absorbent. Why has no one thought of this already?

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  6. I haven't eaten a pasty in years . Nice to see that they've saved my share .

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    1. You have so much to catch up on. One pasty a day for a month should start you off. And maybe finish you off, if truth be told.

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  7. .. my son has had a seagull swoop on his lunch and spear some chips too... and my grandson had an Ibis come in low and snatch a sandwich out of his hand... total shock for all !!!

    My hubby would have loved your pastie...

    ..have a great day .... Barb xxxx

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    1. I've just had a great idea for a new diet: the 'stand by the seaside with a bag of chips or a sandwich' diet. A sure-fire way to lose weight.

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