Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Cornwall and cars 4

So, there we were stuck in Cadgwith car park with a car that stubbornly refused to start.
While I struggled up the long uphill drag through the beautiful bluebell wood, Bill groped and fiddled beneath the driver's seat and after a tense five minutes had the engine running. We drove smartly back to our base in Mullion, where he precede to take out the driver's seat so he could see what was under it. He found that if he fiddled with the wires, connection would be made, and the engine would start. (I don't know if I explained that the immobiliser function is to cut off the fuel to the engine if the car is stolen - so it cannot be driven away.)

Neither of us was keen to go sight-seeing in the car next day, so we ambled down to the cove, which was blustery and grey, where rain drove us into the cafe for coffee and a toasted teacake. We dodged rain all the way back to Mullion. Considering our options as we walked, we decided to head for home a day early, so we ate our final dinner in the Old Inn where I forgot once again to check and see if they sold scrumpy, and wandered back to base for an early night.

Bill started the car next morning by the unusual method of groping under the driver's seat and drove us all the way to Bristol. He filled the tank with petrol, groping under the driver's seat once again to get away from the petrol pumps, which earned him some very strange looks and didn't switch the engine off when we got to Parkway Station where he was due to meet a friend that evening. I ran into the loo, then got in the car and set off driving north knowing I couldn't stop until I rolled onto our drive.

Fortunately the sat nav got me out of Bristol and onto the M5 without a hitch and I cruised north at a steady 68 miles an hour to conserve petrol. I didn't dare stop for more and I had about 300 miles to go. It was dodgy, but I made it and rang Bill before he met David and set off for France. We were both so relieved I can't begin to tell how delighted we sounded! You'd think we'd won a vast amount of money or something.
It wasn't quite the holiday I'd envisaged. We never got to Penzance, or St Ives or any of the other places I'd had on my itinary. We did have a Cornish Cream Scone with jam and clotted cream, and we did stop at the Eden Project on the way down, which was lucky. We had planned to go back on whichever day it rained (and it was sure to rain sometime in the week!) as a couple of hours wasn't long enough to take it all in.
The Project is a series of Biome conservatories containing plants from the rainforests and the warm temperate regions of the world, all set in a disused china clay pit outside St Austell. We managed a swift wander in the rain forest, and retreated from the steam heat with misted glasses. I took the pictures of spring flowers you see here as we walked down into the bowl, but we missed the temperate and Mediteranean gardens. I'll post some more pics tomorrow, including the WEEE man.

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