Day 303: Prim Whim

That morning at the Emerald Victorian, Laetitia contemplated her next move.  Cornwall had been delightful, but it was time to move north and east and do the rest of England and Wales and Scotland.  She picked up Bailey’s and Hurst’s “Rude” books and looked for some place-names in Devon that might lend themselves to limericks and she found two, but before they went to them, they would go to Plymouth.

Laetitia and her group had a morning walk around Fowey and left town about 10:00 am. Priscilla Prim and Lulu LaFarge were on the trip today. They decided to continue to join the group each day as long as it was in Cornwall.  Laetitia observed that Priscilla was not quite as “prim” as she used to be and was beginning to pick up some of Lulu’s coarse language.  She also noticed that their conversations were often somewhat less than ladylike.  Yesterday, she had overheard Lulu instructing Priscilla on how to squat on the rim of the toilet stool in order to avoid what had happened to her in Flushing.

The group drove over Padstow, a Medieval harbor town, known for its “Doom Bar,” which isn’t a licensed premises where people drink themselves to death but rather a sand bar where many ships have run aground.  They visited the church at St. Enodoc, where John Betjeman, once the Poet Laureate of England, is buried.  The church has had a struggle to keep itself from being buried too.  It is near a surfing beach and has a constant battle to keep from being covered over with wind-blown sand.

Laetitia decided that her group needed to have one last Cornish pasty before leaving Cornwall, so they stopped for lunch at a restaurant that advertised Cornish fare.  After lunch there was the usual exodus to the loos.  As the group began to assemble to board the bus, the quiet buzz of conversation was interrupted by a loud burst of profanity emanating from the lady’s loo.  A short time later, Priscilla Prim emerged with a wet shoe.

That afternoon, they went to the ruined castle at Tintagel.  The present ruin is Norman, but there are a number of traditions indicating that there was a previous castle on the spot that was associated with King Arthur, either as his birthplace, or, as the location of Camelot.  They made a stop at a large country manor, Lanhydrock House before heading for their hotel in Plymouth for dinner where Laetitia presented the limerick of the day.

Shrieked a delicate lady, Miss Prim,
Who had gone into the loo on a whim,
Words to make a tar blush
When before she could flush
She had slipped from her perch on the brim.

Day 302: Lei Lady Lei

Laetitia met her group in Fowey again.  They did a photo walkabout in the morning, stopping to visit the church where Kenneth Grahame was married.  That afternoon they visited a shop where classic wooden sailboats were made and, then, the group went off on their own to shop.  Laetitia found a bench on the waterfront where she could watch the passing scene and overheard a Cornish teenager bragging about what he was going to do when he visited Hawaii next month with his parents.  Back at the hotel, Laetitia presented the limerick of the day.

To Hawaii, goes a young Cornish boy
To a luau, but not for the poi
He goes, I’m afraid
Cause he’s heard he’ll get leid
Which happens quite seldom in Fowey.

Day 301: Foway Ploy

Fowey (pronounced “Foy”) is a picturesque terraced port town at the mouth of the Fowey River.  The harbor abounds with classic wooden sailboats along with the usual commercial vessels.  Across the Fowey River are the lovely little villages of Bodinnick and Polruan.  One of the major commercial enterprises in the area is the mining of China clay or kaolin, which is used in making China dishware and has medical and other commercial uses as well.  One of the famous residents of Fowey is Daphne du Maurier who wrote the novels, Rebecca and Jamaica Inn.  She had more than one home in the area, but she often wrote at Ferryside, her home that, as luck would have it, is next to a ferry landing.  “Rebecca” and her short story “The Birds” were made into Alfred Hitchcock films.  Manderly, the mansion that is the locale of much of “Rebecca” was based on several stately homes in the area.  After a morning walk and a boat tour of the harbor, Laetitia and her group had cream tea (Cornish clotted cream, pastries, and condiments) at a Fowey hotel.   While walking along the waterfront in the afternoon, Laetitia overheard a conversation that she turned into a limerick.  It involved a visiting teenager from America, who was teasing his Cornish cousin by mispronouncing the name of her town.  She presented the limerick that night at dinner.

‘Twas young Mortimer’s favorite ploy
When teasing young Martha Fitzroy
To call her town, “Fo-Way”
To which she’d say, “No way
I live in the city of Fowey.”

Day 300: Culinary Counterfeits

When Laetitia arrived at the Emerald Victorian, she decided that she would take the day off from touring.  What prompted her decision was a postcard from Budapest from her grandmother who was touring Eastern Europe with “The Girls,” as her grandmother called her circle of friends.  As Laetitia now had a daily obligation leading Mind’s Eye tours, her grandmother took up new traveling companions. On this trip her grandmother discovered that goulash, which is invariably a stew when made in the United States, is a soup in Hungary that bears little resemblance to the ersatz American variety.  Her grandmother made note of her discovery in a limerick that she included on the card. She suggested that Laetitia use what she had written as the limerick of the day.

One of Laetitia’s grandmother’s pet peeves is what she calls “counterfeit” foods.  When Irish soda bread is made in the U.S., it is usually a sweet cake-like bread made with eggs and butter and containing raisins.  It bears no resemblance to what is served in Ireland.  Her grandmother showed her the website of the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread that declares, “If your ‘soda bread’ has raisins, it’s not soda bread!  It’s called ‘Spotted Dog’ or ‘Railway Cake!’”  Complying with her grandmother’s wish to strike a blow against culinary counterfeits, Laetitia posted her grandmother’s limerick to the Mind’s Eye website and left early.  She would be back in Cornwall tomorrow, leading another tour.

From where goulash is soup and not stew
We send our best wishes to you
We’re enjoying the wine
And the cuisine is fine
And we wish that you could have come too.