It’s a Wrap! And shi’...

Oh Cornwall! I hardly got to know ye!

Ned and I trained it from London’s Paddington Station to St. Austell in Cornwall on England’s Southwest peninsula this past Wednesday in beautiful summer weather. We settled in, jammed with other passengers and baggage, for the relatively long three hour trip. Ned was working new songs, I was working photos and neither of us was paying much attention to announcements made along the way. Thus, we were caught a bit off guard when we heard the kind voice over the intercom say the next station was St. Austell as the train rolled to a stop. Damn! Quick! Shut down the laptops! Grab all the stuff! Whew, we made it!

Standing outside the train I looked down. “Ned, that’s not your suitcase!” In our rush to get off the train Ned grabbed a gray suitcase from the jumble of bags he thought was mine and said “Got your bag,” and logically assumed I would grab his. But I thought he said, “Get your bag,” which I did and assumed he had his. Feet from the train car, we made a mad dash to open the door, get the wrong bag back on the train and grab Ned’s bag. We made it with seconds to spare; we can only imagine how the rest of our day would have unfolded had we not.

With disaster averted, we hopped in a cab and made the short ride to Radio St. Austell Bay for a live interview and performance with host Sheila Vanloo. It went fine and, unlike last week’s interview in Norwich, Sheila had nearly as many questions for me as she did for Ned. It was fun. For color and street cred, I ended all of my responses with "…., and shi'" (see end note of this blog for further explaination of "and shi'"). It went like this: “Todd, do you have family back home?” “Yes I do! My wife, Natalie, is home in Boise, Idaho, and my son, Simon, is a student at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, and shi’.”

Done for the day, we went on to the Sedgemoor Heights Bed & Breakfast. It wasn’t far from the radio station. Actually, in St. Austell nothing is far from anything else. It just seems that way because there are no straight roads and everything’s uphill. At the B&B we met our host, Ray Worman. As Ray showed us around his home, we learned he had a great interest in music, quite a collection of vinyl records and a super stereo system to boot! We were going to get along nicely. Completing our check in, I asked Ray, “What time is breakfast?” “Half past eight,” he replied. “Until what time?” I asked. “Half past eight,” he replied. That was settled. Breakfast is at half past eight.

Thursday was open, so off we went via bus to Mevagissey. Just seven miles away and on the Cornish coast, Mevagissey is small port village populated by tourists and tourist shops as well as fisherpeople and fishing boats. It was a nice place to spend part of a perfect summer day. The remainder of the day was spent napping back at the B&B followed by eating at the Hop & Vine Pub. Did I mention they sell beer there? They do!

It's the Full English at Ray's B&B... at half past eight!

Mevagissey on the Cornish coast.
Before moving on, I want to address something we found disturbing while watching the Olympics at the B&B—Horse dancing as an Olympic sport. We don’t know its official “game name”—probably “Equestrian Precision Movement to Marching Music”—but it’s really horse dancing. The horse does appear to get quite a workout, but the rider, who’s all decked out, does not demonstrate great athletic prowess. It’s like going to a really boring rodeo. If dancing horses, why not dancing poodles?

Friday morning and we were off to Truro, about 15 miles further inland for our live interview and performance on BBC Radio Cornwall with host David White. For some reason, Ned did not allow me to speak on air and shi’.

Back in St. Austell we headed to the Eden Project Cafe for the evening’s performance. The cafe is associated with the Eden Project—a widely acclaimed conservation project in creating large domed “biomes”—a few miles outside the town. Our performance to an attentive audience went really well and was a great way to end the tour. Ray was there to see the show and helped us lug our bags back to the B&B at midnight. But the evening wasn’t quite over. Ray, Ned and I sat in his home’s courtyard and enjoyed chatting over a pint until 1:00 a.m.

Our B&B host, Ray Worman, and Ned showing rock fingers as we depart Ray's place in St. Austell. Note Blue, Ray's dog in the background. Funny dog to play catch with!

As I write this final blog of the tour, I’m on the train to London. Tomorrow this time, assuming the airport Gods are feeling content with themselves, I’ll be on my flight home. This tour is a wrap. It’s been a long one, but I’ve seen a lot, played a lot and met great people. And it’s the people I didn’t expect to meet, but did, that leave the greatest lasting impression. People like Joe, the owner of F. Cooke’s Pie and Mash Shop in Hoxton, or Ray at his B&B in St. Austell, or, yes, even Geoff, the angry London cabbie. You just can’t predict the appearances of people like these.

Special thanks to Sandra for taking such good care of me all along the way. And, of course, thanks to Ned for having me along and to Malcolm for being a great tour mate. Whether as a duo or trio, we made music happen. And a big “see you again soon” to Janet, Erika, Roger, Carol, Chris, Marianne, Sue and other friends over here I’m doubtless forgetting.

Finally, HUGE thanks to Natalie for encouraging me to do the tour and for holding down fort back home at the height of summer’s heat. There’s a cool mountain lake in northwest Montana waiting for us, Natalie!... and shi’.

Until next time, from me and 900,000 of my closest tourist friends who will converge on Heathrow tomorrow morning…

Ciao! ~ Todd

P.S., More photos will be posted via mini-blog entries over the next few weeks as the remaining series of images are processed.

END NOTE: Malcolm turned us on to the phrase during the tour; it became a favorite refrain. Street language drops the "t"...

From the Urban Dictionary - "And shit."..

Something you say at the end of your sentence for a varity of reasons. Being too lazy to finish your sentence and not having an actual verb in your sentence are common causes to throw in "and shit."

Also used to make things that aren't really as interesting as you had thought in your head seem cooler.
"yo bobby's over we're playin video games and shit"

"yeah then we played. . .and shit."

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