Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A Cornish Weekend

And there was I thinking I was going away for a relaxing weekend.  I should have known by the way it started - on the night train from Paddington to Penzance.  The great thing about the sleeper train is that you can get on it up to an hour and a quarter before it actually leaves, thus getting more sleeping time in.  Unfortunately for me this little plan backfired, as I was then woken at 5am due to works on the line and had to get off to travel on a different, much smaller and bed-less train to St Austell, a bus to Truro and yet another small train finally to Penzance - next time I will check for engineering works before I book!
Once there though the madness didn't stop.  Staying with a friend who is a keen sea swimmer throughout the year meant I obviously had to be included.  I can honestly say that if it wasn't for the 82 year old man going in ahead of me (and not screeching and complaining) I would never have got in the freezing water.  I admit it did make me feel pretty amazing afterwards, but only once I had got the feeling back in all my bits!
After that it was over to Porthleven, to the Porthleven Gig Club where I had been promised an outing in a gig.  Luckily for me the sea was calm, but even so the rise and fall of the boat did have me thinking that I was glad I hadn't finished off my swim with a fry-up!  What I thought would be relatively easy as a river rower, proved to be more difficult than I had imagined - different hand holds, really long lean back (great for the stomach muscles), and just such a different position to how I normally row.  It was a great experience and the girls were really friendly and seemed please to have me on board - what a shame it would be a 14 hour round trip for training sessions!
After that the eating started, Cornish Cream teas obviously had to be sampled, as did the famous Jelberts ice-cream - thick creamy vanilla ice-cream, topped with a huge helping of clotted cream - pure heaven!
So now it's back to training and healthy eating - only 2 weeks to the Norfolk Long Distance Sculls and 6 weeks to The Scullers Head - I can't believe they come around so quickly.
As an internal cleanser I really fancied some fennel yesterday, but unfortunately also had some Gorgonzola cheese in the fridge from the recipes I am writing for an Italian recipe book, so my healthy plan was not as good as it could have been.  After lightly frying off slices of fennel in olive oil, I layered them in an ovenproof dish and crumbled the Gorgonzola over the top.  After 30 minutes in the oven the cheese had melted into the tender but still slightly crunchy fennel - delicious.

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