A Day Trip To Mousehole


It was another dull day today. Aaron and Sean worked in the garden, finishing the log shelter, clearing rubbish, doing dump trips, and beginning to cut down the grizelinia hedge – now substantial trees.

I scanned another batch of colour negatives from the Instow holiday of 1985.

Louisa sleeping 1985 7Louisa sleeping 1985 8Louisa sleeping 1985 3

Here, surrounded by her various companions, Louisa enjoys an alfresco siesta among the daisies beneath a willow tree.

Jessica and Louisa 1985 2

I have no idea where Jessica and Louisa were here. Does anyone recognise the sculptures? (Rusty Duck has obliged with a link in her comment below, for which I thank her)

Sam on donkey 1985 1Sam on donkey 1985 2Sam on donkey 1985 2

We took the car to Mousehole in Cornwall for the day. Sam loved donkey riding. A peculiarity of this ancient fishing village is the main road through to the harbour. Sam’s donkey stands on it, and is perhaps a more convenient way of manning the steep, cobbled, ascent. The granite strips among the setts provide steps between the houses. It is not suitable for vehicles, other than the shallow wooden sleds used by provisioners to deliver their produce.

Jessica, Sam and Louisa 1Jessica, Sam and Louisa 1985 2Jessica, Sam and Louisa 1985 3

The harbour has a stout protective stone wall that can be ascended by substantial steep steps, such as those Jessica, Sam and Louisa are scaling. Jessica seems a little perturbed by our intrepid daughter’s purposeful strides.

Sam 1985 1

Take a boy to a pebbled beach, and what does he do?

Sam 3

He chucks stones into the sea, having, it seems, first sat down.

This evening we dined on chicken Kiev and egg fried rice. I drank more of the excellent Lidl Spanish red wine.



      1. In the state of Pennsylvania there is a town named Intercourse. We rode through on our motorcycles years ago and my juvenile minded husband almost fell over laughing.

  1. These are extraordinary, Derrick…such tenderness and delight, the “ordinary” beauty that is illumined in a concentrated moment. Your family–so vibrant, great for pictorial storytelling.I found myself lingering over each one–would be hard to say which is a favorite. Louisa sleeping…Sam at the rocky beach and tossing one…captivating. Well, I guess that is enough oohing and aahing for one post!
    But did you even imagine these would be so wonderful and hold such meaning all these years later? We sometimes don’t fully know what we kept close in what ways until we look again…

  2. As usual (perhaps you should ahve been a sub on a newspaper), the intriguing title makes me wonder (in this case “How?” “What?” “Day-trip?” “From the New Forest?”), and leaves me guessing that there’ll be some twist in the interpretation, as befits an ex-crossword setter’s mind. Well, surprise, surprise: it IS the same Mousehole.
    A (sadly late) friend of ours, a fellow word-lover, had a wonderful story about Mousehole and Cornwall. [Those of you non-UKers should understand that Cornwall, well west of where Derrick lives, is so different from the rest of Britain (to which it is attached) that it once had its own language, now extinct, and its pronunciation of Engish is very individual, too. Some placenames are especially unusual. Mousehole is probably a charming English corruption-cum-transliteration of a Cornish name that doesn’t mean mouse-hole]
    Our friend, when a student at Cambridge, went with another friend on a trip to Cornwall. Another contact at Uni advised them in jest that Mousehole was pronounced “Mowzle” by the locals, and that St Austell (another Cornish town) was pronounced “Snozzle”. The first of these is true, but the second, however convincing in the light of the first, isn’t. They did quite a bit of hitch-hiking (as young ladies could safely do in them days), so would fairly often air their [apparent] local knowledge, and not a single local put them right (one has to wonder what they thought, though!)
    I’ve never been, though I know how to ask for directions to it.

  3. The pics of Sam on the donkey are priceless. You are so lucky to have these numerous holiday to look back on and enjoy.

    I well remember my 1978 travels in Cornwall. It has such a picturesque coastline. The name escapes me now, but I well remember the time in the steep hill village where the TV series Doc Martin (with Martin Clunes) was made. I so wish my photos weren’t so faded and yellowed.

  4. These photographs are amazing. I find those of Louisa sleeping absolutely stunning, especially the close up of her face. They would do well with a poster print. The ones of Sam at the beach are really lovely too. You really have a knack of photographing your subjects and the light in a very particular way

  5. All of these pictures are gorgeous and must hold a great deal more emotion for you. I find the donkey endearing and am wondering at a place called Mousehole…

      1. The link is fascinating. The Spaniards obviously got their priorities right (follow link to make sense of this). That invasion is the last major military incursion by foreigners on the British mainland: not many people know that.

  6. Hey, Derrick! Stunning photos. I love how Louisa sleeps under the willow, surrounded by her companions. I also love the photos with Sam riding a donkey. He’s so handsome and proud of himself 🙂

  7. Old photos are such a joy! It gives us a chance to recapture some wonderful memories. All too often today our pictures are forever tired to some electronic device or other. It really isn’t the same. I wonder what the future holds for these pictured memories?

  8. I liked Louisa’s nap under the willow tree with just the right framing and incomplete background. Perfect!
    Then, I must say I love Sam in this series where Joy is encapsulated in his facial expressions, Derrick.

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