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An Oysterman on the Fal

Apologies for the radio silence! I am very busy with my photographic career. I thought my readers may be interested in some images I recently took of Falmouth fisherman, Les Angell on my professional photography website blog! A lovely man to spend the morning with.


The big 100 and rising…

With 101 ‘likes’ in the first six months, over 6000 hits I would like to thank everyone for following My Saffron Bun. My followers are now 123 people and rising so please keep spreading the special recipe of My Saffron Bun to your friends and family. Thank You!


What’s on Top, Jam or Cream?

After much debate created with a previous post about scones and what should be on top I though it was about time we had a little survey.

Don't let this tasty little treat influence your decision...

So please spread the word and lets get as many votes as possible on this matter and clear it up once and for all!

The Cornish would put jam on first then cream whilst some of those from over the Tamar would put the cream on first and then jam. Why I will never know as the jam would slip off the cream on a hot day but lets get you the audience to decide on this one.






The Fisherman’s Apprentice with Monty Halls

A quick review of the The Fisherman’s Apprentice

Marine biologist Monty Halls is down in Cadgwith working in one of the toughest professions in the country , fishing. With fish stocks depleting and various quotas put on the fishermen, fishing is a dying trade and is getting harder and harder to make a living.  With fishing being taken over by the big trawlers and their nets trawling the sea beds the fishermen of Cadgwith are still fishing in the traditional way with small boats using lines, small nets and pots to catch their wares. Monty is being taught by local fisherman Nigel Legge a seasoned Cornish fisherman who has fished from Cadgwith all his life. Monty has been lent Nigel’s boat Razorbill and is left to go to sea with his pots to catch crab and lobsters.  On his 3rd day in Cadgwith and on his first trip Monty caught just 5kg of crabs, whilst on a good day a fisherman could catch 500kg. Monty’s 4th day in the fishing cove and  the weather is too bad to go out so he catches up with Tonks one of the local fishermen working in his workshop. The fishermen may find themselves shorebound for up to four months a year due to bad weather, however that’s the way it is which they accept and gives the fish stock time to breed.
The following day Monty brings in 16kg of crab, just enough to be sold to the fish trader who collects their catches. With a smile on his face Monty has to prepare for a day out with Tonks on a larger boat to do some larger scale fishing. Half a tonne of crab from hundreds of pots and a hard day at sea the crew return. Monty decides it’s not for him and he would rather try and catch the more lucrative lobster further inshore, so he head out in Razoebill to sets his pots and leaves them for a day or two.  Next day, with little rest Monty’s out with another local chap Danny; out with the big boys catching real fish, the Monkfish. After a few hours and I can only empathise with Monty, he is spewing up over board and useless to the skipper. With a boat getting filled up with top quality ‘Monk’ Danny would not turning back. Monty’s day got worse when he became unconscious and started choking on his sick, we’ve all been there! 😮  Five and a half hours later and with a green crew man the boat returns. Monty, delighted to be back on dry land and ready to get out on his little boat the next day to check his lobster pots. With a good catch under his belt he at last feels like a proper fisherman having made a decent wage from the sale of his lobster.
Another great programme of lovely Cadgwith showing the difficult lives of the Cornish fisherman. With another 4 episodes on Wednesdays 8pm make sure you don’t miss out on this eye opening series.

Missed it? Catch it here on BBC iPlayer

And the big question is where is Rueben?

New Kernow King on the block!

Well, I that I waz the bleddy Kernow King, that’s what every bugger  up ‘ere tells me. Seem sum other bloke nicked me throne since I invaded over the Tamar. Bleddy loyalty – whas wrong with the youf of today? Cris!

Still he’s looking preddy smashing walking round with that fancy jakhurt on. I been keepin  eye onim recently on that You Tube business on the net thing on me computer and well, he’s looking proper popular. He’s been all over place, down Ann’s pasties although I reckon he’s had a pasty or two in his time. Pasty making in his blood I reckon, his family made a few in their time – proper ones too! He’s been up Carn Brae a time or two to a castle where ‘e can get a kebab, loves a bit of dog walking up point, gets an invite to Kate and Wills wedding, show ‘e’ how to fill out a census. The Kings a genius!

If its rainin’ and ‘e’ stuffed with pasties you better get on that t’internet, it’s a marvelous thing, see lots on it – well you lookin’ at it now isn’t um? Ess!

So ‘ave a look below or have a look at Kernow King’s own You Tube Channel here or check out his website and support the Cornish monarchy by buying some of his merchandise here. He’s thought about the bleedy lot as he!

So, seems I lost me bleedy title of Kernow King to be succeeded by some other bloke from Falmouth. He may be Kernow King, but I will always be M’lord! #:-)

‘Ere he is with Ann from Ann’s pasties – shes proper bleddy luvly.

or see him ‘avin a day off in Looe

and listen to his Kings Speech filmed at The Stag Hunt in Ponsanooth

Hes all over it, better watch out Jethro!

Would Boris do it dreckly?

Well, it doesn’t get anymore random than this up here in rural Oxfordshire.

It all started at Becky’s work in a picture framers when some years ago a customer brought in a  poster that said KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON, a propaganda poster produced by the British Government in 1939 intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of invasion. Several years later in the 2000’s  someone takes in a box of books to an antique book store, but little did they know what would lie ahead. The bookshop started printing a few for sale and Becky’s  customer purchased one. Becky loved it and decided that for £6 she would get her own direct from the supplier, she got it all framed up and it was in the living room of our first home together for a couple of years.

The Original Keep Calm And Carry On Poster

That home was a house next door to the South Oxfordshire Conservatives Association when Boris Johnson was MP for Henley-on-Thames. Shortly after moving in I was walking down the high street of Watlington where we lived and I saw a little swallow sitting on the pavement trying to catch his breath, I think they had just flown back over from their winter holidays and this little chap was just exhausted and decided a crash landing in Watlington would be nice. So, me being ME picked up this little chap who clutched my index finger with his feet, wings out almost horizontally and we headed down the high street – I was going to save his life! With a few curious looks along the way we made it home, rather than taking him inside I put him in the back garden (which we shared with the Conservatives!) in the V of a silver birch tree so he could have a rest and get going when he felt fit enough. In the house I went to make some lunch. Shortly after lunch I was washing up and looked out of the window in shock of a photographer setting up an electronic flash head, camera and windsor chair in the back garden. Intrigued as to what was going on I kept an eye out only to see Boris Johnson loitering around the garden gate. Boris was there for a portrait shoot for Oxfordshire Life magazine! So there is this little bird sitting feet from Boris Johnson in what I though was the quietest garden in Watlington – not on that day! That little bird never left the garden, we think one of the neighbours or our over exuberant cat had got the better of it. However, that little bird had his moment of fame, not only did he rub shoulders with the now Mayor of London, but to my astonishment on browsing the magazines of WH Smiths saw a front cover image of Boris and do you know what? that little bird was sitting just above his head (out of focus!) in the  background of the image! On another completely random note, the photographer was a guy from Cornwall who I knew of through a friend who had moved to the Cotswolds to concentrate his photography career on County Life titles.

So, what about the Keep Calm and Carry On poster you may ask? After that session with Boris in the garden I spoke to one of his right hand men in the office to see if I could grab him one afternoon  for a photo shoot.  Not long after asking the reply came back from Boris agreeing to do the shoot but I only had five minutes and it would have to be in our home! Wow, what would I to do? My colleague and I devised a few ideas in the run up to the shoot to maximise the pictures I would take in the short time I had. So one afternoon Boris came to the house for yet another photo call. We started in the living room, ‘ok Boris if you could just stand there in front of  that poster and look out the window and err…I will take a few shots there’ I probably said nervously.

The session moved on to a few other placed around the house and these pictures can be seen at the bottom of the post. Our experience of photographing Boris Johnson was certainly very enjoyable and something I will never forget.

So where is this Keep Calm and Carry on post going? Your guess is as good as mine…. just kidding but I will get there dreckly! Fast forward now to 2012 and our Keep Calm and Carry On poster is religated to sitting on top of a wardrobe, faded from the sun and looking pretty tired, it almost looks like an original from 1939. In the last few weeks several people have visited my site as a result of typing into a search engine Keep Calm and do it Dreckly as I have the word Dreckly in a few places around the site so I guess that’s how I get the hits. I’ve been thinking I must do a post on this poster and direct people to where they can buy one from but until now have not got around to it. Then yesterday, from out of the blue my big bro’ sent me this.

So, finally I have got around to the post and although Cornish men will do it dreckly they do get around to it when they put their mind to it!

For all those interested in a Keep Calm and do it Dreckly (however its spelt!) check out this website here. You can pretty much have any text you would like, so whether Cornish or not get on here and have your own Keep Calm poster printed!

and finally the Boris portraits I promised you…

Please note these images are copyrighted and reproduction is not permitted.  If you wish to use them please email  Thank you.

Three Hungry Boys Part 3

Did you see the Three Hungry boys last night? For those that missed it here is the low down…

Cocksure Tim the blagger, Thom the builder, hunter and forager and Trevor the cook and bartering expert are back in Daisy their milk float and travelling around the lanes of Cornwall!

Two and a half weeks into their five week challenge to travel to Land End they boys decide to venture to the North coast to a Pagan carnival in St Agnes. With no money to buy beer at the festival they had to blag some before they got there otherwise the festival ain’t gonna be much fun huh? So Trev makes a call toTerry at Skinner’s Brewery who has some worked lined up for them. The boys work hard for the keg of ale in their sights, doing all sorts of jobs from cleaning out the barrels to digging out all the spent malted barley from the vats. After some pretty sweaty work and smelling like a brewery they head off to the Crab and Ale public house in Truro in the hope of getting some food and beer. After chatting to the landlord the boys hear its quiz night and that 1st prize is a food voucher for the pub; 2ndprize is sweets & chocolates and the booby prize is a load of chocolate! So if they are smart they could do really well or if they haven’t a clue they could win some chocolate. Well, three biology graduates did better than winning the booby prize but unfortunately not well enough to win 1st or 2nd prize so no dinner or chocolate.  Still, it looked like a fun night out away from the milk float and they did a bit of glass collecting for a beer. Never mind chaps, maybe next time…

Next morning, the lads are back on the road and have a tweet from Woodland Valley Farm, a Cornish organic farm who were offering the lads some sausages in exhange for some work. Chris Jones who runs the organic pork and beef  farm in Ladock welcomed the boys and offered them some work mulching the nut trees (hazel nuts and chestnut trees) in his nuttery. Basically, the mulching involves putting used cardboard around the trees to kill off any weeds and then as the cardboard rots it will provide nutrients for the trees. So after a mornings work Chris rewards the boys with some sausages and duck eggs. The boys are thinking with some flour and milk they can make some toad in the hole. Now, for the milk blagging they head off to a near by dairy farm for a few pints of the white stuff. So Tim gets to work on the milking of some cows in the hope of not geting a brown shower! Well, with a few near misses they get their milk and head off grinning from ear to ear. With 3 ingredients down they just need flour. A local bakery message them on Twitter to drop in to do some work and the boys secure the final ingredient. With the ingredients on board Daisy the lads head off to the St Agnes for the carnival and festival.

The festival at St Agnes has been run for over 70 years where the traders and fish wives have been selling their wares to the locals. the boys try to sell their food and drink they have worked for in payment for other goods to stock up their larder. Trev knocks up the toad in the hole whilst the parade is in full swing. The St Agnes Bolster Festival can be seen here. With toad in the hole prepared the boys set about trading and by the end of the night they are full of veg, cheese and food for their larder. The night with a great success and they managed to keep enough beer for themselves so a good night was had by all!   If you are after a toad in the hole recipe or if you fancy trying it Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall style try it here.

Eventhough the excess of beer did slightly sway their idea of a good barter the boys hadnt done bad and they managed to swap a pineapple for their toad in the hole and beer trading so they certainly got some produce that’s not grown in Cornwall.

Next stop is music to my ears…

The Tregothnan Estate and home to Lord Falmouth (not to be confused with a Lord from Falmouth!) and the Boscawen family. I will touch on Tregothnan again in later posts but for now they are famous for being the only tea producers in Britain. The lads met Jonathan from Tregothnan who gave them some work to do, tea harvesting on the estate in exchange for somewhere to charge Daiseys battery and some fishing in the river Fal! Tregothnan has over 40 hectares and the Corinsh micro climate is the perfect aspect for growing a bit of tea! With several speciality teas on the estate the boys start harvesting the manuka bush (more famous for its honey) to make some tea from. Check out the Tregothnan website to see all the varieties of tea on offer. It makes a great present for the tea drinker in your life and not a chimpanzee in sight!

Next morning Thom the hunter decides to do a spot of fishing off the jetty at the bottom of the estate. After trying to catch some mullet by spinning (thats afsihing technique) he exchanges to float fishing without any luck. One spear gun later and he had three grey mullet in the bag. So, with some mullet and some manuka Trevor decides to smoke the fish with the Manuka flowers flavouring the fish.  After a short time of smoking the fish within reach of the incoming time the smoking nothing short of a disater, still looking on the bright side it was nice to see the river Fal on the telly last night.

The boys are then asked to harvest some Kea plums from the bank of the Fal. With only 20 acres of Kea plums in the world with them all being around the Fal they are somethig quite special to eat, either on their own or as a jam or crumble. we had some given to us from a friend who has a tree in his back garden in Malpas, Mother made a crumble whist we were down and it didn’t stay in the fridge for long.  Mmm..salivating just thinking about it…

The plums are worth about £30 per kilo so great when a friend gives you half a carrier bag full. The lads collected a fair few from the banks of the Fal before being given a couple of kilos for their efforts. Trev then makes some Kea plum jam to use as currency for the next part of thier trip. If you want to try some of this delicious jam you can buy it from the Tregothnan shop here.

So next the lads are in the milk flast ‘speeding’ along, racing for the King Harry Ferry to save driving around the Fal. The Ferry is a small chain ferry and goes back and forth accross the Fal all day long. If you are in the area its a great experience and it will save you time and probably a little money in going accross the Fal rather than driving around the Fal. More about the King Harry Ferry can be seen here. Their intentions of paying for the ferry crossing with a pot of Kea Jam was dashed when the ticket collector/man you give your money to told them he had a Kea plum tree in his garden so the last thing he wanted was a pot of jam. Expect his missus makes it all the time? Coincidentally it was his birthday too so he allowed them to cross the Fal for nothing if they sung Happy Birthday to him! Hmm… I wonder if that will work next time we are scratching around for a fiver to pay to cross the Fal?

Finally the boys go to Devoran Pilot Gig club whom I think have a new website and incidentally have a new book out called Up For Ten! The Official Devoran Gig Club Songbook. Send a text to Frannie, pay two squidders and you got yourself a copy (if you collect -postage extra!!) to get Frannie mobile number and a copy of the book click here. Back to the lads, they had a good go at racing the gig boats, a 2 mile circuits where all the teams were back on dry land with a pint in the hand whilst the boys were still bring up the rear. Gig rowing is a great spectacle and if you get the chance you must pop down to watch it in the evenings.

That’s it for tonight, Caroline Quentins Cornwall short appraisal coming up later in the week.



Seen Robert Hocking on Caroline Quentin this evening. Check out my previous post on Robert Hocking’s videos here. Follow the link and you will find plenty more on his You Tube page. Enjoy!

My Saffron Bun

Yet another great nostalgic video put together by Robert Hocking, Stuart Armfield and Oliver Harborth of footage shot in Looe in 1960. Great to see the beach so alive with people, all the entertainment for the children and people enjoying themselves on the water.

Try and spot the tall guy in the beach too!

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Cornwall with that lady from Men Behaving Badly…

‘Cornwall, a place of epic landscapes and dramatic coastline – a county that will showcase the best of Britain’s natural beauty. Where beaches meet the moors and cliffs surrender to the Atlantic!’  To quote the opening titles of the show. Sound exciting huh, bet you are disappointed you missed it…. maybe you just saved yourself half an hour of screaming at the telly.

Well, in fairness there were a few bits of interest that I will blog about for all those that missed it and want to find the relevant details for the people Caroline met.

So episode 3 and yet another Unique Home Stays advertisement so if you haven’t got the details yet its UNIQUE HOME STAYS based  near Newquay, they look like a premium company and have a very nice website if you are looking for an up market property in Cornwall for a stay.

This week they were looking at a wedding venue, a Victorian country cottage near the Helford called Colenso House. They were looking at it as a possible venue for humanist weddings. It was a stunning house with a stream running through the garden with nearby woods making it a very exclusive and interesting wedding venue.

Next stop Caroline? In Mousehole in the far reaches of west Cornwall they meet a lady by the name of Rosie who works in Marshall’s the estate agents. Rosie, born and bred in Mousehole would not move out of the village for the world. ‘Its like being on holiday everyday’ she says. Check out our other posts on Mousehole (just type it in the search box at the top!)

With over 300 beaches in the county and some of the best waves for surfing, Cornwall is the California of Britain. Surfing makes over £200,000,000 into the British economy with £21,000,000 made in Cornwall alone. I’d have thought Cornwall would have a larger percentage than that, where’s the other £179,000,000 made – Oxfordshire? I think not! Caroline then met veteran surfers 87 year old Cyril and 88 year old Sharmian Cannon who have been holidaying in Chapel Porth, St Agnes since before the war (WWII I think they mean!). They are a lovely couple and Cyril being the old romantic proposed to his love on the cliff top at St Agnes. Who would do a thing like that? 😉 Their surfboards are old skool, made of plywood which they still own. They are now referred to as belly boards but to them they will always be surf boards. Looking great as they are approaching their 90s due to their physical activity they are still surfing and take part in the world belly boarding championships in Chapel Porth.

We then jump coastline to the Roseland Peninsula for a spot of camping on the Treloan campsite. A proper campsite in the traditional sense where people can just enjoy a simple holiday where the children can play outside safely.  Debbie, the campsite owner introduces Caroline to a chap who produces some lovely produce in the nearby allotments. They have an honesty stall near the campsite office for campers to help themselves and leave what they like in the box.

At Porthcurnick beach just a couple of miles away Caroline revisits a couple Gemma and Simon who run The Hidden Hut. Some summer evenings it opens up for feast night, Simon works  for Wings of St Mawes in nearby, you guessed it, St Mawes who are fish suppliers. Simon cooks a seafood paella for the evening. The deal is the guests buy a ticket, bring a bowl and then enjoy the grub! Sounds brilliant (anyone have a mixing bowl?). With guests gathering on the cliff top as the sun starts setting it’s a great atmosphere with 139 people turning up. Note to self –we MUST find the hidden hut this year.

Well, ever the diplomat and one to sit on the fence in the hope of not offending anyone. There are parts of this show that are interesting, it’s about Cornwall after all. Do I look forward to it? – a little! It is about Real Cornwall – if you are wearing rose-tinted spectacles. It’s probably worth watching just to pick up a few gems like The Hidden Hut, so keep tuned in every Monday night at 8pm on ITV – you never know what Caroline may tell us next.

Diving Belles By Lucy Wood

Is Cornwall currently the most popular county on television and radio at present?

This morning at 11 o’clock on Radio 4 Extra was the first in a series of Lucy Wood’s short stories based on Cornish Folklore. Beautifully narrated by Amanda Lawrence they are  something to look forward to on a Monday morning with a cuppa tea.

Listen in on iPlayer here

Read the Independent review of Diving Belles, the book here

Or buy the book for yourself here


The radio version also featured music by the Cornish folk band ‘All The Fires’ who seem to be from Falmouth!

Check out their tunes on their MySpace page here

Wow, this gets better…. check out their You Tube videos here

And a couple from the Princess Pavilions better known to Falmouth folk as the Beer Gardens! This is somewhat different to the stuff I used to listen there in the summer of ’89 sipping on my Orangina.


What a great find  – Goodnight!




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