Regular readers will have gathered that I live in fear of any guest leaving my table hungry. Gerry lived with a similar fear - that a guest might leave his table sober. I was well and truly Gerry'd on that first occasion. To the point of dribbling idiocy, I believe.
Sadly, Gerry is no longer with us, but the spirit of his hospitality most certainly is. Amongst many other things, Gerry was a choir man; a bass voice with The Polperro Fishermen's Choir. That's him front right.
Yep, all six foot five and fag paper of him. The old so-and-so never suffered from hangovers, either.
Under the influence of Gerry's largesse, but not because of it, I proposed on that evening. To make sure that it wasn't just the booze speaking, I repeated the proposal the following day (admittedly with a slightly fuzzy head) as The-Not-Yet-Mrs-The-Millbrooker and I walked along the coast path from Looe to Polperro. So it seemed like a fine way to spend our tenth wedding anniversary yesterday; repeating the walk between the two Cornish resorts and just enjoying each other's company.
We began at Hannafore, with it's view of Looe Island. And from whence that section of the South West Way begins.
Anyone who has walked this relatively easy stretch will know that after lulling you into a false sense of security with some simple level(ish) walking it then mugs you with Hendersick steps which don't actually go on upwards forever; it just seems that way to the not-quite-as-fit-as-we-should-be brigade.
Needless to say, though, we were rewarded with some great views. It helped that it was a lovely sunny day, too.
After rounding the first headland (above) and a bit more tramping intrepidly with the sea washing over the rocks seventy or eighty feet below, we began the descent into Talland Bay.
One picnic on the beach later, and it was onwards and upwards (very much upwards - the climb out of Talland is the most challenging bit of this walk) to the war memorial above the bay.
From there it was a straightforward trog into Polperro itself, with a minor detour when we decided to try a new bit of path which turned out to have been named after our our own NooNoo. Being proud grandparents we felt it incumbent to point this out to a doubtless very impressed world.
Polperro, of course, is chocolate box pretty and a tourist mecca. Luckily, this being still not the height of the season, we managed to avoid too much by way of excessive crowds and had a very pleasant wander through the ancient fishing village's winding lanes...
...before ending up at the harbourside (as seen in the first photo above with choir getting in the way of the view).
On that first occcasion when we walked this route, The-Yet-To-Be-Mrs-The-Millbrooker and I enjoyed a pint in one of Polperro's drinking establishments. The Three Pilchards, to be precise. Dashed fine ale it was, too. So we repeated that experience, too.
The prices have risen a bit since 1999, the £3.15 price tag per pint made us both wince a bit - the D&C's £2.60 is painful enough but Polperro's ale premium is a bit eye watering.
Having decided that it was a bit too hot to walk back again, we took the bus back to Looe and sauntered gently back to the car at Hannafore by way of the riverside walk in West Looe where a new statue to Nelson has been erected since last time we were there.
For the uninitiated, Nelson in this case is not a famed English sea captain and victorious warrior of Trafalgar. Nelson was a one-eyed seal who lived in Looe Bay for 25 years, was befriended by the fishermen, townspeople and tourists and who died in 2003.
Naturally enough, our day of celebration was capped with a slap-up feast. We intended to be very parsimonious and enjoy a Devon and Cornwall £4.99 special, but our favourite watering hole and feeding station was fully booked. So we trotted over the hill to Cawsand and had a very tasty feast in the Cross Keys, where the waitress kindly took the only photo of us both together on our tin wedding anniversary. So this had better be the official anniversary portrait, I guess.
Thank you to everyone who sent us cards or messages, we value and appreciate every one of them - just like the last 3650 days.
Readers in the cheap seats, you may stick you fingers down your collective throats and make sicky noises now if you so wish.