Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Project That is Arcadian

Ok - I admit I had to look up a synonym for "Eden", my theological history having failed me momentarily on this Sabbath morning. It could so easily have been called the Arcadia Project, or the Elysian Project. But, no - Mr Smit made the probably wise decision to use the better recognised "Eden" for his ecological visitor attraction.

And so you will have caught on by now that Mrs The Millbrooker and I have made a trip westwards to visit the famed biomes once again. It's been a year since we last took a peek with NooNoo in tow (full story here), and Betty Slobb had, until yesterday, never been there - so a pootle in the rain forest seemed a good idea.

Being public transport fans, we took the iron horse from Plymouth and ended up in the wild west.

One of my very favourite ever stories of working on the railway was about Par. You might enjoy reading it here.

We met up with Betty Slobb and MinorEarthQwake on the platform and wandered gently to the main road to be picked up by MinorEarthQwake's mum who is, as yet, lacking a blog name (a state of affairs with which she is, I believe, entirely content) so we'll just call her Amanda. Because that's her name. Photos featuring said delightful lady to follow in due course, meanwhile here's one of Mrs The Millbrooker, Betty and MEQ as a bus whizzes past. Never say I don't know how to entertain with fabulous photography.

'Tis but a fleeting flit along the Cornish highways from Par to the Project and in only minutes we were overlooking the biomes.

The venue was playing host to the World Pasty Championships and was, therefore, heaving with people - the busiest I've seen it (we do tend to avoid peak tourist season). The World Pasty Championship seems to work in a similar manner to the United States' "World Series" baseball. In that the "world" bit is a bit superfluous - every contestant was Cornish. Not in the World Series baseball, in the Pasty Championship.

This did mean that lunch was going to be pasty or nothing. We had pasties.

There is a new attraction in the rain forest biome erected since we were last there. Very exciting.

Yep - a skywalk, suspended on steel cables to 50m above the biome floor. It wobbles a bit and you can see down through the mesh flooring on the stairs and the viewing platform. I love heights, so I was a very happy bunny, even if the staff did make me leave my white cane behind in case it slipped through the mesh and speared some unsuspecting forest meanderer below (impossible, the mesh is far too fine).

Once at the top, there's a bit of a view . . . 

. . . and, of course, a group photo opportunity. L-R Betty Slobb, Amanda (phew-no-blog-name), MinorEarthQwake and Mrs The Millbrooker.

Onwards to more horticultural sights and some live entertainment in the Mediterranean biome where Kernow King performed, as part of the Pasty Championship celebrations, a remarkably clean set of routines from his repertoire of Cornish themes.

Anyone unfamiliar with Kernow King's oeuvre might like to see him in action in one of his YouTube videos. So, being the helpful fellow I am there's a Kernow King video at the end of this post - marvel as you learn all about the true history of the village of Roche (for the benefit of worldwide readers - Roche is a real place, Kernow King's description of it might not be the most reliable, but it is one of the best). Others may content themselves with this photo of the man in action yesterday at the Eden Project.

A short trog onwards to a part of the project that Mrs The Millbrooker and I haven't visited before and its rather awesome (and I use that word properly, not as the young people of today do about almost anything) sculpture of a seed in its temple-like setting. Loved it.

In the same building there is an entire wall made from old fridge doors and it's got a plethora of magnetic letters to play with. Betty and MEQ made me a present.

Time, as always, ran out and Mrs The Millbrooker and I sped homeward after a cuppa and biccies at Amanda (phew-no-blog-name)'s house - very kind, thank you, Amanda (phew-no-blog-name).

We whistled through Lostwithiel . . .

. . . and trundled over the Royal Albert Bridge back to England . . .

 . . . where an evening of theatrical delights in the company of Frankenkeith awaited us, but that's a story for another posting.

Kernow King in Roche

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