Space School Cornwall Eclipse trip: Part 2

Link to: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four: Deconstructing 'C'est la vie' | Part Five: Our man from Japan | Part Six: A Rogue Train Traveller's Guide to the UK rail system

Trencreek Farm campsite - the extortion capital of Cornwall

Day 2 - Sunday

For some reason, we (Tak and I) got up at 6 AM to have a shower. It turns out that Tak thought his watch was slow and so thought it was in fact 7 AM (as if that would make anything better).

Then again, it was probably a good thing to do since the showers at the campsite have immense queues after 7 AM, despite the 20p charge for 10 minutes of hot water. You think that's bad, having to ask for 20p change every day? Well, for those who prefer having baths, they needed at least 80p. It mounts up, I tell you.

The weather the night before was atrocious. It rained constantly, and I hadn't discovered the secret of the Composite Pillow (more about that later), and instead slept using my jacket as a pillow. Several times during the night, the tent physically moved. Amazingly enough, no water got inside, which was something.

After the shower, we promptly went back to sleep again, and then had a two hour game of poker (the first of many).

It wasn't actual gambling - we just shared out our change, counted how much money we started with and got it all back at the end. As soon as someone ran out of money, the person who had the most, won. Winning tally:

I won twice, Richard won twice, Tak won none.

Best play: when I got dealt a straight

We then went off for breakfast at the Main tent.

I'd better tell you about where we all were. Myself, Tak and Richard were in a small 'five-person' tent close to a amenities block. About four minutes walk away was the Main tent, inhabited by the 'girls' - counting everyone, it housed Nettie, Tasha, Rachel, Frances, Frances' friend Jar-jar and Ettie. Outside in a smaller tent lived James. John and Sally stayed in a a bed and breakfast in Tregony, and the Chinese delegation likewise stayed in another B&B in Tregony.

At the moment (Saturday), only Nettie, Tasha, Rachel and Ettie were in the Main tent. The Main tent was an old Eurocamp tent, far superior to ours. It had a table. Civilised, was what it was.

During the week, Rachel, Tasha and James rarely came on the A-Team van with us and the Chinese delegation to wherever we were going. In this review, just assume that they weren't present, and when they were I'll make it clear they are.

The glories of cutting-edge Chinese capitalism

On that Sunday morning, we went to the horseshow. Woo-hoo.

At 11:30 AM, we arrived at the horseshow, having to pay £4 (four pounds, no less!) to get in. At 11:35 AM, we finished looking around everything the horseshow had to offer, which obviously wasn't a lot. We determined that the Cornish had a very peculiar sense of humour for over a hundred to pay real money to get in.

About fifteen minutes after we arrived, just as we were contemplating starting another game of poker, the Chinese delegation arrived, and started selling T-shirts.

Damn, those Chinese were as capitalist as you can get. The teacher of the delegation had gone to horseshow organiser the day before and had arranged to sell about 30 T-shirts they'd brought along with them.

Make no mistake, they hadn't paid for the T-shirts. They'd been printed by the British Council, and we were supposed to give them away.

<When I get the photos developed, there'll be several pictures of the T-shirt, our T-shirt selling stand, and our 'walking advertisement, with commentary to match. Until then, well, you'll have to be patient>

In the entire day, I think we sold 3 T-shirts, all profit, for £24.

A pathetic excuse for an 'organised' solar eclipse science centre

At about 5 PM, we left the horseshow to:

The local school at Tregony was holding some kind of three week Eclipse thing - they had a number of telescopes there. After the impromptu tour, we discovered that we knew more about the sun and the eclipse than the teenage tour guides did - after all, we were battle-hardened veterans of Space School.

Case in point: This 15 year-old girl was showing us a projection of the sun. She pointed out some sunspots, at which point, I said, 'Yeah, they're always in pairs because they're different charges.' Tak interjected, 'Something like magnetic flux lines connecting them.' The girl looked a bit flustered, and then dropped the lens she was using (the secret's out now - she told us that if it got out that she dropped the lens, she'd get into big trouble. Well, I think the statue of limitations on lens dropping is probably over by now).

Then she showed us the spectrum of the sun's light, pointing out the dark strips. 'Absorption lines,' I murmured, while Tak went on about different elements emitting different frequencies of light. Don't give up the day job, eh, tour guides of Tregony school?

By the way, what the hell was the point of keeping the school and tours open after the eclipse, for ten days? As if anyone gives a rat's-ass about the damn eclipse after it's just happened. Tsk tsk. Those Cornish are one card short of a hand, mark my words.

In a show of loose organisation, the tour guides took a few digital camera pictures of us, Alton Towers-style, and trying to sell them to us. I wasn't fooled, but some of the others in our group were more polite than me, and graciously bought two photos.


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