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Saturday, December 11, 2010

It IS a small world after all........


'Rose Cottage', Relubbus, Cornwall

A little over a week ago I received an email from a lady who had stumbled upon my blog and my post of March 2009, "Relubbus Moor", in which I related the story of my husband returning to England after 56 years and visiting the little cottage he lived in after his birth. She said, "Whilst wandering through the cyberspace earlier, looking for references to places that I have known, loved and wondered what had happened to them....I found your blog - and photos of a little Cornish cottage that we had the pleasure of owning for a while."



A day later I received an email from her father, Roger. He had bought the cottage after the death of Michael's 'Aunt Minnie' and owned it for about 10 years.  In 1941 Michael's Mother, Kitty, was pregnant with him, his Dad was on a ship somewhere serving in WW2 and Kitty was sent further south from Plymouth to live at Minnie Jenkins' cottage at Relubbus in Cornwall.  Michael was born in August that year and went home to the cottage with Kitty.  For the next four years he was doted on by Kitty, Min and her Mother.  Minnie was unmarried at that time and had to be self-sufficient.  The women planted violets and made posies to sell at the local market.  Min used to shoot at crows from the top window; probably to keep them away from the vegie garden.

 
Aunt Min and 'Sparks'

Roger related another amusing story about Aunt Min:

"Villagers told the story of how Minnie fed an old fox quite regularly.  One day the hunt came who were chasing the fox.  The fox ran to Minnie at Rose Cottage and she let him in.  The Master of the hunt, with other red clad mounted "persons', demanded that Minnie hand over the fox.  Minnie went back into the cottage and re-appeared some minutes later armed with a shotgun.  "BE OFF!", she shouted.  "The fox is my friend.  If you take my fox, I will shoot your horses in exchange."  The hunt departed.

"Soon after we bought Rose Cottage (this was a singular saga in its own right) we found a dead fox in a small hovel where there was a semi-rotary pump to pump water from the mine adit in the corner of the garden.  We heard that the old fox had become lame and could not hunt properly.  Some villagers had left out scraps for it in respect for Minnie's memory but when it knew its time had come, it returned to Rose Cottage to die.  

"A blessing on their memories."

Stonehenge  Photo: Simon Wakefield

Roger also made mention of ley lines, something I didn't know of but I'm going to look further in to as I find it most interesting.  Click on the highlighted text for Paul Deveraux's site, one I found explaining all.  Roger said, and I quote:

"The ley lines that go through Stonehenge are well known.  A lady rented the cottage from me for a while and claimed that the ley lines go right through Rose Cottage.  She claimed to have been "visited" by Minnie."

Probably Autumn/Winter

Yesterday I found a photograph of the cottage house, no longer a cottage, as it now stands extensively renovated, immaculate sweeping garden.....it can be viewed here.  Roger visited the house after the renovation and his comments the other day were, "they had ripped the soul from the cottage and destroyed its "presence".  It was a soulless showpiece and to my viewpoint, a tragedy, a great and irredeemable loss." And this, "It will remain forever bright in my memory, for the love and comfort it exuded from its ancient stones were well beyond earthly price."  We couldn't have put it better!!

21 comments:

Betsy said...

Now isn't that just the neatest thing? The internet is just SO cool!

Love the story of Minnie and the fox..adorable.

alaine@éclectique said...

Betsy...oh, it's still afternoon over there! Isn't it a nice thing to happen! And the fox story is priceless. Love your deccos! (Aussie for decorations) :)

steven said...

alaine - firstly, a stunning piece of writing. i could barely breathe. this kind of connection is to my mind purposeful. it has a reason. however taken at its surface value it's an extraordinary coincidence. ley lines. yes my dad and i talked quite a bit about those years back and they are well-researched and documented in britain. check into it for sure. it's intriguing and is connected to many extraordinary events in british history. steven

maggie's garden said...

This is the kind of stuff I like to read about in novels. I love the cottage...and in Cornwall! What a lovely place. I used to read books by my favorite author Rosamunde Pilcher for the very description of this cottage. It's still a beauty. So glad you got to revisit it through the world of internet...how exciting. Thanks for posting all the lovely photos and link. It's a wonderful story. A treasure.

Teri said...

I agree with Karen and Steven...this story actually took my breath away. The way you write it, the story of the women selling flowers...it reminds me of a movie I saw once that I cannot remember the title of. The women lived in the house together and took care of each other. This love for the land, for the animals, for the young son (your husband)...what incredible stuff. Thank you so much. I am going to check out the link on ley lines next!

alaine@éclectique said...

Steven...we are so thrilled that Roger and his daughter got in touch. Michael holds that little place so close to his heart. Roger loves writing but doesn't have much time with his business and is going to put down the 'saga' of the purchase when he is on his Christmas break - can't wait to hear that!

I'm definitely looking into ley lines!

alaine@éclectique said...

MG...thank you, Karen, isn't it a lovely story! I also like those cosy novels set a couple of centuries ago, especially those by Daphne du Maurier.

alaine@éclectique said...

Teri...it was so long ago and Michael was just a toddler but he still remembers the women bent over picking and arranging the violets into posies. Glad you liked it and yes, I'm going to check out the ley lines too; fascinating stuff!

Derrick said...

A great story, Alaine, and fascinating for you and your husband. I've taken a look at the renovated house. Hardly looks the same house but I can appreciate why some folks would want the extra refinement. Minnie lived when the world was a different place.

le style et la matière said...

What a beautiful tale and for several reasons. First,isn't it true that like most others bits of this old world, we don't really own houses, but pass them along and help them grow or decay or change as the case may be? Next, Minnie and the fox were true friends, faithful to the end. Finally, your lead to ley lines which I have put in my Look At File, to follow up when I have an etra minute. Thanks for all of this, Alaine!

alaine@éclectique said...

le style at la matière....thank you...I should start a Look At file; I write things on my pad and it's most frustrating looking for them again!

My cousin said it's not a good idea to go back to look at a house you once lived in...my childhood home was weatherboard and it's been bricked over, looks very nice but not the same house!

Steven Cain said...

What a wonderful story to find! Thank you for sharing... and can I please have a Wombatus Ursinus and broken Kangaroo... if it's not too much trouble, of course.

alaine@éclectique said...

Steven...haha, thanks for looking around! Nice to 'see' you here.

Maureen Walsh said...

I just love this magical story of 'chance'. Thank you

http://wwworphanstones.blogspot.com

ruthie said...

What a wonderful story, how lovely that the world becomes a smaller place x

Leonard Greco said...

You must love Minnie and affection for the fox, quite touching. lovely cottage, can only imagine the horrors imposed upon it in "improving" the poor thing.
Happy Holidays,
Leonard @ BabylonBaroque

alaine@éclectique said...

Leonard...thank you for visiting! I wish you a very special Season and look forward to reading your posts in the coming year!

Nancy said...

Alaine, you have a beautiful, beautiful blog! I love the photos on your sidebard. (I need to work on mine a little, though its subject is family history and not full color life as we live it now.)

I liked your post about Rose Cottage. It looks like a place where I would like to have lived. Michael's aunt was very special to make the connection with the fox. Good the neighbors gave him food when he grew older. And I know exactly what your husband means about renovated houses and how it destroys the house's presence.

Maybe you would like to connect to Sepia Saturday (http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/) when you post old photos and stories like the one about Rose Cottage. I know everyone would enjoy your contributions.
Nancy from My Ancestors and Me

Gwen Buchanan said...

Alaine, I so enjoyed reading your tale of the Rose cottage.. all of those pieces coming together to fill in the blanks.. loved it!

alaine@éclectique said...

Nancy...thank you so much. I'll make a note of Sepia Saturday for next time I have a family-type post.

alaine@éclectique said...

Gwen...thanks, there might be another episode coming from Roger!