Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sepia Saturday 183: 29th June 2013 - Caves



The first picture in this post is one taken by my father of my mother standing and looking at the harbour of Polperro in Cornwall.  

This week's Sepia Saturday post is "grottoes, tunnels, caverns, potholes or mines".

I thought this would be easy peasy as in my youth we spent many happy holidays at the Blue Mountains and often trekked off to the Jenolan Caves.

But I have been through all my albums and am hard pressed to find any photos or postcards that give any indication of going to the caves.  We must have been too busy looking at the stalactites and stalagmites to be taking photos.  Remember if they are falling down they are stalactites - just like the tights I used to wear at school that I had to keep pulling up.

Then I thought some more and remembered how much I loved Enid Blyton's books in my youth...particularly The Secret of Spiggy Holes.  

Cover of Armada edition published 1965 - cover illustration by Mary Gernat
Originally published in 1940 it is the story of four children (Mike, Jack, Nora and Peggy) who go on holidays to Cornwall and are looked after by Miss Dimity while their parents go on a lecture tour to Ireland - as you do.

The book was terribly exciting - lots of boating and rising tides and midnight excursions.

The illustrations were not very sophisticated but they did the job.

Text illustrations by Dylan Roberts


You can imagine how excited I was when, at the age of ten, I got to go to Cornwall with my parents.

Here we are walking down the streets, exploring.



We loved this little place.  

I brought home a ship in a tiny dimpled bottle from this shop - long gone now I'm afraid.

Alex and Barb at the shell shop in Polperro 

Here is another picture that my father took nearby and I am sure that is a cave in the distance.  What do you think?

  
Anyway this was the best I could muster for today's exercise.

I did look in Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopaedia for inspiration but could only find this in Volume 8 in an article about Spain.  Not much chop I know.


I looked on State Library of Queensland's website and was interested to see that there are caves at Moreton Island, Noosa Heads, Dunk Island, Chillagoe and Carnarvon Range.  I thought this photo was interesting in a kind of by the by way.  

William Cave - District Registrar Banana Shire  Clermont 1871- photographer J.W. Wilder
You can read about Mr Cave's appointment in an article in Trove here.  Thank you Mr Cave for all the hard work you did which we family historians appreciate down through the ages.

But back to the Jenolan caves....here last, but not least, is a photo of my mother and me at the Jenolan Caves in December 1990.  Yes I know you can't see the caves.  We're walking towards them.  You can see the guesthouse behind us. 



And I might add, that my daughter is in the photo too - well hidden in her own little cave inside my tummy.  There - that made you squirm or laugh I hope.

And no, I don't know where the phrase 'caverns measureless to man' comes from - do you?

29 comments:

Little Nell said...

Well of course I know ;) I really enjoyed this eclectic post. It amazes me the lengths some Sepians will go to. In order to match the theme, but I know only too well how much effort goes into putting together a post like this, so thank you.

Brett Payne said...

I think the truth is that it was pretty difficult to take decent photos inside caves. Goodness knows I tried, but even with a flas and the interior lighting, I was never very successful. With digitial photography, it's somewhat easier, but the professionally produced ones are always better.

Kristin said...

I've never been in a cave, unless I can count a train tunnel, which I guess I can't. I do think that photo above is a cave in the distance. Next time we pass a "To the Cave" sign, I'll turn off and get a photo for the next time a cave prompt comes around.

Kristin said...

And, I forgot to ask, did you have any wonderful and exciting adventures when you were in Cornwall, like the 4 children?

Alan Burnett said...

A great tour around the caves. Loved the Blyton illustration - those stories always seemed to feature a motor boat of a kind you don't see much any more.

Alex Daw said...

Little Nell - I may suck my teeth and curse and groan and strain when doing these posts...but they are always a pleasure in the end and I always learn something new on reflection.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Brett - you are correct. Although on the last occasion, the friend I was with got an attack of claustrophobia when we walked in and had to dash off, leaving me with three children to look after and not a spare tentacle to operate a camera!

Alex Daw said...

Dear Kristin, sadly no adventures such as those Enid Blyton's characters had ...though of course going to England was a great big adventure in its own right

Alex Daw said...

Dear Alan - so glad you liked the Blyton stuff. It really was "seminal" for me in my youth as they say.

Wendy said...

This was a fun post - especially your childhood book. One of the best things about Sepia Saturday is the various ways the prompt photo inspires bloggers. I like seeing how people think. The photo sent you on a real journey into memory.

Postcardy said...

I really like that first photo. It captures the whole scene as viewed by your mother.

Nigel Aspdin (Derby, UK) said...

Don't feel ashamed to keep an Enid Blyton hidden under your bed and read it when your brain is 99% frazzled. I keep Runabout's Holiday for this purpose.......a land where jam tarts and sausage rolls grow on trees. So refreshing.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Wendy - Thanks for your lovely feedback. Even though I might whinge about how difficult some prompts are, the most difficult ones often produce the most interesting results.

Alex Daw said...

Ah postcardy, coming from you, that is a real compliment indeed !

Alex Daw said...

Nigel - I couldn't have described your contributions better...refreshing indeed!

Sharon said...

I read a lot of Enid Blyton when I was a child but I never came across this book.

This week seems to have a travel theme to me. So many places that I want to visit are featuring. I have a large number of family members who originated from Cornwall before coming to Australia so it is definitely a place I will get to one day.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Interesting to hear your personal adventures, whether between covers of a book, or in Cornwall, and I never thought of including book adventures here, but it works!

anyjazz said...

A fine post. It gave me a tour of a few places I have never been and some I have never heard of! Thanks!

Alex Daw said...

Dear Sharon - I read a lot of Enid Blyton too but you're right - Spiggy Holes was a bit hard to find - I think it was meant to be the sequel to A Secret Island. Lucky you having ancestors from Cornwall. I wish!

Alex Daw said...

Yes, I hadn't thought of the book theme either and was a bit nervous about introducing it but I'm glad it worked.

Alex Daw said...

Hoorah! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to create. My desk always looks a shambles after Sepia Saturday. It takes a bit of tidying up afterwards.

Joan said...

I really liked the picture that your dad took of the boat and the tunnel in the far off -- very mysterious in my mind. Also enjoyed you mindful trip of caves, books, and Cornwall -- very fun.

TICKLEBEAR said...

Well, all of that groaning paid off!!
Fun post!!
I especially love the first picture,
the way she looked away from the camera
toward the village creates a special dynamic.
You certainly concluded in a nice way,
bump and all...
:D~
HUGZ

Karen S. said...

Yes, I bet that is the cave, in that photo. What a lovely sail that must have been for boaters around there. The children's book look quite interesting and reminds me of the Nancy Drew series I read as a child, with so many wild adventures she took us on! Excellent post, your family photos are such a treasure.

Bob Scotney said...

As a result of your Polperro comments I have been searching my Cornwall photos and have only found one cave and a very small one at that. I shall look more closely next time I go. I certainly have never been inside one with a camera. I was at university with one of Enid Blyton's daughters too.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Joan - I confess to saying "Bingo!" in a very loud voice when I found that particular photo.

Alex Daw said...

Ticklebear - groaning is profitable non? Glad you liked the bump conclusion ;)

Alex Daw said...

Dear Karen - do you know I have never read Nancy Drew. I feel like I may have missed out.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Bob - imagine having Enid Blyton for a mother. What fun! Stories on tap all the time.