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Stowing Away I stood between two facing mirrors & almost caught a glimpse of infinity, but my bloody head kept getting in the way

Arthurian Tales

UNITED KINGDOM | Sunday, 26 March 2006 | Views [3965] | Comments [2]

Arthur's round table (or a great big dartboard)

Arthur's round table (or a great big dartboard)

So here I am, driving a tiny little gold-coloured hired Fiat Punto down south down the west coast of England...

The Cornish coastline is really nice, so I took all the small back roads to follow the coastline down south towards Lands end. The roads become extremely narrow, with high hedges on each side, at times brushing both side mirrors at once. Oncoming traffic can be quite hazardous, especially on the many blind corners, and squeezing past other cars/tractors can be quite an art. Indeed, all over southern England, there are many stretches of road where the high hedges and overgrowing tree branches are trimmed to form long green growing tunnels, some so thick and dark that you have to turn your headlights on.

At times the roads also go steeply down to a beach in a cove, and back up to the top of the next cliff with fabulous ocean views before plunging down again. Near villages or farms, the edges of the road are actually the walls of the buildings, complete with right angle turns and wandering livestock. None of this seems to slow many of the motorists down much.
Still, and fantastic & exciting drive.

This route took me to Tintagel, on the sea-cliffs along the west coast of Cornwall, which is a really amazing place. It's supposedly the legendary home of Arthur and his round table - you should all know the story, but if not, here is a quick recap:

Arthur and his older brother Wayne grew up in a poor but honest village in Cornwall. Their parents, Ted & Ethel Dodgy, had died some years ago from a potato overdose, so they were orphans too. For some reason there was a whopping big stone there that someone had carelessly skewered with a sword. The sword looked expensive, so a lot of people tried to nick it & claim it was theirs, but no-one could pull it free.
Young Arthur had a go one day, and easily pulled the sword out of the stone, to the gasps of amazement from the gathered crowd. Arthur, fearing he had done wrong, went to put the sword back into the stone, but was famously told to 'Leave it out, Arfur'

After that Arthur sold the sword for lots of money and with his brother
Wayne started up a used car business, called 'the Dodgy Brothers'. They
dealt mostly with 2nd hand Jaguars and Rolls Royces (some with Merlin
engines), and were helped out by their mate Terry Mc-something-or-other
(obviously Scottish), who would mind the shop while they were out. They also bought a whopping big castle right on the edge of a cliff with great view & lots of furniture including a king-sized bed and a big round table. For entertainment they used to spend many nights around the round table playing cards. The card nights became legendary in the local area for their drinking & wild antics, and many an old gaffer would sigh and fondly remember 'the nights of the round table'. Yes,those long winter evenings just flew by.

Unfortunately for Arthur, the cliff, which was undercut by huge sea caves, collapsed under their car yard and all their stock of cars fell into the sea (and some of the castle too). Broke and hounded by debt collectors, they changed their names and racked off to hide out in London. Since then the castle has fallen further into ruin (and the sea), but there is enough left to grasp the beauty of England’s prettiest used car yard.
Or something like that...

Well viewers, that's all we've got time for this week.
Coming up next week..... Pirates of Penzance, morris dancing, and what
really happens to archbishops.
So stay tuned!

Click to see Google Satellite map of Tintagel, Cornwall, UK

Tags: cornwall, dodgy brothers, england, king arthur, merlin, on the road, round table, tintagel, tree tunnel




Really great blogs :)

  Dan May 29, 2008 10:58 AM


How can I obtain a copy of your photo of King Arthur's Roundtable?

  mark Apr 5, 2009 10:15 AM



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