Roland Turner

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Eden Project, Cornwall, United Kingdom

We started the day at the Lynher Farm B&B. Whilst the farmhouse has been around for a while, the sundial pre-dates European settlement in Australia. We were soon to discover that Cornwall is full of really old stuff - over the next few days time this sundial would start to seem modern; shortly after that, all sundials would seem modern.

A peacock without a peahen and a flock of particularly cowardly sheep. Life on the farm.

We then made our way to the Eden Project near St Austell. This is essentially a botanic garden under plastic domes (or 'biomes'). What is particularly impressive is that they started with a disused china clay pit and transformed it into a green valley and enviro-theme-park.

Buddah's Hand! From the description: 'A botanical curiosity. The fruits have finger-like outgrowths. Used as an adornment in religious ceremonies in the Far East.'

During our stay in the Cotswolds, it happened that we were served a South African marmarlade at breakfast one morning. The taste was unusual (but excellent), so we asked about it. Apparently it was made from Seville oranges, which meant nothing to me at the time, but was mentally filed amongst my collection of utter trivia. Four days later, here is a Seville orange tree in a pot! Sadly it wasn't carrying any fruit, however I did learn a couple of interesting things: (i) that the essential oil Neroli is extracted from its blosson and (ii) that Neroli cologne water was Napoleon's favourite perfume. One day, I'll find a use for this information. I also noted wheat germ (or similar) on the leaves. I recall noticing this on some broad-leafed plants at EPCOT a couple of years ago, but can't quite recall its purpose.