Cornwall Cogitation’s back, 2016

Cornwall Cogitation#1, 14.2.16–Ahoy There! That’s our flat in Carbis Bay, next door to St Ives, Cornwall, the far south west of the UK.

Three nights here and Ahoy There! feels like “home from home.” We’ve picked up the walking errands routine, noticed progress on construction in the area, had fine meals out and good fixin’s in. Talk about fish and chips and sea bass Friday at Becks, coffee and a sweet in the lounge at Carbis Bay Hotel after Valentine’s Day lunch there today, a cozy lunch on Thursday in the Pullman Restaurant on the 300-mile Great Western Railway ride from London Paddington. Sue and Chris, from whom we rent, met us at St Erth, saving us the branch line ride into town. They welcomed us to the flat with fruit, breads, coffee, teas, milk, salad and more.

We arrived at Heathrow 30 minutes early and so were able to catch the 12:06 train to Cornwall. Travel went well, no hitches. A disembodied voice on the Heathrow Express to Paddington chirped, “Welcome to the happy island we call home.” We want for nothing in our happy home. We walked too much on Friday, resulting in some stiffness while we’re getting our hill legs. When you live in a seaside town it’s all up and down. Nevertheless, we’ve walked 14 miles in three days, in sun, mizzle, drizzle and occasional showers, a very British welcome. The skies have been glorious, including three rainbows.

In The Cornishman, a weekly paper, you can find out what’s going on or what just went on across the duchy. So, in the village of Paul, cheek by jowl with Mousehole (pronounced Mowzel), the correspondent wrote that the flooding last Saturday (7th) “was amazing–if that’s the right word.” The flooding was “replaced by Storm Imogen’s severe gales 48 hours later.” The flooding and Imogen disrupted train travel two days before our arrival, however the coast was clear when we did arrive on Thursday. Friend Margaret had emailed us earlier in the week and described Imogen as “an almighty storm.”

And this other notice from Paul, this time from the Kings Arms: “Our pub has many items of lost property left behind by punters but an upper set of dentures has got to be a first.” There you have it, all the news that fits.

Sadly, The Independent newspaper on Friday announced it would be  ceasing print publication on 26 March and launching its next, digital chapter. Totally digital. Same for The Independent On Sunday, last print edition on 20 March. Those are my papers of choice: 60 pages in the Saturday edition, 104 pages on Sunday, plus good inserts. Editor Amal Rajan wrote, “This newspaper’s journalism , with its unique integrity, intelligence, courage, wit and humanity, is reaching more hearts and minds than ever before. We are read by millions every day–but they are reading us digitally, through their mobiles, and via social networks. I know it is a hard thing to say here and now, but I want the message to go out loud and clear that even after we cease to print, in spirit and in impact this great newspaper will live on.” I wish them–and me–every success in the new venture.

We reconnected with people at St Anta & All Saints this morning. So good to be there again. You dress warmly and enjoy tea or coffee after the service. An article in the monthly newsletter reports that “recent research in England revealed that 40% of people do not realize Jesus was a real person.” St Valentine was a real person, too, but who knows how many celebrants today thought he’s just a figment of the imagination cooked up for commercial reasons. Fie, fie, how can we be so callous? Long live love.


Marty has just prepared a lovely couscous with garlic and olive oil (chicken, spinach and  sun-dried tomatoes). Time to eat.

And time to say “have a good week.” Best! -John

PS: Dinner was tasty, even though Marty would have liked to have a spice pack in addition to the variety of ingredients available among the spices we have on hand. Mr Harvey, eldest of Harvey Brothers Quality Family Butchers, sold us the chicken for the dish. He was happy to welcome us back to the area.

This winter robin sang a welcome-to-Cornwall song, cocking its head momentarily to place our accent. 



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