Cornwall calls time


Featured image: View toward Godrevy Lighthouse on our walk Friday. Mainland Great Britain has 11,000-plus miles of shoreline, a drop in the ocean of what we’ve walked, but joy in almost every step. Time soon to hop across the pond.

Cogitation 19   Saturday 12 May 2018   Time’s up. Time to pack. Time to say goodbye to Cornwall. Time to wonder where the time went.

Sign in the Godrevy Café where we got out of the rain for a cup of coffee and tea. Had lunch Friday at Sunset Surf Beachside Café in Gwithian. My Bubble & Squeak with Asparagus did that dish proud.

Time for time

It’s time to cogitate a moment on time, For that I cite a review about a book on time, The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli, translated by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell, reviewed by Tim Radford in The Guardian, 5 May.

Radford said, “It is a joy to read. That does not mean that his reasoning is always easy to follow, and when you close the book you still don’t know whether time really exists, or not. But you have a sharper sense of why you don’t know.”

Radford concludes, “As he says in one of those throwaway observations that make The Order of Time a delight: ‘Perhaps poetry is another of science’s deepest roots: the capacity to see beyond the visible.'”

I could say something similar to the book I just finished reading, Tristan Gooley’s How to Read Water (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., 2016). It’s a delightful, engaging read, mystifying in details at times, then gushing like a geyser, a Eureka moment.

Gooley delights in the interplay of water and its relationship with land, sky, animals and plants. In that comprehensive view of the vital interconnectedness of the world you get a sharper sense of what you don’t know. But, a big but, you’ll not see or think about water the same again.

Just when you want to put the book down, or you’re about to fall asleep, Gooley splashes you with another fascinating fact about everything water. I’ll likely take another dip into the book down the road. It’s all about learning a new language in reading water. I know one person who would eat the book for breakfast–watch out Stanley Kropf, you may find the book in a bottle in Puget Sound.

Tripping through the week


Flanked by Keith and Mary Judkins who served a wonderful Sunday roast at their home in Lelant. Photo by Jan Lauver.
Sea fog shrouds this bull in a field at Lelant, half a mile from the home of Keith and Mary Judkins where we sat outdoors for post-lunch coffee and shooting the breeze in full sun and blue sky.


Bluebells at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, near Penzance. Prior to 1297 the land was tilled as a vineyard by the monks of St Michael’s Mount.
Minotaur. Sculptor Tim Shaw says the work “delves into the nature of the human psyche. There is an attempt to understand the nature of who we are through a process of reduction, a stripping down of the human condition to its primordial bare bones.”
Noel and Lynne Brereton (center) took Marty, our niece Jan, and me to the 22-acre Tremenheere Gardens.


The place in Penzance for a white coffee and bacon bap. Jubbly Sullivan and her family run the popular diner. Jubbly’s late husband, John, was a brother to Roger Sullivan, bell captain at St Anta Church.

Blue flowers grace a wall on the main street into Newlyn. We had lunch at the nearby Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar.
Farmers sped many loads of freshly-mown grass through Newlyn and Penzance, destination unknown.


I led a walk of the West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society, a very fine group of weekly walkers. We covered 5.3 miles, starting from St Anta Church in Carbis Bay, through Steeple Wood, the St Ives Leisure Centre, Tregenna Castle grounds, back to St Anta on the South West Coast Path.
Steeple Wood, once a tin mine area, now home to mature Beech and Oak trees, the area covered in moss.
It’s the story of rules preventing a group from eating their own lunch at picnic tables controlled by the café at the St Ives Leisure Centre. I was remiss in not working out permission ahead of time (a number of us wanted to get a coffee or tea but the proprietor did not want to have china cups taken outside). So we did what we usually do, found a welcoming spot to sit, eat, rest, chat, and tell the hovering gull that beggars can’t be choosers, or something like that.


For the first time this winter we walked St Michael’s Way from Carbis Bay to Marazion–10 miles for the day.
A Celtic cross along St Michael’s Way.
On St Michael’s Way, nearing Ludgvan. The way is part of the Cornish Celtic Way, a new pilgrimage route covering 125 miles. It includes 60 miles of the South West Coast Path, as well as two established pilgrimage routes: The Saints’ Way and St Michael’s Way.

You’ll find a drink for pilgrims at various churches along the new 125-mile Cornish Celtic Way developed by Rev Nigel Marns. Marns writes, “At Ludgvan, Medieval pilgrims would gather to be led by ‘a good guide’ through the perilous woods and marches (and maybe wolves!) to ‘St. Michael’s Mount.”

New life in the Marazion Marsh.


Ann and Terry Trevarrow prepared a fine lunch and always engaging conversation at theri home in Lelant.
The morning was wet with rain, the sun shone on our walk back to Carbis Bay. Spirea in bloom.
Lilacs draw you in for some deep breaths.


Spernen, waving in the breeze as we start a walk across the Towans (sand dunes) from Hayle to Gwithian.
The sun shone for the first hour we walked across the dunes.
Still sunny. No sign of adders. Fresh air. Spring in our steps. Brilliant!
Oops, rain across the bay to Carbis Bay and St Ives. We’re having lunch at the Sunset Surf Beachside Cafe at Gwithian.
It would take a chapter or two to explain what’s going on in the sea–and with the coast when the sea puts its bite in the land. We walked in rain to see the seals, but the tide was in on their beach so they were out swimming. Walk ended at 5 miles; taxi home. Sunny and blue sky at 4pm.

I have a t-shirt, a gift from walkers who joined us a few years ago, with this message: “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.”

Carlo Rovelli would say, I think, questions whether time exists as we say it does. He says, “The difference between past and future, between cause and effect, between memory and hope, between regret and intention . . . in the elementary laws that describe the mechanism of the world, there is no such difference.”

Well, we need not take out time now to discuss this matter of time. I am just chuffed to have had these days and weeks and months in Cornwall. So be it. Time to gather up the moments. Cornwall calls us to make time to cogitate, pack up, move on, and remember. ‘Till next time.


6 thoughts on “Cornwall calls time

    1. Thanks, Monty. Let’s find time this summer to bore each other for a moment with travel stories and also to tuck into farm to fork food.


  1. It must be difficult to even think about leaving such a beautiful place like Cornwall. I understant why you are called back every year. We miss you here but enjoy you sharing your walks with us. Have a safe trip home. Time to “unwind”.

    On Sat, May 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM, It’s About Now wrote:

    > John Bender posted: ” Featured image: View toward Godrevy Lighthouse on > our walk Friday. Mainland Great Britain has 11,000-plus miles of shoreline, > a drop in the ocean of what we’ve walked, but joy in almost every step. > Time soon to hop across the pond. Cogitation” >


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