I’ve done a Baggin’s and disappeared only to reappear again sometime later. There was a journey, adventure, peril, fear and enough anxiety to last me quite some time. In short: I moved house.
As you may know, the process of moving home is fraught with stress. I won’t delve into the details, but I’ve no doubt my brain will soften the memory as it has of the tumultuous house move I experienced during lockdown.
I was born in Cornwall, on the north coast right on the border with Devon, and spent a good chunk of my life so far living in Bude. Three years ago, I ended up on the outskirts of St Austell, and now I am back on the north coast in Hayle. It appears I am slowly migrating west along the county. I joke the next move will land me in the Isles of Scilly!
Cornwall’s etymology derives from its shape. It is one big peninsular and the word for headland and horn has the same origin. Cornowii (Cornovii in Latin) is the original Celtic tribal name meaning “the people of the horn”. In Cornish, Cornwall becomes Kernow, deriving from the Celtic word kernou meaning horn. The “wall” part was a later addition made by the Anglo-Saxons which is the plural of the Old English word walh, meaning foreigner, which was labelled upon most Celts (it is also how Wales got its name).
Cornwall’s horn-like shape means travelling from one tip of the county to the other made for a very long day trip. In my time living near the border with Devon, the thought of going west, deeper into Cornwall, became a mini holiday as it took 2.5hrs to get down there (the same time it took to visit family up in Bristol).
If, like me, you into old historical stuff, west Cornwall is littered with the remnants of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age people. Mining is another common historical feature (and current one) with tin and copper being exploited since the Bronze Age. Geologically, Cornwall has a lot to offer, although the predominance of granite does mean radon levels are much higher than elsewhere in the country. This is always something that crops up during the searches during a house move.
Hayle’s heyday was during the Industrial Revolution, but evidence suggests habitation since the Bronze Age. These days, like every town or village by the sea, it is predominantly a tourist destination. Yet, being nestled in St Ives Bay, it also enjoys the same quality of light that draws so many artists to St Ives itself. A photograph will explain it better than words in this case.
Rejuvenating through nature
There is something to be said about the awe inspiring nature of the sea. For most of my life, I have been in walking distance of the beach, and I have learnt to understand its temperament. Awe is the right word in this respect. The sea invokes both the feeling of fear and wonder. Through reverence I know when to safely enjoy the water, and when to steer clear. I went in the sea yesterday. The refreshing water much needed on such a hot September day. The water a stunning azure. Jellyfish floating around me. Granite cliffs like an amphitheatre, reverberating the breakers pounding on the shell strewn cove. It sounds idyllic, but I equally love a stormy sea, steely grey, with its foam and spindrifts. The ceaseless roar. Forever moving. The sound is my favourite part. Nature’s white noise. I am very lucky to be able to have the beach in walking distance once again.
As you can expect, things are still hectic as I get settled in. But I’m sure my creativity will perk up soon, especially with so much inspiration in my new surroundings. Where in nature do you go to rejuvenate?