Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Jewel in the Crown


We're now back from holiday and there's nothing like going away on holiday to really appreciate Home.

Don't get me wrong - we had a great time. The cottage was lovely, and had a very good range cooker that Himself fell in love with, and made great use of (so we were all happy) and a back yard for Mollie so she was happy. My mum came for half the week, various friends dropped in, we had cousins for supper, and a very good pub within a few minutes walk. Perfick, as Pa Larkin would say.

The weather could have been better, but there was one day that really stood out for me. Our cousins had told me about a Bronze Age settlement called Carn Euny – from there you can walk over to Chapel Carn Brea, one of the highest spots in Cornwall. I did this walk on the one really good day we had where the sky was dark blue and I could see for miles.

Himself looked at the map and said “you just go up to Carn Euny and go left,” as if I was in the middle of a town.

I grunted, he said he'd meet me at Chapel car park, and we both departed in opposite directions, Mollie scampering behind me. Well, suffice it to say that as I'd figured, it wasn't as simple as Just Turning Left. I found Carn Euny and that was an incredible sight – but from then on it got tricky. I looked at the map but the green lines indicating Public Footpath didn't bear any resemblance to the paths in front of me. So I retraced my steps and started again.

Then I found another map which seemed to indicate I was going in roughly the right direction, so I continued. After I'd been walking for about 40 minutes (Himself had reckoned the entire walk would be 30 mins), my phone rang. “Where are you?” he said in his I'm-not-worried-just-enquiring-voice.

“I've no idea,” I said. “I figure if I don't find you I'll retrace my steps.”

Silence. “Where's the sun?”

“On my left.”

Another pause. “You should be walking into it, Pop.”

We left it that I'd continue for another ten minutes and if I was still lost then, I'd go back.

But then I came to the top of the hill and the path curved into the sun. I took a deep breath and there was Cornwall laid out before me in all her glory. Scilly glimmered in the distance, Long Ships lighthouse stood proudly in the sea before me, a small airplane took off from Lands End runway, and I took a deep breath, breathing in that exhilarating air, and realised how lucky I was to be there, at that time, with the wind whipping my hair, the sun beating down on me – and Mollie wondering if I was whooping because I'd really flipped.

Looking round, there was such a dizzying sense of height and depth and space. And here, in an area that hasn't been overly farmed, and apart from the monstrosity that is Lands End, hasn't been mucked around by tourism, it's possible to see a glimpse of the real, rough Cornwall. The land as it was in the Bronze Age. An earthy, raw feeling that is simply very, very ancient and basic and simple.

And that glimpse – that for me was the real jewel in my holiday crown.

24 comments:

Akelamalu said...

It's fantastic when you find something so good. Love the photo. :)

Vermont Designs said...

Put that on The List.

Flowerpot said...

Ak - isn't it just? Sadly didnt have my camera with me when I was at The Top but you can imagine it!

Flowerpot said...

Shelagh - you bet!

pinkfairygran said...

You described it so well, we could almost have been standing there alongside you! Did you get a momentary panicky feeling when you realised you were lost I wonder. My Himself and I went for a walk in our local woods last year, and decided to take a path slightly less trodden which led deeper into the woods... and we got lost. I was panicky, could feel my tummy begin to tumble as I realised we didn't know how to get out. Himself said as long as we could hear the traffic on the main road and keep it to our left, we'd always find our way out and home, since we live only about twenty minutes walk along the road anyway. But he later admitted he was a tad worried, yes. Thank goodness, he's human I thought!

Vermont Designs said...

Pinkfairygran - I get really worried being lost in the city! Never even think of it out here in the wilds. Back when, my horse and I never saw a trail we didn't try. Shelagh in the Vermont forest.

Flowerpot said...

Pink fairy - yes I did get a bit worried but I knew I could always retrace my steps. And I told myself, well it's such a lovely day why not enjoy it? So I did!

Flowerpot said...

Shelagh - I agree about getting lost in cities - it's terrifying!

Debs said...

You describe everything to beautifully.

Glad you had a good trip.

Flowerpot said...

Debs - it was Great!

Ellee Seymour said...

It sounds wonderful. I would have been kicking myself for not having my camera with me too at the summit.

Pat Posner said...

Glad you had such a great time, Flowerpot.
Thank you for sharing

xxPat

MarmiteToasty said...

I remember when landsend wasnt the pits..... when it was proper and one didnt have to pay and there wasnt that huge tourist shop/paying/building.....

Looks like you found the proper cornwall..... beautiful truely beautiful....

x

Flowerpot said...

ellee - I dont really need it. That image will stay with me forever - I just can't share it!

Flowerpot said...

Pat - it was too good not to share!

ChrisH said...

Lovely post, Fp, great to share your sense of exhilaration at finding a rare, unspoilt view (said with feeling as mine disappears). The holiday cottage with a range for Himself and space for mum sounds like us too!

Flowerpot said...

Marmie - it's an absolute disgrace what has been done to Lands End. Whole thing should be bombed. But don't get me started on that!!

Flowerpot said...

Chris - sorry about your view disappearing. Is the house hunt still on?

Philipa said...

Yes I know what you mean. So pleased to hear you enjoyed your holiday. At half term I'm afraid we are holidaying on the costa del homestead as we're broke :-/ Never mind, with great posts like this one i can enjoy it through your eyes and start saving for an extended touring summer :-))

Liane Spicer said...

Beautiful recounting, FP. An experience to treasure.

Flowerpot said...

Phil - this was our first holiday for about 5 years - and boy do we feel better for it!

liane - not as beautiful as where you live, but - well, it's different!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

A view worth the walk, and the wait.

CJ xx

Philipa said...

What about visiting Liane next time, FP?

If I ever get to somewhere nice you are definitely invited. Except the dog. I can't help it. it's not that I can't admire dogs and it's not that I dislike them as such I just can't stand them near me. It's an irrational bubbling feeling that I've had since I was a child. And my friends alsation tried to eat my face in one bite. Then I opened a heavy telephone kiosk door for an old lady and her little dog bit my leg, I had to have tetanus injections in my backside which hurt as bad as the bite. Then we moved to a house next to dogs that barked all the time. They would shut them outside and they would just bark continually. I had my own dog as a child. Mum opened the door the next morning and my present ran away. We never found it.

I avoid dogs.

Flowerpot said...

CJ - it most certainly was!

Phil - my God. No wonder you don't like dogs. You poor thing!