Yes I know it's been ages, but I think you will understand when I tell you that I have moved house! These last few months have been spent sorting, packing, cleaning, chucking out, (thinking: where on earth has all this stuff come from and why on earth have I kept it all?!), worrying, searching, and finally moving, into my new abode, a tiny cottage in a tiny rural village not far from Helston. And I couldn't be happier! I had a worrying couple of weeks when looking for somewhere to rent because there seemed to be so little choice available. I rang up countless times about properties only to be told they had already been let, or I would view somewhere and find a dozen others also applying for it. The rental market is booming at the moment because no one can afford to buy. But call it what you will, luck, or fate, has once again been on my side, and from the moment I walked into this house for the first time it felt like home.
And the best thing about it is the woodburner!
Ah what bliss to cosy up on the sofa and watch the flames of a real fire!
This cottage is much smaller than my last home, so I had to sell quite a few pieces of furniture; but it felt good to shed some quite frankly, unnecessary belongings. I did reach a point of complete physical exhaustion during the move, even though I thought I'd prepared myself quite well. Phew, it takes a lot out of you!
To cap it all, three days before moving out day I celebrated my 4oth birthday! So all in all it really feels like a new start to my life....
Over the last week I have had the chance to explore a little of my new environment. It's not a part of Cornwall I know very well, though funnily enough the road I now live on was already familiar to me as I have old friends who live just a mile away. I shan't say exactly where the village is, but the centuries old Godolphin House is nearby. The National Trust now look after Godolphin, and there are gardens and footpaths through the estate and woodlands where you can wander freely. The landscape here feels very ancient and unchanged.
Scrubby gorse, bracken, moss-covered granite, thickets of hawthorn, holly and stunted oaks smothered in grey lichen, wind-blown and distorted. In reality this area was at the centre of the Cornish tin and copper mining boom, and a couple of hundred years ago the landscape would have been strewn with mine workings, engine houses, chimneys, stamping works and spoil heaps. The very first engine houses to be operated under steam power were at Wheal Vor in Carleen. Cornwall was at the forefront of the industrial revolution in this country, and the knowledge and expertise of Cornish miners and engineers was exported to all parts of the globe from the Americas to South Africa, Australia and Tasmania. It got me thinking... Cornwall must be one of very few places where the industrial landscape has completely disappeared and reverted back to being rural again. The only evidence now of such industrial activity are the derelict ruined engine houses and chimney stacks scattered around, but beneath the undergrowth there are disused mine shafts everywhere around here, and you have to be very careful to stick to the footpaths. Now the village is so quiet and peaceful; no shops, no pub, no church, and totally disconnected from the tourist trap that Cornwall has become. In a way it is such a relief to be distant from all that.....
In the heart of Godolphin woods I came across this enchanting little grove of Oak trees, fully mature yet so stunted in their growth as to have the appearance of Bonsai. A 'normal' size tree trunk is shown on the far right. I am glad to be seeing the woods now in their dormant state, and relish the changes that will reveal themselves as the year progresses.
Have you seen the article on Trevoole Farm in the March issue of Country Living? This year the open days are going to be 6th May and 24th June. I really hope to make it this year, as last year both dates clashed with other commitments and so I was unable to make that long anticipated return visit.
If you're thinking of going to the Fair and want to buy tickets (they are cheaper if you buy them in advance), go to www.countrylivingfair.com/spring/tickets
I promise it won't be so long till my next posting, thanks for hanging on in there for me!