December 03, 2018

Escaping to Cornwall




Callum's best friend and Saoirse's honorary uncle Steve has invited us to stay in his seaside cottage in Cornwall for a few days, so we pack a ridiculously small bag (I swear this is the thing about us I'm most proud of) and leave London for the coast. Saoirse is nice and calm on the drive, even if she is more used to wandering through carriages than having to sit still in a car seat. We get to the village late at night – a little coastal town called Boscastle. The cottage is lovely and cosy. Immediately this place reminds me of summers spent in Brittany – the same stone is used to build cottages, the blinds are painted the same pastel colours, and opening the windows you can smell the salt and the water.


The weather is incredible whilst we're there, and we go on long walks along the coast. Gorse and heather are everywhere and in bloom, and gives the places an air of the Mediterranean. It's my favourite thing about the British Isles. When I lived in Ireland, I used to go walk along Brays way and imagine I was in the south of France.


On our first day, we go up to the light house, eat scones and clotted cream, and watch a rowing race from the cliffs. I feel like a complete tourist, and it's wonderful. I have a strange relationship to England now, because although I am definitely not british, I have spent enough time and planted enough roots here than it doesn't feel like being abroad. Both my partner and child are from here, and I understand this place so much better through them.


At night, Callum stays in with Saoirse whilst I walk down to the village to see the Witchcraft museum by candlelight. The south of England is one of the most sacred regions for pagans all over the world, stories and tales from Cornwall merging with Britanny's in one big celtic cauldron. My favourite objects are the mandragora roots, so contorted they look like wailing humans shapes. Walking through the collection of mysterious artefacts, I catch my reflections in old, dusty mirrors and I almost startle myself – who is this woman without a baby strapped to her ? Everytime I go somewhere without her, it's always the lightness, the absence of her weight on my body who is the most noticeable.


The next day, we go and visit King Arthur's castle at Tintagel. The view from the cliffs is breathtaking, although Saoirse doesn't seem to think so and sleeps through the whole walk. We also visits a dairy farm close to Boscatle that doubles as a café. From the building made of glass and wood you can see the waves, and they serve the most delicious food. Callum and I joke that this would be our dream project, opening a place that serves the local community as well as visitors, in a remote, gorgeous setting. We joke, but really, when we start joking about something, it tends to come true, so... who knows ?


Next we go to a beach and I find it so amusing watching the british pretending they're in summer. It doesn't matter that it's only may and that the water is icy cold – everyone is in bathing suit and playing on the rocks. Callum engraves a rock with Saoirse's name, and Saoirse builds little towers. I can't wait for her to experience her first summer.


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