COD CORNISHNESS AND POOCH PROGRESS
So how are you adapting to life in deepest West Cornwall? It’s a question I’m always being asked from my city based ‘up country’ friends and work colleagues.
Given that their view of Cornwall is pretty much based on episodes of ITV’s Doc Martin and the occasional travel programme, the question is hardly surprising. They are incredulous when I tell them that I now live closer to three major supermarkets than I did when I lived in the Midlands. They can barely believe it when I add that there are large M&S and Boots outlets just over 10 minutes down the road in Hayle. So folks there are enough shops down here – honestly!
We came to live in Cornwall a little over two years ago, after a year spent living in Bermuda – the oldest British overseas territory. When we returned to the UK, we decided to fulfil a long term ambition to move down to Cornwall. OK Bermuda it isn’t, but there are a good number of similarities come to think of it. Beautiful beaches, palm trees galore and a strong sense of community.
I recently met up with the editor of the Cornishman, a paper which has enjoyed continued success despite the decline of the regional press in other parts of the UK. I must admit that when we lived in the Midlands, neither myself or my partner were avid readers of local newspapers. In Bermuda, we realised that the two main island newspapers – the Royal Gazette and The Bermuda Sun – were at the heart of the community and keenly poured over by locals. At the time I was a guest columnist for the Bermuda Sun and when I popped into to the supermarket or our local restaurant, people would routinely engage me in chat about my latest piece. Now we’re living in Cornwall, the Cornishman and magazines like Cornwall Today have become essential reading.
So does this mean we’re becoming ‘Cod Cornish’ – trying hard to be more Cornish than the real deal? I’d prefer to think that it’s just a willingness to engage with our adopted community, an attempt to become part of the fabric. Having said this, there are a few things that still bemuse me about living in this part of the world.
One is the constant question about whether we are continuing to work. There seems to be an assumption that anyone over 40 who moves down here either doesn’t want to do any serious work or has taken early retirement. Come on – this is the 21st century with internet, Skype and the ability to work almost anywhere. We’re lucky enough to be able to combine work with living down here but this ‘winding down’ assumption has started to grate.
As for new cockapoo pup Bonnie, the only true Cornish one in the house, her training is going – how shall I put it? – ok-ish. After a stellar performance at her first puppy training class, the second one was less successful. Madam has decided that partying with the other pups is much better than walking to heel and coming back to her owner when called. This puppy just wants to have fun and the training bit will come ‘dreckly’. Yes, a true Cornish gal is our Bonnie.
A final word from Bonnie herself….
‘Hey – had a great time at the last training class with the rents. I was a good girl Bonnie last week, sweet as you like, but this time I just wanted to rock with the other pups. A girl can only take trotting along on a lead and running towards the owners so far, especially when there are some handsome types to flirt and play with. So I had a whale of a time and can’t wait to go back. Still, I got a gorgeous comfy new lounger this week so I must be doing something right – looking good in it don’t you think? Woof and out….