Monday, 27 June 2016

Ordinary Days: Moving Back to a Familiar Place

Every winter, I cradle the vision of stretched out, lofty summer days, sandy toes and sea spray on my face and days brimming with barbecues on the sands, church fetes in sunny gardens and picnics in the woods. Then, when 'summer' rolls around, I remember with a wince that summer is a two-week affair on this rainy isle, (Particularly in Cornwall,) and it happens twice; once in May and again in September (if you're lucky.) 
I remember that those sorts of days, you seize spontaneously and they become harder and harder to find once you're emancipated from the cushy and responsibility-free life of college studentism. I really loved college (sixth form/high school to other people,) it was probably my favourite chapter so far. You're young enough that you don't have a lot of responsibility, you're living at home so part time jobs can be optional and most of your friends are free for an impulsive, after-school adventure at the drop of a hat, yet you're old enough to drive and move about independently. I loved those days. I think it's those sorts of days that I'm nostalgic for when I think of idyllic summers, the days when we're not cooped up inside working on what seems to be the only sunny afternoons of the season. 

It's been nearly two weeks since I moved two hundred miles back to my home. I've been taking time to sort things and try to settle the dust, but chaos seems determined to carry on so the settling part hasn't really happened yet. However, the adjusting part was strangely non-existent. I expected there to be some sort of yearning for Bath, some sort of regret or niggling feeling that the grass was greener on the other side. But there wasn't. I slipped back into my life in Cornwall like a seal slips back into the sea after a day basking on the rock pools. The only thing I'm trying to adjust to is the fact that nothing at all seems to be open on a Sunday and my nearest ATM is over ten miles away so the necessity of a piggy bank is priority. If I get a random chocolate craving at 4.15 on a Sunday, I have to suck it up and see it through. Maybe there's still a sliver of Nutella in the cupboard?

George has been working six day weeks since we got home so I've been floating around, trying to make sense and use of my free time and apply for jobs while establishing some sort of routine for myself. I've been figuring out what coffee shops/cafes I could work in (because I've learned they are a very productive environment for me) and trying out some new hobbies such as gig rowing. We got to view our future cottage the other day! eeeepp! We can't move in until October as it's currently a holiday let but I'm so excited... excited to have a little space to call our own on the Lizard peninsula, to live on a farm in the middle of nowhere and mostly excited to have a real working fireplace. For the moment, we're living in George's old bedroom in his family home and selling/giving away many of our possessions to make space and ease the burden of owning so many things we don't need. I've learned it's a very liberating feeling to shed ownership of meaningless objects and if I'm not careful, we won't have much left by the time October rolls around. 

We had intended to go to Golowan (Midsummer in Cornish) festival in Penzance this weekend but I ended up getting called into one of my casual jobs so we went today for the last Sunday of the festival. It was a soggy day and all the stalls and events had packed up when we got there, even all the cafes in the town were shut which really surprised me (again, adjusting back to Cornwall lifestyle.) 
Jess's hay fever got so bad, she had to go back home so Alex, Jamie, George and I decided to head to Mousehole (Mowzel) which is two villages over to grab a nice steaming pot of something at a cafe that was open on a Sunday :)

A couple of years ago, I came across the photograph of a sea pool in an issue of National Geographic magazine and being the Sea Pool obsessive that I am, George and I spent two hours trekking across the rocky front and seawall  from Newlyn to Mousehole one summer's day to find this rockpool, only to discover it was quite well into Mousehole with it's own carpark and cafe. We had rewarded ourselves with cake that day and discovered that the cafe was a glorious nook that if it wasn't for the fact we were desperate for cake, we may have overlooked as from the outside, it didn't look anything special back then. On the inside however, it's a whole other story. It's what the cool kids these days call 'insta-worthy' and there's a beautiful nook to install yourself in, look out of the window at the melting sky and dream up stories. We brought Jamie and Alex here this afternoon because A) it was open and B) we knew they'd appreciate the cute-factor of the cafe. 

I think when people think of Cornwall, they think of idyllic beaches, sunny weather and ice creams. Year after year the holiday makers come in their flocks hoping for sun and warmth but quite often, the reality is that Cornwall is a very wet and windy place. I think more days are gloomy than are sunny and there is a reason the flora here is so bright and lush - it's all the rain we enjoy. 
People generally despair at this sort of weather and throw their hands up in the air and bemoan that their holiday or day out is ruined. Admittedly, when you've planned for a beach day (or like us, intended on an afternoon at the Jubilee Lido) and the heavens open or the persistent mizzle clings in the air, it's easy to feel peeved and disappointed. But there is beauty in the gloomy days, in the dramatic wuthered landscape and I think sometimes it's important to make good days out of what could easily be let to be a dull one. Cornwall, or my Cornwall at least (the one in my fantasy) is one of misty seas, dark skies, pirates and sea creatures. I feel like it's far easier to imagine sea serpents in a tossing, stormy ocean and there's true, raw and untamed beauty in the wind and crashing waves. There's a gothic quality about this sort of weather and how it marries with the sea, and it's intoxicating, haunting, enriching, giddying. I feel alive, and at peace simultaneously. I feel joyfully melancholy, and melancholic joy and it's utterly boggling and wonderful and real. I guess the thought that I'm trying to pluck from the dark barrel of my mind, is that there is no need to be sad on a rainy day. It is an ordinary day, but it can be filled with peace, joy and beauty - especially in a place where you can watch the elements. 

I am more than happy to spend the day on the beach in the mist - delightfully happy in fact. I will trudge through the muddy woods in the rain with my wellington boots and I'll forage for seashells on a wintry, windy shore. I really don't mind. Yeah, it sucks when the weather scuppers your plans and the picnic has to be abandoned, but you can always cosy up by a fire and watch the rain beat against the window, and do something equally beautiful instead and create valuable memories in even the most ordinary of days. 

Storms are energy, and we can use that energy - as inspiration, feeding our imaginations and souls so that we can create and dream and feel. 

D e t a i l s

Top: Topshop |  Crop Trousers: Zara |  Headband: Anthropologie 
Bracelet: Accessorize | Engagement ring: Sarah Brown Jewellery 
Shoes: Ebay (Originally Topshop) 

When you find like-minded people to be weird with :) 

If you ever find yourself visiting Cornwall, or your a local and ever on the lookout for lunch spots, I recommend the Rockpool in Mousehole. It goes beyond being a holiday maker cafe - it's got that comfy cosy feeling that makes you want to linger, maybe write or sketch and scoop the cake crumbs up slowly with your fingers. So many cafes in Cornwall are soulless, contemporary but bleak and often leave you feeling in a hurry to finish your drink and leave. I tend to avoid those cafes like that crazy lady on the bus and seek out those warm spaces that let you stay a while, have trinkets to cast your idle eye upon and a pretty view to feed your thoughts. I have grown to really love cafe culture in Bath and now that I am home, I think it's time to get started on a list of cafes for writing in Cornwall :) 

Being back home again feels like my life is no longer on hold, and that it's moving forward which is both scary and liberating. I enjoyed university and loved my course although there were many rocky and hard truths learned along the way, but that's a topic for another day. 

It hasn't sunk in yet, the reality of transition, of a new start. But that's okay. Nobody ever enjoys a box of expectations - best to empty that, pour it away and keep the box empty for better things to collect; Surprises, discoveries and what not. You know, great things <3 



  1. I would love to be near a sea. I can smell the air from here. I absolutely agree with you on the shedding of things... we recently moved into our first home that was truly our own and I cannot tell you how few things transitioned from apartment to house. It's an incredibly satisfying feel to not be dependent on physical objects.

    1. The sea is an enchanting thing and the smell of salt water is bewitching ^_^
      It's funny how society tells us about all the things we need but they don't truly make us happy :P Perhaps in the future we'll all go back to having very little ^_^ I've never quite understood the phrase 'less is more' but I definitely feel a connection with the idea that 'less is more liberating' :P
      Thankyou for reading along! Have a lovely day xxx

  2. Your description of Cornwall is utterly magical. Cornwall is very high up on my list of places to see in the UK, and I can't wait to get the chance to go. I'm so glad to hear it feels right for you to be back home. Your future cottage sounds just dreamy! Good luck with everything :)

    Mimmi xx
    Muted Mornings

    1. Come down and visit! I can show you some of my favourite secret spots ^_^
      I'm still in love with Scotland though :P Even though I'm back, I'm filled with a deep yearning to explore the North.
      Thankyou for the luck Mimi! :D It's much appreciated :3 Everything's topsy turvy at the moment,

      Come visit the south soon ^_^

      Sarah xxx

  3. I love reading your posts, you have such a beautiful way with words and take the most gorgeous pictures! xx

  4. I'm so looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and having some time to be in Cornwall and feed my soul with salt sand and sea. Alice xx

    1. Alice! I'm so sorry to have missed you :( I've had a very chaotic and disorganised week and I didn't manage getting to the meeting in the end. Alex said it was wonderful though! I'm truly sorry, I'd love to have a catch up with you though! :) Please let me know next time you're down and about and we could go for coffee and cake :D Or maybe a walk if you fancy it ^_^ xxx

  5. That cafe is one of my favourite places :)

    1. It's such a little cosy nook isn't it? :P It's just lovely! Plus, the views and the moomaid ice cream is a deal maker ;)

  6. I'm visiting Mousehole in September, so this is bookmarked! :)

    B e c k y ⋮ a c c o o h t r e m e n t s . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

    1. Yay! I'm glad this has helped in your planning of explores :D Make sure you give the Jubilee Pool in Penzance and the mount a good look over too ;) x

  7. I just adore your photos! You live in a great place! It seems really peaceful! :)


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