Writers and journalists who work in Southern England, the Home Counties, the Midlands and the North often suggest that Cornwall, and especially West Cornwall, is a ‘dead’ news area worthy only of TV Saga stories or photo opportunities of Prime Ministers wobbellying around trendy beaches. What they fail to notice is the Atlantic. An ocean blows in powerful stories as well as storms, while the history of a distinctive maritime region, such as Cornwall, has invested the county with vibrant and colourful back stories, eccentricities, dramas and diversity.
- BRONZE AGE BINGO! 06-07-2020 - THE MYSTERY OF THE PAINTED STONES During the summer of 1982, prominent numbers in white paint appeared on several ancient monuments and on random boulders on the moorland and coast of the Land’s End Peninsula, landscapes of international value and significance. What were these numbers for? Who put them there? Had extraterrestrials finally decided to catalogue […]
- SPRING IZ SPRUNG… (2017) 27-04-2017 - The American poet, Ogden Nash, gets the blame for this: ‘Spring iz sprung, da grass iz riz, I wonder where dem boidies iz? Da little boids is on da wing. Ain’t dat absoid? Da little wings iz on da boid.” ‘Spring wuz sprung’ long before Ogden. This chirpy piece of doggerel derives from a number […]
- SEVEN STONES, ISLES OF SCILLY Oct/Nov 1985/2016 06-11-2016 - First published: The Cornishman, October 1985 The undersea reef known as the Seven Stones lies seven miles east-north-east of St Martin’s Head in the Isles of Scilly. The reef is a country in its own right. Pollard, South Stone, Flat Ledge, North East […]
- DEMELZA POLDARK – I WOULD NEVER LET YOU DOWN… 02-10-2016 - The nights are drawing in and Poldarkness has fallen across Cornwall, bringing with it the most poorly-directed, poorly acted load of old botallacks you’ve ever seen – a mish-mash of random outtakes that were scuffled up from the cutting room floor in a desperate bid to suggest cohesion and continuity – gurning, grinning, gawping, clunking, […]
- PEDN-MÊN-AN-MERE: PORTH CHAPEL/ST LEVAN: JANUARY 1986 15-01-2016 - (First published: The Cornishman, 12.1.1986) On Christmas Day (1986)over half an inch of rain was recorded at Gwennap Head, on Penwith’s south coast. A few degrees less and we might well have had a seasonal white Christmas. As it was, between Christmas and New Year, at least one day of glorious sunshine revealed a pale […]
- CLOCKWORK ORANGE MEETS LADY CHATTERLEY ON CORNWALL’S COASTAL FOOTPATH 23-12-2015 - Sometime last century (circa 1985), the late great novelist, Anthony Burgess, came to Cornwall. The air turned blue (Burgess could swear with Shakespearean resonance). The swearing was due to Burgess’s irritation with a television crew from Thames TV’s the South Bank Show who were doing a series about famous living writers talking about famous dead […]
- Saving Face/Saving Grace: the Buildings of Penzance 03-10-2015 - Is Penzance a dead parrot on a pirate’s poop deck? First published 2015 Is Penzance really at the end of the line – strategically and economically? Or, is this small, modest seaside town, which is rather more blessed in its geographical location and outlook than say, Aberystwyth, Morecambe, Blackpool, Brighton, (Oh, go on then… London […]