About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Sunday 10 August 2014

To the Ends of the Earth ...

... or at least Land's End, mainly because the Northerner hadn't been there.

'There are no service stations in the whole of Cornwall,' I announced en route. 'Though there are lots of snack vans. The more St Piran's flags they fly, the dodgier the food.'

With that, a brand new service station hove into view.  There was a McDonalds, Subway, Costa Coffee and not a flag in sight.  On the plus side, the toilets are designated in English and Cornish.  No one speaks Cornish - at least not as their native tongue.  I love that. 

'Cornwall! I hear you have a chough problem. Well, worry no longer. Chasing a speciality.'

Sez Ted. 

No choughs at Land's End -not that we saw, anyhow. Lots of jackdaws, though. 
'Psst. Bonio!'

'Do you mind? I am being romantic!'

If Dartmoor and Bodmin are the granite spine of the West Country, are these the toe nails?

Looking towards Irish Lady and Pedn-Men-Du in the middle distance, with Cape Cornwall and the Brisons in the distance.

A Tor by any other name ... or Dartmoor-on-Sea. 

Dancing at the end of the earth

Longships and the lighthouse in the background. 

The Peal

Enys Dodnan

After all that wondrous beauty ... 

... it was time to go to the pub in Sennen.  Let's call it the first pub in England, rather than the last, eh?

A quick visit to Minack Theatre along the coast where some youngsters were battling the elements with a few scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream, delivered rather woodenly.  To be fair, they were up against it. (I made a mental note to come and see The Tempest here.) 

 Porthcurno. No Teds allowed. 

Then a dash across the toe-hold to Zennor and the Church of St Senara, with its circular, pre-Christian churchyard.  

Senara was wrongly accused of adultery by her husband, a Breton King, and tossed into the sea in a barrel.  She was visited by an angel whilst floating off the coast of Cornwall and gave birth to a son who, funnily enough, also turned out to be a saint.  Are you thinking Danaë and Perseus?  Yep, me too.  

In the church tower there are some interesting gravestones.  One has a lovely engraving of the four winds on it, and another covered the grave of Matthew Thomas who was killed at the age of 44 in Wheal Chance tin mine in 1809.  But of course we, like everyone else, were there to see the Mermaid Chair.  And here it is.

Close-up of the Mermaid?  Oh, all right then. 

Really, the story of the Mermaid is that of Mathey Trewella, a fine young man and the best singer in the parish.  He caught the attention of a woman who for many years had periodically visited the church in Zennor, yet never seemed to age at all.  She too had a beautiful voice that was the match of his.  One day he followed her and never returned.  



  1. I've only ever seen Lands End from the Sea. I'd imagined it like the top of Snowdon- covered in tourists.... looks rather nice. I wonder if NB Eve could make it there?

    1. I remembered it as being very tacky but evidently it has changed in the last 35 years! There's still touristy bits, but you can avoid all that easily. Can I be crew on NB Eve's epic journey? :-)