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Darren's Cornish Meanderings Day 9

Whenever you have the opportunity to have breakfast at a later hour never choose two slots before. Inevitably you’ll want to have a bit of a lie in but it’s the fear of missing breakies that moves you.

I decided that being a good theatre practitioner meant that I needed to see for myself the famous Minack Theatre. It is built on the side of a cliff overlooking the Celtic Sea. The PZ bus services aren’t entirely reliable and the online schedule for Sunday doesn’t quite match reality. I therefore had a lovely chat with a transplanted Mancunian taxi driver as we wound back and forth the twenty minute drive down the coast. I was told bring sun screen, a blanket and rain protection. Apparently anything can happen and the show always goes on.

I didn’t really care what I saw but have been pleasantly surprised that it was the Proms performed by the Mount Charles Band. Proms of any kind are quite an emotional event for me. My American friends should google Last Night of the Proms and you might get an idea of what they are all about. For me it is a celebration of national identity without going overboard. Since you have a nation made up of 4 countries (even more if you count the ones absorbed into those 4) speaking at least 5 National languages - they have the ability to be separate but united, rivals but not enemies. Each country has its own identities and anthems.

To an outsider the Proms seem to celebrate those things that unite them more than those things that separate them. I may be romanticising it a bit, but for my adopted country to have these reminders fills me with hope. Even in these charged political times. I can’t really sing “Jerusalem” and “Land of Hope and Glory” without going a bit gushy.

Afterward wanting to be frugal I says to myself “Self, why don’t you walk back?” Brilliant idea that self had. As I mentioned before, the coastal paths are a national treasure. Minack is only 15km (or 9.5mi) from Penzance as the crow flies, but along the coastal paths our friend Google Maps says it’s a 4:15 hour long walk. Sure why not! I started back to town walking along some of the most stunning views of the sea I’ve ever seen.

I quickly realised I might have made a giant mistake thinking I could get back before dark.

What google doesn’t calculate is that it is not a flat walk but up and down very steep paths. Even in my younger days I can’t imagine making the trip in 4 and a quarter hours.

After 2 1/2 hours (6.5km and 97 floors climbed ) I decided it was time to call for rescue and made my way to the nearest highway. Thank heavens for Google maps. I was however disappointed when I got to the Merry Maidens to discover that it was Not a pub but a bunch of ancient stones standing in a field. Did I mention that the cab pick up point was the entrance to a prehistoric burial site - just there by the side of the road?

Many of you know my accent is all over the place. Today the Cornish lad behind the bar asked if I was local and the Welsh woman I sat next to at the concert asked what part of Dublin I was from. I’m dreading if I ever actually have to do my native accent again - I don’t think I remember how to do it.

My pub Dinner was devoured in about ten minutes and just now trying to gather the energy to go back to my room.

Today’s Observations:

- London is in the same parallel as Calgary, Alberta

- Penzance is roughly on the same line as the northern border of the western United States

- I’m still amazed that palm trees grow this far north

- Looking at distances on Google maps is a bit like looking at an all you can eat Chinese buffet. You always put more on your plate than you can actually eat

- When you are hungry anything with gravy is appealing

- Archeology sites in Cornwall happen at the same frequency as betting shops in London

- Air Supply must be a Cornish Pub favourite

- If I am to compete with today’s retirees I’ve got some serious physical training to do

- The Cornish flag is just a skull away from a pirate flag

- It is always easier going down a hill than up

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