St Agnes

15th July 2020

Today is a bit different, in that the plan is the woods rather than the beach. The weather looks a bit iffy,but to be fair it has started like that everyday so far and most times ended up sunny and warm.

We meet up with Paul’s family again. They know the place well. Three dogs run happily, two children ride bikes another is pushed in her buggy, while the adults enjoy each others company, chatting in small groups.

The aim is to have coffee and cake ( I probably won’t have cake) in the cafe in the middle of the woods. Unfortunately when we get there we find it closed. Another irritation in this Covid dominated time. It’s a beautiful area with swans swimming on the pond, the water glittering, so we sit for a while on the benches outside the closed doors. Even the outside toilet isn’t open.

“Come back to ours for coffee then,” says Paul’s mum, “it’s nice enough to go in the garden.” no going in the house at this time. I say nothing, but think maybe it’ll be nice to do something on our own , have our coffee in the camper, go exploring.

“Where shall we go then?” Peter waits, hands on steering wheel, ready now to drive wherever we decide.

“I’d really like to go to St Agnes, see if we can find the tins mines. It’s just a few miles down the coast from the campsite”

“OK, let’s go.”

We drive to St Agnes to find the tin mines.

Apparently Cornish tin has been produced and smelted in Cornwall for over 4000 years.

The town of St Agnes grew up around the tin mines. It’s boom years were from the 1830s to the 1870s, when the price of tin dropped and many small mines were forced to closed.The three largest mines in the area,Wheal Kitty, Polberro and Wheal Friendly merged and as one company continued into the 1940s

St Agnes is an unexpected treasure for us. We park about half a mile outside the village and walk in, which is just as well as the roads are all so narrow and windy and there’s very little parking. Also, ambling along gives us a chance to take in the beauty of it.

Coming down the hill we get a view of a tin mine in the distance.

Going further, the road down to Trevaunance Cove takes us past some lovey cottages.

We get to the cove, it’s small ans busy, with surfers braving what looks to me like a rough sea.

We find a place to sit and watch. We listen to crashing waves compete with squawking seagulls for which could be the most noisy — or so it seems to me.

We take these precious minutes to just be, to enjoy each others company, a rare moment just for us. We reminisce about old times when we’d have all the children in tow and sitting taking in the world around us was impossible. He holds my hand, I lean into him, grateful for our life.

But we came here to find the mines , so we go back to the camper and drive a little way down the road to find a car park on the cliffs. From here we can see way out to see and also, apparently quite close, the tell tale chimneys of some tin mines.

The views along the cliffs are stunning, with a dramatic coastline that takes mt breath away. Although we try to capture it in photos, they never do it justice.

I stand in the wild heather, its colour, its glory , thrilling to me.

We take a long, sometimes difficult, walk along the cliff and all the while I’m lifting up my heart to the creator in thankfulness for such astonishing beauty. I can hardly contain my joy, it often brings me near to tears. And it’s not only the scenery, but thinking of people, family, friends, chance meetings, all of it gives me cause to be grateful.

It’s our last night on the campsite with Jo and Paul and we’ve been asked to come and have pasta with them, probably our last dinner together this holiday. We chill out, me reading and Peter playing the guitar until the children are asleep and they are ready for us, about 8.0pm.

When we get arrive it’s clear Jo has forgotten that she asked us for food, but quickly Paul gets pasta and sauce organised. We have a drink and for a couple of hours make the most of being together.

Family minded writer of short stories, poetry a blog and other stuff gramswisewords.blogspot.com