Sunday, 4 March 2018


Dear Reader,

                                                                                Sandymouth Bay, Cornwall

'Everyone loves Cornwall" I heard someone say on Radio 4 this morning.  As I am going there on holiday in May, and know very little about it, I decided to do a little research.  It seems the history of Cornwall begins with the pre-Roman inhabitants, including speakers of a Celtic language, Common Brittonic, that developed into Southwestern language and then the Cornish language.  By the middle of the ninth century, Cornwall had fallen under the control of Wessex, but kept its own culture.

To the north of Cornwall is the Celtic Sea and to the south the English channel.  It is Great Britain's most southerly point, with The Lizard and the southern mainland's most westerly point,  Land'sEnd.   In 1337, the title, The Duke of Cornwall, was created by the English monarchy, to be held by the king's eldest son and heir.

Cornwall, along with the neighbouring county of Devon, maintained Stannery institutions that granted some local control over its most important product: tin.  By the time of Henry VIII most vestiges of Cornish autonomy had been removed as England became an increasingly  centralized state under the Tudor dynasty.  In the 18th century the decline in mining saw mass emigration overseas and the Cornish diaspora, as well as the start of the Civic Revival and Cornish revival, which resulted in the beginnings of Cornish nationalism in the late 20th century.

Cornwall today is famous for its pasties, saffron buns, Cornish Heavy (Hevva) cake, Cornish fairings (biscuits), Cornish fudge and Cornish ice cream.  And, of course, for its cream teas, scones and Cornish Clotted cream.


Not one of my poems this week, but one of my favourites.

Sea- Fever           by John Masefield, 1878-1967

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call than may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and blown spume, and the sea-gulls

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and whale's way where the wind's like
a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's


Very best wishes, Patricia

Photographed by Kaye Leggett (


Rebecca said...

It was lovely to read this poem again. It is interesting to me that he doesn't yearn for a sunny day by the sea, but a windy, grey day! I often feel that sentiment of needing to go to the sea again. I'm glad you are getting there soon!
And the merry yarns can be spun inland too, to keep us all going...!

Anonymous said...

Reading the Masefield poem called up nostalgia for childhood holidays by the sea and Cornwall in particular. Happy memories indeed! Thank you. xxx

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