Wet Grass

Another walk and yet more memories. I parked at Trenarren and walked down a path towards the coast tracing steps first trod when I was 8 or 9. The path leads to Black Head a coastal headland with an ironic name for a beauty spot. I paused to take a photo with cows in the foreground that I call “Cows eye view.”


On the rocks at Blackhead I caught my first seafish the unappetising Garfish. As a child I never wanted to eat my “greens” so a fish with green bones would never appeal. I also caught a pollack here the first fish I caught that I ate. My Brother and I were introduced to Black Head by a neighbour John Starnes a man who after my Father was a big influence on my life.

We had such a great time at Black Head s my Dad agreed to take us there. My Dad seriously unamused when my brother got the directions wrong and he drove the wrong way finally parked. Now was my time to shine despite my brother’s advice I guided us down the wrong footpath. My Dad never took us fishing again.


It was a dreary morning damp but no serious rain as I walked down the path to Blackhead. I headed over the top to the end and looking over the top I looked down at a fisherman on the rocks. He was on the rock that I stood on when I last came fishing. I hadn’t been fishing for years. My reel was corroded by saltwater that had seeped inside so I took it apart cleaned it and replaced the line with new line. When I climbed down on the rocks I set my rod up attached the reel and realised something was wrong the line was the wrong side of the bail arm. I could possibly cast out but had no way of reeling it back in.  I had wound the line the wrong way around the reel. Other anglers wondered why I gave up so quickly. So no fishing that day and none since.


Today is not about fishing it is about walking so I leave Blackhead and walk towards Pentewan passing a stone tribute to poet and Historian AL Rowse that is inscribed with his words, “this was the land of my content.”  Nothing describes Cornwall better. A beautiful location and I am lucky to live here. Today I am not feeling quite as lucky and the path has not been cut. Wet grass drags against my trousers as I walk steadily on. This is a steep route with lots of ups and downs. Few people are walking today but everyone I meet tells me the path is not clear and I confirm to them it is the same behind me.


I walk on up step and down steps eating a homemade pasty to keep me going as my trousers become wetter and wetter. Even the cows find me a curiosity running all the way across a field before trying to eat my rucksack. Continuing to Pentewan I walk down the hill into the village my bottom half drenched. I have stumbled a few times so I decide it is time for a treat a blackcurrant and cream ice cream.


I have only walked three miles but I am surprisingly tired trousers heavy on my legs. My plan had been to walk back on the coast but I had stumbled several times unable to see my footing so I decided to walk back along the road. I set off up the aptly named Pentewan Hill. A long steep hill that I take step by step. The road narrowed by uncut hedges so I have to stand in the hedge every time a car passes. Slowly drying off I plod steadily on walking the three miles back to the car.

Another walk down memory lane and then home to a warm bath so my muscles can forget.

Thanks for reading



Time Travel Dreckly

Every time I have heard an explanation of the possibility of time travel it includes the need to achieve incredible speed.  I am Cornish and that sort of rush is just not necessary even for time travel. All I need to time travel is to walk.

A year ago I was at my biggest 17.5 stones. Today I am just over 16 stones and on the cusp of going below 16 stone for the first time in about 3 years.  On 4th August I will do a sponsored walk from Charlestown to Fowey on the coastpath. I haven’t walked that sort of distance for 4 years. T do this I need to take my body back in time to a fitter and lighter era.


I have excellent walking boots and today I will find out if I can wear them again.  When my weight grew it never occurred to me that my feet would get fatter and the boots I had trekked the Inca trail in would become unwearable. These boots are made for walking not to sit as an ornament in my porch.


I put the boots on and get ready. They seem comfortable but I will carry my trainers in my rucksack just in case. I used to do a lot of walking and my crowning achievement was in May 2011. Today I will only travel to Lerryn a riverside village but I will be well equipped with my rucksack and coat as well as my boots from my Machu Picchu. These relics of my past will help my present build my future.


I have chosen a straightforward woodland walk much under tree cover which will shelter me from the sun. Unlike some of my other destinations it has no childhood memories but my first footsteps here were alongside Kirsten. My first serious relationship, that bequeathed several routes through the glory of the Cornish Countryside.

On arrival booted and ready to go, I looked across the river and the line of stepping stones that surmount the low tide. I can see my oldest daughter Rhi, striding purposely across as she herself remembers the past. There are many family memories here. It is the place my second daughter Shan lost her Mother and Fathers wedding ring. An inexpensive trinket that to her was a priceless expression of her identity. Thankfully someone handed it in, at the local pub.


I can hear the birds in the trees as I walk body in the present as my mind slips between natures surrounding beauty and thoughts of the past.  The golden daffodils and carpets of bluebell have passed and now is the time of the striking foxglove   This is the first place I walked with Liz, Rhi and Shan after we met. Two adults each with a child that we had hoisted on our shoulders. A care free time full of hope that went unnoticed but absorbed in every breath.


I walk alongside the calm of the river taking pictures as I go. I walk at an unhurried but steady pace, my boots thankfully at peace with my feet. I am getting close to the halfway point now and will soon be in St Winnow and then I come to my first stile.  Stiles are structure using steps that allow the crossing of a fence or hedge.  Such benign helpful objects that I did not anticipate any problem.  I stepped onto the stile stepped up and lifted my leg to step over at the top. I couldn’t lift my foot high enough to get it over. I tried again changed the angle but no joy.  Third time lucky by using my hand to support on the top post of the stile I got my foot over. One down and one to go.  I sat there for a minute pondering how to get the other one over. It was like I was on a horse without knowing how to dismount. All I could thing was I didn’t want to have to ask strangers for help getting my leg over. Again using my hands to support my weight I somehow got my other foot over. There would be nil points for style but I was over.


I walked on with my thoughts back to my childhood. When I was little my Mum had a record by Lonnie Donegan and the song filled my head but with new lyrics. Putting on the agony
Getting leg over stile
Dignity of young folk

Been missing for a while
As I get my leg over
Watchers can’t but smile
Christ it is agony
And nil points for style

 There were ten stiles on this walk and although ungainly I got across without as much struggle as I had a method. This was fine until I came to a stile of a different type. This stile was a bit like a fence with horizontal planks of wood. The top hinged so you could lift it and step over the lower ones. Problem I needed to hold it up while stepping over but my stile method involved me using my arms to take the weight. I somehow struggled over keeping the hinged plank from my decapitation.

I should explain I get some tightness in the muscles in my inner groin started several months ago after playing badminton  and is much better but muscular injuries seem to take an age to heal. It affects my flexibility and fortunately I have no plans for any gymnastics.



I walked into St Winnow hoping for a cup of tea at the farm museum. I walked this route with Ilona about 4 or 5 years ago but walking is not her passion.  The highlight for her was the friendly cat we met as we drank our tea outside the museum. Well this time no cat and no cup of tea as the museum was closed. I walked out of St Winnow and into the fields up the hill before looking back and taking pictures. I continued through the fields finding stiles to cross the hedges. I leave the fields for the woods and my final ascent before crossing a field and walking downhill back into Lerryn



The stepping stones covered so I use the bridge to cross back to the car. I buy myself a honeycomb flavour icecream. Double scoop of creamy cold luxury in a waffle cone enjoyed as I amble slowly along the river. Memories of the past, combine with todays walk helping me to a new chapter in the future. I head back to the car smiling as I  think of a Dr Who once said “My body is a Tardis.”        

Support your Libraries so they can support us



Some of you may know I champion Creative Writing for People with Parkinson’s and I also write about Cognitive and Mental Health issues for Start Living Today PD(a closed Facebook group that promotes a positive approach to life for those with Parkinson’s).


Sometimes I include issues on my blog so they are available to others outside that group. This includes posting activities that people with Parkinson’s can do to keep their cognitive talents ticking over. This post is not about one activity but a fantastic local resource here in the UK that may have slipped under our radar.


Libraries are looking for their role and are so much more than a collection of books (which is a great thing in itself). Enthusiastic staff are providing activities and groups which can have a lot to offer if only we spot them. Over the last month I attended an Art and Literature for wellbeing evening, a poetry evening and joined a creative writing group. all at local libraries. 


My own local library as well as books, CDs, DVDs, has events and activities, Readers Groups, Family History, Knit and Stitch Group , Uklele Tuition, Phone guru(advice on Apps etc, Hearing loss advice, Royal British Legion Outreach, Author talks, special events. 


There are also many children’s activities and what could be more worthwhile than helping a child or grandchild develop a love of books.


All I ask is if you can visit and investigate your local library. The more people that use their services the better those services are protected. Support them so they can support us.


I will finish with a poem I wrote a few months ago but happens to be appropriate.


Chapter House


Words printed

Cemented by imagination

Yet dance with perspicacity

To enlighten the open


Blended with pictures

Visual lyrics

Sing of new wonders

Colouring the world


Romance and history

Melded to enchant

As timeless couples

Fated to find destiny


Murder and mystery

Piloted by plot

Tension and suspense

Until we twist again


Horrors, terrors

Scared by suggestion

Or fuelled by gore

Take a drive with evil


Scientific prediction

Today’s parables

Mothered by invention

Mirrors hopes and fears


Life as we know it

Reality educates

Practical and posed

Ideas supposed


Oasis of intellect

Pages of wonder

Pruned by austerity

Chapter house under siege


Thank you for reading. Take care.