Over the years I can’t tell you how many times I have told friends, acquaintances and anyone who will listen about my dream to live in Cornwall. I can’t tell you how many times people have said ‘Oh well that’s all very well but you’ll hate it in the winter’.
So this was part of my experiment, to find out if I would like to be here in the Winter. Well I can tell you I love being here in Winter, in some ways more than I do in summer.
This weekend just proved to me how much I can be in love with being here in December. Cornwall is like a lover who always surprises me, just when I start to take it for granted it grabs me by the hand and takes me on a magical journey.
This weekend I was expecting snow and instead I was walking on the beach on Saturday, shedding my gloves and hat because it was so warm. I walked along a practically deserted beach, knowing that only locals are out walking their dogs and enjoying the sun. When you live here you look out of the window and if the sun is shining, you don a warm coat, a hat, scarf and gloves, pack a flask of coffee in your backpack and you go out.
I was sitting on a rock looking at St Michael’s Mount bathed in sun and watching a small flock of Greenshanks probing in the mud with their bills and thinking how happy I was. Then a small black bird with a russet rump and tail caught my eye and I spent ages watching it flutter about through my binoculars. Now I am a bit of a twitcher so I knew this was not a common bird so I took note of all its features.
I walked the length of the beach and then walked up to Marazion town and had half a Guiness and a sandwich at the Fire Engine Inn, looking out of the window at the Mount. When I got home I looked in my bird book and found the bird I had been looking at was a Black Redstart – quite a rare bird but one that quite often winters in Cornwall. What a wise bird. I can’t tell you how excited I was not only to have spotted a rare bird but to have identified it myself.
On Saturday evening I joined the throng of people all heading to Mousehole harbour to see the switch on of the famous Christmas Lights. We sang carols, drank hot punch and ate fish and chips and mince pies. A real family affair. then I caught the bus home and walked the rest of the way home.
After my experience on Saturday I headed out again Sunday as I had bought a new camera and wanted to try it out. I went to Godrevy and took pictures of the lighthouse and tried out my new zoom lens on some seals (there is a large seal colony at Godrevy). I was standing on the hill and saw two lovers embracing on the beach below, it was such a lovely sight I snapped a picture using my new zoom lens. Don’t worry about privacy – you can only see their backs.
It was freezing so I headed back to Penzance and on the journey the sun came out and so I stopped at Marazion again and sat on the beach and watched the sun go down. I saw a small flock of Sanderling and snapped some pictures.
Then I crossed the road and looked over the wall at the Marazion Marshes nature reserve and there was a Kingfisher in the reeds, just sitting there posing for me. I was amazed as this is such a striking bird and you usually only see an electric blue streak as they fly by. So I grabbed my camera from the car and managed to get a few shots using my zoom.
I love my new Camera and I love Cornwall in the Winter. The end of a perfect weekend, so full of love for the sea, sun and nature. I am always amazed at how much I feel filled with love for The Universe when I am out by the sea watching the birds.
I am such a material girl, and love my clothes, shoes, bags and my flash car, but none of these things have given me as much pleasure as sitting on the beach watching the birds which doesn’t cost a thing. I must listen to this and let it guide me on my path from now on.
Oh and as a postscript – when I got home Sunday and looked at my pictures of the Sanderling, there in one of the shots was sitting the Black Redstart that I saw the day before. I hadn’t even noticed he was there when I snapped the picture – it was as if he was saying – here I am, make sure you get me in the picture as a reminder – Wow.