Part 2: How a Week Doing Not a Whole Lot Was One of the Best Weeks of our 14 Months on the Road in Europe
In my last blog post I introduced you to the lovely Daniel and Shakti who graced us with their presence for a whole week! Turns out we did in fact get up to quite a bit and couldn’t quite fit all that goodness into one blog post. So without further ado, I present the rest of our week:
We were all quite keen to take in a bit of the dramatic Cornish coastline on a walk. On the advice of our Lonely Planet book “Walking in Britain”, we headed to the Bedruthan Steps. In what was to become our pattern we rocked up sometime in the late afternoon, decided it was lunch time, or dinner… “dunch”? and proceeded to make toasted sandwiches. I can imagine this would be rather infuriating behaviour for most travellers but as previously mentioned we’re all quite similar and weren’t in any hurry. We probably managed to take in about 0.3% of the walk described in Lonely Planet but it was a spectacular 0.3% so we were pretty chuffed.
It was lunch time for this little guy too:
We plotted to push Shakti over the cliff:
I did my usual “take macro shots of tiny little details that take my fancy” thing and left the grand panoramic vistas to Mike:
It’s a fairly crappy photo but I just love this round mound of earth covered in little flower-type things:
Mike and I felt like we’d been transported back to Ireland when we rounded a corner and took in this cliff-top blanketed in the very same flowers that bedecked many an Irish landscape.
We hadn’t actually planned on visiting St Ives — a very popular tourist destination in Cornwall — but the next walk we decided on doing happened to begin there. At this stage in our travels we don’t get excited about places just because they’re popular. Everything’s relative and I suspect its popularity amongst the Vitamin D deficient Brits is due in large part to its sand beach – not exactly a drawcard for someone who didn’t even know there were anything other than sand beaches until relatively recently and grew up in a fishing town on the “90 mile beach” in Victoria, Australia. I’m sure the Brits would find the things I get excited about equally amusing — wonky buildings, thatched-roof cottages and pretty much anything older than 200 years.
We sat and ate overpriced but very nummy chips overlooking the harbour at low tide. We watched as a very cheeky seagull stole a whole pasty out of a plastic bag, then fought over it with much fuss — whilst the owners of said pasty were completely obliviously chatting a metre away. It occurred to us all a bit belatedly that we probably should’ve shouted down a warning.
A group of young English guys sat down next to us and proceeded to make fun of the Cornish accent — it’s so fun being able to understand the natives again! When we were first back in England we were doing some grocery shopping and I was overhearing all sorts of private conversations — I felt like I was eavesdropping and I wondered how they could just talk about all of this personal stuff with everyone around being about to hear and understand every word!
Daniel wanted to watch the tide come in which, despite its rapidity, I thought was not dissimilar from watching paint dry so Mike and I took a walk to photograph the boats on the beach:
Once again, around late afternoon we headed off on our coastal walk — which, of course, we only actually managed a minute fraction of.
Earlier I’d inadvertently sparked a debate about the meaning of life, the universe and everything when I commented on the way bees prefer the hexagon to every other shape for it’s innate sturdiness is the type of thing that makes people believe in intelligent design. We ended up spending the entirety of the hike with each duo trying to come to grips with the others’ spiritual (or lack thereof) beliefs and grappling with new and different concepts. One thing that struck me about the conversation –in hindsight — was how much it reminded me of a similar conversation I had with a Christian girl a few years ago. She asked me questions about how I explained the meaning of life, the universe, and everything without a religion or spirituality. My answer then and still is that I don’t feel the need to have an answer to those questions and even if I did I wouldn’t expect to get one, which is just fine by me. She found this a rather unsatisfying response. I think it’s hard for spiritual people to comprehend that lack of need – like a fish imagining life out of the water.
As you can imagine the debate got pretty lively and toes may have been stepped on but at the end of the day I don’t really mind what anyone believes in (in fact I’m kind of jealous of those who believe in nature spirits and angels- they’re just plain cool), as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone — an addendum which of course means that there are quite a few religious groups out there that I do indeed take issue with.
Guys, thank you for being so open to talk about your spiritual beliefs with a couple of sceptical godless heathens!
On the way back through town I spotted these gorgeous ceramics by Karen Shapley and proceeded to imagine them adorning my future kitchen:
They make me want to take up ceramics!
Daniel and Shakti’s bus back to London was at the uncivilised hour of 5:45am so we attempted to get an early night and stumbled out of bed around 5am to drop them off at the train station. Now we have two more precious little hooks back in Melbourne tugging at our home-body heart strings. I wonder when our Melbourne-based hooks will reach critical mass and we’ll pack up and go home?