Way back in May we packed up our walking gear and some of our favourite cameras and headed off for a week to a place that Ron and I both had connections with before we ever knew each other.
His parents had owned a house down there, and I’d come to know Cornwall in a previous life with someone else.
We’d walked on the same beaches, visited the same Celtic sites, driven down the same country lanes. But never together.
This time around we changed all that. We stayed in St Just and made friends with local musicians in our new favourite pub. Visited ancient places. Took photographs. Got lost in cornfields. Watched the sun setting over a the ruins of a tin mine perched high on sea cliffs. Got chased by a herd of inquisitive cows.
And I learnt a new word – Gurnard.
The gurnard, I learnt this week, is an unloved but tasty fish that we should all eat more of if we can get our hands on it, to save it from being another fishing vessel reject.
Gurnard’s Head (the national trust land not the pub) was our last stop on our week long odyssey. We walked as far as we could, over the fields towards a narrowing track that led tantalisingly close to the edge where it disappeared onto rock and then clear blue sea. We sat there and looked out at sea and back at the curving sweep of land, dotted with sea pinks that nodded in the breeze. Further behind us we picked out where the land had slipped causing hapless hikers on the coast path to divert to the lanes where temporary road signs warned of their presence.
We sat for a while under the rocks watching the sea gulls wheel above us, waiting until we managed to snap one. Watched the sea pinks bobbing in the breeze and in moments of stillness photographed them.
There was no one else around, just us and those gulls, and in those fields we’d crossed now far in the distance, a few placid cows too busy chewing the cud to be bothered with us.
It was one of the most peaceful moments I can think of.