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cornish road trip

January 17, 2011

Life doesn’t get much better than a road trip in the English countryside. Unless, perhaps, it involves a convertible, a silk scarf on your head and Jackie O sunglasses. Because that is surely tops (0r so it seems in the movies). But convertible or not, hitting the open road with no precise destination for a day is just about the most freeing experience one can have because it really does become about the journey. Suddenly everything seems interesting. Every open field and seaside view and gas station and coffee stop and pee break and encounter with salt of the earth folk and sweet old ladies that call you dear… all that is magnified when you’re in a road trip state of mind (which is to say that you are able to see the extra in the ordinary).

While Potager was certainly a haven and I would have been perfectly content to spend my entire days there, I am also quite grateful to my lovely hostess for taking me on a few adventures during my time in Cornwall. Here are some of my memorable moments:

  1. Walking the charming town of Falmouth and stopping for coffee at Jam, a funky record shop/café. Two of my favorite things in the world in one spot. It felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. Seriously,  my trip could have ended there and I’d have been quite happy. Boy in London? What boy in London? Have you seen the music selection here? And they have biscuits and espresso! What more does a girl need, seriously?
  2. Sharing a giant slice of Baker Tom’s salty foccacia on the pier (also known as the seagull danger zone). We guarded that foccacia from their preying beaks as if our lives depended on it.
  3. Driving through Penzance (I am the very model of a modern Major-General. I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral), stopping by the port and hopping from one boat to another to see Saffa’s beau’s handywork (he builds sailboats, entre autre, for a living).
  4. Spending a few hours in the beautiful coastal town of St-Ives, which felt a little like the Positano of England, with its lovely shops tucked in tiny cobbled streets and a golden beach cradled by the harbor and a hill with a seaside vista and an ocean so blue. We sat on a bench, had a cheeky smoke and watched the sun start to set before heading home.
  5. Hiking Rosemullion Head. A lovely footpath, first winding through forests then opening up onto vast green hills and rocky cliffs crashing into the ocean below. It was a Spring kind of day. We walked for hours under a hot sun and ended up at a café on the beach, where we enjoyed food and drink and talked about where we’d been and where we are and the seemingly bad situations in life that turn out to be golden.
  6. Scavenging for seaside treasures and tide pool creatures in a small cove. We found nothing special and yet nothing felt ordinary.  I soaked my hair in the water because, seriously, beach hair is God’s gift to humans. Am I right, ladies and gents, or am I right? I mean, my hair generally looks like some bird has been nesting in it on any given day. There is no taming the beast. I often joke that I look like Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich, until I’ve taken a flattening iron or a heavy duty rubber band to the mane. For reals. So I figured, I might as well go all the way and make it look like I purposefully went for the beach bum look. I now wish I’d filled a bottle with the stuff.
  7. Collaborating on a double exposed Holga photo (the last picture in the series above). I took the first shot, Saffa took the second. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Thank you, dear Saffa, for being the hostess with the mostess! Next begins the long train journey back to London. The sky is ominous and dark grey when I leave Falmouth, eventually turning opalescent purple, like the inside of a mollusk shell. I love this transition of sky and landscape. I love it so much that I think I might dedicate my next post to train travel.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2011 5:17 am

    Those photos are a delight … such beautiful colours and contrasting textures.

  2. January 18, 2011 5:31 am

    Thank you! Now I love love love Cornwall!!!

  3. Alison permalink
    January 18, 2011 6:07 am

    Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Oh so beautiful. On top of everything you do now you can walk on water too. 🙂

  4. January 18, 2011 7:02 am

    Hello Jeanine! I love your photos too! Last one in this post is awesome i love double exposition photos! And this one with golden sun shining through trees is incredible – my favourite 🙂

    ps. uh. i also use pentax camera!

    Greatings from Poland

  5. January 18, 2011 10:23 am

    So very envious of this road trip. One of these days I’ll treat myself to a month alone with a camera and a coast line.

  6. safski permalink
    January 18, 2011 1:11 pm

    those photos are so BEAUTIFUL. i’m just sitting here whispering ‘wow’ to myself 😛 it was such a treat having you stay, i really can’t wait to do it again.. maybe on top of a mountain in north wales?… xxoxoxoxoxox

  7. January 18, 2011 5:06 pm

    OMG, these are so lovely! I’ve never been to Cornwall but after seeing these photos I’d say it looks like heaven. It’s definitely a place to visit in the future 🙂

  8. January 19, 2011 11:37 am

    Those photos make me pine to have accompanied you on your trip. Ever since I’ve read Rosamunde Pilcher’s book “The Shell Seekers,” I’ve pictured being in Cornwall. Stunning photos!

  9. January 19, 2011 11:40 am

    Oh! I just scrolled up to the last photo you’d made note of. Astonishing! The double exposure made the woman look ethereal.

  10. January 19, 2011 5:45 pm

    Wow! These photos are all so gorgeous! Amazing!

  11. prin permalink
    January 19, 2011 11:25 pm

    Ah, the gnome picture is so my favorite.

  12. January 19, 2011 11:48 pm

    I love the road trip state of mind and you explained it perfectly. These photos are incredible!

  13. January 21, 2011 4:28 pm

    gorgeous photos (again). <– i hope you never tire of me saying this (because i mean it).

    that collaboration is pure genius.

  14. Kathryn Guerriero permalink
    January 21, 2011 5:38 pm

    so spe cial to read and view your adventures thru the filter of your fabulous self…
    have you considered contacting travelocity with your travelling gnome pictures? yours are way better than the ones i’ve seen in their ads!

  15. January 22, 2011 11:49 am

    i so love your photos and your words – my saturday wasn’t starting out too well and now it’s all been turned around 🙂


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