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Back to Cornwall, again

13 August 2014

Cornwall, place of joy and immense sadness. It has a special meaning for me which I don't really understand. JD and I camped in Cornwall in 2007 (JD wrote about this holiday) and I returned to the area in some kind of pilgrimage in August 2011, a few months after JD's death. It was a gut-wrenching and cathartic trip.

But Cornwall is also very very beautiful. And I hated the idea that an entire section of the country was now forever going to be linked with JD, meaning it would be difficult for Fiancee and me to go there without it being all about JD somehow. We all love sharing things and places we love with the people we love. And I think Cornwall is beautiful so I wanted to share that with Fiancee. She agreed that a holiday in Cornwall would be lovely but did not want to be part of some kind of second pilgrimage for me. Fair enough. We decided to go to Cornwall but not stay in the same area or visit (man) of the same places that I had visited with JD. We probably will in the future as St Ives and Tintagel are very beautiful but for Fiancee's first time, we decided not to make things more complicated than they needed to be.

We still went all the way to the Land's End area, where I had been with JD but stuck to the south side, rather than the north. We stayed at the most lovely campsite in Praa Sands. It had only 12 pitches and it was lovely and quiet. The whole holiday was lovely. Yes we went to Penzance where I had been with JD but that was fine. We did not visit any other places I had been to but obviously we drove past many road signs pointing us in the way of St Ives and Perranporth. So JD did come up in conversations but the whole trip did not make me sad. It made me very very happy to be in Cornwall for the sake of it being Cornwall, not as a place that Means Something to me. We only had 5 days in Cornwall so we were pretty busy with dong and seeing things. In fact so busy that I never even used my body board, nor did I get the chance to go crabbing.

Underground at Geevor Tin Mine
We did go to the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and the Geevor Tin Mine (which was totally awesome and will get another visit from me in the future); we grilled fresh fish on the BBQ; we had cream tea and ate fudge; we caught a tan on a walk from Penzance to Mousehole and had to have the car repatriated on the back of a lorry when the clutch decided it had enough.

Oh, and we bought a nice new tent. And we played at Camp Bestival in Dorset. All in all, it was a great holiday. We did talk about JD once or twice but at no point did it make me sad. Maybe it will if I am back at the actual places I had been with JD but then again, maybe it won't. No point in avoiding them forever.

JD in the new tent in 2007
Me in the new tent in 2014
In an odd note of historical significance..... we impulse-bought a new tent this holiday. In 2007, when JD and I were in Cornwall, I bough a new tent on impulse because the weather was so shitty. This time, I kind of wanted a new tent and then, as if a message from above, the tent poles split. There was my excuse! So at this highly significant trip, I said goodbye to the tent JD and I had bought there, and Fiancee and  spent our holiday in Cornwall in a new tent that we bought together. For some reason that feels nice and circular. Like the closing of yet another chapter.


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