Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Cornwall.. a much needed break!

Okay, so it was a bit of a trek for a long weekend, but my trip to North Cornwall was worth every mile and every litre of petrol! I came back a changed woman. I had time and space to think and to just be. As you can see by the photos I had the perfect surroundings to do just that.

I stayed with my writer friend, Alison, who lives in a remote spot in a house she built with her lovely husband, Tristan. It's all very eco-friendly and so beautiful. This is part of their garden above left. They also planted their own wood many years ago and Alison has built her own little 'shed' to get away from it all. It made me long for a retreat of my own.

The whole point of the weekend was to workshop or write, but we did neither. Instead we spent a lot of time talking about life, relationships, books and sometimes writing, mainly while sipping chilled white wine in the garden, conservatory or kitchen. We took a lovely long walk (4-5miles?) over the cliffs near Harlyn Bay. I've never seen so many wild flowers.

On Sunday morning I set off for a little adventure of my own and to revisit Bude, where I spent a blissful couple of days with my first husband fifteen years ago. I stopped off at Tintagel for a ploughman's lunch and a walk down to the castle ruins. It was a gorgeous sunny day and people were swimming in the sea. It made me feel slightly guilty that my family weren't with me, but no, this was precious 'me' time.
A few hours later saw me sitting on a rock on Crooklets Beach in Bude. I was pretty sure it was the same beach where Phill and I had some lovely photos taken of each other (now framed and on my mother-in-law's wall), but I'd remembered it so differently. After exploring the town further I realised how flawed our memories are. We compress them into smaller files without knowing it. This led to me writing several paragraphs of notes, which will be very useful when it comes to writing my novel. I then had a refreshing pint of Scrumpy Jack in the same pub Phill and I had frequented all those years ago and sat watching the locals sitting outside on picnic benches opposite the river, just as we had then. Again I did lots of copious note taking!
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and I came home feeling so refreshed.. like a new woman, in fact. It enabled me to get things into perspective (particularly the past) and I saw myself and my relationships in a whole new light. I'm a happy lady!


Sue said...

Oh Jo, that sounds a marvellous break and just what you needed! I'm so pleased that you got the space you were so desperate for and I'm sure it's made you an even better mum on your return. Keep hold of all your happy memories - we all need them!

Jane Smith said...

I'm envious: those photos look amazing. And how lovely to have a couple of days alone like that--albeit alone with friends.