Sod’s law that our last full day should be the finest weather-wise. Finally we had a day of warm sunshine and no lashing rain. We duly decamped to nearby Polkerris Beach, a delightful cove, and ate seafood al fresco overlooking the beach on the sands at Sam’s Bistro.
We returned in time to cheer England on. Those that followed football considered this a much improved second half performance and were relieved that England are still in the competition. English fans were not blameless but at least, unlike Russia, they were condemned. Not even Putin is strong enough to criticise the English media and imagine he will get away with it. Cue a campaign to stop the next World Cup in Russia.
In the evening I was invited to supper by locals. Much of the talk was indeed local, one might say parochial. The Cornish are wary of outsiders. Many of us live in Sussex, some in Brighton where the welcome is warmer and more accessible. Bob’s journalist friend observed that it takes 5 generations to be accepted in Cornwall. They feel hard done by. Designated one of the poorest areas in the UK ,they have received massive EU subventions but they still want to leave as their fishermen get a raw deal and French can fish more haddock. One of the guests at dinner was involved in protecting Cornish fisherman and the subject of Bob Geldof”s abuse. It’s the same with tourism; they want the visitor’s pound, but in subtle and unsubtle ways do their best to make you feel unwelcome. The sign-posting for example is totally unsatisfactory, Menabilly has just one sign post and none from the road from Fowey. Perhaps this sense of seclusion attracts and fosters the creative, artistic spirit like Daphne du Maurier or Cornwall’s other writer in residence John Le Carre. Agatha Christie lived less than 30 miles away on the River Dart. There is the Newlyn school, the Tate at St Ives, the Nicholsons and numerous arts colonies. The walk around the coast line must rank as the amongst the best in the world. Yet the cussed Cornishman can be as hard and unforgiving as the tin they once mined.