Why do I live in Cornwall?

You can ask anyone here this question and you’ll always get an interesting answer. The word that crops up time and again is lifestyle. People seem to love the way of life. They love the beauty and they love the range of activities on the doorstep. Me, I was brought here by my parents when I was too little to argue. I  didn’t know any better so for me, growing up in a hotel a couple of hundred yards from Treyarnon Bay was pretty normal. Irritating the crabs and limpets in the abundant rock pools was a simple pass time that I took for granted and I’m sure would have expected people to do regardless of where they lived.

As all middle aged men like me would probably agree, back then the summers were endless and the skies were always blue. But they were, well either blue, or grey and stormy, or somewhere high above the horizontal rain. You see we inhabit a finger of land which points with purpose out into the great Atlantic ocean. We get the weather, good and bad! Regardless of what’s out there we get it. Tonight the wind is howling and it sounds like a typical February evening. On this kind of night when I was small the lights would frequently go out and we’d huddle around the oil fired Aga in the flickering candle light waiting to see if they were coming back on.

For me the weather is all important and has shaped my interests and activities and now believe it or not frequently plays a part in my day job too. You see I’m an estate agent …but I wasn’t always one, I’ve been an artist, a windsurf instructor, a wine guru, a car rental manager and a kitchen salesman amongst other things. I was once a smoked salmon packer and once I even ended up in an operating theatre as a porter in a case of mistaken identity but I digress. What on earth does the weather have to do with estate agency? It’s simple really, we all want that house that cleans itself where the lawns are always freshly cut in neat stripes and the sun always shines. The most frequently asked question has to be where the sun is in relation to the property! So, I watch the forecast like a buzzard watches a field mouse from his telegraph pole tower. I’m eager to swoop on those blue sky moments when I know I can take a winning photo of the latest property for sale. It’s a fact that showing homes in their best light helps them sell.

My job’s not the only reason I’m obsessed with the forecast. I love all sorts of outdoor activities and every one is weather dependent. Not as to whether you can do it but more where to go to get the best experience. I’m a windsurfer, a kitesurfer and a stand up paddle boarder all of which benefit from a different set of weather conditions (and tidal conditions but I’m sure we’ll come back to that another time). Over the years I’ve built up an encyclopaedic knowledge  of the best coastal spots for these activities. In addition to taking part in water sports I’m an artist. A landscape painter to narrow it down and one who likes oil paint to be yet more precise. For that you need calm sheltered and preferably dry weather so again I keep tabs on the highs and lows!

Without harping on much more you can see why I love being here. For an outdoor pursuits enthusiast with an eye for landscape where else would you choose to be? I’ve got a sneaky suspicion though that its the place that’s shaped my interests. Growing up in Cornwall and gazing out at windsurfers jumping high in the air in a winter gale made me want to learn to windsurf. Seeing and learning about the work of the St Ives and Newlyn artists made me want to paint. I went away. I went to university in land-locked Reading, Berkshire (to study Fine Art) but came back as soon as the fake plastic degree scroll was in my sweaty palm. I was away for four years and that was plenty. Actually I was away a bit longer as I travelled for a while. Australia. Hawaii. Lovely places but Cornwall is home so I wasn’t tempted to stay. I headed back and have been here ever since.

 

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