Monday, 22 June 2009

Leaving Home

I thought today I might talk a bit about how I came to Cornwall...

I lived in a far off city where I had originally gone to study Physics (yes I am mad) but glandular fever caused me to stop doing that and the realisation that degree level physics is a little detached from every day life prevented me from going back. I still wanted to study though and my Mum said she could see me doing something Environmental. I thought about this for a while. I thought about going back to Uni in the city...

Time passed and I fell out of love with my boyfriend of the time and we split up amicably enough. Someone pointed out to me that I didn't have to stay in the city particularly as I wasn't a city person and I always began to get fidgety if I didn't get out somewhere with green at least once a month, minimum. This made sense....

I left.

A friend in the city had talked about Cornwall a bit i think. Somehow, maybe from her, this idea of Cornwall appeared. I can't remember really.

I set about it all very properly and scientifcally. I got the book we have in the UK for undergraduate courses. I knew I wanted to go South. I knew I wanted a small town or country Uni. I knew I wanted a Uni with a good name, old and respectable. I made a list and then I started crossing off ones that didn't meet what I wanted. I had been disappointed to note that Cornwall had no University listed in the book.

I was left with very few places on my list, in fact I was left with nowhere that really met the size of town thing. I ordered some prospectuses. And then, sometime later, it arrived. Exeter University prospectus. While looking at their Environmental Science course I made a discovery. This course wasn't taught in Exeter but at the Camborne School of Mines, in a small town, in Cornwall.... Exactly what I had been looking for....

I moved back in with my parents, got a job (or two) went back to the Young Farmers Club, got back in contact with old friends and made new ones. I delayed applying and slowly settled back in. There is a venerable agricultural college near my parents and slowly the decision came to apply to them but still I delayed. In fact I nearly left it too late. I went to get a prospectus and was told they had had to stop doing undergrad courses from September and now only did postgrad courses.


So there I was, having left it almost to late to apply to anywhere and the old Cornwall plan suddenly came back into my mind. I rang the College and they said come for an interview, we don't need to wait for your application form, come down on such and such a day, which happened to be about two days time.

I went.

I had never been there before. I was a long way from home. The interview went fine. I was in. I went to stay with some family friends up Bodmin way over night. The next day I went back to the area near the College. I was in a strange grey granite town. Everything was different. I felt alone. I felt out of my depth.

This was a place I had been before. I remembered that feeling from the day my parents drove off and left me in my new home to start my gap year job. After they had gone, I went to my room and put on some music. The song I put on was Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohen. It has always held that feeling for me. Fear and sorrow mixed with a very healthy dose of hope and something else....

So here I was feeling like this again. In a strange place, all alone, facing a huge challenge and change in my life. A long way from home. I had randomly picked this strange place out of a book and now I had to come and live here.

I wandered the main street looking forward for somewhere to get some food. There wern't many places. The places there were didn't feel welcoming, nowhere felt welcoming. Eventually I found somewhere and I went in. I sat down and as I sat down a song came on the radio. And suddenly I knew I was doing the right thing, that I was supposed to move here....


  1. A large dose of synchronicity happening there, I'd say...

    ..lovely to be somewhere you feel you *belong*...


  2. first of all.. I have just posted about my ancestors from Cornwall...
    some of them came from Bodmin. the very first Tregilgas on my family tree came from St. Ewe... and I am very closely connected to the name Curnow, which I believe is an early name for Cornwall.. but I don't live there.. my soul aches awfully for Cornwall. I must go..

    your story here sounds like you have followed your intuition.. fantastic!
    thanks for your comment on my blog again, it helped me quite a bit.. I hadn't heard of Celtic Christianity... at first I had an aversion to that when I read it.. but then I looked it up.. yep, totally understand what it is. thanks!
    I am so glad I stumbled across your blog.. I believe that you will help me alot with my Cornish roots! ta!

  3. Sometimes you just KNOW. I really enjoy your writing about your life and your walks with little dog and F. I really miss living in England and your descriptions take me back to Britain visually and emotionally - a longing for something passed.

  4. Bizarely, it is only since writing this blog that I have really realised that I was supposed to stay after I finished my studies. For the longest time I told myself that F and I would move elsewhere. But I never could get it arranged. Writing about Cornwall made me realise how I have fallen in love with Cornwall, something that had long been obvious to F... *laugh*

  5. Rose, I have heard that Cornwall has a certain 'magick' and many of us have had past lives there.. my blogging friend Daisy who died two years ago.. absolutely adored Cornwall.. and her ashes were scattered there by her family.. she lived in Cumbria.
    I fell in love with Cornwall when I was a little girl and heard the word... not knowing I was from good Cornish stock as my Pa would say.. he also said I have the Tregilgas ways.. whatever they are.

    (as to Crowley and others.. to me that is just another man invented belief system.. our ancestors followed the seasons and lived accordingly.. much like we try to do..)
    hope you don't mind this blogging conversation.. going to and fro.. we can always email each other I guess
    (I am old enough to be your mum ha!)

  6. Hi Rose nostalgia is a good feeling, happy memories. Most of the novels I read are British and Irish. I lived in Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire for fourteen years and Haverhill, Suffolk for five years. I have happy memories of riding my bike through the country, wandering around Cambridge University grounds, going to the markets, walking through the fields and sitting outside drinking a shandy at the pubs. I loved England and made one visit to Weston-Supermare. It is so beautiful over there. So thank you for reminding me of all those happy times.