Rides bikes, paddles sea kayaks, takes pictures. Life on the road & my home in Cornwall.
Dawn Pastels & Cornish Trees
It turns out these things might have a life of their own after all; pictures and ramblings to wrap up 2020, a new year campout, and thoughts for a new lockdown.
It turns out these things (posts) might have a life of their own after all; perhaps it’s something to do with being back in a covid lockdown. There are some pictures to share anyhow so if you can get past the ramblings of an angry Cornishman then there’s always that.
After what felt like months, but in reality was only about 8 or 9 weeks, of battling rain and gales, on the 27th I decided to hang up my wheels for the remainder of the year, and pull on my hiking boots instead for some additional poking around in the places that two-wheels can’t so easily reach. It felt like a good change.
Winter has traditionally been a good time to enjoy a bit of breathing space here in Cornwall; to be able to explore and enjoy the occasional campout and so on without the crowds compensated somewhat for the increasingly, and overwhelmingly busy summer. It now seems likely to be March before anything other than short outings from home are acceptable, by which time the Easter holiday season will be looming; as such I realised this week that something I find particularly depressing about the whole situation is not the lockdown itself, it’s what inevitably happens afterwards. The weeks after the end of lockdown #1 were particularly ghastly, the weeks between the end of lockdown #2 and Christmas were also uncomfortably busy, and a number of times while out riding I narrowly avoided falling victim to enormous Range Rovers hurtling through the lanes. Certainly during that period the occupancy of holiday lets and second homes was up to around 80-90%. Locally businesses started closing before Christmas, citing an inability to cope with, or ‘police’, increasing numbers of belligerent visitors from tier 3 and 4 areas, and one holiday lettings business (based in Norwich rather than Cornwall) was outed as explicitly encouraging tier 4 visitors to book for Christmas and New Year; I have little doubt there were others.
I met a couple out on the cliffs just before Christmas who openly told me they were from London but were staying in their holiday cottage because they were also supposed to self isolate after returning from overseas travels but had decided to come and stay in Cornwall instead; the idea that might represent a problem for Cornwall and the Cornish, let alone be illegal, was entirely lost on them. As such, while I may well be suffering from a degree of confirmation bias, when looking last week at a ‘heat map’ of infections in Cornwall that showed remarkable correlation with the areas of highest second home ownership I found it hard to dismiss that as coincidence. Cornwall is in a spot of bother now unfortunately with, nationally, one of the highest rates of growth of infections, on top of limited medical resources. Devon and Cornwall Police appear to be dealing with significant numbers of covid breaches, almost all exclusively second home owners. It’s deeply frustrating.
There, having got that off my chest (thanks!)… here are some pictures of things I particularly liked over the last couple of weeks. A few more months of poking around my local neck of the proverbial woods to follow no doubt.