Yet another rainy day haiku from the mind of one who has recently been rained down upon more than a Summer season should reasonably allow.
Looking out windows,
seeing the pourtentous sky
Looking out windows,
seeing the pourtentous sky
Peck, peck – chip? No – peck;
strut, launch, fly, scan, detect, plan;
wait… wait… swoop! Reward.
I lean on the gate
and survey the world;
at least, the world within my grasp;
for there is much more than that beyond
my gaze, beyond my ken;
but what I have, I clasp.
We’d really love to go to Looe;
but, we have other things to do.
there on the A38,
is where we turn off.
Somewhere in Cornwall; not a specific place; but, within the confines of the Tamar River, the English Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean; or, to be similarly imprecise, somewhere within the triangulation of Torpoint, Bude, Land’s End and back to Torpoint, to finish the scalene triangle – a distance of some… if not many… many miles, and an area of quite a few square, and even more triangular, miles.
Anyway, some might say, if they were that way inclined, ‘Anywhere in Cornwall’, as that is all that really matters; be it at any point along the almost three-hundred miles of coast (296.2 miles to be exact – at the last count), or inland, at one of the drier places; upon the moor; or stuck in a traffic jam upon the A30 or A38 on any Bank Holiday.
As long as you are within the previously mentioned boundaries, you are going to be okay.
As to ‘your’ particular choice of location, that would depend on your pre-existing favourites (for myself, Looe, the beautifully charming fishing town; Polperro – Porthpyra In Cornish, meaning Pyra’s Cove; The Minack Theatre, hewn from the rock by Rowena Cade; Tintagel – of Arthurian legend; or the like) and choosing one of them; or heading off for a different castle, out on the wiley, windy Moor of Bodmin, or one of the many other amazing places that Cornwall has to offer.
“That was an advertisement on behalf of the Cornish Tourist Board ‘Kernow a’gas dynergh!’ Welcome to Cornwall.”
However, somewhere in Cornwall, there is a place that only I know of.
And how is it that only I know of it?
Well, I shall tell you…
many years ago, I was wandering along a leafy lane, close to where I lived at that time, when I found an old stone cross at the side of the road. Not that unusual, you might think, Cornwall has numerous stone crosses; however, this ‘was’ unusual in that it had never been there before, yet it looked as if it had always been there.
Upon that cross were written the words – in Latin – that roughly translated as ‘One day in a million I shall appear, to show you the way, then I shall disappear.’ My Degree in Latin – although non-existent – has always been a help to me at those times when a roughly incorrect Latin translation is required.
Back to the message – ‘The way to what?’ you might ask. And, even if you don’t, I shall answer you thus, as if you had.
I don’t know. I was flummoxed and a little non-plussed, my nom-de-guerre had become all guerre-de-nom, if not with a little confusion added on the side.
I sought help – which is highly believable, if you know me – and found it in the shape of one Professor Tremaine Penholder – there not being two of him – a Cornish institution (such as the Cornish County Asylum at Bodmin) with a wealth of experience under his belt, and a pocket-knife, in his pocket.
He showed me his pocket-knife, but was rather blunt (as wqs his pocket-knife) about my lack of interest in it. Then he asked me what I knew about fourteenth century peasants – I admitted to knowing little, then after he questioned me upon what I knew, I admitted to knowing nothing apart from when they were likely to have been present in history – he was rather impressed with this and offered me his help with my Cornish Conundrum.
“Nine letters, you say?” he asked. I nodded.
“And we only have thirty seconds in which to decipher the hidden word?”
I nodded again.
“Okay!” he announced. “Let’s just do this!”
SFX Countdown Music
As the music started the strangely hidden word appeared and we stared at it.
Less than thirty seconds later we had it.
“GoonHavern!” We both shouted – we were wrong, GoonHavern has ten letters.
After a further week of due consideration we realised that the word wasn’t ‘Penzance’ or ‘Tintagel’ but ‘Merrymeet’.
The riddle was solved.
Well, that one was.
We then turned back to our task of deciphering the meaning of the translated-into-English-Latin-message that we had received from the illusory cross.
Tremaine poured over some ancient texts – trying to see who was sending them to him; eventually, I persuaded him to put his phone away and get on with the job in hand.
We soon (also, eventually) realised that somewhere in Cornwall there was also a Brigadoon- type place that appeared once every two thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven years for the space of a day.
The cross was a marker. And we had missed the date of the appearance of Trebrigadoon.
“Oh, well, maybe next time.” said Tremaine calmly. “I shall put the date in my diary.”
So, somewhere in Cornwall, in two-thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven years time…
Owan: Never say ‘rabbi’ in a boat.
Duloe: Rabbi? It should be ‘rabbit’, never say ‘rabbit’ in a boat; though, saying that, saying ‘rabbit’ in a boat doesn’t make much sense either, but it makes more sense than ‘rabbi’.
Owan: Yes. But, what should I be saying in a boat?
Duloe: ‘Land ahoy! Raise anchor! Shiver me timbers!’
Owan: When was the last time you went on a boat? 1780?
Duloe: I come from a long line of seafarers – it says so on my family tree. My father went to sea at Newquay, as did his brother, and my mother, too. Until they got bored and gave it up.
Owan: Your parents were ‘surfers’ and they went in the sea at Newquay to surf – with a surf ‘board’.
Duloe: How do you know all this stuff?
Owan: Because we are brothers.
Duloe: Oh. Did your parents also go to sea, then?
Their dog then proceeded to jump overboard.