I’ve come down to Cornwall for the week while my husband Remus is on tour in Romania (playing Lalo ‘Symphonie Espagnole’ with the George Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, if anyone’s interested!). My parents live down here, in the house my late grandparents moved into when I was just 4 years old.
This is a retreat for me. I’m not sure I cared for it that much as a child, other than to play on the beach once a year, but now I find myself coming down more and more often, for longer and longer. I love it and now my grandparents are no longer here I love it even more because it’s not only beautiful but a part of my history. My parents moved a few times, from Netley where I grew up, to Rhu in Scotland where I finished school and so I always felt I didn’t have somewhere to go “home” to in the holidays – every time I visited they were in a different house or flat. So this place is the only one with links to my childhood and now they have taken on the house and are gradually working on it and making it an even nicer place to be, I feel really lucky to have it to come and get away from the noise and traffic of the Finchley Road.
The boys love it too. We are a five minute walk from a beautiful beach with soft, yellow sand and shallow water (albeit down a very steep hill with cobbled fisherman’s cottages on either side, which you have to heff back up again on the way home). There’s something very special about the first time you see your children playing on the same spot of the same beach you first did aged five. There’s a comforting endurance about it that anchors you in a fast-paced, ever-changing modern life. It’s calm, peaceful, everything my normal life isn’t and a few lungfuls of the powerfully clean air knocks me out for a great night’s sleep. Cornwall also has something really special about its light. I don’t know what it is, but I can spot in one split second a photo taken down here from the way it’s lit and I’m always taking thousands of photos (even more than usual) in an attempt to catch every shade of the ever changing skies. So it seems I have a growing love affair with this place! I hope we’ll be coming here for many, many years.