Wind and Wuthering

Holiday win, as the young folks might say. The village is quaint, the coastline dramatic and our cottage, nestled against a cliff above a small but perfectly formed fishing harbour, comes with its own working well, terraced garden and gun emplacement (though I’m not sure the cannon still works).

I’ve done a little writing, but also found time to walk some of the coastal path, which passes outside our front door, and revisit old favourites in the Cornish countryside, such as the Minack theatre and Lanyon quoit.

But it hasn’t all been relaxation and cream teas, oh no…

Yesterday myself and my friend S visited another friend in Falmouth, which involved taking a 20 minute ferry ride across the estuary of the river Fal. On the way out, we sat on the top deck, which was breezy but scenic. On the way back, on the last ferry of the day, the crew advised us to go below into the ‘lounge’. As came out of the harbour into open water I realised there were two reasons for this: firstly, because they don’t like losing passengers overboard, and secondly, because they needed the ballast. There were times, as I clung to a porthole cover while the view outside alternated between open sky and the trough between waves, when I questioned my agnosticism, and considered just nominating a deity and praying to him/her/it.

The storm rolled in overnight. Having visited the pub to calm my nerves I slept through most of it. However, just before dawn I was woken up by a UFO. At least, that’s what I thought it was. Then I realised that I was looking out at a large Search and Rescue helicopter, hovering at eye level about twenty metres from my bedroom window. I looked down to see three emergency vehicles parked in the road-cum-river  and a number of people in dayglow waterproofs milling about.

It transpired that a car had been washed into the harbour, trashing several fishing boats en route. Fortunately no one was hurt but it was, as one of the locals commented, ‘the most exciting thing to happen in Portloe in years’. But perhaps there was more to it than that: I spotted a carefully unmemorable man in a dark suit with an official-looking briefcase in the car park less than half an hour after the chopper flew out to sea. Man in Black, anyone?

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