We are just over halfway through our annual  pilgrimage to our heavenly home from home – Penventinue Manor Farm, Fowey – and I feel like shouting to the world…well, the rest of the UK…”Cornwall is NOT closed!”


We have all seen the dramatic footage over the last few months of this beautiful part of the country being literally ripped apart by the storms. However, what hasn’t been covered as much by the media is the sheer force of determination of the Cornish people to repair and renew their damaged properties and businesses in time for the new season.

Just walking through town which, according to locals, “was not badly hit” compared to other areas, you can see the last bits of reparation being completed, lots of freshly painted white buildings and newly planted window boxes adding bright splashes of Spring colour. The many businesses, whether branches of larger chains like Joules, Seasalt and Boots or smaller independent businesses like Quay Bakery Ltd, Mrs Noahs Gifts, Bookends of Fowey  and The Lifebuoy Cafe have all burst into bloom, like the famous  Cornish hedges surrounding the town, and the welcome is as warm as ever.

So, please support Cornwall and the many other areas of the country hit by the storms by not assuming they are all washed out and come and visit! If you are worried, contact your chosen destination to check they are open, don’t just assume they are not. And if you can’t visit in person, try to support the many small businesses that sell on-line. Here are just a few of my personal favourites: Cornishbirdinthesticks, Lou Tonkin, Welbeck Tiles.

Let’s show these fabulous people that their determination, dedication and sheer hard work has been worth it, Cornwall is OPEN!!



Since becoming a ‘lady of leisure’ in September when my youngest went to school, I may have (very occasionally) found myself with a cuppa in front of the dreaded day time TV!

Now, I don’t go in for the Jeremy Kyle/Loose Women type of viewing but tend to stick with the good old BBC where I can find some easy viewing with an informative edge, think Homes Under the Hammer, Escape to the Country and Bargain Hunt.

Last week I found myself watching Flog It! If you haven’t yet experienced this programme, it is a little like the Antiques Roadshow but instead of the members of the public responding to the experts valuations of Granny’s antique brooch or Great Granddad’s collection of glass eyeballs with a “It will never be sold!” this show’s participants are refreshingly honest in their response of ‘I never liked it!’ and ‘Lovely, that’ll go towards our new extension!’ Another common response is ‘I’m getting on now, so need to have a clear out.’ This response keeps on popping back into my head; it really made me pause for thought. 

We seem to spend our working lives trying to accumulate ‘things’ – things for the house, things for the family, things just because, things.  We surround ourselves with belongings that are both necessary for everyday life and those which are not necessary but help us to be taken back to a happy occasion,   to think of loved ones or to bring a sense of joy with just a glance around a room – a shell from that fabulous beach holiday, a family photo in a lovingly decorated frame, a collection of jars filled with buttons!

Family Photo  Pebble Photo

Button Photo

However, it seems that in the autumn of our days, all these things become somewhat of a burden – if not to their owner then to the family and friends left behind when a person has passed away.  I wonder, should we strive for so many things when in the end they are just given away? Isn’t this a huge waste of time, effort and, in these environmentally conscious days, precious resources? Or are the actions which result in the accumulation of things – interacting with others, enjoying time with family, relishing the beauty around us – the whole meaning and purpose of life itself?

I don’t know the answer.  What I do know is, regardless of the ribbing I get from Mr F, I will continue to watch the odd bit of day time TV because, it really does make you think!