So let’s pretend we’re going to spend a week on the Cornish Riviera. I took these pictures on my first trip to England in 1996. I had been doing linguistic fieldwork in rural Mexico for more than a year and wanted to go someplace different. Mission accomplished! England is very different from Mexico, from the food to the silence on the buses. (No blaring pop music! How do they stay awake?) And beautiful, my stars! Those Brits aren’t just bragging when they sing about their green and pleasant land.
I was also surprised and delighted to discover that Tolkein did not invent the Shire out of whole cloth. Evidently he took a walking tour of Cornwall and just wrote what he saw. Their bunnies really are hoppy and fluffy, not like rangy Texas jackrabbits. Their foxes really are red — bright red — with brushy tales. It’s all true, folks!
My first novel starts out in Cornwall, which is why I went there. (That’s the unpublished historical romance.) I’d go back in a minute, but my stories have moved on and there are so many roads I haven’t yet taken. Ah, well. Armchair travel is better in the hot season anyway. So let’s go!
A walking tour through time
The best thing about Cornwall, apart from the breath-taking beauty, is the depth of the historical context you pass through as you walk. Humans first reached the region in the Paleolithic period, and that’s enough history for today. It’s too hot to blog, remember?
(These pictures were taken by me, alas, with a pocket-sized film camera, in the days before auto-focus and jitter-control.)