St Agnes and environs

Before I go back to work tomorrow, time for a quick entry on the holiday.

Our friends have a bungalow in the village of St Agnes on the north west coast of Cornwall. There’s a fantastic beach nearby called Chapel Porth, the cliffs and landscape are amazing, and generally we are extremely lucky to be able to go there and relax.

Cliffs near St Agnes

The old industry of Cornwall, tin mining, is still very much in evidence. The abandoned engine houses are a familiar sight as you walk along the cliffs.

Through the arches Wheal Coates from the beach

We spent five days by ourselves, and then Ola’s parents and sister came down to join us. They had never been to Cornwall before. We were really lucky with the weather, since the heatwave that the UK is currently experiencing was cooled by the sea breezes enough to make it mostly bearable, and we only had a couple of days of bad weather towards the end of the week.

Sweeping away Watching the sunset

I’m not much of a beach person… I enjoy the occasional swim, but just lying around is really difficult. So I took the opportunity to take some “arty” shots (see above), and catch up on some reading. In my post before going away, I mentioned a number of books that I was intending to get through. As it happened, once we got to Cornwall we shopped for more… so I ended up not touching the Pratchett, and reading some other books instead.

Who Moved My Blackberry? by Martin Lukes is seriously funny, and a very quick read – it was ideal for the beach really. It’s a novel in the form of a series of e-mails from a “thrusting” senior manager in his early forties… you rarely get to read any of the replies. I found it hilarious, a great exercise in ripping fun out of corporatespeak, rebranding and “morale-boosting” initiatives.

Winston’s War by Michael Dobbs was a much more dense read and took me most of the holiday (mind you, it was 700 pages). At first I didn’t enjoy it at all, but I did eventually get caught up in the intrigue and drama. It’s effectively a docudrama in book form… a historical drama based around the outbreak of the Second World War, covering political intrigues in Britain from early 1938 to early 1940. As an historian by education, I’ve always been fascinated by Churchill as a character, and once he’d actually been allowed to have more of the limelight, this book was really very gripping, but just long. I’ve added the sequels, Never Surrender and Churchill’s Hour, to my Amazon wishlist.

I finally started to read my way through Have I Got Views for You by Boris Johnson, which is pretty funny and an interesting perspective on the past 12 years of UK politics. It’s a collection of his columns from the Spectator and Telegraph, so it is pretty easy to dip into at leisure.

More photos here – everything after the shot of the multicoloured nets is from this past week. Let me know what you think. More to add when I have time…

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