Old haunts, good friends in Cornwall
Cornwall is something of a second home to us. We spent one happy year living in Porthtowan on the rugged north coast many moons ago, discovering its secret coves, nooks, crannies and unravelling the complexities of time, tide and weather on daily adventures in the ocean. These days, Cornwall is our go-to destination when we need a quick break or feel an itch for waves that the south coast can’t scratch. There’s nothing like the start of spring to inspire talks of a west country camping trip; after hearing rumours that fun waves, fine weather and good friends would all be making an appearance mid April we packed the truck, bundled up the baby and made an early start last Wednesday.
After the 7 hour car journey, there is a sense of quiet desperation to get the first glimpse of the atlantic in the hope that surf conditions will of made the drive worth the while. After making camp somewhat hastily, we headed to a cliff top vantage point from which we were pleased to see lines of swell marching shoreward, smooth in shape and lightly textured by the slightest breeze - just what we were hoping for.
Two surfs later we arranged to meet up with good friends Calum and Lauren of The Rolling Home who have recently made Cornwall their base when not on the road. We invited them to join us on our campsite which is something of a secret spot - not really resembling a campsite at all - nestled in a wooded valley on the north cliffs. They arrived in their self built T4 camper with a fridge full of meat for the barbeque and souls full of good vibes, we chatted late into the night around the campfire before turning in, Calum and Lauren to their cosy van and us to our tent. I don't mind admitting to being slightly jealous of their van, complete with diesel heater, but we were pretty toasty in our fluffy down sleeping bags despite the tent being covered in frost in the morning. We first met Calum on our inaugral Woodcarving Workshop; he very kindly took beautiful photos of the day for us in exchange for a workshop place. We invited him back a couple of years later and this time Lauren came too and we feel lucky to of collaborated many times and become good friends since.
Calum and I shared a few waves the following morning. Bright sun shining on the blue green sea did a good job of making the still chilly water feel warmer than it was. Warm enough to negate wetsuit gloves but still cold enough for boots, each duck dive was deliciously refreshing and cleansing. Sharing waves with friends is truly one of life's great joys. The rest of the day was spent on the beach and cliffs, living out of our truck and planning ways of raising enough money to buy our own rolling home.
Later on in the weekend we stopped in to visit another friend of Miscellaneous Adventures, writer and surfer Dan Crockett. I have known of Dan and his wonderful wordsmithery for many years but it wasn't until I commissioned him through Gestalten's Surf Odyssey that we were able to work together. Dan writes very beautifully about surfing and nature, sharing our enthusiasm and interest for the way in which people connect with nature. He and his wife Amy provided us with a delicious lunchtime feast and showed us around a small, somewhat neglected patch of woodland they recently acquired; we are planning to guide and assist them in transforming their plot into a haven for birds and beasts, lending both brains and brawn to their project. Dan is currently working on Wildonomics, a book which chronicles a series of social experiments designed to connect humans with nature; we can't wait to read it.
That night, we surfed again with Calum at one of Cornwall's few high tide options. Strong offshore winds combined with evening sun filled the line up with rainbows, each cresting wave generating plumes of spray that rained down upon us like April showers. Our final night in Cornwall, we celebrated a successful mission, toasting to future mini-trips with pizza and beers in the boot of the car whilst being treated to a glorious golden scene as the earth completed yet another revolution around its axis. We bid The Rolling Home farewell, headed back to our tent and snuggled down for the night.
On route back to our woodland home, we made a short detour via the studio of illustrator, designer and Feist Forest founder, Vicki Turner. Vicki has converted a 100 year old tin tabernacle into a beautiful studio space which we've been itching to visit ever since we first collaborated with Feist Forest. Vicki is one of those people who, like us, is juggling multiple creative projects. It's always refreshing and inspiring to talk through ideas with fellow makers and doers and cathartic to share some of the difficulties and challenges faced as independent creatives. We left the tin tab brimming with new thoughts and schemes and we're excited to be hatching plans for future Feist Forest x Misc. Adventures collaborations.
Arriving home, we were greeted by a sea of purple; in the 4 days we had been gone the woodland floor had been transformed into a carpet of bluebells. Although the waves and weather had been worth the journey themselves, the highlight for us was seeing old friends, making new ones and being reminded that thanks to our workshops and projects, we've been lucky to meet many wonderful people and to carve meaningful relationships that make all our hard work worthwhile.
Thanks to everyone for their hospitality and good vibes, we'll be back again soon.
With thanks to Millican, Keen Footwear, Rab and Poler for keeping us warm, dry and well equipped.