I spent last week in Cornwall on part two of my summer holidays. I’ve wanted to visit Cornwall since I moved to the UK. 7 years later and I’m finally visiting what has been described as the English Riviera. Well on day one it was all English and no Riviera. It rained like crazy while the wind laid siege to our awning. We sat inside the caravan longing for Lanzarote.

In the morning we awoke to silence. The kind of silence that typical follows a battle scene the morning after, all quiet and calm, the guns and explosions a distant memory.
The second day there was no rain, but no sun either, so we decided to visit the Eden Project.

If you’re into plants and saving the planet, the Eden Project is worth a visit. There are over a million plants on the site to include 4,000 taxa (species and cultivars)! I found the humid biome to be the best of the 3 biomes on site. I also felt inspired by the things people are making out of the trash the majority of us throw away on a daily basis.

We dipped into the historic seafaring town of Fowey for some lunch. The people who live in Fowey must drive small cars and be very fit as the streets are very narrow and everything seems to be uphill. Apparently the port of Fowey was important during the Middle Ages as a trade route between Ireland and continental Europe. Pirates also found the place attracted as they used to prey on the ships in the Channel.

On Monday the Riviera weather returned. I woke up to sun and blue sky and an early morning jogger. He’s dedicated. I’m not. I brought my running gear with the intent to carry on with my running routine like I do most holidays, but somehow I just couldn’t muster up the motivation. I also brought my Mac with intent to work on the book in the mornings, but the Power of Chill got the better of me and I settled into my lawn chair with a cup of coffee and watched the sunrise over the sea instead.

I had some very odd dreams during this holiday; probably from the Cornish mead I drank each night before bed. In one dream, I was on a canoe trip with a friend. We stopped near a building so I could go pee. As I was relieving myself, the floor shook and I heard a loud thud. I ran out of the building and discovered that part I was in had come apart from the main build. There were people rescuing folks from the building. I joined in the rescue. In the line of girls I was rescuing, most of them were topless.

In another dream, we were on a long distance trek. We stopped inside a cave system to rest for the night. There was a big hole in the middle of the cave called the Devil’s Pit or something like that. We dropped a few things down the pit and almost immediately they caught fire. After we set up camp, another group came in and got mixed in with our group. It started to rain inside the cave. I tried crawling into my sleeping bag, but someone from the other group had left their baby at the head of my sleeping bag. I pushed the baby aside and crawled into my bag.

Then all of a sudden, a group of African tribesmen raided our camp. They took us all hostage. The queen of the tribe singled me out and had her people mix a special formula. They motioned for me to put my penis on a grill like table. I was reluctant at first because I thought they were going to cut it off. But the queen made it obvious she wanted me sexually, so I put my thing on the grill. Then her people spread this stuff on my thing. The queen led my to a different cave and jumped my bones. The men of the tribe didn’t like this idea and started rebelling against the queen. I went berserk, pulled out a sword and went Conan on the tribesmen, killing all of them. I tried to save the queen, but they speared her before I could. I freed the people fro, my group and the other group and we continued on our trek.

Drinking mead before bed might not be the best of ideas!

Wednesday turned into August…my birth month. I’ll be 39 on the 21st. Instead of feeling a crises coming on, I feel emotionally settled. In fact, this is the most settled I’ve felt for years. The difference is now I want things because I want them, not because I lack something. I don’t feel like I’ve lost something that can’t be found. I’m not in a state of longing to be somewhere else, but where I am. I know what I want. I want a hat with character.

I’ve been looking for a hat with character since I left Lanzarote. Marco, my dive master, had a cool hat that fit him perfectly. His hat reflected his character. Marco sported an Australian bush hat, a Barmah hat. Talk about synchronicity, since I left Lanzarote these Barmah hats have been springing into my consciousness.

The night before coming down to Cornwall, I was at a petrol station filling up with petrol. A car pulls up to the pump next to me and out jumps a wild man in shorts, constructions boots and a Barmah hat. I say wild man because he had very long grey hair and a long grey beard. He looked like he had just stepped out of the bush, well apart from the Bluetooth headset he was wearing.

And then on Monday in Looe, I saw three more people wearing these Barmah hats. This had to me more than just coincidence. I needed to find a Barmah hat. Where else to turn, but to the lady who sold me the mead. I asked her about these hats and where I might find one. And wouldn’t you know it, she knows a place down a back alley that sells leather goods. She suggested I try there.

I found them. I found the source of the Barmah hats in Looe of all places! It was like receiving a magical helmet from Athena. I now have my hat with character.

Looe, the town we stayed in, is home to Cornwall’s second largest fishing fleet and is Cornwall’s second most important port. We spent some time wandering the main drag dipping in out of the touristy shops. No trip to Cornwall is complete without having Cornish cream tea and scones. The place we ate at had scones the size of my hands. The cream was divine.

Looe also has a nice a beach and some decent restaurants to suit most tastes.

Ok, I need to wrap this post up. I had some valuable insight into enlightenment, but I’ll tell you about that in a follow on post. I’ll leave you with this last titbit: I spent one lazy afternoon at the campsite flying a sports kite. I found kite flying to be a tremendous Zen-like experience. There’s something about dancing with the wind, feeling its currents and becoming one with its flow.



  1. chesca August 6, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    i know that your dream was not the meat of the matter of this entire post (no pun intented)
    but it is all very freudian.
    thanks for sharing.
    glad you had a good trip (vacation wise and mead trip wise)

  2. Clay Lowe August 6, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    ha! i was afraid they might be a bit freudian, chesca.

  3. Anndi August 7, 2007 at 3:23 am

    I’m actually going to take a closer look at those dreams my friend, there’s something there. Boldness, for some reason that’s the word that comes to mind.
    That hat suits you wonderfully dear friend, very very fetching!

    I’m glad I wandered back to you tonight.

    Hugs and kisses

  4. Clay Lowe August 7, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    awww you’re making me blush, anndi.

  5. Beaman August 11, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Can you tell me the exact name of the Mead you drank before having the first dream with the topless maidens? I’m ready to order.


Leave a Reply