A method in the madness?

Methodism and the Cornish Miner: a worthwhile read of you have 30mins.

I was given this pamphlet recently by a friend of a friend. It was produced in 1960. It’s the type of thing that could easily Have been lost! I found it a worthwhile short read -but then again I can identify with being brought up in the 70s in the pews of Cornish Methodism.

This account details how at a certain point in history, the church and its activities had a great effect… (?)

Even if you have no spiritual life/faith, Christian ideas have always given practical advice about how to handle failure, dejection and loss… etc.

It may be no accident that the huge increase in the incidence of common mental health issues seems to coincide with the decline of religion in the West and the loss of a whole tradition experienced in dealing with, if not answering, life’s unanswerable questions. There might be extreme misdirection but there might be also valuable insights offered by Christian teaching if you can fend off the theological language and hoopla in which it’s dressed.
Download a scanned copy here – GDRIVE link: Methodism and the Cornish Miner

Download a scanned copy here – DROPBOX link: Methodism and the Cornish Miner


Pilgrimage, going outside for some time…

Gotta make it positive! (says the little sprite on my right shoulder).  Awwh *!£#@!##%! !*#&*! (says the little !*#&* on t’other)…

It must have been 15 years or so ago that I wrote “We’re going outside, I may be sometime…”

Sun sets on St Ives
Sun sets on St Ives
‘We’re going outside and we may be some time’
Twenty-five years I grew, nurtured on Cornwall and the Cornish manner, the Cornishness that is now part of me. I still day-dream, of a ‘T’ shirt that announces “I’m Cornish and proud of it…” …is that all I have to cling to? (I haven’t even got this day-dream of mine).
I spent a childhood full of Cornwall’s riches: pebbles a sand, fIzzypop in cans, wind and rain, tunnels, holes, alleys & bunkers, vast sun-scorched gorse torched views, I could see both coasts from our bathroom window.
Spirits of the sea always whisper to me, the loudest whispers I’ve ever heard. I’ve heard in Leicestershire, Crewe and Nice, I saw a little red boat barely afloat.
I cried at the beauty surrounding me as the holidayers screamed and sizzled and I laughed. I sat alone at the end of the phone, I ran with the gang, at low tide, across St Ives Bay, on new years day. We drank and we sang and played in the band. Gran bought saffron buns at Sunday-school treat, and pasties and pasties and pasties. Slept in the snow on the rocks on Carn Brea, laughed at what nan a grandad would say (that’s not the grandad that died in the fishing boat accident). Ate winkles with pins and vinegar picked from Porthleven harbour, got filthy. Held on tight as the storm wind rips so hard it bites. Sat in a haystack in the sun and got covered in mites. I’ve lay for hours and been soaked up by the whole of Mounts Bay, on the clearest ever, hottest ever, hottest ever day. Walked home at midnight from to Camborne from Hayle, met a girl in Redruth and another in St Just, got drunk in Crantock, earnt a wage in St Ives ‘ saw a dream in St Austell, learnt some verbs in Fowey… grew towards man from boy in Cornwall…
…only, they’re all memories.
I return and see the most rugged of faces smile and share the day like children returning to play, waves so worn from years of scorn, skies so blue they seem brand new. A scarred town refuses to frown, yet sings and raises its glasses, everywhere I look I see me and I see pasty smiles, rugby miles, unique Cornwall style saying this is us but we do say we.
I’ve moved away now, don’t know why, but I know I can’t go back. Jane’s not there, Craig’s gone, David’s moved off, So has Jon. Matthew’s in Manchester, Lisa’s in Suffolk, Richard’s in Cardiff, Kay’s in Bath, Lee is in Luton and Mark is in Crewe, and I’m in Leicester for something to do. Cornwall, in essence, has everything, God and the Devil are surely within. but it hasn’t got what I’m looking for. . . . what am I looking for?
I’m going outside and I may be some time…

I caught a podcast recently where Ernie Rea and his guests discussed “Pilgrimage”.
Beyond Belief’ BBC Radio 4 : “Every year more than 100 million people around the world go ‘on pilgrimage’, the biggest mass migration of people on the planet. Two and a half million Muslims visited Mecca for last year’s Hajj and over 600,000 visited Graceland to worship at the shrine of Elvis Presley. Is there something in the human psyche which seeks fulfillment from… [pilgrimage]?”

I understand pilgrimage to be: a journey outside the norm or an escape to something significant – typically aiming for a place of importance central to or ‘at the heart of’ a person’s world view. A seeking to discover, understand or be healed? The ‘quest’ is sometimes linked with oracles and finding a source of counsel or understanding. It would seem this is a common human experience that has been specifically studied and written on widely.

To venture outside of the norm…
I read books to discover? escape? understand?
I watch films to discover? escape? understand?
I listen to music to discover? escape? understand?
I sing and play music to discover? escape? understand?
I cycle to discover? escape? understand?
I surf the web to discover? escape? understand?
I imbibe festival and celebrations to discover? escape? understand?
I wander the countryside to discover? escape? understand?
I feed the birds and talk to my pets to discover? escape? understand?
I live to discover? escape? understand?

Most weekends we have a holiday “Holy Day” where we make an effort to do something to discover, escape, understand or experience something out of the ordinary.
Are we ourselves on an ongoing macro-(micro?)-pilgrimage to the outside?

I wonder as I wander… outside for sometime…

I never knew…

PZ. 114 “The Energetic’ (The Richards Family – Porthleven pre-1948)

Em and I have been having a bit of a ‘Downton Abbey Fest’ recently, watching the first series on BT Vision. We missed it the first time round; I guess sumt else was on at the same time and to be honest the prospect did not appeal.
But for me the notions of atavism, ghosts, ubuntu, or summint are never far from the surface. And DA certainly pricks a few bubbles – as did the new ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ last year. Where are we from and who are we? I never knew…
Yes, I ‘m aware that it WAS tough… and I have no doubt that “we don’t know we’re born”, but… watching these early 1900s  period dramas brings on a feeling of loss, a certain sadness, as well as a glassy warmth of romance and starched better values(?)
I know I was a babe in the 1970s, but the very little that I recall from paternal nana Daisy’s life from “Wilfred Villa” Breageside in Porthleven, is a world away from now and rings of days gone by that I never knew but possibly did get a hint of… 
I recall a pantry and ‘the cabin’. I recall the smell of the cliff-side kitchen, brassware and wooden furniture. Picture rails, chair arm covers, dinner gongs. I was of course on a lower level and recall the mystery of big heavy doors with wooden(?) keyhole covers. Big warm rooms and cold hallways. Big wooden furniture, leather, silver, copper… introduced plastic that struggled to fit with the rest of the room…  Leather satchels, big warm coats – we don’t wear big warm coats anymore! Cars without seatbelts, the back seat on the long trip home… the feel of plastic car-seat on my cheek… sleep.
It’s only a start, I really can’t recall what I might remember, who knows what we soak up when we’re young… perhaps ’twas a previous life… but I DO KNOW, I never knew something…


Joy! Warm and satisfying? Cool and fuzzy?

We made time today just to chill – we took ourselves and the kids to Bradgate for a stroll. Just walking in the fresh air was a great tonic against the noise of ‘daily stuff’.
With the kids it can be* easy to make any simple thing into an adventure (*given opportunity – but that’s another story). An unplanned portion of cake and a coffee helped halfway round!
Just sitting watching how the kids are growing into little people with ideas and characters of their own is grounding. Emma asked “can you see the deer?!” and P said “yes, I need a beer!” (not sure where that came from).
The clarity of the autumnal sky is striking. The seasonal adaption of nature; shrinking, slowing, fading – the moderation from the ornamentation of summer can be cleansing.
Back home we had a quick look back at some home-movie of A&P from a few years back and were reminded of the miracle of growth, and the blessings of shared experience.
Perhaps it’s difficult to summarise feelings of joy? It’s seems to be not an objective incident but a fleeting human feeling or thought that can either be embraced or ignored? Let’s just say; if you hear a breath, absorb it; if you see a wisp, grab hold of it; if you receive anything, share it, somehow!
Joy and life will not last – if it’s real, then after blooming, it may well eventually relax and rest back for a new awakening with someone else, at another time, in another place.
The tides of Mount’s bay and a private Camelot will always come and go, at least in my mind they will. It’s miraculous how they can be ‘felt’ over high fields in Charnwood. Count your blessings, name them one by one…

My only concern is that this joy seems a selfish experience, and is often not shared with others. That’s what’s missing… I feel that light, when kept to oneself is not true light but darkness. If it cannot be seen then it will not rejuvenate, it may as well die.
Ooops slipped, this post was intended to be a positive post.
Had a good walk amongst blue sky today! Hope you have too.
Happy days! 


Don’t tell ma Cornish Cousins…

Carrot and mushrooms?! I’ll be struck off!!To be honest we usually put Mushrooms in but our oggies but this time we also were short of turnip (or swede to you english) and so carrot it had to be! (carrot with a tad cardamom cumin & honey). Yup, I might as well be Devonian, the relies will not speak t’me for years! It’s bad enough that I live in England!Anyway…
Beef skirt, Teddies, Onions, Carrot!? (would ideally be Turnip), Mushrooms…
Pastry… you choose, should be short crust but them in Redruth do it different to them in Camborne…
Stick it in with a liberal mix of salt and pepper. Egg the seam.
Crimp the ‘ugger! 
Ready for the range!
Happy days! …tomorrow!