Monday, 12 April 2010

Signs of spring

It is a three peg day:the northerly wind is strong enough to make the washing whip backwards and forwards on the line, but the sun is out, and at the start of the walk there is a cellophane haze of heat over the field next to my parking place. The soil is so recently flattened and rolled that there is not even a hint as yet of green shoots; just earth and stone.

The wind-blasted shrubs amongst the gorse are struggling into life: I see catkins and, on the ground, violets and primroses.

The man sitting in the sunshine on the low wooden bench at the cliff edge just beyond the kissing gate is George Wilson. He is wearing a navy and beige Pringle jumper, and has a head of thick white hair -the wind plays with it - a white moustache and a Scottish lilt to his voice although he left Scotland in 1953. He has walked down to the coast path from his home on what was once part of the parkland of the Bassett family mansion house.

I tell George I am writing an "internet diary" thinking he may not be interested in computers and blogging. I feel a little foolish when I discover that George is an engineer who has used computers most of his working life, and owns an Apple Mac. These days he is the secretary of the Trevithick Society. The Society, named after the celebrated Cornish engineer and Camborne man Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), exists to preserve and study Cornwall's industrial past.When we finish talking I leave George sitting on the bench surveying the silvered surface of the sea.

Heather Hosking

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