Nine years ago, I gave up my amazing job in television in Sydney and traded in my harbour-view office for a view of the Fowey River in Cornwall. Fortunately, my now husband Matt (and Border Collies Gemma and Toby) came with me, and we literally sold up and shipped our lives to a small town in South East Cornwall. We began a journey that has challenged us – and rewarded us – more than we could ever imagine.
Part of the reason I was so drawn to Cornwall was that I have a lot of Cornish ancestry. My ancestors were miners from West Penwith, the sparse, rocky, most westerly part of the Cornish peninsula. They were tough people who, forced by economic depravation, sought a better life in Australia and, having barely travelled further than Penzance before, travelled to Plymouth, and then sailed for Adelaide, where they followed the mass-migration of their countrymen and women to the copper fields of South Australia. When gold was discovered in country Victoria they headed east, eventually to settle in what is now the celebrated spa town of Daylesford, but what then must have been a much tougher place to live.
Inspired by their journey, but also feeling the need to connect deeply to the land of my ancestors, I made several trips to Cornwall before finally deciding to move in 2006. Since then, Matt and I have married and had three children – the first, Daisy, proudly claims she is Cornish (as she was born in Truro), the second and third, our twins Freddie and Clemmie, have to put up with being labelled “Janners” (a colloquial name for Plymouthians) as they were born in Plymouth. Which is where we now live, as it’s easier for Matt with work. But I still dream of a day when I’ll be able to call Cornwall home again, it’s the place where I truly feel at home.
In the meantime, I get to Cornwall as often as I can. Lucky it’s only 10 minutes away! There’s nothing like the feeling of crossing the Tamar, and I’m hoping to bring to you as many of the wonderful things I love about the Duchy in this blog. But I’ll also be writing about other things that I love and that inspire me – gardening, cooking, events, family, and whatever else piques my interest. Thank you for joining me on this journey, I look forward to having your company.