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"End to End via the Margins"
-the diary of a walk.

- Land's End to Leedstown


It was the easiest day for walking you could imagine: early mist gave way to fitful sunshine and a gentle breeze. It wasn't wet, it wasn't cold and it wasn't hot. From time to time, birds sang, and the air was often full of scent, the sweet smell of gorse or, in Marazion, wallflowers. There were flowers all over the place, magnolias, camellias (sp?), forsythia. Maybe that's no big deal, but it's a lot different from the Sheffield I left, still half in winter despite the warm weather. And there were the fields of daffodils...

...because flowers are part of this economy. Much of agriculture here is under the cosh, but operators are still willing to rent fields to farm daffodils. My bed and breakfasts hosts in Leedstown tonight, Tom and Joan Christophers, had plenty to say about the industry. Tom is a "retired" faarmer who still grows some veg.. He said how cattle farming had got much harder since BSE, and milk was only 16-17p a litre for the farmer. He told a story of a colleague who had a whole crop of lettuces rejected by a well known supermarket because they couldn't quite get to the required size in time. All that waste! Like South Yorkshire, Cornwall has been in recipt of European "objective one" money; but it's hard to spend it wisely.

Anyway, I rush ahead. There are lots of old things on the moorlands at the extreme tip of England, really old. There are mounds, ancient villages, old mine workings, witnesses to change, witnesses to the world not being as it used to be. But do we yearn for what used to be? Did iron age people regret that their burial mounds were not being looked after properly any more?

Some traditions continue: I passed two old fashioned gypsy caravans, still in use. Some people will still take the travelling life.

Everywhere I go, the war is not far away, the flags, the headlines, the television. Culdrose helicopter base is a few miles from here, and ISTR two people from there were killed. Tragedy is with us wherever we go.

Pictures from today...
Horse in the mist - early morning near Land's End
The ancient village
Saint Michael's Mount
Living God, as the world changes,
and leaves behind
burial mounds, villages, workings, industries,
ways of working, ways of holding faith,
the trail of history;
we pray for people left behind:
help them discover a stake in the world of the new, and,
eternal God, ever new,
let us not forget you in the rush towards tomorrow.
God, who in Jesus was a refugee in Egypt,
we pray for travelling people,
for their security and safety.
We pray for ourselves, that we may have respect for those whose ways of life are non standard,
for you made us all.
Merciful God, we pray for people in the armed services,
facing danger because of doing their job,
and for the relatives of those who have died.
Give comfort to those who mourn, hope to the fearful,
and peace for the sake of everybody,
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
© Bob Warwicker. The words here may be reproduced freely, but not for gain, or without attribution. All alterations must have the permission of the author.