Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome to Cornwall, home of the gratuitous diatribe by disaffected sixtysomethings

The obscure website to which I subscribe which claims to ‘monitor’ traffic to this blog — and I don’t even begin to understand how it works or why it even exists — tells me that I had a recent visitor who arrived here after following up links to ‘Cornwall’. Well, Lord knows what he or she made of this blog. The most recent entry is merely and unshamed plug for my novel (should that be ‘novel’) which, I am sure, will have fallen on deaf ears, and the entry before that was a bad-tempered outburst about ‘hacks’ and quite how awful they are (for which I make no apology: two days ago, I bought Private Eye. The former Mail news editor who has recently been promoted to assistant editor and now sits on the features desk (and who is otherwise rather a good egg) borrowed it to read. When I got it back, I discovered he had come across a story he wanted the Mail to follow up and had simply ripped out a page. Now call me old-fashioned, but I find that quite a bizarre thing to do. To his credit he replaced my copy with the copy the news editor gets and apologised profusely. But it was a paradigm of the kind of thing which goes on among hacks.
But my visitor, in search of references to all things Cornish will surely have wondered what the bloody hell my diatribe against hacks has to do with Cornwall, Kernow, tin, tourism, obesity, teenage pregnancy, poor housing, retired diplomats, non-Cornish in twee pixie hats trying to flow you tat in the resorts on the south coast, scruffy ‘museums’ claiming to prove that King Arthur’s Camelot was just north of Camelford (motto: ‘never let a chance nominal resemblance go to waste and screw the public for all its worth’, though to be fair there are the remains of a castle — though admittedly not a lot — at Tintagel which is said to have been the home of Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon and where Arthur was born), and generally loads of Brummy, Lancshire and London immigrants trying to cobble together a living.
Cornwall is one of those places which sounds romantic from afar but which turns out to be something quite different once you get here. Newquay, for example, is a hole, full of drunken teens pissing away their welfare payments. Lord, this is turning into yet another diatribe. Must spend the rest of the day pretending I am not over 60.
PS For those who are interested, I am taking Pottery, my stepmother’s 19-year-old cat to the vet’s to have his bandage replaced. He recently had a cyst removed.
Have a nice day.

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