Up until a couple of years ago I lived in Islington, London. I worked as an inner-city school teacher, teaching youngsters year 10 through 13. Some of the hardships these children endured were shocking. Far too many did not want to go home at the end of the school day because school was the better option. But, their resilience was inspirational. When the doom and gloom, pedaled by journalists to make us all despair at the state of the world, got me down, a day at work would put it all in perspective.
The young people I worked with were a tonic. Teachers are privileged people. I was reminded on a daily basis that the kids coming through, the ones that are going to inherit the mess that our politicians leave behind them, are just like we were. Bright, energetic, keen to grasp life and learning despite what we are constantly told to the contrary. Kids today are not, by any means, all knife wielding drug taking ‘hoodies’ with little respect for law, order or anything else for that matter. They’re out there of course, but they are such a tiny minority. Teaching reminded me of that, daily.
Sadly, I became ill and had to retire from work, way way too early. I left the city, and the job I loved to move to Cornwall. I first came to Cornwall at the age of 3 and have such vivid memories of that time. My parents rented a house in Fowey. It was a little way along from the Bodinnick Ferry terminus We’d gather on the balcony, my brothers and sister and me, to watch the ferry come in below us. Watch the little boat with its powerful outboard manoeuver the floating platform, that could accommodate half a dozen cars, to the slipway. We’d wave at the Ferryman and the people in their cars on those bright, always sunny mornings. We could fish from that balcony, the cellar used to flood at the highest tide and it was the most wonderful house. The house is called appropriately enough, Ferry View and it can still be rented for holidays.
Coming to Cornwall was a big decision but I haven’t regretted it. It’s not as sunny as I recall from childhood but then, I get to enjoy all the seasons here now. I moved into a cottage in the heart of the Cornish countryside, just outside Roche. From here it’s a 15 minute drive to the north and the south coasts and a great location.
I’m now for the most part reliant on a wheelchair if I have to walk any real distance but I’m not going to let that rather annoying inconvenience stop me exploring this beautiful county, photographing the journey and writing a little about the history of the places I visit along the way.
I have now received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). I half expected this outcome. The Internet is a wonderful tool for self diagnosis and self-misdiagnosis but on this one I got it right. I will continue my journey and will continue to share it with you. My photography is more important to me now than ever! :-)