I have found a new word, one which sums up perfectly my trip to Penzance. Gloose. The Cornish for grey-green.
I should come clean from the start. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Cornwall. It just feels so foreign to me - so far from home, the coast so harsh and rocky, unlike the gentler muddy, gritty flats I am used to on the east coast. Spend a winter in Cornwall and the dampness seeps into the bones and makes the joints ache. I speak from experience.
Somehow though something changed on this visit and I'm not quite sure how or why. Visiting at the end of October, I did not expect fine weather, so the interludes of sunshine between the hail and showers were an unexpected bonus. The views from our attic room of a cold grey sea on one side were tempered by mossy slates, ferny walls and a lush churchyard at the back, the trunks of the cordylines home to exquisite leafy lichens.
Mature agaves were growing by the great granite gravestone slabs, offsets establishing themselves in the gaps between.
The town was full of previously undiscovered surprises. Earlier visits to Penzance have been short, passing through to catch the Scillonian for holidays in St Agnes. I must have missed the beautiful granite paving stones, scored in herringbones and stripes, so beautifully worn it was as much as I could manage not to stop and stroke it.
Then there was the wedding, of course, the main reason for our visit.
The bride wore white. But the groom kindly went with the glooseflow.