And Celtic Dreams
I used to drive a milk tanker at night, and through early mornings, leave the depot on Bodmin Moor in a veil of mist and murk, drive for two hours until I reached the rugged lands surrounding Lands End, and St Michael’s Mount (Pictured below.)
A different life, a distant time. Driving through that land was like dipping your toes in another realm. The dairies were remote, tucked away in deep forgotten corners.
Old granite farmhouses that have stood for centuries, the wind buffeting, sea crashing below. Boswarthen, Calamansak, Trengwainton, Frenchman’s Creek, The Lizard
(England’s southernmost point:) all accessed by narrow corkscrew lanes; (the truck’s mirrors would scrape on stone each side leading down to picturesque Cadgwith Cove
Everyday sights included Lanyon Quoit, Trencom Hill, where the giant once threw rocks at his neighbor (Like in the Stone Giant scene from the first Hobbit Movie.) Madron Wishing Well, St Piran’s Well, The Cleave Waterfall, The Merry Maidens, and the Tristan Stone, the last a lone sentinel on the moor, a memory of that sad lost tale –– The doomed lovers, Tristan and Iseult.
A land surrounded by sea on three sides. That coastline rivals the Big Sur
, but the climate is wild, windy and wet. Tall stones lean against each other as you turn a corner, or wedge the truck in someone’s hedge trying to maneuver past the three German tourist buses scraping through.
June was best; the sun rose so early. I would gaze up, and watch stars flicker over the sea –– a sparkle, the odd one shooting down like fireworks –– the milky way painting a path from north to south, a feeling of the Earth moving underfoot. Like Ireland –– Cornwall oozes Celtic Magic, the wind whispering echoes of stories told by bards long ago.
The top image shows the cliffs at Lands End Peninsula, where Spanish galleons spilled their gold and men were drowned after the Armada, the second shows St Michael’s Mount where Comoron the Giant was defeated by Corinius first King of Cornwall. Accessed by a causeway at low tide, boat at high.
The other images are of Boscastle Harbor,
where they say King Arthur
was born –– a popular tourist spot where I drowned and crushed my Ford Van in the Great Boscastle Flood 2004.
Read the second link below for more on the Boscastle Flood. I kicked my way out of the rear window of my drowning van as it filled with water. Spent two hours in a thorn bush, hanging on, surrounded by lightning, and howling gales. Happy day, 14 years ago. 🙂
Cornwall is a must for lovers of the Celtic World. The best times to visit are May or September. Don’t Go In August –– Everyone else does!
Click the Wikipedea link below for more about Tristan and Iseult, King Arthur, Dozmary Pool, The Hurlers, The Cheesewring –– and many more subjects we’ll explore in future posts.
You can read about the Boscastle Floods Here
Next Up Our Weekly Fantasy Misadventure
Episode 15: The Ruined Town
Long legs can cover distance at need. Add a bit of incentive, like six angry pikemen still digesting breakfast, and it’s amazing how fast you can run. That said, Corin’s breath was ragged, and his high-speed shanks weighty as blocks of wood. Something in the distance. Sanctuary? Unlikely.
A dark line. More trees perhaps — not necessarily a good thing. But it least it would award a bit of cover to lurk and skulk. Deploy guerrilla tactics. They were a hundred yards or so behind him — the sluggards. The crossbowmen further back still, which was fortuitous. You have to cradle the positive like a fragile captured bird.
What’s that — buildings? Ruined walls and broken stone dwellings. Oh shit… Corin knew where he was now. Waysmeet. The lost town. Bad place. Spooky. Once a busy crossroads and trading center, but then something untoward happened. Nobody knows what. May-happen dark things from the forest crept in one night? Whatever… The rumors were not appetizing. A hamlet of shades, creeping things and choking, honking beasts in brambles. That’s what he’d heard — in taverns mostly.
|No choice. Embrace a new challenge. The crumbled walls loomed close, and Corin’s legs allowed him to crash over the nearest before sprawling flat on the dead grass. There he lay, gasping air like a hooked fish on a deck, for long panty minutes until he got some breath back.
In between rasps Corin glanced over the wall. The six had slowed to an awkward walk, their faces red and long pikes sloped across steel shoulders. The sergeant was yelling at them, but no one (including himself) seemed over excited about entering the ruined town.
Then the three crossbowmen arrived, and there followed a bit of a chat as to who should proceed. The Pikers suggested the crossbowmen, whereas these three stated great poky things would be better in such a terrain, and they’d never get a clear shot in all that tangle. The Pikers said they would, and anyway, their weapons were too long for such close quarter work. This altercation went on a bit. Eventually, the sergeant lost it and announced they’d all proceed in file together.Corin glanced around. There was plenty of cover. But nine men was a lot on an empty stomach. He wiped snot from his nostrils with the back of his hand, sighed, and then eased Clouter from its scabbard and took a long slow breath.
Close by, framed by a dead oak stood the remain of an old inn. Half a roof still showed. Up there, three crows watched him at a distance. Corin rolled; he ran ziggity-zaggity, made the inn and crept inside. It didn’t smell good, and there was a rotting dead animal in the damp fireplace. But would suffice. Corin crinkled his nose and waited.
|It wasn’t long before he heard whispers, grunts and the crunching sound of approaching feet. Somewhere an owl hooted denying the daylight. Sun might shine beyond these walls but mist and gloom held court in Waysmeet. The owl spoke again, nearer this time. Corin shivered. He felt a presence behind him.
He turned, slowly, his eyes glimpsing a long slow shadow creeping and sliding along the walls — all twisted fingers and pointed spiky face. A voice whispered his name. He turned. Turned again as the scrape of steel on stone announced a pikeman had entered the inn. Corin leveled Clouter. What followed was cold blasts of air, a shout and a lot of things happening at once…
You can get much more from Corin including his first adventure FREE by Clicking Here