Our hostess knows lots of people down here, as has become apparent. One came to supper this evening, and remarked on the contrast between dress codes in Cornwall and Hampshire. "People don't mind what you look like down here," she said. To which I was tempted to add, "So long as you have a dog to accompany you. Or preferably two. Otherwise, what would there be to talk about?" Temptation then resisted, but when she exclaimed: "I won't ever go for a walk without a dog!" I couldn't help myself murmuring, "And I won't (if I can manage it) ever go for a walk with one." Bad experiences of being tripped up by extending leads don't help.
In previous September visits to Cornwall, I have made for the surf - a highlight of coming here. This year, I don't feel in the least tempted. Funny. The house is so near the sea and to Polzeath beach and yet so far away from it, and the weather is uninviting. Today, there hasn't even been a glimpse of the sun, though we escaped any rain on our windy walk from Pentire Farm via The Rumps home.
So we were able to watch the surfers from a distance, well-shepherded as they are these days by lifeguards. This hut sits on the South side of Hayle Bay: the sign outside tells passers by that the beach is today watched over by five "veterans". Ready to hot-foot it into action, I observe.
From above Polzeath, there's no danger of confusing wetsuited surfers with seals, as once we stupidly did when walking on Worm's Head. Today, rounding Pentire Head, we had (real) porpoises pointed out to us by fellow walkers: much more interaction between coast path traffic than there is on the pavements of Cheltenham, where you may be looked at askance if you offer a "Good morning!"