It's autumn


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The Joy of Living in Cormwall

I hate November! I've been scratching my head thinking of something to write about Cornwall in autumn and hitting a brick wall of non-creative rubbish. OK, it doesn't help that the weather is fifty shades of grey, my knees ache with the damp and the potholes in the lane are so deep my car's suspension holds its breath as I slalom round the rain-filled craters.

November began with the fog; if you haven't experienced Cornish fog, let me descibe it. It hangs for days; a loitering, suffocating, wet entity that clings and smothers; it's not gauzy and filmy like Miss Faversham's cobwebs; it's more a grubby tulle; soft, but strangely substantial, as if I'm living in an unseen world - if I hadn't recently had my eyes tested, I'd think I had cataracts.

But this is Cornwall; delighful, crazy Cornwall, where off the wall is the norm. A dear friend, who is a talented singer and guitarist, told this story that brightened my day and really made us laugh. I couldn't have written it better myself, so in his own words, over to you Dave!

A true story...

On a wild November morning, I was on Porthleven beach with my guitar trying to find a good spot to play a few songs.

This probably sounds a bit odd and yes, I suppose so, but there was a rather special reason. I was asked to be there by Helen, my lovely ex. house-mate, who was going to propose to Susan, her partner, in the most romantic fashion - waves crashing on the beach and a beautiful, stormy sea as a magical backdrop.

This unusual gig was to be the 'extra surprise' as they arrived; I'd sing a few love songs and help make the occasion even more romantic. Luckily. the weather was good, if windy, so things got under way with me perched on a rock with my Takamine, praying it wouldn't rain, looking like the cover picture on some obscure folk LP.

It was high tide with only a tiny area of beach available and a few intrepid beach strollers were in close proximity as I began my 'performance'.

There was an old Cornish guy with his Border Collie who made his presence felt immediately as I started my first song by shouting at me... "No point in buskin' ere boy.. you won't earn a bloody penny".

I tried my best to signify I was just playing for my friend who was in the process of proposing marriage and that collecting money from beachcombers wasn't really the object of the exercise.
However, I think he must have missed the 'Romantic' significance of the occasion because throughout the twenty minutes or so I was singing and Helen and Susan were locked in a lover's embrace, he was shouting at his dog who was playing a bit too close for comfort to the water's edge and the enormous waves.

Anyway, the purpose of me being there was to sing, and at the appropriate moment play Helen's favourite, John Denver's "Annie's Song". I cannot say it is one of my most liked songs of all time because that would be a lie, but nevertheless I was determined to do it justice.

What I hadn't reckoned on was the Collie's owners continuing and constant tirade at his very wet dog throughout my performance. He was only a few feet away from us and didn't stop shouting at the poor animal from start to finish.

The previous night I had spent a few hours memorising the words to the song so as not to make any silly mistakes but not realising the lyrics were about to change quite drastically during my live rendition.

As I started singing, with Helen proposing to Susan, the dog was still messing about at the water's edge and the old guy was still shouting at him to come back.

So, the new (revised) lyrics to Annie's Song are now these...........................

You fill up my senses  (You bloody bugger come back!) 
Like a night in the forest (Get back 'ere ya stupid animal!)
Like a mountain in springtime (Oye, Clipper, come 'ere!)
Come let me love you (For the very last time ya bastard!)
Let me die in your arms (You stupid dog!)

Amongst all this mayhem the real business was beautifully done and Susan said "Yes"!

At that moment I thought I saw Clipper being swept out to sea. As we walked away from the beach toward the Harbour Inn for a celebration drink I heard someone shouting..

... "Clipper ya bastard.. stop messing about..where the hell are ya?"

It's okay, the dog was fine.

 

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