September 28, 2003

The Stars Are Brighter In Cornwall

I woke up this morning at 4am, and lay in bed wondering why I couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing, and once I’d throttled it down a bit I realized that I wanted to get up and write. There are so many things I want to write about that I feel a bit like the little Dutch boy, but instead of keeping my finger in the dike I’m about to pull it out and see what happens.

Why is that I wondered? What has happened that I want to write; that I feel the need to write?

One thing that’s happened is that we are a long way away from our friends and family in California and Cape Cod, and I miss them terribly, and want to stay in touch.

Another thing that’s happened is that I’m not programming right now. Programming for me is an intense creative exercise that leaves me feeling both fulfilled and a little empty. Fulfilled because I love the puzzle/challenge aspect of designing a new piece of software. And empty because it crowds out the other creative parts of my life.

But the most important thing that’s happened is that we are here in Cornwall.

We took the water taxi from Padstow back to Rock this evening after our first dinner out since we’d arrived in England on September 4th. The night sky was incredibly clear, and looking up I could see why the ancients had been so fascinated by it – the Big Dipper was comically easy to pick out, and the North Star was bright enough to navigate by. As the boat slipped gently through the water, I breathed deeply of the night air and realized that like the night sky, our life is becoming a little clearer and brighter as well – not necessarily better yet, just clearer and brighter.

Back home in California there were a thousand, no, ten thousand, things to do, on any day of the year. Theater, movies, running, biking, shopping, restaurants, television, advertisements – you name it and it was vying for our attention. In Cornwall there are fewer of those things, a lot fewer of those things. And just as the lack of light pollution allows one to see the night sky more clearly, the lack of cultural pollution (for want of a better phrase) gives one the time and space to see one’s life a little more clearly. And to hopefully do something different with it.

Posted by: Frank @ 5:01 am — Filed under:


  1. That’s one of the things I missed most about Cornwall when I moved away - the night sky. You don’t get it like that up in London - I can tell you.

    Comment by Web Design Cornwall — June 5, 2006 @ 2:20 am

  2. ive been studing about this cornwall history for some time, thank you for all the pictures.great jod. thank you , wanda wood

    Comment by wanda wood — March 19, 2007 @ 2:10 am

  3. ive been studing about this cornwall history for some time, thank you for all the pictures.great jod. thank you , wanda wood

    Comment by wanda wood — March 19, 2007 @ 2:41 am

  4. Wow, what an evocative post. I like your point about lack of cultural pollution, it’s certainly true. I live in Cornwall and you have to be prepared to make your own entertainment and it can leave you feeling a little isolated, but as you know if you are open to what Cornwall CAN offer you never need be stuck for something to do. I’m mostly into kitesurfing and I write about it on my blog,, but I’ll be dropping by here a lot to read more of your adventures - inspiring stuff.

    Comment by Dom Moore — December 7, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

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