Entries in Penzance (3)


Wild animals and the people who work for the

My partner and I just got back from a walk along Penzance promenade to Newlyn. There were 3 people swimming in the unusually calm high tide that lapped the shingle beach under a rather leaden sky. We had seen a seal surfacing, further along, just meters off the beach, and waited for it to re surface, which it did, but 100 yards along the beach. As we passed the trio of swimmers larking about they went to swim further out and then they all screamed, and quickly headed out of the surf, we heard them say 'What was that?' and 'It was a seal!" They stood in the shallows talking excitedly about their very brief encounter with the inquisitive dogs of the sea (my name for them) I never tire of seeing seals their noses pointing up out of the sea (bottling as the locals call it) as they rest between dives, or playing in the waves off Portheras or Sennen.

Tonight, I found that there is an on-line publication called Zoomoorphic magazine, dedicated to giving voice to the wild animals that our species has not yet managed to edge into extinction. What an impoverished and unimaginable world it would be without wild animals, they so enrich our lives. Perhaps we are entering a time when, as a species, we are starting to take responsibility for our actions.







The strange and the everyday

Yesterday outside the Co-op in Penzance a dog tied up, awaiting the return of her owner was very pleased to see me and we had a cuddle up.

I realised why she was scared. 5 brightly coloured balloons were being blown by the wind. Caught in a right angle of walls the wind rotated the balloons around and around, so that every few seconds the balloons would come right up to the dog and then pass by, only to return again. She eyed up the strange happening, not taking her eyes off the balloons, just in case.

We have domesticated these amazing creatures and we share this strange existence with them, things confuse and baffle both us and them. I don't have any conclusions from this, I imagine neither did the dog.




I ran out to the harbour arm at Newlyn in Cornwall. It was the first sunny day since we moved to Penzance. I felt the pull of the sun and the still cool breeze off the sea, and could stay in no longer. As I approached the end of the harbour wall passing moored trawlers, green stranded nets and rusting cranes I saw a man looking out to sea. He said

‘Did you see the porpoise?’

We both watched the porpoise make 6 arcs out of the water, revealing a nicked fin. The arcs occurred a few seconds apart and with each we both remarked


As a fishing boat turned into the harbour lop sided with it’s catch the porpoise came out of the water right next to the hull. The man told me that the porpoise had circled around in the water near him and seemed friendly. He urged it to go out to sea.

I left, running back changed by the experience, elated and feeling light on my feet, looking out to sea from the promenade, I whispered