A Cornish New Year’s Eve


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What’s your idea of a good New Year’s Eve?  I had no set assumptions until this one just past, but suddenly I’ve decided I’d like every New Year’s Eve to be spent on the beach. The four of us boarded a lunchtime train via Liskeard from my sister’s house in Devon and ended up in the Cornish town of Looe. It was all pastel houses tumbling down the cliffs and turquoise river threading towards the open sea.

I’ve decided I’d like every New Year’s Eve to include a crumpled bag of chocolate raisins from a family sweet shop and a pot of tea in a narrow alleyway, salt air rushing through the windows. A walk along the shore, the light changing with every minute – one moment milky and weak like leftover tea, the next blazing and aglow like a freshly lit fire. I’d like every New Year’s Eve to include an early evening fireworks display on the sands, ankles dangling from our concrete perch and sandy-footed children running around town in fancy dress.

As night broke and blackness flooded the sky, we watched a small fishing boat lace its way across the river and deposit its tiny, silky-haired passengers on the other side of the river. How sweet, how small town, we cooed, imagining a doting father shipping small charges to the opposite bank in time for the fireworks, the last bridge before the sea ten minutes back. But on closer inspection, we realised the diligent dad was in fact a wizened and enterprising fisherman, happy to ship us across too for fifty pence complete, cash only please. We embarked all giggles and excited smiles, our city hearts skipping a beat and more as we looped from bank to bank across water lit by the moon. Every New Year’s Eve to include that too, please. It was magic, pure and simple.

Ashley, shown in the first picture above, describes her perfect New Year’s Eve as something involving fun people and sparkling cider. Some of us are easier to please, I suppose. Whoops, not I! Next year is going to have a lot to live up to…

Happy New Year’s!