Port Isaac – Rock (11.7 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 166.8 miles / Distance to Poole– 466.3 miles
As Penny and I set off from Port Isaac filming was taking place for the popular TV programme Doc Martin. Today’s walking companion, Penny, lives in Port Isaac (only for 15 years so is yet to make it to ‘local’ status!) and was telling me about how her husband loves being an extra on the show. It has apparently split public opinion of the Port Isaac folk, some of whom love the fact that the show has put the village on the map, and some of whom think that it has brought more costs and problems than benefits. Either way one thing is for sure, it has brought in the tourists. From every fair land that the show is aired in, they come flocking – just to see the outside of a house that a fictional character supposedly lives in!
The thing is that us Cornish Folk are very proud of our corner of the world – fiercely patriotic is perhaps a more apt way of putting it, but we are not too good at sharing it. Anyone who dares to cross the Tamar into Cornwall automatically becomes an ‘emmet’. This is a derogatory term for tourists and non-locals (Devon and other such places call them grockles) and it has even been the source of much amusement when someone created a website advertising a fictional ‘Porthemmet Beach’ as a way of making fun of non-locals.
As I was walking I saw this great sign in a lay-by which clearly expresses the way the Cornish feel. Although this attitude is quite ironic when you consider that tourism is now Cornwall’s main industry and without it the county would be considerably poorer than it already is. It is true that a huge number of second home owners have come and damaged communities and out priced the locals, so that you have to be incredibly rich to be able to afford a house in this beautiful place. But that doesn’t mean we should close the borders and not let anyone in who doesn’t contribute to Cornwall’s finances. If we do that then we run the risk of never sharing all that we have to offer.
I realise I am slightly biased, but Cornwall has been given so much beauty and culture, history and great food, all of which should be shared in order to be truly valued. If we hide the aspects of Cornwall which make it so great then we are the ones who will suffer as no one will ever come and appreciate it and the county will end up alone and penniless.
Each and every one of us has been given gifts and talents, skills and great beauty, all of which should be shared in order to be truly appreciated. If we hide who we are, the God given assets we possess, the interests and passions we find and nurture, then we are the ones who will suffer. Not only will we be denying the person God made us to be, but we will also miss out on so many things which come along as a result of our getting involved in this little thing called life.
Although saying all that, I still think that emmets can’t drive and shouldn’t be allowed on these tiny, Cornish roads!