October 1999 - Mawgan Porth

It’s been a very unusual three days since my performance in Polzeath on Wednesday. That performance really seemed like a mile stone in my mind and I hadn’t really been looking any further ahead than that. So when I sort of floated up on the other side of that on Thursday the walk to Padstow felt meaningless, it was like I suddenly didn’t have a goal anymore. However I continued to create anyway, although couldn’t find the creative energy to create things specifically from my memories and so instead just responded to the landscape and my thoughts. My whole mental state is captured well in a video I made called “Ground Control to Padstow” (you’ll find it if you scroll down). I left the peaceful and near empty Rock on the ferry to arrive 5 minutes later in an absolutely packed half term Padstow. Not only did I find myself creatively disorientated but now physically shell shocked. I decided that I needed to leave Padstow as quickly as possible so I left town and found a beautiful little wild camping spot in the Padstow sand dunes; this turned out to be exactly what I needed as the beauty of the spot sparked a creating spree in which I wrote 2 poems and made 4 videos.

I spent the next day walking the long 12 mile walk to Treyarnon Bay YHA, stopping at the Padstow lifeboat station for quite some time. Here I was able to capture how I was feeling at the time in the form of a poem about the lifeboat. I have always been fascinated by the Lifeboats and their crews, and have ambitions of my own to one day join a volunteer crew, so being able to go in the station and see the boat was a nice treat for me; I left the lifeboat station feeling rested, recharged and ready to continue the project after my little lapse in focus – the lifeboat really had rescued me.

After a stressful night in the Youth Hostel battling a slow internet connection and what seemed like endless scores of hyper kids shouting all night (not that this made me angry, if I was in their position I would have been doing exactly the same!!), I was ready for the walk to Mawgan Porth. My dad had been messaging me for days asking if he could come and join me for a day because he was so jelous of what I am doing and had even gone out and bought some walking boots and a stick – so I finally caved and let him come. It feels really nice that I have inspired someone else to want to walk, even if it is only my old dad! So we set off in the howling wind with dad all kitted out (for some reason he had chosen completely black gear meaning he looked like some sort of Men in Black tribute act!). However as we happily left the haven of Treyarnon Bay we were unaware of what we were walking into to. We later discovered online that what we had spent the day walking through were 60mph winds. I had not yet encountered wind quite this strong on the walk and trust me when I say it was at times very scary. I was so concerned for the safety of my dad who was at one point pinned against a barbed wire fence right near the cliff edge, and I had to pull my way along the fence to rescue him. I was feeling rather smug from my Bear Grylls survival moment in saving dad until just minutes later I was thrown completely off my feet by a strong gust and smashed against a stone bench, nearly crushing my camera in the process. We made the decision that it was just too dangerous on the cliff edge and made for the road slightly inland. It was less than a mile to our destination in Mawgan Porth so a short walk along the sheltered B road was no trouble.

So here I am in Mawgan Porth – out of season. The place has got a real Scooby doo abandoned fun fair feel to it which is both creepy and fun. I managed to find a little closed holiday park called the Magic Cove (trust me, in November it doesn’t feel very magical). The owner has kind of taken pity on me and let me camp here for a very cheap rate which is good. I managed to find a sheltered spot next to a large wall to stay safe in the extreme winds of the night. Today (Sunday) is scheduled on my itinerary as a spare day. I put these in as fire breaks for if I needed to shelter from bad weather etc, which had worked out perfectly as the wind is equally as strong today so walking on the coast path would just be too dangerous. This gives me the opportunity to be one of the few inhabitants of Mawgan Porth for a day and hopefully create something slightly more substantial. I apologise for how boringly descriptive this blog post has been, it’s just been a very disorientating and strange few days and just wanted to get it down and documented so that I can move forward. Please please comment or email me if you’ve got anything you think I should do, or crazy/mundane tasks you might want me to try… as you will be able to tell if you’ve seen my video “I’d never do that”, I’m pretty much up for anything. Catch you again. Tom.

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