Rest amidst the storm

21 October 2019
Ben Pentreath

I started the week with a lost voice. Talking too much? A sore throat? Probably, all of the above, and then just spending too much time whizzing here and there with not enough time to catch breath. Do you ever have that feeling, on a Monday morning, of thinking that you need another weekend straight away? That was last week.

Today is another Monday and I’m glad to say that I’ve turned that particular corner. It was another hectic week, here, there, everywhere…. ending up, on Friday, for work, in that beautiful stormy blustery grey and green part of Cornwall, down towards Lands End, where the light and sea glow like silver. We’re just starting work, remodelling and breathing new life into the dreamiest house in the most superb setting in one of my favourite parts of the country – which, as regular readers of the blog will know, is also my ancestral homeland. It was so good to be back in Penzance on Thursday night.

Friday was bright and brilliant, with fierce rain storms lashing us in between shimmering clear patches. 

We went for a break down at the beautiful Penberth Cove, now owned by the National Trust, which very regular readers of the blog will find familiar from time to time (such as this classic report from Cornwall three years ago, with Ruth). 

The cove is a dream. The seas were high.  A seal played in the foreshore. 

I love the boats, with perfect names – Carol & David, Father Bob…

Then, a late lunch (or an attempt at lunch, the beach cafe was shut) at Sennen, looking heavenly in the storm.  I got back to Dorset on Friday afternoon and breathed a sigh of deep relief. No plans AT ALL that weekend. A quiet supper at Dorshi, in Bridport, just with Charlie, on Friday night. On Saturday morning, we woke up early and had a good haul at the market. Then for a walk in beautiful clear blue skies and warm October sunshine, the hills glowing.

We went to the pub and read the papers and had lunch and came back and slept, and woke to the glow of a beautiful evening, ignoring, yet again, all the insane political shenanigans that afflict the headline news daily and yet – on days like this – which seem so utterly meaningless and irrelevant. 

Charlie’s garden has been overwhelmed by a ferocious alien species. It’s so beautiful. He’s waiting for a non-existent frost before doing a huge clearance. 

The light in the evenings is close to heaven. 

The dahlia border glows like fire. 

A rather rare sighting of Mavis….

A very rare sighting of Henry, the cat. 

We had that morning planned a very good and long-overdue catch up with our neighbours, Anthony and Harriet, down the valley. The sun was setting just as we went over. 

Pink clouds looked like a pre-Raphaelite painting.

Sunday morning – sparking dew-soaked lanes and hills.

The beech hangar is so beautiful, every angle like a Paul Nash or Ravilious watercolour. 

Nothing, nothing on earth feels as good as a morning walk over the chalk hills on a day of brilliant sunshine when you’ve slept like a log for two nights solidly. 

We had a long lazy Sunday lunch at Brassica, in Beaminster, and then back home to a quiet afternoon and evening doing very little at all, sorting ourselves out for the week ahead.   I’ll confess, I haven’t felt quite so rested in a very, very long time. The season turns and we readjust mind, and spirit. Autumn really is, I think, my favourite time, especially on clear late October days like these.

20 comments on this post


Thank you Ben for sharing your life and the beauty around you with us. I absolutely love reading your blog; it’s like stepping into a warm bath after a very long tiresome day. All of those places you show us are absolutely breathtaking.


Nothing to do with this particular blog post but my reading back through your archive has come to this comment – from December 2012

“May says:
Sounds like you need a breather of a coddled swaddled secluded electronic-less week in a be-downy’d bothy in the Outer Hebrides, young man.”

Looks like you can now have one ………..


I just love the pictures of Cornwall and so happy to hear that you and Charlie were able to have a nice weekend to relax from the hectic schedules you have and some peacefulness in the outdoors for us to see and enjoy. The lush greenery of the hills and trees are magnificent. I see Charlie had started some work on his Dahlia garden with his wheelbarrow full. Nice to see your pets enjoying themselves. I had also commented regarding your wonderful Harvest dinner at your church and the beautiful beaches of Belgium and the wonderful church and gardens.

Tracy Goodingsays:

My dream place! Dorset just glows in all seasons. Thank you again, Ben, for sharing your beautiful little heavenly place on earth with us! Cornwall is my ancestral place as well, my grandfather also hails from Penzance, and it too, has a very special place in my heart.


Sorry for the lateness – but fab dahlias and a plea for more Henry. Best wishes, Nicla


I’m so glad to get this beautiful and peaceful signs from overseas. Thank you, Ben and Charly and Henry and the dogs

Sherrill Kearney Creeksays:

LOVE all of your posts-thanks for sharing. My DNA shows I am 90% English! What! My Dad died when I was 4 & the internet age has revealed this to me at 66. My daughter studied there in 1998 at King’s College & I visit as often as I can from New Orleans. Enjoy your wonderful world xoxox

I haven’t commented for a while but still love reading your words of inspiration. This just made me take a big deep breath and feel completely refreshed in the middle of a pretty ‘ugh’ week. Thank you, again, so much, for sharing these beautiful words and pictures. X


I love my home here on the edge of the Pacific, even when there are Biblical amounts of rain, but when I see your photos I long to be there walking through those beautiful, peaceful, mystical places with family, friends and dogs.

Steve in San Franciscosays:

Ben, each pic is a gorgeous painting! I’m so glad to see Henry.

Debra Mooresays:

Thank you for a lovely blog it is always a joy and your photos are beautiful. The parsonage and the garden and surrounding countryside just perfect. So pleased you and Charlie and furry friends have had a relaxing time together. Many thanks for a sense of peace and contentment.

Lisa D.says:

Sigh…no words. Just beautiful. I so love your pictures of the English countryside, Ben. Thank you for sharing.


“At the still center of the turning world,” T.S. Eliot wrote in, I think, “Burnt Norton.” Thank you for such a lovely morning read.


Dear Ben,
how beautiful is Cornwall and the lovely Penberth Cove …. such a dream ! Dorset is amazing as always, this blue and clear sky, those pink clouds and sunset, absolutely heaven ! So nice you had such a lovely and quiet weekend. Charlie’s garden is a firework of colours, the dahlias are still wonderful and the pets are enjoying too. Autumn is really a wonderful time, a spectacle of colours ! Thank you for sharing again with us.
With all best wishes,
Yours Birgit from Germany 🙂


So very peaceful. Such beauty!

David Sanderssays:

I was wondering what had happened to Henry, the cat – nice to him catching a few rays. The serenity of Dorset and Cornwall is certainly a far cry from the seemingly endless hell, which has beset the once hallowed precincts of Westminster.

I love my independence – probably tells you where I stand.


“At the still point of the turning world,” as T.S. Eliot wrote in I think “Burnt Norton.” Thank you for this much-appreciated respite.

debra phillipssays:

ahhhhh, the beauty of Dorset, where I live for 2 months of the year from Chicago. adore the hills, grazing animals and lightly treaded paths. Charlies garden looks magical, especially in the glow of late afternoon into dusk.
But of particular beauty is Cornwall, love the moody setting of your beloved Cornwall,
thank you for the share



My two most favourite English counties in one blog!!- what a treat!! I am a Dorset girl and I also adore Cornwall, which I try to get to at least twice a year!! Thank you for your beautiful post! I agree Autumn is amazing when it is not constantly raining!!


oh – am I the first to comment?! we are being inundated with torrential rain here in the pacific northwest, washing away all of the rich fall colours- how beautiful your area of the world looks in comparison today. love the inspiration from your land.

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