A post for St Piran’s Day, 5th March. Although I’m a willing exile from the land of my birth at the toe of Britain, the sight of the white cross on black background- a symbol of tin smelting- sometimes makes me want to hurtle in a South Westerley direction, dive into a turquoise sea and top it off with a pint of Doom Bar and a Philp’s pasty.
The Patron Saint of tin miners and Cornwall (Kernow) lent his name to numerous place names across the Duchy- Perranporth, Perranarworthal, Perranuthnoe, Perranwell, and the rest- before being laid to rest in the dunes at Perranzabuloe. Just rolling the heavy mysteriousness of these place names around my mouth inflicts a stab of what the Welsh call ‘hiraeth’. (roughly translated as ‘longing’).
Although, like all the early Saints, Piran was something of a nomad between the Celtic lands and hailed originally from Ireland. Not that he would have shared the same sense of homesickness that his day inspires in me; apparently he miraculously landed up in Cornwall having been tied to millstone and chucked in the Atlantic by his compatriots.
I’d like to have come up with a poem, but it being a rainy Sunday in Wales and kids’ rugby matches cancelled due to the weather, conditions are not conducive…
Happy St Piran’s Day one and all.