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.


9 thoughts on “Kernow Bys Vyken

    1. Thanks Simon, it is shaming that I have lived here so long without properly learning the language. Something I need to address. Fortunately my boys are doing really well with it and Cymraeg is very much part of their lives in school. Hope all is wonderful with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post, Polly. It’s so easy to forget the Cornish saints. It seems that many of my family came from Cornwall originally. My cousin in Australia has been doing some ancestral digging and has found Cornish roots. From the mining possibly. I love the sound of all thioe place names.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Australia is full of Cornish bones! Canada too. I have my fingers crossed for the Welsh on the weekend. The best anthem in the world regardless 😁


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