The October issue has hit the shelves, bearing a beautiful autumnal picture of one of my favourite Cornish gardens: Trebah (which, coincidentally, is nominated in the Best Garden category of the Cornwall Today awards – find out if it’s a winner on September 25 by following out twitter feed @cornwall_today).
In many ways, autumn signifies the start of the end of a year; in others, it’s a new beginning. It certainly heralded a new regime in the Newton household, as my daughter made the transition from nursery to primary (aka “big”) school at the grand old age of “just-turned-four”. With her baby face and ankle socks, it seems far too soon; and yet, I have no doubt that she needs a new challenge to channel her boundless energy.
As such, I shed no tears, feeling only pride on her first day when she turned to me and said “Goodbye, Mummy,” tacit permission for me to leave. A week later, of course, the honeymoon is over; reality has bitten, and tears have been shed over the realisation that this pattern will repeat itself every weekday, bar holidays, for the next 14 years.
She’ll get through it. As for me, I was ready for a regime change too. I’m now at my CT desk four days a week, instead of three. I leave earlier each day, with a spring in my step and enough energy to cook dinner or mow the lawn – although I struggle to remember what day it is at times, so entrenched was I in our previous three-day routine. And Friday mornings are actually my own, to do as I wish – quite a novel prospect. So far I have used them to do housework, although I’m sure I’ll find time to read a book in a hot tub at some point.
In preparation for this great change in our lives, Daughter and I took a week out and enjoyed some special time together. We heard the Fisherman’s Friends perform live on the Platt in Port Isaac; Daughter is a massive fan, and joined in with some gusto. We also visited Falmouth Art Gallery, where we dressed up in silly costumes and twiddled knobs on automata; then we headed over to St Michael’s Hotel and Spa for a sumptuous three-tiered afternoon tea, overlooking tropical gardens and glassy waters (both automata and St Michael’s – which is also nominated in the #ctawards – are featured in the October issue).
It was all rather lovely, and a welcome reminder of all the fabulous things there are to do in Cornwall. Roll on half-term, so we can do it all again.