Art and Photographic History Penwith politics West Cornwall (and local history)

Cornwall Reconstructs?

Many years ago my French Master, somewhat radically inclined, offered to teach me Chinese. The condition was that I had first to ensure my French was up to scratch. Unfortunately I was scarcely up to the mark with the language but have in recent years got as far as reading a very easy version of Flaubert with an immense amount of pleasure. I did however have at least one lesson of Chinese and can still recall one or two phrases about writing a character on a blackboard. I also recall seeing on my schoolmasters desk a few copies of a magazine called “China Reconstructs”.

In a very different study overlooking St Ives harbour and bay, I saw a copy of the same journal. This was the study of a friend’s father who had been a brave member of the Chinese Inland Mission. One of the achievements of this famous organisation was to encourage the unbinding of women’s feet. A task interrupted by the Japanese invasion. There was a magnificent cat wandering around the house called “La Fu” and meals at my friends were frequently taken using chop sticks.

Large parts of Cornwall have unfortunately been subject to neglect and decline. A situation which appears to have got still worse under the Tories and due to Brexit. Much reconstruction of public services is urgently needed to avoid further poverty, ill-health and decline. The view below shows another side to Cornwall but unfortunately is all too common.

By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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