I’m currently planning my Mother Hens night – next Saturday – to be celebrated in my adopted hometown of Falmouth, where I studied many moons ago, where the Peeb, tiny baby dog Duck and I camped out for a year while we were house hunting, and where my dear Dad lives. The poor man has been turfed out of his house so I can welcome a handful of the clever and hilarious women I’m proud to call my friends down to Cornwall for the weekend. They’re the “Mother” Hens as my mum thought a night out in London wouldn’t be up her street, so this is the civilised version of the hen night to come in October….
While these women are undoubtedly wonderful – they are not Cornish dwellers and they are partly the reason I can never throw away my old waterproofs and I harvest unwanted wellies and hiking boots. Ballet pumps and a thin cardi just won’t do – even in summer down here in the beautiful green and grey of Cornwall. So here’s my guide for visitors to the county of what they should wear – so I can thin down the contents of my ‘outdoor’ wardrobe:
A waterproof coat. Yes, I know they’re ugly, but you’ll only whinge about the majestically wild weather if you don’t have one. It’s not the weather’s fault… it’s you and your soft townie ways.
Comfortable shoes: Coast path + ballet pumps = blisters and chapped foot-tops. This isn’t just my teenage nieces only bringing these ridiculous items of footwear down for a whole week – fully grown women turn up in brogues/pumps/Uggs for the weekend and then realise we’re going WALKING people! (Maybe I’m just a horrible, bossy hostess?)
Sunblock: I think it’s only in Cornwall that you can get sunburnt in February. In the rain.
Jumpers/hoodies/big cardigans: Cornish houses are damp + cold until you light the fire, and I’m not lighting the fire in August. Sorry.
Tracksuit bottoms: a guilty pleasure, which I very often indulge in after a long walk or while cooking my guests supper after a long day out exploring. Most guests will comply with the house dress code and put on their PJ trousers – but some have been known to borrow from my special selection of what I like to call ‘comfort trousers’. Peeb even has a fleece pair, from M&S, which is the most comforting item of clothing imaginable.
For a year now I’ve been wearing my men’s Craghoppers Kiwi Long Jacket (£100) that I got for my birthday last year. It’s amazing, like a stylish AND waterproof Barbour-style (which I have been coveting but can’t afford). And my Hunter wellies which really are good because they feel like proper boots when you’re walking. They fit me around my ankles and have a grippy sole. They’re in my life thanks to my dear friend who bought the wrong size on eBay! Bonus. This winter though, I think I may treat myself to some smart leather wellies. You know the ones, they’re like Dubarrys but half the price…
Have I missed anything? What’s your essential clothing item for wearing in Cornwall?