Frisky Border Collies and Cornish Byres

The weekend has started on a yellow note in the early hours of the morning. Getting up at 4am and witnessing dawn is Early for me. My father would faint (with delight) if he saw such changes in a daughter who has always nursed a penchant for sleeping like Kumbhakarna. Who might you ask, with a frown? K is a rakshasa straight out of the Indian epic Ramayana. If you have not heard of him, he is part of a saga that runs through the ream of bedtime stories reserved for every Indian child. A rakshasa is a man-eater. What I have in common with K, I am relieved to say, is just a passion for sleep. He used to shut eye for 6 months at a stretch – nothing could rouse him – and the legend will have you know that his snores could send tremors through the belly of the earth. When he did wake up, K would devour every living creature within his line of vision.

Post sessions of heavy partying on Saturday nights in Delhi, I would wake up on Sunday well past midday. I was the only young individual in an old building, its exteriors peeling off with the years since partition when the landlord’s family had moved in as refugees. The other occupants were a family of three on another level. The latter colluded with my parents (when they would visit me from Calcutta) to get me married off. A girl in her mid-20s living on her own and single is the neighbour’s alarm. The wife would often bang on my door to deliver the food she had cooked (which was extremely sweet but a bit of a test for someone nursing a ferocious hangover almost every weekend). This was followed by incessant banging on the door by the cleaning lady. She indulged in it with as impressive a ferocity as the hangover and, Saroja, I am convinced, enjoyed this routine. So there I was, your quintessential Kumbhakarna.

That is but the long and short of it.

Back to my lush surroundings in the Cornish wooded valley of Lostwithiel where we are staying for the long weekend, with a few extra days bunged in. I stood with my back to the door of our byre – old English for cowshed – busy loading up the fridge with our haul of groceries, when a huff and a puff and then patters on the flagstone floors startled me into a low scream. I almost felt back upon an enthusiastic border collie called Meg.

We had just arrived at the byre, a converted detached accommodation at a farm.

The strange dog turned over. I decided to do what I do when a four-legged boy/girl does that. Administer vigorous belly rubs till she had stopped whining and cooing, ‘Ooh yeah, don’t stop!’

A bit abrupt but the succulent chicken kebabs barbecued by Adi have just arrived on the table and I think I shall have to abandon this incessant chatter. Bless Adi for saving you from all of that.

Rapeseed fields in the Cotswolds as dawn breaks over a silent countryside. Courtesy: Aditya Varma
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Searching for the byre in Lostwithiel
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Wooded valleys of Lostwithiel
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Our nest for the next week
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Snuggling can be a serious preoccupation
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Cream tea put out thoughtfully by Ed and his wife
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Clotted cream without blackberry & strawberry preserves made in-house? Good heavens!
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Meg and Gizzie (the Jack Russell terrier in the foreground) 
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Adi’s smoky, spicy handiwork for this nippy evening along with some jacket potatoes. Bliss.

Till tomorrow then, toodles.

Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

30 thoughts on “Frisky Border Collies and Cornish Byres

  1. I love your slightly off-topic ramble at the beginning XD I used to love sleeping in, but now I tend to get up at 6am even on weekends. I’ve become an early bird to my younger self’s horror.
    Also these photos are gorgeous! I was scrolling through my reader when I suddenly saw a whole lot of yellow. That photo of you in the flowers is so lovely!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, sweetheart. I think we share that genius isn’t it? But I do tend to go far off topic. I appreciate early mornings a lot now. Funny how perspective evolves as the days go by 🙂 How is your Friday going? xx

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha ha, Raj and Simran would never be far away in the mind, eh 😉 Thank you, it is truly cherished, every long weekend. Time to get away to the country which we love above all. So are you snoozing away the weekend? Friday looking good? xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good post! I liked the pic of you grinning or smiling amongst the yellow. It reminds me so much of our family farm and the canola and mustard fields. Speaking of movies, have you seen the “Lion”? The movie was adapted from a non-fiction book “The Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierly. You would love the lead actor in this one 😉 The movie had both my wife and myself sobbing with many tears…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bruce, thank you. Grinning right back at you on a cloudy Cornish day. To be surrounded by such yellow, how can I bellow? I am yet to watch ‘Lion’. I would like to catch up with the book first, but since I have a huge pile of books to go through I shall watch the film before reading the book, I suppose. Now that you say that it moved both of you, I shall sign up for it. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I find your writing hilarious, I love it! Border collies are such gorgeous dogs btw…. but well-meaning yet annoying neighbours? I have a few who like to tattle if I try to sneak in or out – very, VERY annoying. Great post! x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I cannot mind this particular girl at all. She is single-minded about what she wants. Belly rubs. That’s all. You should probably swap her with one of your neighbour’s. I shall send you Meg’s address. Don’t tell on me though x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVED the top photo with the yellow flowers in the field – and you? In fact, all your photos are especially engaging. Thank you for posting them! And as always you have a gift for telling your personal story especially well. My favorite part might have been the problems with being single and everyone trying to marry you off – but also loved the part with the dogs. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have seen many pictures of Cornwall countryside posted by the bloggers residing in this beautiful part of UK. I must say its picture perfect. I haven’t yet visited UK and Cornwall is definitely a place I want to see and capture. Your post just reconfirms its beauty! 🙂


  6. […] Now The Byre is an atmospheric barn conversion in Lostwithiel, Cornwall (You can book it through Cornish Cottage Holidays and there are other cottages on the farm too). We got a fantastic bargain. For 8 nights we paid up £385 and then Ed threw in a free night. Now no one in all our years of renting cottages in the countryside has been ever so kind as Ed. A free night! Egad. We had one more day of exploring the countryside in Cornwall which we cannot resist even if it means that we have to return home to Northampton bleary-eyed, post a long day of walks and then 5-odd hours of driving. […]


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