There was no better way to celebrate my first new year living in Cornwall, than sitting on a beach wearing a cowboy hat watching the fireworks.
The people of Kingsand and Cawsand, two little villages about a half hour walk from us on the Rame Peninsula (5 mins in the car), come out onto the streets every new year for a pub crawl. It turns out that our village, being so close, tends to knuckle in. Every single person goes out in fancy dress. A lot of effort is made! With the plans being fairly last minute I went out as a cowgirl, which was mainly covered up by my big coat. Must try harder next time…
We started off at the Riser (The Rising Sun) in Kingsand which was packed to the brim. Unfortunately the vision of a crawl died off after an hour in this place when I saw that the time was 11pm already. The aim is to work your way, pub-by-pub, down to the square and the beach in Cawsand. I guess the locals had been at it all afternoon.
We were part of a big group but in the end, getting a bit bored, myself and one other (Emily, who I was out with) moved on to find the next place. We gave up on this idea pretty quickly though when we realised that we couldn’t even get through the door of The Halfway House, or another pub around the corner! It looked like everyone was getting their drinks in before midnight.
We kept bumping into people from the group as were wandered down the tiny streets, passing old, pretty houses. Doors kept swinging open on each side as the residents came spilling out with lots of children in tow. One group of kids were all dressed as fluffy Dalmatians, which was a great idea!
Getting close to midnight the streets and the square were full. As we were hovering outside, after failing to get through the door of yet another pub, a group came rushing into an opening in the middle of the crowds. They were dressed as though they were sitting in seats on a rollercoaster. That was impressive enough! They lined themselves up in pairs, paused, started shaking, and then threw their hands up in the air and started screaming and moving side to side in unison. Amazing! After the “ride” came to an end they paused again before simply running off to the beach and leaving us laughing.
By this point it was time to follow them down and the pair of us nabbed a good spot on the edge of the path, feet dangling above the sand. For a small, local thing, the fireworks went off for a long time! I was expecting a few small ones, but no, these were big’uns firing across the sea. From where we were sitting you could see across to some land in the distance (I now realise that this was the other side of Plymouth) where we could see lots of tiny, colourful explosions in the sky. The moon was bright and stars were sparkling. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
When the fireworks were over we made another attempt at getting into the closest pub (The Cross Keys) and made it, even grabbing a table, would you believe?! A round of drinks came in (which included Jagerbombs) as we grabbed a few friends who we lost earlier.
After what felt like 10 minutes but was probably about an hour (amazing how time works after a few drinks) my housemate who’d been gigging that night picked us up to save us doing the walk home. We got back and I peaked for a while with the remnants of the Red Bull from the pub, before crashing out at 5am. Still better than last year’s 8am bedtime.