All posts by kernowsmith

About kernowsmith

I have been a Piano/Keyboard teacher for over 30 years.Like Sadie Smith once said,and I quote"I write to stop myself sleepwalking through Life".

On this day!

On this day,July 15th,2018,the birds are singing outside the opened windows of my dwelling,welcoming me to soak up their jest for life.Its quite an invitation,or so I feel it today,like a party where no one feels left out.Mother nature tends to be like that ,the great giver without recourse to social or economic station.It has always intrigued how animals have that power about them to relax those who might struggle with the company of others,through their past life experiences ,or troubles buried deep within their mind.

As I surround myself in this early morning sound ,before the day fully starts for folk,it relaxes me in its “sound security”,as if Mother Nature has its own mixing studio where the mics are always set up to maximise the sounds and Never crude or vulgar.With my mind settled from the morning activity of early wakefulness,I think on that appreciation is a key factor for a life lived with contentment,because if I can’t appreciate my surroundings,and nature is my surroundings,then I’m always going to be somehow disappointed because my love is,and remains so,for the metaphysical.

My digital time piece at the top of this device says 08:04,rather like the time for a bus or suchlike,but my head tells me that it is anytime or to elaborate appreciation can be shown at anytime and for anything,or anyone.The sheer nakedness of gratitude for our life should alarm those around us,because there are so many wonderful things that we can appreciate in their true state without ever having to compete with others to attain them.

That feeling that I have is a settled one after years of life and of observation,and when we truly appreciate what we have it can be our own “lightbulb moment”.

The vertical curser flashes on the device ,my eye looks up to the top of the device,and the time moves on,and I’ve indulged my muse once again ,not in a deliberate sermon,or self righteous “I’m a good chap”,no,just to say that today is a good day to rekindle a love for life,for nature,for appreciation.If I fear that I have said too much ,then my internal mind timetable will close now and leave my reflection to an internal private nature.

But ,if you can have a day of appreciation for what you do have,I think that would be a wonderful thing.



“I just love a good Lion”!

Temperatures have soared again over this past week,and with comparisons dating back to the 1970s,we folks from the Northern hemisphere wonder just how to cope in the baking heat.Why,some folks who retreated to traditionally warmer climates for their retirement might be wondering if their choice was the wisest ,as they talk to their families back home who regale them with stories of scorching heat and record breaking sunfests.

Personally,I’m not good in the sun to such an extent,that I struggle to achieve much of a productive nature,and I feel “sluggish”.During these times,I think of those with respiratory conditions that exasperate and already tough existence and just hope that their support network is good enough to help them through these times.Now,if I jump to Thea I also,please don’t assume that I’ve taken leave of my senses,but I truly worry for all those wonderful domestic dogs in our community,as many struggle to just keep cool.

Social media sites have often posted information for all of us dog owners,and that might appear to be common sense,but we all need reminders of practical steps that we must all take to guard our animals should we be lucky enough to own them.

This Saturday also sees the nation gripped in World Cup fever,and I for one will be turning in -probably shouting at the tv too much,and just being a little feral light as I like to describe myself on occasions such as these.However,I am a lucky man,in that I can clearly remember when we won the World Cup in 66,and I quite understand the exciting that so many are expressing in the nation.Its funny when so many are divided over the Brexit talks,non talks,meetings that don’t appear that cheerful and the like,that football has United a common theme of unity within us that I believe we always have had,but we don’t always like to manifest it.

As excitement seems to be the order of the day,I’ve remembered the exuberance that folk in my small Cornish village showed when we won the World Cup,and I think back to that day,and I wonder what happened to those folks .Many worked in labour intensive mining jobs,or fishermen ,jobs that carried inherent danger.Sometimes,when you work together like that,you have to rely on others not just for your living but for your personal safety and that has a bonding affect.

1966 was just over 10 years since rationing ended in Britain and with it the sheer desperation of our country with so many living in desperate poverty .Living through those times,I still remember those hunger pains ,but I wasn’t the only one from a very large family who felt those times.Back the ,supermarkets ,if you had one in your area ,didn’t rule the high street,and the small independent fruit and veg shop acted as a community hub too.So yes,today whatever the result,will be a community day ,with many watching the game down the local pub or just gathering in their homes with friends and the like.Personally ,I think that is rather lovely and as we do,I will be thinking about that Saturday afternoon in 1966 when people gathered to witness us winning the World Cup at the old Wembley,with a victory of 4 to 2 against West Germany.

So,let’s get behind our Lions today because I just love a good Lion.

Summer sun!

Oh,this heat,this scorcher beaming down on us from 93 million miles away,

It’s temperature is just what those 100,000 beach hermits love on Bournemouth beach,

They flocked there yesterday,and camped up in their little metre space,oh what a place,

My love of the beach in the summer has its limits,maybe 20 degrees is mine,

But those young and old sun worshipers should have their day,their ultra violet fix,

Why,this is their time,their halcyon days in the bays of the south coast,

So,wether they be at Boscombe or Sandbanks,let them be,with their hats ,wind breaks and ice cream,it’s what the British summer means,

Soon we will be talking about records:”Hottest day in record!” and the like,

Mums and Dads,Brothers and sisters,young and old,just being traditional,

Fish n chips for tea,fizzy pop for the kids,and glass of wine and beer for mum and Dad,granny and grandad,

These metre square sand palaces won’t last for long,but the memories will,

So,I hope you don’t burn to a cinder,and you enjoy the sandy beaches of Bournemouth,


Memories of the World Cup in 1966.

“Some are on the pitch,they think it’s all over,it is now”:Those words ,uttered by Kenneth Woolstenhome directly after Geoff Hurst scored his third goal to beat West Germany in the World Cup of 1966 still echo around many a more seasoned English football supporter.That game I remembered well,as I watched on the tv ,along with millions of others ,gripped with excitement and national pride.Most of my sisters boyfriends were there,the house was full to the rafters,and it was a celebration repeated up and down the streets of Britain at that time.To say that I fully understood the significance would be stretching the truth beyond reason,but I knew that we as a footballing nation had achieved something extremely special.

Back then,I was a rather shy and introverted 9year old,unable to read at that time,but ,oddly,a fascination for sounds.This interest in listening ,fuelled with my fascination for what made people congregate in large numbers,got my juices flowing .To elaborate,the noise that came from the tv on that Saturday afternoon:”England,followed by clapping,football rattles,then repeat repeat repeat,was so infectious.Each players name sounded so unique to me,because football wasn’t available like it is now in such an abundant way,it really was a treat to watch this game.Although I pride myself on my memory,I doubt wether I could list all 11players who played that day,but I will have but I can still hear Kenneth’s voice now :”It’s Gordon Banks in goal playing up field to Jack Charlton,who passes it to Ball(Alan).His commentary style was officious compared to today’s,but even though it was authoritative,it had a safe feel to it,you listened carefully.Kenneth was never known as Ken,at least not to us,he was meant to be aloof in many ways,but I liked his voice.When Bobby Charlton got the ball,his voice changed slightly and you could hear the excitement in it,because of Bobbys shooting abilities.

Although the heroes of that day were the players ,along with Sir Alf Ramsey,my hero was old Kenneth and those words right at the end :”Some of them are running on the pitch,they think it’s all over,-Hurst scores-it is now”

So,that was 1966,52 years ago.We haven’t ever as a footballing nation reached a World Cup final since that time.Yes,we’ve had our moments as they say,but our best efforts haven’t been good enough.Now,the game of soccer is a truly global sport,with Russia hosting the finals as I write these words.My love of the sport has been tempered by realism and just life really,but I always remember that day ,with Bobby Moore walking up to receive the cup and the sheer noise under the old Wembley Arches.

“Come on England”


Shapes,like marionettes floating before our eyes,invade our consciousness,

These shapes morph into memories,sketches and sound bites,

At first,we retrieve those quirky things about the person,those things only we observed,

For in our memory moment,we coat it for posterity,to energise in crystal glass,

Then,as if to catch a ball in mercury,it becomes elusive,frustrating,annoying,

Why,those memories take a journey towards us,but like an express train through a small station,they pass us by,

Before we know it,we try to hold unto these memories,because they are all we have,

That smile,that way of elongating their vowel sounds,those colours ,maybe green and purple!!

Never take our memories away,never destroy what a person has shared ,because they have their own memory angels,

Yes,memory angels sustain us all,even the Athiest,The humanist,the agnostic,we all have our memory angels,

So,tonight,never tread harshly on another’s memory angel.

Love those memories,put them in a skin bottle,a memory ship in a bottle,but never lose them,because they are unique.

“Rockin Robin”

We are shaped by the past events of our lives more so than the ad men,the spin doctors of life would have us believe.Those events line up in our minds like memory soldiers,explaining the whys and wherefores of our existence.From the routine of daily interchanges,those repetitious duties we perform that mean much more than we give them credit,to the sheer magnitude of birth and of loss,they all take their attention in our memory parade ground.Oftentimes,those memories come back to us in surprising ways,in directions that come out of no-where,and we wonder just how they appeared but they did.All of us have our own memory soldiers,and each time we parade them,we allow them to be inspected ,and sometimes that inspection is joyful,causing us to laugh,to muse of the joy of the memory.To elaborate,this morning,a piece of music came into my head that ,although must have resided there for decades,hasn’t been inspected of late,and it’s playing in my mind conjured up memories of a happy time in my teenage life.

It occurred during my teenage years at school ,during the lunch time period.At the time,a young and sensitive music teacher decided to allow a disco in the music room on a Friday.There were all the usual types of 13 and 14 year olds there ,many of which belonged to the “cool” set of teenagers that would have gone to the Youth club in the evening too.As the girls danced in the darkened room to T-Rex,Sweet,and co,I thought of my sister Shiela ,who had introduced me to music and the joy that it could give you at the local cafe at Indian Queens.With it’s jukebox,and seemingly endless supply of locals who purchased a penny bag of chips and a bottle of pop,it was a magnet for the village locals.Looking back,it must have seemed odd for a little chap such as me to be there with my oldest sister,but I can’t ever remember anyone being that bothered about it.

So really,although I leaned against the back wall of the music room ,I wasn’t really out of place there of a Friday lunchtime and I enjoyed the sounds from the Mono record player very much.At that time too,I wasn’t so immersed in organ music for the process to be so all encompassing that it might have extinguished some of the joy in just listening to music with your friends in a group.As I observe music today,it saddens me that me consume music firstly from the point of personal choice,that headphone scenario where we are cut off from others “listening to our music”,and I rather like the community of listening with others there too.It encourages emotional interaction if you like.As is my want,I digress from my point rather,so coming back to my point about the lunchtime disco:there was a tune that my friend loved so very much by “the Jacksons”.Its title was Rockin Robin,it has been eclipsed by a corpus of so many other Jackson songs since that it hasn’t been in my mind until this morning.Its a simple tune with so much energy and joy to me at least.It was loved by my friend John,and he pestered me to work the tune out on the school Piano.So,after the lunchtime disco finished and my peers went out to stand around the playing fields as you did,John and I would sit around the Piano and bash out “Rockin Robin”.John would sing,and I would harmonise from the tune after the short intro.We had a laugh ,we had joy,just like that simple tune about a Rockin Robin.That tune became a hit in the UK,and was played on top of the pops and I would remember listening to the show of a Thursday night and trying to get some more of the details.You see,John would be doing the same,and would be wanting to get the tune down better as he tried to impress his friends at that time.John had a lot of living to do,and when he could ,when he wasn’t dealing wth his co diction,he lived it,and I appreciated that about him.

So,that was my memory soldier this morning:He has always been in parade I suppose,but I had forgotten him as all the other memory soldiers took president.Some memories are like that though,and although I would have reminiscing that affected me in different ways,that old Jackson’s tune of Rockin Robin stills tugs at the old heart strings.

Thank you for your indulgence this morning.

Revisiting Watership Down!

Just a top the cottage where I’m staying is a Rabbit Warren,where the inhabitant seems to be quite secure from the ravishes of life in the Snowdonia hasn’t spied my nosey eyes as I’ve been examining its home as it goes about its life in its own way.This casual observation ,surrounded as it is,with literally hundreds of sheep,is quite a harmonious spectacle that it promoted me to write a muse about it,Granted,the temperature today is bordering on Saharan compared to the bleak Winters these poor creatures have to endure,and I wonder how they can survive in truth,If Harmony in nature is possible,I wonder why we As the supposed superior specie struggle so very much to just live peacefully with our neighbours.Maybe we get greedy,territorial,or just grow impatient with one another,but it intrigues me nonetheless.

My Rabbit has disappeared into its house for now,but I feel privileged that outside my window here ,I could have witnessed a clandestine life in many ways,quietly tucked away upon a hillside,but,to me,a worthy life,one with purpose,with beauty,with just as much rights as we,the superior species seem to expect by some dubious rights to have achieved by fair or fowl means.It reminded me of the classic book Watership Down,and the classic song ,Bright eyes that Art Garfunkel sang like an angel all those decades ago.

Boy,does it really seem that long.

Sleep tight Bunny friend.sleep tight.


From echoes across the lake ,to the shuffle of the Rabbit outside its warren,

These sounds affect me,leading me to avert my ears in their direction,

Sometimes,my mind wants to hear every sound,in between every silence,

But I can’t hear every sound,just as I can’t understand everything,

We have to accept our limitations,that we are sentient beings,

So,with our imperfections,our frailties,we accept what we are,we know that,

In a truce with our soul,we just try to be us,we live for the authentic,

Yes,it’s a risk,because to be real signifies that we expose whom we really are,

That honesty might offend,might draw others away,but it’s better to be honest,

For in that state,we can be at peace with the sound of our own heart,

So,of all the sounds that I can hear own,I have to hear the sound of my own heart beating,because without it,I have nothing,nothing at all.

So,all you birds,you rabbits,you hares,you gui ea pigs,you stoats,you weasels,you hedgehogs and the like,I’m listening now to the sound of my own heart and through it I will be of use to you.

Does that sound alright?

Mass Atlantic Exodus!

Each wave forms a white crust,a firmament from the deep,the deep impact of the Atlantic Ocean.Thats the affect of the spring high tides lashing against the coves,the small seaside towns nestled in the vortex of the Atlantic hinterland Tonight.My memories intact,I penetrate them with my mind the tributaries of their wave directions,the journey from the basin from the East from Washington,from the seaboard where the Cornish forefathers set sail when the price of tin fell through the floor,when free enterprise was immigration to that New World.That world that Anton Dvorak wrote about in his New World symphony in such wondrous symphony it textures delighting us ,transfixing us to hope,to hope for our ancestors that there might be something better to hold unto.

If you’ve never known mass redundancy fear not,if it’s happened to you,it would have changed you,you might have felt that absolute rejection that “your surplus to requirements,you didn’t quite measure up”.So,that personal redundancy would have hurt.Now,just imagine your whole community in a heart beat being made redundant,surplus to requirements.Can you blame them for plying their trade in a new country,that is what so many Cornish did wth their families causing the great diaspora of people from Kernow.If we were to focus on it for too long,that leaving of parents,grandparents,never to return,took a courage beyond the comprehension of so many of us,My including.Sometimes,that “get on your bike and find a job,” really doesn’t wash when your whole community is in the same boat,that is quite a quake ,a perverseness that is stark,a trauma so to speak.

As they left the Atlantic,they braved the seas,the storms,the fragility of broken visions,only to create their own,their beacon of light so to speak was their faith in themselves.If the sloops that ferried them to Alice Island allowed for the realisation of their dreams,then the Atlantic was their friend and their deftly enemy .As is the case with the Atlantic,so breathtaking and,at the same time,so imposing,the Leviathan inside the Atlantic ready to toss the innocents into the sea.Its those courageous people ,many whom had never ventured beyond the county boundaries of Cornwall,these were now sailing towards their own life enigmas.It demonstrates the victory f the human spirit,and enfuses me when I think absolutely tune it.It fires my belly ,not to emulate these folk-really,how could I-but it imells me never ever to forget the pull of the sea,but the respect that it should afford us.

Nowadays,because of the dominance f air traffic,it’s so easy to forget the prominence of sea voyages enjoyed,and almost exclusive dominance for so long.With the emergence of the industrial sea cruises though,many are dediscovery their love for the sea,all be it aboard floating hotels that,unlike the Titanic,are truly unsinkable.Nowadays,from Southampton the sayings across the Atlantic is a routine for anyone to enjoy,but in 5 star comfort.Now,those Cornish immigrants didn’t enjoy such luxury,and their vessels were dicing we th death crossing the Atlantic as the storms,legendary as we know,could break most of these vessels at that time.

As links with the New World will always chime with the Cornish,so too will the respect for that restless Atlantic too as you are brought up with the cruel sea and it’s affects from childhood. You h yes,the still of the Atlantic is a joy to witness,but she has many facets to her personality,and these traits manifest themselves to us as we observe them firsthand.My k owledge of the Atlantic,it’s white crust and firmament started as a very small boy and has continued well into my sixtieth year of life.

So,if you visit Cornwall soon along it’s North Cornish coast,spare a thought for those who left due to mass redundancy.