Nare Point at the mouth of the Helford river looking out across to Falmouth in one direction and in another to the wide open sea, perhaps France somewhere through the mist, was once the scene of a classic misdirection. In the run up to D-Day Ealing studios lent their expertise to create a landscape drenched in landing vessels, destroyers, troop carriers and anything else that suggested massed ranks and the imminent capability to drop them just across the channel. All done with paint, plywood, inflatables, clever lighting and some well-placed careless conversations.


Not for the first time the magicians trick of leading your eye one way whilst the action takes place elsewhere enabled someone to gain an upper hand.

Somewhere in our lives a story is being told, sometimes the remnant of an older story survives, welded or stitched into new narrative strands, depending on your sensibility. A story, a way of making sense of the personal, the communal, the social, a messy container for all things human. Do you write your story, is it foretold, do you have a purchase on the trajectory of your life, can you hold a pen in your hand or spell? Are you a reliable narrator?

The correspondence between the articulation of the idea of fake news, such an old story, and the arrival of the cliché du jour – really? – cannot be unrelated. It’s as though the awfulness of a story can be sanitised through irony, mock disbelief and a gratifying absence from the scene of the crime. (I mean) really (surely this is poor/unnecessary/crass/an utter fabrication). This is some idiot’s reality, but not mine. Perhaps it’s the close cousin of misdirection – the ‘wherever I am it’s definitely not there’ gambit. It beggars belief, but the clichés are packed in like sardines in a tin, line ‘em up, sitting ducks, take a pot shot, no give it your best… You get the picture.


Where we get to is this: much of the world is run by huge organisations, which are run by ordinary people, who themselves are run by the same familiar need to have some impact on the stories that are issuing from their lives, a tangle of clarity and utterly unconscious fumbling. And the result is  sometimes a terrible desperate mess. Someone somewhere has a compelling need that you believe what they are telling you. Should you be surprised when you discover that a Trojan horse has been wheeled into the city state of your mind? You can always claim its someone else’s story.

Really? Everyone should check their sources, otherwise fictions and histories and new stories become a sushi bar of indulgence. It takes time, and you don’t win any prizes. I came across this at the end of a forum discussion about glycerin in beer:

 ……I applaud your out-of-the-box thinking and having the willingness to investigate your theories, that makes you one in a thousand. Kudos! Keep asking questions, they always start the best conversations, and occasionally lead to unexpected answers.

The walk from Porthoustock takes in a working quarry, a disused quarry, a dive centre complete with chill out bar, muddy paths, a boat made for the airwaves but not the sea, a pig in a poke, a naval tracking station, a salt works, Five Pilchards and a pint, more muddy paths, ending with the glorious open space of Nair Point itself.

If you don’t believe me…..