author. Ashleigh Howells


Sat on the river with a chai tea latte no sugar, watching the water, the shadows created by the overhanging trees and the shapes they form against the backdrop of Cornwall's rolling hills and my eyes fall upon the ripples created by the tens if not twenties of people swimming in the diminishing light of a hectic busy Saturday. Down time is a necessity for any writer and inspiration can hit at the most random of instances. As I flex my neck and kick off the days shoes I reflect.
This must be an occasion engrained in the history of this landscape as decades and centuries before us I picture our Victorian predecessors bathing in outdated swimsuits and caps, stretching and flexing their toes in the vines that are submerged in the shallow blue marshes. How funny I laugh to myself that the phrase ''history repeats itself" could never be more true as it is this very moment, as all generations paddle and swim, laughing in the sunlight amongst the canoes and the sunlight and the reeds, before screaming, shouting for a towel and hobbling back onto dry land in a cold and bewildered state of shock and excitement.

This communal swimming pool is beautiful.
What is culture I was asked. Well this must be a pretty good portrait of it.  The ability of communities of mankind to completely submerge themselves into a shared experience among friends, among strangers and amongst a history you never even knew of.