By 2013 I'd been foisting my personal musings upon the readers of Cornwall Today magazine for some time, and people were asking if it was possible to get hold of an anthology of my Backalong columns (so they didn't have to rummage through that dusty pile of back issues next to the toilet, or the slightly manky copies ever-present at the doctors or hairdressers - many Backalong fans are notably well-coiffeured malingerers).
And so Notes from a Cornish Shed was published at the end of 2013. If you want to catch up on subjects as diverse as naming Cornish twins, goose husbandry, what incomers to Cornwall should wear to fit in, or the quintessential smell of summer, look no further. If you vaguely recall how rude I was about Jerusalem artichokes, or bottled water, but need to remind yourself, you can fill your boots here. I admit that I've complained about a lot of things over the years, but it's always been with my tongue firmly in my cheek, and you wouldn't believe the number of people who've come up and told me how much they agree. Especially about display logs - honestly, what are those people thinking?
Notes from a Cornish Shed proved so popular that it was only a matter of time before volume two appeared. Another Shedload was published at the end of 2017.
Some familiar themes are revisited - I'm still dedicated to my geese and chickens, still pondering over what it really means to be Cornish, and praying that frost won't wipe out my tender exotics. But I'm also baffled as to why people have suddenly starting queueing at the bar of my local pub, and how Ross Poldark always manages to travel directly inland to Truro by galloping for miles along the coast path.
Most importantly, I still haven't found my flip-flop.
REVIEWS FOR NOTES FROM A CORNISH SHED/BACKALONG
"All written with a smile on his face, Pete's tales are a joy to read and are the perfect antidote to the self important ramblings that we see so much in news columns today."
- Kernow King
"With essays on pasties, the coast path, and how to dress like a local, Pete deftly treads the line which many of us returning prodigals know only too well...It's a cracking good read."
- Western Morning News
"Pete Cross' books are delightful - he has a poetic and wry take on life and all he observes.'"
- Alison Barrow, Transworld Publishing
"Pete Cross can be relied on to give us an insightful and entertaining vision of living in Cornwall today."
- Ann Kelley
- Malcolm Wyatt, writewyatt
Full review: http://wp.me/p2khuf-E4