Life in Penzance

It’s now been six weeks since Tehm and I made Penzance our home. It’s taken a bit of getting used to. Not the place, but getting used to the reality that a dream that we have had for many many years has finally been achieved. Plenty of need for reality checks each time we catch a glimpse of the sea or St Michael’s Mount.

We are currently without any form of permanent heating system, and are making do with plug-in oil radiators, which are expensive to run. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of an efficient wood-burning stove which is due to be installed in three weeks time. And a bigger project after that involving a back boiler and a thermal store, but that is for another post nearer the time.

Avoiding supermarkets

Another change that we have made is the decision to avoid shopping in supermarkets, which is quite possible here, if you put your mind to it. Penzance is gifted with a fine greengrocer, Thornes, who also stock the largest array, nay, battery, of jams and preserves I have ever seen, as well as other ‘exotic’ food items and all the basics. There are delicatessens here, and the highest concentration of bakeries that I have ever seen. We have the fine butchers, Ian Lentern, a large health food shop which sells lots of groceries too, an organic food shop, the “Weigh Inn” as well as two Co-op stores for the bits you can’t get elsewhere. We haven’t made it to the fishmongers yet, but that’s next. A short drive, cycle, or even walk, and you can take in the shops of Newlyn or Marazion. And you know what? We’re no worse off, and in fact, I think shopping and eating this way is proving cheaper and more healthy. No temptations to buy ready meals, and we buy fresh as we need it.

Life without TV

I blogged about life with no TV when I first moved to Salisbury, back in 2006, and shamefully, we did eventually get one again a few years later. Well, this time, we’ve ditched it again, and I’m certain that it will be for good this time. With super-fast broadband on the way, a collection of over a thousand books, and when you’re learning a new instrument (the Irish Bouzouki) there always seems so much to do to find the time to watch live TV. iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, and Demand5 are there for catch-up should we hear about something worth watching.


Penzance is in an area called West Penwith, which is truly the most beautiful part of the UK, in my opinion. There is so much to explore. Because most of our time has been spent settling in and unpacking, we haven’t been exploring much. However, we have made it out to Porthcurno, St Just, and Porth Nanven.

When you get views like this, I can’t wait to get out and experience more places here in the far west, letting those roots get a little deeper each time, and feel the elation that, finally, this is my home!

Porth Nanven
Porth Nanven

2 replies on “Life in Penzance”

Well done for not only hearing those niggles, those whispers/convictions/call it what you will that things could really be greener on the other side but also then following them through.

I am intrigued though – what is a “Weigh-in”? Is it somewhere you go to check your Weight Watcher’s status every week?

Hi Charles,

It feels good to do be able to do it, and it definitely helps to live in a place where there is choice.

The “Weigh Inn” is one of those “weigh to save” places where they have large containers of foodstuffs that you can buy as much or as little as you like, rather than being prepackaged. For example we recently needed a small quantity of some spices to try a recipe – rather than buying whole containers of things we may never use again, we were able to get just what we needed and paid less than 50p. If we want, we can now just save some jars, and fill them ourselves with what we need.

Given the amazing countryside and coast, I don’t think that Weight Watchers will be necessary!



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