Hey! My salutations have been gate crashed!

Why  should we welcome this confident new arrival?

Words and turns of phrase have come and gone over the course of my life, driven by tech, media or the need to describe a new social circumstance. I barely noticed this particular interloper until US based AirBnB put the word right into my mouth.

“Hey”. I said (apparently) “My name is Julia”. And there was my photo and a short biopic on the newly formed profile. Up to that point I had perceived ‘hey’ as a millennial buzzword but it turns out “Hello” and “Hi” carry a surprisingly similar etymology. All represent a shifting blend of call for attention (that’s anything from calling hunting dogs to hailing a ferryman) with the potential to morph into an emphatic greeting at any moment.

The old high German language that contributed so much to middle English gave us “Hei”, “Hai” and other variants that were to become the great grand parent of all three words. Similar forms cropped up, probably from this root, in many Germanic countries and across Scandinavia.

Hardly surprising this breezy and seemingly modern greeting made itself so readily at home in our Cornish corner of  western Europe.

More recent developments are also similar. Both Hi and Hello are perceived in Britain as Americanisms though they too share the old English ancestry carried to the new world by migrant Europeans.  Hi was first attributed to the speech of a Kansas Indian (addressing an audience in English) in 1862 in the southern states of the US from whence it spread North, becoming accepted across America during the second half of the 20th century.

Hello became dominant with the advent of telephones when early exchange workers were introduced as “the hello girls” as recently as 1889. I personally remember the ‘correct’ spelling of Hello remained surprisingly flexible in the UK until around 1980 as it displaced the older forms hallo or Hullo.

This brings us to my favorite theory: that phonetically similar forms meaning the same thing (or very similar) consistently turn up across the world and in entirely unrelated languages,  Finnish Hei, Unami He’ or mandarin Chineses āi for example.

So do I object then to this cheeky and increasingly prolific three letter vocab’ bomb?

It would appear “hey” might be a universal human expression. If the purpose of language is to facilitate communication,

who could ask more of a word?

Congratulations exchanged at squirrel success.

A super modest success was celebrated yesterday as a new state-of-the-art squirrel feeding and entertainment facility (cleverly designed to look just like an old milk container) achieved a new benchmark 20 minute delay in the time taken by it’s target audience to travel from a ‘home tree’ in the woods opposite the yard to one of his more usual activities; these usually include:
Making eyes at pretty overseas cyclists (with food )
Attempting to raid the kitchen (everything is kept in tins)
Attempting to raid the living area (no food available in there either but that doesn’t stop him)
Successfully launching from the wood shelter roof to the open bedroom window of our assistant hospitalero in search of chocolate.
Investigating the plug-in ultrasonic rodent deterrent with an air of utter contempt.
Hostel Keepers Julia and Neal commented;
“This is a significant achievement and our trajectory now can only be from strength to strength, probably involving platforms on bits of springy old coil-type garden hose; we take inspiration from Buddhist cultures where the place of wildlife is recognised and accommodated , however there are no immediate plans to cancel our order of mesh door panels”
Looking forward they stated “Guests are advised (and sometimes implored) not to feed this fellow visitor but I suspect this story will run and run and probably also climb

Chloe’s Post

After two very full days I am happily sitting in the twilight, watching the solar powered lights come on one by one at Eden’s Yard Backpackers which is nestled in St Austell. After a hearty meal, cooked to perfection by hosts Neal and Julia I reflect on my dream like experience in Cornwall.As a South African I was at first enticed to Cornwall in the hope that I might check out the surfing vibe. However, I came to realize that Cornwall has much more to offer. So instead I decided to visit the gardens and beaches. The Eden Project is a short walk up the road from where I am currently sitting now watching a horse and rider clip clop past. This Eden project is astounding and an exhibition of creative ingenuity, recycling and love for nature. What once was a clay pit waste land has been transformed into a living Eden with two biomes; a rainforest biome with humidity and fully grown trees, as well as a mediterranean biome. Plants from all over the world are grown here and I had a laugh when I spotted fynbos, which is proudly South African. The gardens around the biomes are sculptures, exquisitely designed, and the stage situated in front of the biomes boasts many great performers and acts. The next day I planned, with the help of Julia, to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Here a short walk down from the backpackers to the main road enables you to hop on bus 24 to Pentewan. A frolic in the beach sand and splash in the somewhat chilly water at Pentewan is much enjoyed before hoping back on the bus 471 to the gardens. WOW!! There are no words to describe the gardens. Think of the secret garden, with magical sculptures and a jungle mixed into one…. Exceptional beauty, I have never felt so at peace and zen before. What an incredible experience! A MUST for any one!!

The Cornish Camino starts here

Imagine two weeks in Cornwall, backpacking on a pilgrimage to St Michael’s Mount, following in the footsteps of the Cornish Saints with a pilgrim’s passport and carrying all you need for your journey, on your back!Each night, you stay at an affordable hostel (£15 to £20), in a bunk room with fellow pilgrims, in a friendly place with self catering facilities available and a communal area in which to get to know your fellow pilgrims.Your passport is stamped at each place you stay and records your progress on the journey. The passport also gives discount at shops, cafes and bars along your route and makes you feel a little special.
When you reach your destination, St Michael’s Mount, there is a pilgrim’s office, which, upon production of your stamped up passport, issue you with a completion certificate in recognition of your achievement having walked 250 km of path from your starting point at the Port Elliot Hostel in St Germans.You have had a fantastic journey, walking substantial parts of the Cornish Coast path, across the county on the pilgrim paths of long ago. You have met and socialised with some amazing people from all over the world, different age groups and backgrounds and you’ve enjoyed every minute of it!Congratulations, you have just had the time of your life, it hasn’t cost you an arm or a leg and you have some new friends with whom you shared this fantastic socially inclusive adventure and hunger for more similar journeys in beautiful locations around the world.Imagine no more, this journey will soon be for real and you can sample today the hospitality of a pilgrim’s hostel in Cornwall by staying at Eden’s Yard Backpackers, close to the Eden Project and the Saints Way.
Jul 2, 2015