Conserving battery power is a struggle, I’ve found. If you’re away from the car, or a house, or any power outlet it becomes a mental challenge to constantly think “No, I shouldn’t play some music. I have to conserve power.” On a normal day, one can put the iPod or the phone through their paces, but when you don’t know when next you’ll be able to recharge, one becomes frugal.

Conversely, one’s ethics fly out the window when presented with a power socket in an unexpected place. Like, dropping into a pub in the middle of nowhere on the English countryside, and finding a handy wall socket next to the table. Then one suddenly recharge a gaggle of appliances during the meal, under the cover of a strategically placed bag, and hope that the staff don’t notice the huge spike in electricity consumption at table six.

I think that at one point, we had three phones and an iPod siphoning off power while we ate slower so that enough juices could stream into the gadgets. The food wasn’t too exemplary, so that wasn’t a problem. Pub food, I’ve found, is either – extreme amounts of fat and vinegar that make a meal near inedible – or it’s fantastic so that you want to savour every crumb. This time was not of the latter category, so eating slow was easy.

Now that we have reached our destination for this part of our journey, and sit secure in the big, empty house of Mark’s parents, we can let the gadgets swell with electricity, but so far it’s been a struggle. And tomorrow the struggle will return because we’re going to Cornwall before we turn around and head back to our normal lives.

Cornwall will be the second time I leave England without leaving Great Britain. Earlier last year I visited Scotland, and this time I’m visiting the Scots Gaelic cousins in Cornwall. Now, all I have to do is to visit Wales to tick off visiting the majority of the fractured nations of this big island of ours. Maybe, the song that will ring through my ears is the parody song “Cornwall is not England” when we cross the river Tamar.

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