Cornwall Life columnist Simon Tregoning is still smug living here...

PUBLISHED: 12:02 22 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:46 20 February 2013

Cornwall Life columnist Simon Tregoning is still smug  living here...

Cornwall Life columnist Simon Tregoning is still smug living here...

Simon Tregoning catches up with his city-slicker buddies

Still smug living here

Simon Tregoning catches up with his city-slicker buddies

One aspect of my Cornish existence about which I am not quite so proud is the attack of barely disguised smugness which invariably afflicts me whenever I go to a reunion. There is of course the genuine excitement of getting back together with old friends and reliving the good times. But the mix of emotions is a bit more complex than that. Invading the bonhomie is that little gremlin called competitiveness who sits on your shoulder firing barbed questions into your ear. You just cant help inspecting wrists for make of watch, peering at car key fobs or asking veiled questions to reveal your friends current postcode. All to build a picture of the power, riches and property they have gathered over the years. Having taken the alternative route of disappearing to deepest Cornwall in my mid-twenties, I cant help thinking what could possibly be better than living here?

I travelled up to London recently for a reunion in Kewwhere we all tried to drink beer like we used to, but with theadditional challenge of holding our stomachs in at the sametime. Bending over was an absolute no, no because it wasbound to reveal the true amount of hair loss and be followedby the unavoidable over-40 groan as you righted yourself.The other stress-inducer was how to weave your heroics ona surfboard or triathlon adventures into the conversationwith a natural hint of self-deprecation. Then, whenchallenged on times or distances, to pretend that it is thetaking part that counts, particularly when your racingsnake friend went longer or faster or, worst of all, both.All a bit sad really, particularly when I have to confessthat, in the lead up to such events I eat less, exercise a littlemore and leap outside at the slightest hint of Cornishsunshine to get my face right in it, all in a desperate attemptto look ridiculously happy, healthy and age-defyingly fit.If that all sounds a bit like I am trying too hard, then I haveto agree. As the evening wore on and we all caught up witheach others lives, it became patently obvious that the leastconditioned and best-padded of our still competitivegathering was also the happiest.

But I still cant help feeling smug about living in the bestplace in the world.

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