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Favourite haunts

Novelty may broaden the mind, but familiarity takes us deeper. Kate Townshend tells us why she will holiday in the same spot in Cornwall as always this year – and may even read the same books

psychology

George Eliot wrote in The Mill On The Floss: ‘What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known?’ And if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. Eliot means, of course, that sometimes it’s the experiences we know most completely that are the most satisfying. And she certainly makes me feel vindicated in my decision to return next month to a corner of deepest, darkest, most idyllic Cornwall – a corner to which I’ve made my holiday pilgrimage for the past decade, returning year on year for the immeasurable, simple pleasures of sky, sea and space. And, very occasionally, even some sun.

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