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Wherever we went in Cornwall there were gulls: perching on rooftops, balancing on railings, sitting atop vans (especially seafood vans!), roosting on harbour walls, feigning nonchalance, affecting disinterest, calling the bluff of the unwary tourist. But we were wise.


With our first purchase of Cornish pasties we’d been warned: ‘The gulls here are vicious. One will distract you while the others swoop down from behind, so be careful where you sit and, whatever you do, don’t feed them!’ Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, so we were smart. We found benches with our backs to building walls, where no artful marauders could surprise with their cunning manoeuvres, and so we weren’t bothered at all by the scavenging gulls … though I’m sure the scouts on the rooftops were watching our every mouthful!