A Postcard From Cornwall

Coming Home Cornwall?

Coming Home Cornwall?

If you know me you’ll probably know that Sarah and I are on holiday in Cornwall this week. If you’re expecting a postcard well don’t. I won’t be sending any as I’ve got too much reading and walking to do to be bothered with all that. But here’s one anyway, via the blog.

We arrived on Sunday evening.

We arrived on Sunday evening.

I'd forgotten how beautiful St Ives is.

I’d forgotten how beautiful St Ives is.

A place that id sacred to the two of us.

A place that is sacred to the two of us.

When Sarah got her life-threatening cancer diagnosis, nearly ten years ago now, we adopted St Ives as our safe place to come before and in between major treatments and results. So that rather than sit and worry at home in Liverpool, we’d come here and walk the beaches and the hills together. Embracing what we had of life, however long or short that might turn out to be.

It has so far turned out to be long. So here we are back in St Ives for the first time in eight years.

Out this morning through one of our favourite parts of town, Barnoon Cemetery.

Out this morning through one of our favourite parts of town, Barnoon Cemetery.

Where the dead can see the sea.

Where the dead can see the sea.

And many of the dead are artists.

And many of the dead are artists.

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Here's one of his St Ives paintings.

Here’s one of his St Ives paintings.

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Observing the living from Barnoon.

Observing the living from Barnoon.

Leaving the cemetery we observe one of the living surfing off Porthmeor Beach.dsc06419 dsc06420Encouraged, Sarah walks along the front and books herself in for a surfing lesson.dsc06425

'Half nine tomorrow morning then?'

‘Half nine tomorrow morning then?’

I won’t be there of course. I merely sit here humming ‘Surf’s Up’ by The Beach Boys. The closest I’ll get to joining in.

I go for a look at The Tate, major works going on at the moment.

I go for a look at The Tate, major works going on at the moment.

Then down onto Porthmeor Beach.

Then down onto Porthmeor Beach.

A perfectly beautiful place.

A perfectly beautiful place.

Into the water for the first time this holiday.

Into the water for the first time this holiday.

Then round the corner to the next beach, Porthgwidden.

Then round the corner to the next beach, Porthgwidden.

Which is where the colourful holiday chalets are.

Which is where the colourful holiday chalets are.

A delight.

A delight.

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Another perfect place.

Another perfect place.

Lunch is on the verandah here.

Lunch is on the verandah here.

St Ives, Porthgwidden, October 2016.

St Ives, Porthgwidden, October 2016.

dsc06448dsc06447Leaving Porthgwidden and walking round to the town beach and the harbour we find an artist at work.

Balancing rocks.

Balancing rocks.

Filling this headland with balancing rocks.

Filling this headland with balancing rocks.

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Not everyone thinks it's that unusual.

Not everyone thinks it’s that unusual.

Across the bay is another of the beaches of St Ives, Porthminster. The only one we won't be visiting today.

Across the bay is another of the beaches of St Ives, Porthminster. The only one we won’t be visiting today.

Arriving at the harbour I point out some kayaks.

Arriving at the harbour I point out some kayaks.

'No they're not!' admonishes Sarah.

‘No they’re not!’ admonishes Sarah.

Turns out these are just ‘sit-ons.’ Pretty much air-filled surf boards people can paddle about on ‘For fun’ sniffs Sarah. And in no way to be compared to the noble sea kayak slicing through the Atlantic waves!

Sarah had, by the way, wanted to book in some real sea kayaking while we’re down here, but no luck. There’s some big convention on over at Falmouth and all the coaches she knows are there.

So we'll just have to do our best to enjoy ourselves somehow. Here's the Town Beach.

So we’ll just have to do our best to enjoy ourselves somehow. Here’s the Town Beach.

Which is also the harbour, and where a catch is being landed.

Which is also the harbour, and where a catch is being landed.

Watched carefully by one interested observer.

Watched carefully by one interested observer.

Good to see and no doubt supplying all the restaurants in town?

Good to see and no doubt supplying all the restaurants in town?

On the dashboard of a truck on the pier here.

On the dashboard of a truck on the pier here.

A small but working port.

A small but working port.

Hard working.

Hard working.

And catch landed, straight back out to sea.

And catch landed, straight back out to sea.

Lock ups for the gear?

Lock ups for the gear?

And topped off by a beautiful lighthouse.

And topped off by a beautiful lighthouse.

After which, some shopping happened.

After which, some shopping happened.

Sarah introduced herself as an expert shopper to the delighted local clothes stores, who all realised she was only limbering up today. Meanwhile I visited the bookshop and bought the two books I’ll read whilst here.

Then we went for a sunny sit in a secret place.

Then we went for a sunny sit in a secret place.

As late afternoon turned into evening.

As late afternoon turned into evening.

Lovely to be back here. And sending this postcard home.

6 thoughts on “A Postcard From Cornwall

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Jane, and as it’s kind of end of season it’s quietening down. Perfect peace after a busy, though joyous, summer of getting Coming Home ready to start.

      Reply
  1. Cathy Alderson

    Ah, have a wonderful time. My family are all living down there and our treat is to walk from St Uny church to St Ives, stopping at the Carbis Bay hotel for coffee en route. It’s got us through some horrendous times. It should be on the NHS!
    Enjoy the rest of your stay x

    Reply
  2. memoirsofahusk

    That graveyard reminds me of the church/graveyard in Aberdaron – no artists as far as I know but a poet priest. And smaller. But grey and sea-facing.
    Years ago when we lived in Bristol and I was doing a very stressful job, we started going to St Ives, then swapped sides of the Peninsula and found a place to stay on the edge of Mousehole which had the perfect (top floor) room with a big window with chairs to sit in watching the sea and a garden that went down to the rocky shore for when the weather was fine. It was easy to walk the clifftops to Lamorna Cove, in the other direction walking to Newlyn kept us in touch with reality, its bustling harbour with its colourful boats – and as everywhere – artists. And now and again we went to Penzance or took the train into St Ives instead of driving. I can see why you chose it as your other place, a place where things were different, your lives were different. Such beautiful light, the colour of the sea, the Tate and – for us – the potters, I hope it’s replenishing both your wells of well-being – it certainly looks like it. Have a veggie pasty for me!

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Mary, it’s good to get away and be somewhere different. This has been such an intense summer I’d forgotten, as ever, the importance of stepping back and looking at the thing we’re making back in Liverpool. Today I spent a couple of hours in that graveyard, reading happily.

      Reply

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