‘What’s that?’ There is a most remarkable sound coming out of Daisy’s rucksack.
‘Flamingos.’ says Daisy unperturbed.
‘Oh,’ , I say blinking. ‘Noisy aren’t they.’
I can see her point. We are in St Ives in Cornwall and the sky is tattered with gulls. Having their cry as a ringtone on one’s phone might be more than a bit confusing. A lot of missed calls.
Ahhh St Ives in winter! Just look at the light and the quaintness and most important for Surly curmudgeons and sea dogs like me and Grace, look how empty it all is! Whole beaches to ourselves and harbours to mooch around in.
I cannot recommend it enough- although tis jolly far away. One has to contend with quite a lot of sites, shops, restaurants and bars being shut for winter refurbishment but there is still plenty of great seafood, the Tate shop and enough art and tat shops to please. And even without a car to get across to some of the more wonderful, less accessible beaches, St Ives itself has plentyof sand and surf, all in walking distance and one can always hop on the train. (Right, where is my 10% from the Cornish tourist board?)
My friend, Daisy, and I had organised a couple of rooms in a luxury self catering apartment at a ridiculously low winter rate. As part of the Treganna Castle complex the apartment was at the top of the hill overlooking the town with views out onto a golf course. I had thought it would be a perfect writing retreat but it turns out that staying in too gorgeous a place is dangerous for writers. How could I sit, hunched over the same old computer all day when ten minutes down the hill was roaring surf and wide open beaches full of light and sound?. Plus Grace, having realised on the first day that any movement away from the apartment and ‘down’ meant BEEEAAACCHHH, completely forgot almost every moment of her training and insisted on plunging , with me gripping white knuckled to her harness, over the edges of any steep steps or cliffs she came to no matter where they led. This did cause some conflict, a few angry words but hey..who could resist this expression?
I must thank the guitar wielding, genius cook and inspired driver, Daisy for putting up with my belly aching about work (and literally belly aching, as somehow I had managed to bring a nasty bug along that made me pretty sick for several days…although strangely didn’t stop me getting through the wine box…) And Grace for being the happiest beast in Cornwall. For Rachma and Steven for letting us drink their gin on the way up and back. The sea the sea the wonderful sea!!
In a career spanning over 50 years, she will be celebrated as a internationally renowned potter, a master of ceramics and glazes, writer, artist and an inspiration to artists across the world as well as a great and kind friend and mentor. My love goes to her children and grandchildren.
All photos copyright (C) T. Bush 2011