(Summer's Beach, St Mawes)
Finally I have found a little space in my day to share my little trip to Cornwall with you. Oh friends, it was a wonderful week - I haven't been down in a good long while you see and it was heaven to see familiar places again after such a long time. After those hectic, weary weeks beforehand too, it was a real tonic to unwind and not have anything very important to take care of or do, no real responsibilities...bliss.
We stayed in the little village of Portscatho, in this very cottage close to the square and a pebbles throw from the sea. Just a short walk around the corner and you could be standing above the picturesque little harbour, or on the little beach...
...and we had a gorgeous view from our cottage window...
There is something very special about waking up to the sound of gulls calling, and then opening the curtains and seeing glimpses of the sea from your window. I also managed to squeeze in a bit of al-fresco hooky time too, in the little walled front garden.
The first full day there, we awoke to heavy fog and torrential rain though. Not a good start, but we found our waterproofs and headed out (typical Brits, going to enjoy it no matter what). It poured down for most of the day and by mid afternoon it had turned to gales with intermittent showers. We headed for Porthleven where the sea was wild and the waves were coming up over the harbour wall!
The next day couldn't have been more different. In St Ives, the sun shone and our wee girl was in and out of the sea on Porthgwidden beach almost all day.
We finished a rather lovely day with a meal at the Ocean Grill, freshly caught fish and a chilled glass of wine...and what a view!
I really liked the decorative glass work inside the restaurant too:
Tired but feeling extremely happy, I walked back along the harbour to the car. The tide had come in and the sea was that brilliant seaglass-green colour...
I could quite happily sit and watch the water and the waves around St Ives for hours, the colours are wonderful, and so very beautiful. I find the sea to have a wonderful energy, it's constant movement, changing colour and moods...it's hugely inspiring and nourishing to be near to it. Even on a rainy and cloudy day the sand seems to glow as if the sun shines upon it, and the sea has that bright gleam of soft creamy jade about it. People talk about the special 'light' at St Ives, it's why the artists originally flocked to the place, and I can understand why they loved it so.
Later in the week, we went to Mousehole. I love this tiny place, where old fishermens' cottages cluster together around it's pretty harbour, and wandering lanes lead to tiny galleries and cafes.
One morning, we drove to St Mawes, just a few miles from where we were staying. Having not packed a picnic that day, we bought fresh baguettes at the St Mawes Bakery, a little building right on the harbour, and then nipped over the road to the deli where we stocked up on local cheese, pots of prawns, rolls of pink smoked salmon, and garlic and lemon mayonnaise before finally making our way to Summer's Beach. What a treat!!
(Gorgeous coastal cottage at St Mawes)
A trip to Falmouth by boat in the afternoon was planned as we ate our feast. The sun shone on the journey there and the sea was a deep jade green. Carys and I went to see the Richard Tuff exhibition at Beside The Wave Gallery. How I wish I could buy one of his paintings, alas they are rather beyond what my little purse can afford!!
Waiting for the boat to take us back to St Mawes, I was rather taken with the harbour walls around Custom House Quay. I liked the way that different sized stones had been used in a rather pleasing way, and the ochre yellow lichen that had grown upon them contrasted with the grey of the stones beautifully! I did a little sketch, just before our boat arrived, and then it was time to put the drawing things away and climb aboard.
The boat journey home was a cold affair and we had foolishly left our warm clothes back in St Mawes (Cornish readers please feel free to guffaw loudly at this point). The weather had turned and a light drizzle accompanied us, along with a cold wind. The boat bounced up and down on a generous swell, and a couple of our party alighted feeling a little queasy!
Another lovely discovery for me this visit, was the Helford Passage. I've long been a fan of Daphne DuMaurier books, and one of my favourite stories is Frenchman's Creek. To be in the vicinity of where this woman took inspiration for her books was amazing, and although we didn't actually make it to the location of Frenchman's Creek, it was enough to stand down on the quayside at Helford Passage and imagine it all.
There is a gentle drowsiness to this part of Cornwall which I find irresistible; it has a quiet charm that is far removed from the heaving bustle and busyness of St Ives, and you feel yourself relax in this quiet, pretty place. As the tide lapped up the shore, and we retreated to the path (with a very annoyed four year old who can't quite fathom out why the sea has to eat her sand) we decided to have a meal in the Ferryboat Inn...local mussels for me, caught in Fowey that same day, with a nice bowl of chips and a cold glass of white!
A week goes far to fast, and before we knew it we were saying our goodbyes to our quiet little village, and it's tranquil surroundings. Heading inland for home always makes me feel slightly flat and wistful, so I promise myself to come back again.
In the meantime I have a memory full of inspiration, a sketchbook full of new drawings (more about those next time) and ideas which I'll be sharing with you all soon.
Thanks for dropping in to see me, looking forward to catching up with all of you soon.