Cornish Bliss (part 1)
Let's start this with a cliché:
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian: £8
Best Of by Nina Simone: £14
One week in a rather swish house just outside St. Ives: about £200
No email. No Jabber. No Subversion. No Bugzilla: priceless
For the last week Vicky and myself were in Cornwall, staying in a house just outside St. Ives with her family. The house was much nicer than we expected, very tastefully decorated and well equipped, with a DVD player, hi-fi, coffee machine, and so on.
The house was in Carbis Bay, about a twenty minute walk from St. Ives along the costal path that was directly off the bottom of the garden. The path towards St. Ives is also the nicest stretch of costal path I've been on: it is surfaced and wide enougth to drive on, unlike the paths we've been on previously which are often no more than a foot wide cutting in the earth, next to a sheer cliff.
Our first impression of Cornwall was one of chill: when the taxi dropped
me off at the train station to start the journey down the thermometer said
38°C, but at the same time the next day it was
23°C. Brrrr. The traditional Cornish summer proceeded to roll in
a few days later, with heavy rain, gusty wind and general grimness for a
day. Yay for DVD players!
St. Ives is a lovely town. Unlike Newquay which was got far too popular for it's own good (the two-carriage train had both a Stag and Hen party on board en route to Newquay, trying not that subtly to pull each other), St. Ives is busy but not crammed. There is no demographic that dominates the tourists, a mix of families young and old, surfers, twenty-somethings and pensioners means it doesn't feel like a tourist hotspot, and it manages to cater for everyone. The habour front has lounge bars, traditional pubs, restaurants and cornish pasty shops, catering for everyone. The town has become quite a focal point for artists recently (since 1928, Wikipedia tells me), and there seems to be more independent art galleries than pasty shops (!), including the Cornwish outpost of the Tate. Tate St. Ives is pretty small for anyone who has been to Tate Modern, but it's damn good: due to the size it is very focused (there are just two galleries) and the building itself is a wonderful modern piece of art deco architecture. We went with the intention of getting some more pictures for the house and did quite well: a print of Horizontal Stripes by Patrick Heron, and a limited run print (427/600) by a local artist. I'm too lazy to remember the name of the picture or the artist, but I'll take a photo of it later. Our Grand Plan of having more individual art in the house is going well, we've an original oil-on-canvas abstract to collect from the framers that we bought in Paris too.
To be continued...