Monday, May 29, 2006

Oops - forgot what day it was!

Sometimes I forget what a beautiful place I live in and sometimes I forget what day it is.
End of May bank holiday has great significance in Cornwall. Unlike May 1st we are not singing the 'Oss' and welcoming earthy Pagan Rites but it is still a date that we all abide by.
I forgot!!

As the MD was working and I had done some household chores which deserved a treat I set off with Small Fecker on a quest for some cultural viewing and a large ice cream in our favourite parlour in St Ives.
St Ives is lovely, full of tiny streets that you couldn't swing a cat in, should you feel the need. It hasn't changed a great deal from the time this old photograph was taken.

I thought it was funny that we couldn't park in our usual carpark and we had to use the park and ride. It was also funny that the bus was full!
By the time we got into the town my brain was slowly starting to realise the mistake that I had made.


It was heaving with accents. Brummies, Mancs, Scots everywhere and all attired in their 'I'm on holiday' outfits. Pale, hairy legs that had no right to be in shorts and t-shirts with cheesy slogans stretched across beer bellies - the men weren't much better either!

"We'll go to the Tate, they won't have found it yet" I said dragging Small Fecker through the heaving masses. (This is based on Locals Knowledge - holiday makers usually arrive on Saturday and it takes them a while to get their bearings).
Wrong again. The queue for the Tate was up the hill.

"To The Island" I said.
This is in fact a typical Cornish lie but I'll talk about them at a later date. Suffice to say that the island in question is not an island but a sticky out bit of land with sea on three sides.
I grabbed an ice cream from a van on the way and we took refuge behind some rocks for an hour.
All was blissful, the sea was aquamarine with whitehorses dancing on the windblown tops.
"What's out there if you don't stop" SF asked pointing seawards.
"We don't get many Irish on holiday, do we?"
"No F, just the rest of the world."

Don't get me wrong, Cornwall needs its holiday makers in order to survive. We moan about our horrendous water rates but we know deep down that nowadays it is our only source of income.
I've now put a star on the calender marking the date when it will be safe to venture into town again, roll on September!


Anonymous said...

Damn, and I thought about popping down to St Ives this summer - bloody tourists ;)

Unknown said...

Ohh no,no,no! This post was not designed to put you off!
Snives (as we local yokels call it) is beautiful all year round. If you are on holiday you expect to wait two hours for an ice cream, don't you?
There were plenty of your fellow countymen there yesterday - fronts emblazoned with 'Newport Dragons' and heads adorned with odd little hats that looked as if they would sit better on a five-year-old.
Why do tourists feel the need to promote their homelands. Hmmm, perhaps I should wear a pasty on my head when I go away!

Susan said...

Wonderful essay, Minx!

Maxine Clarke said...

It is all St George flags round here, hanging out of cars, windows, festooning pubs, etc. I am convinced England is going to get knocked out in the first round and everyone is going to look very silly -- and the atmosphere in this house won't be too good for a while either.
(sorry Skint if you are reading this)

Unknown said...

By order of the Minx:

Maxine Clarke said...

Will you come and say that in my house, please?

Unknown said...

No, too scared of the Prof!

Maxine Clarke said...

Well at least I don't live with an MD!
This post reminds me of when I was a child growing up in Oxford, and the arrival of the first coachload of Japanese tourists.
These days the coaches probably pour in all year without a break, I suppose.

Debi said...

Trembling as I type this ... we go camping in Devon and Cornwall in the summer and I had been wondering if you wanted to meet up on a beach somewhere. Now I'm afraid ... very afraid ...
It's the 'other' side of Cornwall that fascinates me. Last year we stayed in a field behind Tesco's outside Penzence where most of the other people were either homeless and/or seasonal workers. We formed some really meaningful if fleeting relationships there. It was the only place we stayed where people stood and waved as we left (and I don't THINK they were saying 'Thank Christ THEY'VE gone ...'). Oh yes, and then the Moscow State Circus rolled up one night and set up on the other end of the field ...
Please don't hate us, Minx. We may not think of ourselves as tourists, but I guess that's what we are. And worse, we're POOR tourists so don't even do much for the local economy. But surely you wouldn't want us to languish here in the smoke for the whole summer ...