The fabulous work of Carry Akroyd. I first came across her work in an edition of John Clare’s The Shepherd’s Calendar, which are black and white lino-cuts. The colours in these are just gorgeous :-)

As a boy, I used to think what a terrible punishment it would be to have to count every pebble on the shore. Or what it would be like to lose something precious there and never be able to find it. Now, every day, I look for a stone with a hole in it. I align it to a particular point as a viewfinder; the light bursts through like a little sun, the world seen through a prehistoric telescope. They’re powerful talismans, these holy or hag stones. Back home they tumble out of my pockets and over shelves and window-sills as calendars of my days …… As a boy I listened to the rushing noise inside shells; the same sound has been in my ears for years now, a perpetual ocean in my head.

Philip Hoare “The Sea Inside 2013

I’m reading this book at the moment, and enjoying it immensely.

Last Stop Charlestown

I’m sure the houses in Cornwall come in fifty shades of clotted cream! This town grew out of a small fishing village called West Polmear (also West Porthmear), which in 1790 had a population of 9, increasing to 3,184 by 1911. Prior to the building of the harbour trading vessels landed and loaded on the beach. It was developed in the Georgian era (specifically from 1790 when work on building an outer quay began to 1799 when the first dock gates were erected) as a new town, and named after local landowner Charles Rashleigh who had a hand in its design. In 1799 the locals asked his permission to rename the place Charles’s Town which in turn became Charlestown. The works were to the plans of John Smeaton. It was built to facilitate the transport of copper from nearby mines but its main function became the export of china clay from the region’s quarries and, to a limited extent, still serves that purpose today. 

By the early 1990s the china clay trade had declined and the harbour was hardly used. In 1994 it was bought by Square Sail as a base for their tall ships. Much of Square Sail’s business now involves using the harbour and their ships as film sets.

The last three images are by Chris Leather, because I couldn’t fit the whole ship in!

And instead of going home, we drove in the opposite direction …..

Yes, well, we reluctantly dropped the campervan back off with its owners in Okehampton, and then decided we hadn’t had enough holiday and headed off back down to Mousehole to collect the art work I had fallen for. The sun was shining and we sat soaking up the warmth looking across the harbour. Two girls were swimming in the sheltered water there, and visitors were arriving to enjoy the weather by the sea. Life doesn’t get much better I reckon. The view across Mounts Bay towards Marazion and St. Michael’s Mount was wonderfully hazy (“Bang up the contrast!” says Matt).

We headed off to rediscover lovely Lamorna Cove, the drive descending through a wooded valley to reach it was filled with birdsong and the very first hint of the scent of Wild Garlic. Heavenly. 

The tiny harbour here has fallen foul of the Winter storms, and I doubt it will be mended. We fell asleep by the sea, Hector included …. until it really was time to begin heading home. 

Bude

Geologically mind-blowing, poor Bude has lost a lot of its sand to the Winter storms according to Matt, who has been a regular visitor for over a decade. Set back from the front, the town is bustling but not touristy, and is really very interesting to walk around with its lovely stretch of canal and healthy mixture of architectural styles. It is neither pickled in aspic nor spoiled by over-development.

We had wisely pitched up for an overnight stay on the headland and the walk into and out of town was blessed with views over a sea of brushed steel. 

Hector had a whale of a time climbing rocks and eating seaweed, but as one of the images shows, just needed a little hand sometimes ;-) 

Angela Harding - Star Gazer, BBC Country File

Angela Harding - Star Gazer, BBC Country File

(Source: thewoodbetween)

Angela Harding - Swallows at Stiffkey Beach

Angela Harding - Swallows at Stiffkey Beach

(Source: thewoodbetween)

A few more from Port Isaac.

Port Isaac

Yes, the Port Wen of Doc Martin fame, but it is good to see that this really gorgeous little place is neither overly touristy or cashing in on the television drama. A modest sign reads “Doc Martins house 3rd on the left” and that is it. :-)

The tiny harbour here is full of sea-pottery and glass, and we spent a long time collecting it because it became quite compulsive and we couldn’t stop. 

We had a scrumptious Cornish Pasty here, made by the Chough Bakery, and I was obviously so overcome with my particular lamb and mint variety that I completely forgot to pick up my camera from the bench on which we were sitting overlooking the harbour. As luck and a rather swift-on-his-feet-Matt would have it, it was still there, along with a perplexed looking traffic warden. “I hope it was worth it” she told him. I’d never have forgiven myself if I’d lost it! 

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