Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Far from the maddening crowd
As you can imagine, St Ives is a very busy place to live at the moment. It would appear that the world and his wife have descended upon the town this year. While that is Good News for a community that by and large depends on holidaymakers, it can be rather claustrophobic too. The beaches fill up very early on a sunny day, and you can feel hemmed in on all sides. I prefer to go later, when people are leaving to get ready for dinner. It's actually the best time (but don't tell them that); the warmth of the sun is a little less, but the sand and rock radiate their own heat. The colours don't possess the harshness that a mid-day sun can bring. They are golden, turning peachy pink as the evening draws near. There is space to play. An unadulterated view for this Mum, so that she can let her son run the length and breadth of the west end of the beach, without worrying.
But if I'm honest, we don't go to the town beaches that often during the month of August. And I think that's more to do with my own dislike of it than anything else. It feels rather impersonal, and a bit too garish what with all the windbreaks and primary colours of bucket and spade. And I feel as if the town has handed over itself to the visitor. There doesn't always seem room for the resident. Again, that's not a complaint. We get to keep it for ourselves for most of the year, and that's precious indeed.
The long summer holiday is a mixture of mad activity versus lazy hanging out days at home. What we get up do depends on what the weather looks like as I draw the blinds on any given morning. And anyway, the mornings tend to be a mix of quiet play for Olly and chores for me. There is always laundry, and floors to sweep. There are many Star Wars battles to be had, or Knex models to be made (which at the moment seem to all be models of mass destruction. Should I be worried?)
While it's all very well to sit and play in the garden, Honey still needs to be walked, and Olly still needs to run, play and explore. Especially if I'm to tire him out enough for bedtime. There are the various parks of course, and we are going to one of his favourites this morning. But there are our also our special favourite places that we return to time and again. They are quiet and unspoilt. They are the hidden gems of our local area. These are the places that belong to us all year round.
One of them is Rosewall. I have mentioned and written about our adventures up on the hill quite a few times here. But oh how I love it there. It's not a particularly high or steep hill. But there is magic up there. It is protected and untouched. That's not to say that it is unknown; Barbara Hepworth would climb the hill and look down on the landscape. You can see its' inspiring view in some of her work. Walkers of dogs, and ramblers visit. But there are never too many at any given time. In fact we almost always have the place to ourselves. I always feel a little smug that just a couple of miles away St Ives is teeming, while we are stood up high looking down on a majestic landscape whose only throng are the animals that live here too.
We've yet to watch the sun set up on Rosewall Hill, but it's on the list. I can't imagine anything nicer than sitting on top of the world with a flask of hot chocolate, the dog and the boy to contemplate the sun as it sinks below the horizon.
(several of the above photos were taken by Olly. I think he did rather well).