Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Street Art in the Countryside...

Levalet's street art at Hermonville
I have been trying to practise my driving skills over the past few weeks by setting off into the countryside, during the early morning hours, in order to avoid any heavy traffic.... Well, any traffic actually.

Weekend mornings do yield a crop of morning-after-the-night-before revellers; sufficiently sober to drive, I trust, but generally rather jaded and certainly not in the mood for the exasperating amateur antics of the new driver - me!

Then the Sunday cycling enthusiasts also take to the highway in alarming numbers. Typically male pelotons, kitted in the full cycling gear, are fully focused on tackling troublesome gradients on a personalised roadmap that certainly does not factor in that infuriatingly hesitant car that trails behind them, not quite daring to overtake - with me at the wheel!

There may be a certain bonhommie within these groups, and this perhaps extends towards the other group, but both have an understandably limited tolerance threshold when it comes to new drivers and share a marked disdain for incompetence on the road. Oh well...

So far so good, even if this promises to be a long period of adaptation, frayed nerves and frustration since driving does not seem to come naturally to me. However, on one of my latest trips I was delighted to come across some of the recent works of Levalet in the nearby village of Hermonville and that was reward enough for my efforts!

Romeo and Juliet - in the smartphone era...

Monday, July 30, 2018

Magical Mount's Bay...

One of my favourite morning walks... along from Penzance towards Marazion and St Michael's Mount itself... tide permitting! I was there only a few days ago, and yet it feels like an eternity, and as if it were now all part of another world.

This is a panoramic view that looks truly spectacular, whatever the weather, with stunning skies and cloud formations of which you can never tire.

Even on ground level, it seems that the same colours of silver, steel grey, slate and soft cornflower blue are reflected from above... Magical!

A walk in the calm... The graveyard of St Uny...

A coastal path runs from Lelant to St Ives, leading across the dunes, cliffs, woodland and offering stunning, sweeping views of the sea, with the town in the distance, and then the miles of beach at Hayle just behind you.

Chapel of St Uny
As to be expected, all the usual clichéd descriptions apply here, but none would do any real justice. Alongside the superlatives runs a current of great calm and peace - a feeling of normality far removed from the hype that is usually associated with sites of 'outstanding natural beauty'.

Nothing seems to have changed over the years, other than changes brought about by Nature itself - the silting up of the grounds due to erosion and the drift of the sands, from the 16th century onwards, or damage wrought by gales that spare none of the Cornish coasts - past or present.

Nothing here has fallen prey to commercial gimmickry to attract crowds of tourists; there are no facilities to facilitate the visits of Poldark pilgrims - extensive coach parks and the like that ultimately lead to such magical places being 'loved to death'.

Church of St Uny
You can meander through the graveyard amongst tombstones give you an impression of living history - bristled with lichen that obscure the inscriptions bearing fine old Cornish names - creating another form of timeline.

The most remarkable of these stones were the aged Cornish granite crosses, some of which bear forms that are less familiar to us today,  even to the point that they appear pagan.

The church itself dates back to the 12th century, built in granite in the Norman style.

Later work was carried out in the last part of the 15th century in the Perpendicular style whilst the interior of the church was 'simplified' in the Reformation years, and was thus relieved of its altars and ecclesiastic silver....

For some reason, I don't think that I have ever been inside the church, even when I was living just a few miles away, in Towednack, and this time was no different. Weird!

Carbis Bay
However, we did have a fairly long walk ahead of us, to St Ives and back.
And so what trek do I have in front of me today? The one below, in the my street.... Hmmmm.