Tuesday 15th July 2014 continued
My sister drove us back to the hotel in her open top Audi. It must be said, it felt great with the sea breeze, the sun, the feeling of love and alcohol swilling in our veins. Liz, being Liz, was getting dead excited about the wedding. She wanted to talk colours, flowers and dresses, but we were in a small hurry for a big family date at the Minack Theatre to watch the opera Tosca. We got back to the hotel, tarted ourselves up, stacked the car with nibbles, then crossed the county of Cornwall to get to the theatre situated on Cornwall’s south coast.
To many of you in other parts of the world, Minack Theatre might not mean much to you. For me it is one the wonders of Cornwall, one of the most interesting theatres in the world actually. You won’t find many replicas of this. Liz treated us to the tickets. It’s basically cut into a cliff face. The views are dramatic beyond belief and stunning, as you can imagine. I am told in September that the water is warmer and you can see dolphins and whales leaping through waves. I loved seeing the trawlers trawling back after their day’s catch to Penzance. “Minack” in Cornish means a rocky place and the black headed crag below the theatre has always drawn local fishermen. From 1931 until she died in 1983 the Minack Theatre was planned, built and financed by one determined woman – Rowena Cade. I didn’t know it had been around for so long, but like most amphitheaters, it looks like the Romans built it. The seats fall into one and other, stacked awkwardly, which makes it look like a beautiful mess. It’s dramatic as the sunsets, but spooky and mysterious at dark when the mist falls on the place, but the stage lights keep you focused on the action.
I’ve never been too sure about operas and musicals. I prefer that actors just bleedin’ well say the words rather than risk their vocal cords by belting out that they’re feeling a bit pissed off about something. Bloody Latinos getting all emotional again. I have to deal with all that lark in Honduras. I get fed up of having to do the whole, “Calm down” thing like Harry Enfield’s scouser sketch. Tosca I liked. It reminded me of a Mexican Telenovela with all its jealousy. It was quite a drama with the seats though. The usher needs to be ushered into a customer service training course. She wanted to be part of the opera, ordering us to sit so close that we could barely breathe. My father said something and she response was embarrassing. Pamela and I were away in the clouds with love, but the middle aged woman to the other side of me I don’t think wanted too much to do with us. It felt a very good kind of strange to tell her that I had proposed earlier that day. Of course she wished us all the best. It was also where I asked my brother to be my best man.
But we loved it. The night. The day. Everything about it. 15th July is a day to remember for both of us.
Wednesday 16th July 2014
The next day was kind of leaving Cornwall day. Liz had to set off early, Ben kind of early, so we had our breakfasts and said our goodbyes. Mum and Dad then took us to St. Ives, a tourist mayhem but a beautiful old fishing harbour very well known for it’s art shops and surfing shops and shell shops and pasty shops and fish and chip restaurants and ice cream parlors and cider and ghost walks. I love walking around the back streets, dreaming of having a cosy art bohemian life in the small old fisherman’s houses. It’s a special place to visit.
We first went to the Tate Modern, built out of an old engine room (I think). I’m not an art expert, but my mother said that it wasn’t the best exhibition in the world (she is an artist) but I did like one artist who painted boats out at sea on debris collected from washed up things on the beach. I can’t remember for the life of me his name. If my mother is reading this, she will probably tell me (please!).
We then went for a quick bite to eat at the busy restaurant in front of the Tate Modern. I watched on as people got attacked by hungry seagulls. Just one look away and you could lose your sandwich. I had some deep fried squid and I kept my hand over it, risking my own fingers, because the squid was so delicious.
We then walked down into the main part of the town. Pamela was thinking of getting a temporary tattoo and then taking a picture of it for her tattoo hating mother that it was a permanent one. I would get the blame, mind, and I managed to talk her out of it. I’ll be quite honest, most the St. Ives residents living in the centre seem to be from outside of the town; most born and bred St Ives people live away from the centre, probably despising the millions of grockles and emmets that swarm their quaint little town. I love it there, always will, but I can understand them.
After giggling a little about seagulls attacking, it was then my turn, with one of the little fuckers taking an ice cream clean out my hand (just the ice cream mind, not the cone: the seagulls seem to be so well fed that they seem that they can be choosy with their nosh). It cost me three quid and I got three licks; pound a lick (sounds a bit grotesque!).
We bought some pasties to go home with (it was my decision), and we set off, stopping briefly at Jamaica Inn, as Pamela wasn’t feeling great. Cornish air my Nan would say. But that just makes you tired. I think it was subconscious; she just didn’t want to leave. I got to buy a sticker of the Cornish flag. I can’t wait to put it on my first Honduran car. They won’t have a clue who it belongs to. Or maybe they will. As stated in the last update, I was pretty sure that pasties had a Latin link, and this website proves that I must just be right: http://www.cornishpasties.org.uk/mexicanconnection.htm. It’s about Cornish miners in Mexico!!!
We were in the car going back to Brum. There was still a lot more of the holiday to go. But for now it was Dha wélez árta Kenrow! – “See you again Cornwall” – in the interesting language of Cornwall, about the beautiful land, of Cornwall.