Monthly Archives: October 2012

St. Ives or Porthia

outside the Pedn Olva with Kizzy and Polly

We are down in St. Ives again, or Porthia as I discover it can also be called. It is half-term and this will be the third year in a row that we are here at this time of year. On this occasion Sheila and I spend a few days together then we are joined by Ray and Di for a few more days.

We spend our time in the usual haunts: Onshore and the Hub for coffee, free wi-fi and cocktails in the evening; the Pedn Olva window box for evening drinks and the view; the Digey for superbly cooked lunch; and the Firehouse, Blas and the new fish and chip shop, the Harbour, for dinner.

sheila on the stage of the Minack theatre

During the day we take trips out to Porthcurnow, where we climb over the cliffs, past Logan’s Rock to the Minack Theatre, and Gurnard’s Head where we eat in the hotel/pub.

looking down over Gurnard’s Head

sheila and Ray climbing back from Gurnard’s Head

The Castle, in Fore Street, has it’s Quiz night which Julian, Sheila and I won twice running. We can’t get in this year as there are no seats available.

running across the Harbour beach

My highlight was running, early morning when the tide was right out, along the beaches around the town: Porthminster, the Harbour, Porthwidden and Porth Meor. There is something wonderful to be on an empty beach and to see your footprints across the wet sand. See iType2 for more.

the coast guard’s lookout

But another highlight has to be being invited into the Coast Guard‘s lookout on top of the Island and listening to the two guards talk of their work.

me and Ray

More photos are with Flickr.


the last straw….

Jack Straw was a name I was familiar with from my teens when I went to Bristol University. The late 60’s were a time of lively student activities and Jack Straw seemed to be a firebrand at the fore of the action (just like the rebel Jack Straw of the 16th century Peasant’s Revolt after whom the castle in Hampstead Heath is named). So it was exciting after moving to Loughton to discover that the same Jack Straw of my student days was a local.

Not only that but his elder sister Susie worked with Sheila and Jack went to Staples Road School where Danae, Louisa and Thom went (later, Danae and Louisa also went to Leeds University which was Jack’s alma mater too). Then I found out that Jack’s mother, Joan Ormstron, was a head teacher in Newham and I got to know her quite well. I even met Jack at a social function to celebrate the centenary (?) of Staples Road.

It was a bit of a disappointment therefore to discover that the straw man had feet of clay and instead of becoming the heroic prime minister of Britain he became the lickspittle of Tony Blair. Sad. But then who does live up to promise?

Nevertheless, because of all the connections, I have bought his auto-biography and when out cycling I passed 101, Pyrles Lane where he was brought up. No blue plaque, though!

Life drawing

Francesca, I think her name is, was the model that Ron Clarke used some while ago. Teresa liked this 10 minute sketch of mine.