St Ives

St IvesI’ve wanted to go to Cornwall for a really long time and finally managed to get away to St Ives for a few days last week. I was completely misled about the weather in Cornwall: I was told the climate was similar to that in France but it was overcast and rained a good bit. The first day I was there was incredibly hot. I had planned to have a picnic on the beach but I ended up taking my sandwich back to the youth hostel because I couldn’t bear sitting outside in the sun and because the seagulls – some of which were the size of small dogs – were giving me shifty looks.

Barbara Hepworth SculptureI’m glad I chose to go to the Barbara Hepworth Museum on that first day; the sculpture garden on the roof would not have been nearly so enjoyable in the rain. As it was I was able to practice taking photographs, trying to catch the reflected light from pools of water dancing on curved bronze surfaces and capturing circles of the St Ives skyline framed by the holes in the sculptures. My favourite thing in the museum though, which made me chuckle out loud, was the book of postcards written by children to Barbara Hepworth, thanking her for her sculptures, suggesting alternative names for some of them and drawing pictures of their favourites. One astute child noted Dear Barbara, I’m sorry you are ded. There were also lots of interesting variations on the word sculpture: sulcher, scorcha, sculper.

Beware of the SeagullsThe streets of St Ives were choked with tourists. As long as you didn’t want to go anywhere fast it was fine and most of the time I was content to shuffle along and gaze in the shop windows. There were loads of boutiques filled with beautiful clothes and jewellery and knick knacks, so the whole time I was racking my brain thinking, who can I buy this for? In the end I bought one necklace for me.

In the evenings when the surfers and sunbathers had trickled away from the beach I sat on the promenade hunched over my fish and chips and watched the tide come in – keeping one eye on the seagulls at all times, of course!


11 thoughts on “St Ives

    • Yes
      My bag was closed ……
      One of them actually open the bag and got in to it took out my sandwich start tearing it apart and then pecking my apple
      One person was eating and that one just flew in front of his face and tried to take his food from person mouth!!!!!!

  1. I call the area from the mobile ice cream hut on the front to the slip way near the Sloop pub, Seagull Alley. Watch the people buy a few ice creams and then see how many make it back to the family. Victims are circled once before they go in. The attacks are always from behind, over the shoulder, they are skilled at it you know…

  2. Newtowritinggirl, there were other signs too reminding tourists not to feed the seagulls because they were beginning to become a nuisance. This is what happens when you go against nature: you create a monster!

    Stuart, you are absolutely right. The over-the-shoulder attacks seemed to be the seagulls preferred manoeuvre. Once the ice-cream was on the ground, the troops swooped in from all over and within seconds there was nothing left but a few sticky patches on the sand.

    Mercedes, I’ve started collecting photos of signs that make me laugh. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to snap possibly the funniest sign ever which was displayed in a portaloo in Russia. It showed visitors how NOT to use the toilet: a picture of someone crouched on the toilet seat with a red cross through it.

  3. The seagulls I’ve come across in Cornwall are among the most aggressive I’ve ever encountered. The Kent ones we saw this summer were polite in comparison.

    They show the sign of people crouching on the loo (with a cross over it) here in Thailand too. Thai loos are often squats and as the Western loos come in some Thais still prefer to squat on them!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, JJ Beattie. I hope you’ve snapped that sign, I think it would make a great illustration for a blog post.

    The seagulls here are also fairly polite. I had a picnic on the beach a couple of days ago and they didn’t bother me at all, although some pigeons were scratching around my feet.

  5. Pingback: Blogoversary 2 « My Writing Life

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