Much of England is ‘pretty’ in a quaint kind of way. It has also been known to be foggy, rainy, even ugly, especially during the days of coal fires, which shrouded most of London in a mantle of smog. The odour has never fully dissipated, or perhaps it has simply been absorbed into the generalized aroma of age and train engines, so characteristic of the place. In a word, the seat of the Empire looks, feels, and smells… well, old.
The Cornish people, descendants of an ancient clan of Celts, would deny their place in that Empire, being hoarier than the Romans and Anglo-Saxons. Through some incongruity in the clockwork of history, they’ve managed to preserve much of their Brythonic language and customs. More to the point, however, they’ve retained their edge: Cornwall is equally lovely and rugged, charming and fearsome.
Beyond the rambling fields, rough moors, and ragged cliffs, the land tapers off into sand and sunlight. The seaside town of St. Ives is its crown sapphire, sensibly set between a protective headland and a sweep of golden beaches. For much of the past, the village was isolated, accessed mainly by sea. Legends dating to the 5th century tell of the young Saint Ia (from whom St. Ives gets its name), who came across the ocean from Ireland in a leaf to become the patroness of the small community. She is commemorated by a statue created by figurative sculptor Faust Lang (1887-1973) carved from driftwood.
The author is an artist, writer, and instructional designer with an overactive imagination and too little time. Ceci en est un exemple...
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