Monday, 31 December 2007
The above picture is back view of me and my mum on the cliffs above Godrevy, my mother’s favourite beach as a child. (She's the little one.) It’s a very long beach of fine golden sand studded with high cliffs and huge rocks jutting out of the sea and the entire situation is dominated by a lighthouse which in Mum’s youth was still running manually.
We had a gusty walk along the cliffs then headed down to the beach where the tide was on its way out, revealing deep rock pools of slated blue and grey, studded with ruby sea anemones and shy limpets.
‘I learnt to swim in that one,’ said Mum, shedding her 78 years of age and skipping along the beach like a young girl. ‘Let’s go and walk along the beach down there.’
After about an hour, we returned to the car with one glowing mother and one knackered husband. Even Moll and I were blown to pieces and happily tired.
As we made our way round to St Ives, the sun came out drenching the streets with unseasonable warmth. Outside the Sloop pub people sunned themselves, turning their faces to the sky in astonishment. We stood outside wondering whether to go for coffee, but my stomach was rumbling.
‘I need to eat soon,’ I said. I get all panicky when my blood sugar level is low.
My mother looked at me. ‘Come on,’ she said. ‘We’ll go and have an early lunch.’
So we found a café where we could sit outside with Mollie, and devoured bowls of garlicky fish soup (for me and mum) and garlic and cheese bread for Himself. (The sort that’s nice at the time but leaves you incapable of eating anything else for the rest of the day.)
With a stomach full of soup I was able to relax. We finished our coffee and strolled across the beach with the other dog walkers, marvelling at the clarift of the cobalt sky, at the dimpled ridges of the sand. You can see why painters come here – the sheer brilliance of the light is breathtaking.
My mother chuckled as we watched a black spaniel puppy chasing its tail. ‘I can always tell when you need to eat,’ she said.
‘How?’ I said. ‘Do I go all pale or what?’
‘No,’ she said. ‘You go all sort of blotchy and anxious looking.’
I had to laugh at that. Thanks, Mum.
So if ever I get to meet any of you, you’ll know if I need feeding….