Monday, 12 May 2008
Summer Days and Mysterious Signs
Yesterday, while Himself enjoyed a noisy jazz band in a hot sweaty pub, Shelagh and I took Miss Moll (as she calls her) for a circular walk through fields, trees, along by the beach and back through a hidden valley. We end up walking through a hamlet called Bareppa which is just like stepping into a children’s story.
There are quaint cob cottages, a beautiful old house – Bareppa House – with stone pineapples on top of each gatepost, and peacocks used to fly over the road into a nearby garden. Sadly these have gone, but horses graze contentedly in a nearby field, their coats gleaming in the heat. Around their feet the grass was studded with golden buttercups and pinpricked with daisies. You could almost imagine it was summer.
Half way round we found a wooden bench in the shade and did as we were told. We rested a while.
Later on we both went to the spa in Falmouth and had a massage – the last of my birthday vouchers. I got up feeling groggy and almost unable to speak, but after a while it settled and I felt clearer than I have done for weeks. Shelagh had 70 years of accumulated tension to disperse from her shoulders (“like concrete” according to the masseuse) and went to bed at 8pm.
As I lay in bed later last night, I found myself wondering about the bench. Did she used to sit there like us and think? Did she live there or was this her favourite magical spot? Did she sit and paint with her dog by her side? Who was she and what stories did she have to tell?
(Tomorrow we are off to the Daphne du Maurier festival to hear Salley Vickers talk. A lovely, literary day full of inspiration I hope. It also means I can revisit Jane's cottage and plan the next few chapters of Arthur.)