Monday, 28 July 2008

Dreams, homes and holidays

I’ve just had the most exhausting but lovely few days. First of all my mum came down to see a friend’s exhibition in Morvah on Friday. For once summer had decided to pay a visit, so we had spectacular weather to travel down in, and walk along the coastal path from Zennor towards St Ives. This is the most stunningly beautiful part of Cornwall, and if I close my eyes now I see the endless hues of green and blue of the sea, smell the rough, barkish smell of the bracken, feel the sun beating down on my neck. Bliss.

The next day Mum and I drove up to Tavistock where she was to leave me to spend the weekend with my dear mate Av. Unfortunately the world and his wife had also planned to leave Cornwall that day and we had to double back and go via a different route which got us there before sundown. Don’t go near the A390 if you want to leave Cornwall. It was hell.

Av and I had a wonderful time walking on Dartmoor, catching up on our news and doing what good friends do. In the evening we wept our way through Shirley Valentine for the umpteenth time and appreciated what a very wise and uplifting film it is. As Shirley said, “Why do we get all this life if we don’t use it? What do we do with all our dreams?”

The next day we had another long walk through Tavistock and along by the river, a deep, fast flowing stream of dark greens and browns, of secrets and hideaways. Made me wish I could paint – I could almost see the Lady of Shallott, her long hair streaming with the long flowing weed.

And then the long hot journey home - not as bad for me as for poor Av in a hot car. I stood on the platform at Plymouth, reeling from sun and tiredness, and looked at the departure board with a kind of giddy, mad thrill. I could go anywhere, I thought, just jump on a train and go. But where? I had a choice of Edinburgh, Paddington, Manchester, Waterloo. None of them appealed, and yet the idea that I could just get on a train and be somewhere else was curiously liberating. I put aside what my husband, my animals, my friends and family might say. But that strange excitement was liberating, gave me a buzz that I plan to hang onto.

I thought of what Shirley Valentine said about making the most of our lives.

I looked up at the departures screen, and considered where I would most like to be. When the Penzance train came roaring into the platform, my heart gave a skip. I jumped onto the train and sat back with a smile. I couldn’t wait to be home.

Where would you most like to be?

20 comments:

Miss Understood said...

Home really is where your heart is, isn't it?

Flowerpot said...

It is for me, MissU. I hope you manage to get your home sorted out very soon.

Lindsay said...

Grandchildren live at Brentor fairly near Tavistock. Lovely out on dartmoor.

Philipa said...

Where would I most like to be? Not here!

Love the photo, fp. :-))

Mopsa said...

Home. Always home.

Flowerpot said...

Lindsay - yes I know Brentor. Dartmoor is a lovely spot.

Flowerpot said...

Phil - not sure where you are so I can't comment. But yes, I loved the photo too!

Mopsa - home is a great place to be.

Irene said...

I would most like to be right here where I am, at home behind the computer with the dog at my feet. Bliss.

Ellee Seymour said...

I love Shirley Valentine too. When I feel taken for granted at home, I tell them all I am going to do a "Shirley Valentine", and they start being nicer to me!!

Your walks sound so lovely, I would love to join you on one of them one day.

Flowerpot said...

Irene - that sounds good. Nothing like a dog at your feet!

Flowerpot said...

ellee - that sounds a very good threat! And I'd love you to join me for a walk one day - any chance of coming down to Cornwall?

Graeme K Talboys said...

Mountains. There would have to be mountains. Not vasty ones, but our nonetheless impressive domestic variety. I once stayed in Glen Coe and loved that (midges notwithstanding). Snowdonia. Best of all would be to have Ruskin's study all for my own.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

By the sea. I love that description of your thoughts and feelings at the railway station, I get that too, even more so at airports.

TOM FOOLERY said...

Ring of Kerry in Ireland. Heaven on earth. Love the cat pic. (Actually I would quite like to be that cat:) TFX

Flowerpot said...

Graeme - yes I could do mountains as well as long as they werent cold ones!

Flowerpot said...

Zinnia - I'm lucky enough to live by the sea (which is looking particularly grey and lumpy at the moment!)

Philipa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philipa said...

fp - it seems Himself and I may have something in common, if you'll forgive me, I love looking at your cat, if indeed it is yours? Did you take that picture? Or did he?

Flowerpot said...

Phil - sadly no that is not my cat. He;s the black and white hulk at the top of my blog. Someone sent me these pics of animals and I couldn't resist - what a cat! Glad you enjoy it though. And what have you in common with Himself? Am most intrigued!

Philipa said...

Well I assumed he'd taken the photo (I like taking photos) - my father is usually called upon to take a picture of this or that you see. Unfortunately my comment turned out to have unfortunate connotations with the word I used! I changed it though to better convey my meaning. Sometimes I write exactly what I mean but later realise that what people read can be something else entirely. Language is a fascination of meaning. I find the way it has changed over time interesting and especially translation - when faced with translation I think the full weight of culture/experience or even personality is evident. I like the story of a russian translator welcoming a party to Russia with the words 'This is Russia, and you are welcome to it'.