Thursday, 2 July 2009
This week I've had several interviews which have caused me to meet some really fascinating people.
First of all I interviewed the new Commanding Officer at RAF St Mawgan (Newquay airport to most of us). The airport is the only one in Cornwall and last December it closed and the future looked bleak. Now it's open again and Wing Commander Paul Loader is in charge.
Not having had anything to do with the military, it's always interesting finding out why and how people change careers. In his case his rugby career was ending and he wanted new challenges, which he has achieved through the RAF.
One of his favourite places in Cornwall is Gwithian (or Godrevy) which leads me neatly on to my next interview, with a well known couple who have just published a book about Godrevy Lighthouse. They met on an archaelogical dig there over 50 years ago, married soon after and have been together ever since. He's Charles Thomas, an archaelogist/researcher/author and excavator. She's Jessica Mann, crime writer and author of several non-fiction books; also a journalist and broadcaster. Oh and she's also been a water watchdog, a Planning Inspector and several other high profile jobs as well as being on the board of countless institutions.
I met them at their home, a beautiful ex-farmhouse not far from Truro but in a rural spot, with a stunning garden. Their house was just how I would imagine an old family home to be – slate flagstones on the floor, and the house filled with paintings and books.
We sat outside for our interview, and they talked while I made notes, and in the background the birds twittered and sang and the sun shone down on us like a blessing. I loved hearing the story of how they met, to see some of the many paintings they have accumulated of Godrevy Lighthouse in their 50 years of marriage, and felt very privileged to meet them. It made me truly proud to be Cornish.
Last night we went to the launch party of the book, called Godrevy Light, in St Ives. There we stood on a balcony in the sun and drank wine or Pimms and in the background was the lighthouse, shimmering in the heat. Never has St Ives Bay looked so beautiful to me; the lighthouse a proud icon in the background.
Godrevy Light by Charles Thomas and Jessica Mann is published in hardback by Twelveheads Press of Chacewater, price £18. www.twelveheads.com
It is also available from Cornish bookshops, Amazon etc.
And now, it's back to real life. Two lots of copy to be in by tomorrow, and torrential rain has caused our back yard to flood..... Himself has been out to check the drains which are blocked. Water is seeping in our kitchen under the door, and the toilet is backing up so we're having to pee in a bucket. I've rung South West Water who say they are sending someone soon. I hope so – we need a life raft!