Thursday, 2 July 2009

Godrevy Light


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!

16 comments:

liz fenwick said...

Sounds like a good week except the toilet! Hope it's sorted soon.
lx

ChrisH said...

Oh and it was all sounding so good until the last paragraph! Poor you, FP! We had torrential rain last night... but nothing has happened like that, YET!

Flowerpot said...

thanks Liz - so do I!!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Oooh, buckets! What a very interesting couple they sound, and 50 years of marriage is an achievement in itself. The photo of the lighthouse looks beautiful.

CJ xx

Akelamalu said...

Brill interviews Flowerpot.

I can only imagine what you're going through with the blocked drain. :(

Debs said...

What a beautiful place.

Hope the water levels subsided quickly.

Flowerpot said...

Chris - thankfully all sorted now but we had a few dodgy hours!

Flowerpot said...

CJ - they are a wonderful couple. If we achieve 50 years of married life, Himself will be 109!!!

Ak - thankfully South WEst Water came and unblocked the drains - finally!

Debs - it is one of the loveliest places ever.

MarmiteToasty said...

Dam about your weather, ours has been amazingly hot..... say NO to peeing in a bucket lol

I LOVE lighthouses with a passion, truely love them.....and would LOVE to live in one, not that I could do the stairs anymore lol - even have a painting of one hung in the downstairs loo....

Flowerpot said...

Marmie - well it was hot here until yesterday! Peeing in a bucket is now over, and yes I love lighthouses too!

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Sounds like two great interviews - made me hanker for my own days reporting out in the field. These days I'm a sub-editor, sitting in an office grappling with other people's words.

Flowerpot said...

Table - I'd rather grapple with my own words I think!

Sandra Ferguson said...

Ah, I didn't want to laugh at the tragedy of a flooded kitchen, but the description was too perfect. Probably because I've been there myself -- more than once. So, consider I'll laugh with you, especially once it's all repaired, rung out and dried up.

Thanks for sharing the lovely story of the couple who met at the lighthouse. I have a total affiliation with them after visiting Canada several summers back. Yes, the US has lighthouses, I'd just never fell in love with them until seeing Canada's display. Your words were the paint to canvas I needed to step into their house and enjoy afternoon tea. Simply lovely.

Flowerpot said...

Sandra - great to meet you and please call this way again. Sorry ot hear you've done the wet kitchen routine - perhaps it's something to do wth being writers?!!

Lane said...

You meet some fascinating people.

Hope the drains were sorted out!

Flowerpot said...

Lane - I'm very lucky - I do!