Friday 23 September 2016

Behind the scenes at an art gallery talk

Giving talks is always a bit of an unknown - will anyone actually turn up? What will the venue be like? Will they have projector, laptop, screen etc as promised? What will the audience be like? And many other variables to be taken into account.

The other night I gave a talk locally but when I got to the venue, found nothing set up. Luckily, thanks to a very efficient friend, she got projector, laptop, screen etc. I produced my memory stick - to find the laptop wouldn’t read it. We tried another one, and that wouldn’t read it either. Finally, it would read it, but there was no sign of my presentation on there.

We tried icloud, but I couldn’t remember my password (who can?). Finally, Henny asked the audience if they’d like to reconvene or would they mind waiting while I ran home and copied the presentation onto another memory stick. “OH no,” all said. “We’re fine here - we’ll wait till Sue gets back.” So some money was thrust into my hand. “Get a taxi,” said Henny, “and get him to wait.”

I tore out of the building, ran across to the rank and into a waiting taxi who said cheerily, “I live just along the road, so I’ll go home and fill up my flask with coffee, then come and pick you up.”

Dear of him - so I hurtled down the road, into the flat, tripped over the cat, and copied the presentation onto another stick - in several guises, just in case it wouldn’t work - and ran off again.

I made it back in record time, and the taxi driver charged me a minimal fee which was really kind of him. And from then on, all went well - what a lovely bunch of really interested Poldark fans. It made me feel really grateful for the kindness of people.

I got home to find that MollieDog had rushed out onto the road when I hurtled into the flat to copy the presentation over. Unbeknown to me, she was foraging along the pavements as I threw myself back into the taxi and back into Falmouth. Thankfully a man and his daughter saw what happened, took Moll and came and rang my doorbell. Joe, who lives above and misses nothing, heard this, and he took Moll in and made sure she was safely inside for when I came home.

What a lucky escape - and makes me even more grateful for such lovely friends - and strangers. If by any chance you are reading this and are that man and his daughter, please let me know so I can thank you personally.

Wednesday 14 September 2016


Yesterday we finally got to have a sail in our friend Al’s lovely Dragon called Snap. I say “we” because while Al and C have been racing, it’s not been so easy for me to get out with work commitments and having to find a dog sitter.

But finally we fixed on yesterday for a sail. Weather forecast was rain in the morning, clearing by the afternoon and possible sun. Sarah was booked to come and walk Moll and all was well.

C was staying on the Lizard with friends but drove back and we got the water taxi out to meet Al on the boat. Contrary to expectations, as we headed out towards Black Rock, storm clouds gathered, the sky grew blacker until it was almost like night time, but with an eerie band of light hovering over the horizon.

We could see rain over the Lizard, and at this point Al suggested putting up the spinnaker. Of course, no sooner was it up than the first of the rain arrived. And we’re not talking normal rain, this was Monsoon rain that soaked us in seconds. Al thrust the sail cover at us, and we crawled underneath that, then under the fore cabin while the thunder growled around us, forks of lightning lit up the darkened sky, and the boat rocked in the turbulent sea.

Finally it stopped (we were laughing as it was so utterly ridiculous) and we made it back to Mylor - and a lovely sail back, during which we dried out bits of us.

As C had to get back to the Lizard, we went for something to eat in Falmouth early, and on the way back, as we got near his place, the heavens opened yet again. I’ve never seen rain like it - except on films. It was as if the sky had opened and out poured a year’s worth of liquid misery in minutes.

He jumped into his car while I ran home, and stood in the kitchen looking at the water swirling round the drain in my yard, perilously close to the kitchen door. However, it went down, and I sighed a sigh of relief.

Until I went into the kitchen later and found the carpet soaked. Absolutely dripping. And heavy carpet is very heavy. Thankfully my dear mates Mel and Joe who live upstairs came and helped. We had to move all the furniture, rip up the carpet and put the dehumidifier on.

12 hours on the carpet’s still soaking but at least the sun’s out, and we hope the worst is over. I just hope that Himself is OK - there’s no signal where he’s staying so I haven’t heard from him yet…..

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Facebook Memories

You know those Facebook reminders you get, telling you what happened X years ago?

The other day I got one reminding me that 5 years ago I scattered my husband’s ashes at Polly Joke. I remember it well - I went with my dear friend Deb, and we danced along the silky sand as the tide came in, and sent him on his way. Actually it was only part of him - I keep the other half here, in my bedroom, in a very fine biscuit tin.

To further honour his memory, we went for a drink afterwards - which is of course what he would have done - and toasted a very special, lovely man.

A few nights ago I dreamt about him. It was his birthday, and he refused to celebrate, but said he would do so the next day. This was and wasn’t true - he enjoyed any excuse to go to the pub, though he wasn’t so keen on celebrating the actual day.

He would have been 76 this year. There are so many things I would like to share with him, and I do still talk to him. When I’m worried he was good at sharing my problems. He would fiercely defend me when needed - though his mantra was always, “you must fight your own corner, Pop.” I would love him to know about the good things that have happened over the intervening years. About taking up sailing, and getting our own boat, which he would be most proud of.

His face smiles at me from the wall of my kitchen. It shines at me from the mantelpiece of the Seven Stars in Falmouth. And deep in my heart, there is a place entitled ‘My Pip’.