Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm staying at a place called Charlestown. A small harbour is used for tall sailing ships so it makes an attractive setting.

Charlestown, I read at breakfast, was established in the 18th century, and still exports china clay. So although picturesque, is still a working place, which stops it being too quaint, apparently. Just because Charlestown is pretty, then, it doesn't mean it can't be taken seriously.

N.B. Rest of this post added later.

In the harbour people in wetsuits jump off walls into water too cold for swimming,

while fishermen sit by their lobster pots and talk to anyone who passes.

The beaches are small, and surrounded by disintegrating cliffs, and for a while I listen to the chatter of a million pebbles as they are sorted by each incoming wave. Then I walk, gingerly, along a pathway narrowing with with the incoming tide, and come across this - a piece of a cuttlefish, satisfyingly soft as pumice beneath my nail.

A few more steps and I am up on the coastal path looking back.

High cliffs, coves, small sandy beaches - the Brythonic Celts seemed to have a propensity for coasts like this. Or maybe they ended up in these places simply because there was no where else to go: the Land's End in Cornwall is repeated again in France - beyond is the vast Atlantic and the unknown.

One headland follows another, each one encouraging me onwards

So I walk until the light is fading and I am forced to return.


Blogger twitches said...

Means it'll take YOU seriously, too. :)

Thu Jul 15, 05:38:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Heh. heh - nice one, Twitches!

Fri Jul 16, 07:55:00 am  

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