Sunday, April, 15, 2013: The Land of Apricot Scrub and Everything Is In Walking Distance If You Have Enough Time.

A day well spent in St. Ives. Ian drove me from Porthleven to St. Ives. Not a cheap ride, but it was the only way to maximize the time I had to spend there. Buses from Porthleven to Penzance didn’t start until 10:45 and from Penzance I’d have to get another bus so I thought this was my best bet. First stop was Tate St. Ives. Had a great time—I realized it was my first time in a museum in quite some time. I haven’t been to any in London recently because I museumed myself out early on and needed a break. So it was nice to see some art by the coast. Featured at the Tate were William Scott and Peter Fraser. Not totally my speed, but there were elements in each artist’s body of work that spoke to me in some way or other. After the Tate I made my way to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden but got sidetracked by the general charm of St. Ives and wandered around instead for a while, ultimately stumbling upon the BHM&SG. Definitely not the kind of sculpture that inspires me, but I love being able to see any kind of art in a garden type space and I love seeing the space in which an artist, especially a sculptor, worked, lived and has left all their tools in such a way that makes it look they just stepped out for a few minutes. Seriously, if she rose from the dead, she could get working in no time. Something so inspiring about seeing an artist’s studio. I think it bridges the unattainable reputation and fame with the basic essence of being artist. At the end of the day, we all use the same kinds of tools and materials and shared a variation on a theme of frustration, experimentation, discovery, evolution and satisfaction. And then we start again.

Afterwards, I walked around St. Ives some more, found my way to a spectacular viewpoint with quite the view of the beach, coast and sea. Then I kept walking around the harbor, along the coast when suddenly I was struck with the most brilliant idea: What if I walk back from St. Ives to Porthleven?? And then I decided, no that’s really dumb. It’s probably more efficient to walk from Penzance to Porthleven. After all, Ginny and Andy (from the other day at the B&B) did the walk and they said it was beautiful and manageable. Great! It’s been decided! So I got on a bus to Penzance found the coastal path and started walking. And walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and thought and thought and thought and thought and it was great. At times I was worried because I didn’t see a little acorn trail marker and I worried that I had wandered astray and would never get back to Porthleven and would have to make a life for myself on the cliffs by the ocean and my phone would be dead and I wouldn’t be able to call 999 to be rescued or call Ian to pick me up. But then I’d find an acorn trail marker sigh in relief and tell myself to MAN UP, YO. (Hey Russie!!) So this went on for quite a while. About 4 hours into my walk sunset was approaching. This worried me because as long as the ocean was on my right and was remained along the coast, I’d reach Porthleven but you see my mistake was not knowing how long this walk would be. I seemed to recall Ginny and Andy saying that it was an 8 mile walk….or an 8 hour walk? Hm. It just didn’t look like I’d make it back to Porthleven before dark and I had no desire to walk along the stormy sea at night.

And also, at this point I had stepped in so much mud that the left heel of my boot semi-detached itself from the rest of my boot. Again.

So I’m walking and walking and walking and walking and I turn a bend and alas, a city. I turn off the coastal path and learn that this city is called Praa Sands and is a mere 5 miles from Porthleven. So I sit at a picnic table and weigh my options. First I contact HQ and learn that the distance from Penzance to Porthleven is 12 miles. Ah. Well, that explains a lot.

I called Ian and he picked me up and thought I was mental which in some ways, I guess I am. But we had a lovely conversation about my independent tendencies and obsessive compulsive walking I think the upshot of that conversation was that I am not mental, I am a (not so hopeless) wanderer.

He’s also holding me to the last 5 miles. I have no closure. So before I die, I will come back to Cornwall and walk the 5 miles from Praa Sands to Porthleven and feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Got back to the B&B, ready to collapse. But I didn’t collapse. I told Bridget about my day, ate matzah and deli, and paid for my free Wi-Fi in the form of a pint of cider. And in the pub I stayed until they kicked me out.

In conclusion, beautiful minds sometimes do foolish things but in the grand scheme of things why should we resist? It all becomes worth it. All in due time.




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