Friday, March 21, 2008


St Ives was as lovely as ever.

Visiting so early in the year meant it was much quieter than in the high season. We stayed in the same gorgeous flat we’d been to in 2004 and 2005. Leo has long held that he is going to buy it when he grows up. The window makes you feel like you’re right out in the world.

We visited the Tate, where Dani and I admired landscapes by Margo Maeckelberghe. The kids were captivated by a Grayson Perry work called Print for a Politician.

We did a circular walk of about five miles to the church at Lelant.

When I was a child, one of the things I did with my dad was to go for long country walks to various churches in Sussex. I can remember being more interested in things like whether or not we had any sweets than the churches. But the smell and the strange darkness on a summer day are very vivid in my memories. Anyway, it seems that I have inherited the need to pop a coin in the box and take the little booklet that tells the history of the church. So I wittered on at the kids for a bit and they were pleased with the Norman font…

We were blown away (not literally, though it was gusty!) by the beautiful views as we walked along. I fell in love with the houses huddled against the cliff at Hawk’s Point. We saw a kestrel on the way back. We were alongside the railway line for most of this walk. Anyone who has ever been to St Ives and not arrived by train has really missed something. I think it’s just about the most beautiful train journey I know.

Another good walk was up to Knill’s Monument. The rhododendron bushes are all being destroyed in an attempt to control Sudden Oak Death fungus. This was a bit sad but, luckily for us, the workmen doing that job were having their lunch break at the monument. They were able to confirm that the birds we had spotted were buzzards and they showed us where to spot St Michael’s Mount on the horizon.

It was Leo’s 8th birthday while we were there. I find it rather astonishing that he has got to such an advanced age already! He got a toy alethiometer, a spyglass in little wooden box and a very dinky little portable DVD player. Pearlie gave him a DVD of Ice Age, which they watched together on the train home.

It was a trip that was very heavy on reading (and pasties, as my waistline demonstrates) and I’m not sure if I can remember all the books that were read. Pearlie read two more books in the Ally’s World books she’s been enjoying, as well as a Jacqueline Wilson. Leo read an Alistair Fury book and a new Jamie Rix, Grizzly Tales book. Dani finished a book all about the Natural History Museum, called Dry Store Room No. 1 by Richard Fortey. She also borrowed a book from the local library about communities in Penwith in the twentieth century. I read a Ruth Rendell (that Pearlie and Leo gave me for Mothers’ Day) then wolfed down a Jeanette Winterson called The Stone Gods that I had somehow missed. By the last day I was without book and treated myself to The Accidental by Ali Smith, which I’ve just finished.

One of the most enjoyable things we did was to hide some treasure for cousins who are visiting St Ives next month. I can say no more, but it was good fun and I hope it remains undisturbed until they get there!

Dani and the kids had a good swim at the local pool (I had managed to cut my leg on a stick, so didn't go in) and we ate lots of ice-cream most days. Leo discovered that he loved apple, pear and custard pasties. Pearlie got a nice pair of sandals that should last the summer. Oh, and we travelled very cheaply. It cost just £85.80 for all four of us to get to St Ives and back. This was done by using family railcard and single tickets. The kids travelled home today for £3.50 each! Journeys were simple and we made all connections, in spite of the fact that most of the underground was closed today.

Here's a few more photos to give you a flavour of the trip


Liza said...

Gorgeous piccys, thank you for sharing, Looks like a fabby time was had by everyone!
Both kids look so grown up all of a sudden!

Gill said...

Fab photos! Especially the one of the children in the window. Yes, they do suddenly look a lot older don't they? Glad you had a good time :-)

Kirsty said...

Always love holiday posts! I haven't been to Cornwall since I was a kid - must go again.

Looks like you h ad a lovely time - thanks for sharing :o)

a said...

I love that train trip too - that last bit is so beautiful and exciting running by the sea.
I'm definitely taking F to St.Ives - haven't been for about 10 years. Cornwall has always been really special to me.
It looks and sounds a lovely holiday
Happy belated birthday Leo!

'EF' x said...

Thankyou for sharing your journey!

Oh it all looks just fab :)

Hannah said...

Happy Birthday Leo - we have an 8th birthday here next week. Beautiful pictures! I love the idea of hiding treasure for someone to find :o)

Wobblymoo said...

Looks like you all had a great time, happy brithday Leo

Joyce said...

I love St Ives. We usually stay at the Ayr Camping Site, which is up on the cliffs. We had a great holiday there when I was pg, and having not been able to eat for weeks, I suddenly developed a ravenous need for pasties. I think I ate them three times a day. Your children are looking so grown up!

peri said...

Looks like you had a fabbo time - belated appy berfday to Leo - from us all :-D

Nic said...

Looks and sounds like a lovely trip- and the weather looked good too :).
Happy belated birthday to Leo from all of us.

alison said...

Love the view from the window!

Reading your post reminded me I need to renew my Family Railcard as it ran out a couple of days ago ... quickly googled to see if there were any offers, and the Daily Mail (spit) have been repeating their 3 free months of Family Railcard offer from last year. Clicked on teh link, to be told it was valid until midnight on the 23rd March, and it was quarter past! Filled it in anyway, and got the next page saying that my card will be sent in the next few weeks ... will be great if I did manage it :) So thank you for reminding me!

Sharon said...

Those are some lovely photos. I really like that one of Leo holding the DVD player(?) He just looks so happy.

A late Happy Birthday to Leo. I'm glad you had such a nice holiday.

Elizabeth said...

The photos of all of you in your hats are lovely--they would look nice as your sidebar photos!

Lucy said...

wonderful photos - the window one is quite stunning! looks like a great holiday.