Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Wild West.

Wednesday 31st March.

Up early and driving down the hedgerow high lanes to The Minack Theatre at Porthcurno. The theatre, hewn from the cliff with bloody minded determination by local landowner Rowena Cade, is a triumph of amateur endeavour and a real labour of love. I've applied every year to bring a Drama St Mary's show here and every year have been told the waiting list is as long as a Cornish mile. My cunning plan is to make Marta and Carol fall in love with it and see if, with the weight of Spiral behind us, some kind of joint project could be negotiated. It'd be fantastic to devise work with them for this beautiful setting.

As we clambered down the cliff, the sun came out, the sea sparkled, the world curved on the far horizon and the theatre worked its stimulating magic. We spent half and hour exploring exits, entrances and imagining what we could do if consent were given.

The rest of the day was spent working our way slowly round the wild Penwith peninsula - blustery photos at Land's End, a walk along the exposed sands of Sennen Cove, up to Cape Cornwall where the Atlantic currents split to form the English Channel and the Irish Sea all before a pub lunch in St Just.

Afterwards we went hunting for the Iron Age Chun Castle and Quoit, the ancient and spiritual centre of the region. It took some finding and two abortive attempts, arriving in the wrong field, before we finally made it through the wind and hail to the ancient hill fort from where both coastlines north and south can be seen and, presumably, commanded.

Next stop was Zennor church to see the carving of the Mermaid (Merry maid) who was so seduced by the singing of local tin miner Matthew Trewella that she came onto land to capture his heart and take him back to the sea.

Onwards to St. Ives for a portion of whelks in the waning light before crossing back to the South in time for the full sunset over St. Micheal's Mount and a huge fish supper on the cosy quayside in Mousehole.

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