Tag Archives: daphne du Maurier

Shhh! There be Smugglers About, Matey!

We have been off on the smuggler’s trail over the last few days. Yesterday, we drove to Bodmin and visited Jamaica Inn, a complete tourist trap, but I got to see Daphne du Maurier’s writing desk and typewriter in their little museum and that made me smile. Driving along the moors we saw scraggy coated wild horses walking along the rocks and munching away on grass.

The weather changed by the time we got to the Inn, the temperature dropped and it began to rain. It painted quite a picture. You could envision the smugglers carrying their loads in from one of the Looe routes on a dark frosty night the air thick with mist, driving their horse led carriage hard through the moors to the Inn where they hoped to have a drink, do some business and catch a little respite.

We wandered down to the town on Sunday afternoon for lunch and ate at the Smugglers Cott, we had the most deliciously cozy traditional British Sunday roast. The atmosphere inside was charming.

The beams belonged to a ship from the Spanish Armada and the inside of the pub was filled with vintage bottles and ship related paraphernalia. After lunch we took a stroll around the harbour and watched the boats come in and out.

There was still some men in the fish market, finishing up cleaning their day’s catch. There existed in the air a heady smell of the salty sea and warm fish guts.

We walked down into town today along the coastal path and it was the very first day I got to wear my wellies. They were broken in along the sandy beach with the waves crashing against my feet as I hunted for sea glass.

We discovered the most adorable bakery and got the most heavenly cupcakes, Halloween of course! We devoured them like greedy little monsters as we continued to explore the twisty little streets of Looe.

Everything here is adorably decorated for Halloween with pumpkins and paper lanterns hung in windows, mixed with the leaves changing here, you feel truly Autumnal.

We ate fresh fish & chips, burning the roof of our mouths as we munched away on hot salty chips (no vinegar for me) and watched the crowds go by, it was a perfect day, just being.

We will be saddened to leave here at the end of the week. What a magical place Cornwall is.

A Pixie village we passed on our walk down the coast.

The Birds

I thought this photo was Halloween appropriate as well as a fitting theme for Cornwall. After a few days here, I have a very clear picture of how Daphne du Maurier came up with the idea for “The Birds”! The seagulls near the harbour are absolutely enormous and their eyes follow you as you walk along.

We watched, as a flock of hungry seagulls swooped down on their unsuspecting prey and stole chips right out of a woman’s hand. Hitchcock took this short story and created one of the most perfectly eerie cinematic experiences. A great film for Halloween. I remember the first time I saw the movie; as the birds came shooting out of the fireplace my feet curled and raised off of the ground, as if somehow I gained protection from that. Upon leaving, I looked cautiously around as I stepped out into the light of day, I think I was half expecting to see crows perched along the jungle gym of a playground waiting to attack helpless victims.

The birds and the fog that has rolled in over the last day here, coupled with the fact that we have turned our clocks back, so evening falls more quickly each day, only adds more to the Halloweeny atmosphere we are leading up to at the end of the week.

(Images copyright Country Living)

Off to the Cornish Coast

Well, by tomorrow afternoon I will be sitting in sunny Cornwall. How sunny it will be remains to be seen, but that doesn’t matter to me, all I need is the few books I have set aside to read and that big chair at the bottom of the garden overlooking the ocean, add to that some walks along the coastal path with my sweetie pie and I will be as happy as a clam.

This is a true adventure for me. I have yet to go to Cornwall in all my time living here, so I can’t wait to see what the next week brings my way. I am hoping for quaint villages, old little antique stores and interesting places to wander and explore.

I have wanted to travel there, since my husband and I bought an old train advertising poster for Cornwall. A little girl stands on the edge of the bay overlooking all the fishing boats with a grandfatherly looking fisherman in his wellies leaning against a railing nearby; with sailboats and a lighthouse, all beautifully captured in 1930’s colors, it paints quite a picture. This poster alone has made me want to go to Cornwall since we hung it on our wall.

There is a ferry near where we are staying that will take you up the estuary and upon docking, you are met with a house named “Ferryside”, once the home of Daphne du Maurier. I have visions of her writing away at her desk, looking out the windows of “Ferryside” and writing “The House Upon the Strand”, what a book!

I am looking forward to this half term break and taking a real break, working on nothing for the fair (as much as I want too), I think it would be best to just come back refreshed, I have stayed ahead of schedule and only have a few pieces left to finish. So, I plan to just drink in each day in the sea air. I can’t wait for my first taste of fish & chips, scalding our mouths and fingers as we reach for hot salty chips out of the paper cone holder, walking arm and arm along the strand.