Strangles

Getting down to the beach was never easy and the last stretch was always a slight concern with three children in tow.  Thirty years later the direct route has been closed off due to erosion and the last 15 feet requires the use of ropes, the gentler drop to the beach having been washed away by the sea.  It is worth making the effort.

Padstow, Boscastle, Tintagel and Port Isaac, respectively made famous by food, flood, legend and soap opera, are overwhelmed with day trippers.  Strangles is empty.

And yet, some 100 feet above the beach I catch the faint smell of wood burning and, as we drop onto the beach, to the south, there is the cackle of a minor rock fall.  I sense we are being watched.

Well, the-
The ocean doesn’t want me today
But I’ll be back tomorrow to play
And the strangles will take me
Down deep in their brine
The mischievous brain jewels
Down into the endless blue wine
I’ll open my head and let out all of my time
I’d love to go drowning
And to stay and to stay
But the ocean doesn’t want me today
I’ll go in up to here
It can’t possibly hurt
All they will find is my beer and my shirt
A rip tide is ragin’
And the life guard’s away
But the ocean doesn’t want me today
But the ocean doesn’t want me today
The ocean doesn’t want me today

Tom Waits

With thanks to gavinclinch on Blip for making the connection between the place, the images and this Tom Waits track.

Advertisements

Boscastle Regatta

Skippers and mates and rowing club eights
All messin’ about on the river
Capstans and quays where you tie up with ease
All messin’ about on the river
Outboards and inboards and dinghys you sail
The first thing you learn is the right way to bale
In a one man canoe you’re both skipper and crew
Messin’ about on the river

As easy it was …

… to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices they were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.

Bob Dylan’s Dream – 1963

I was first brought to the north coast of Cornwall in the 1950s.  I returned in the 1980s when the children were young and now I am back again.  The difference between the first and second visits was a lifetime, the difference between the second and third, no time at all.  Between the 1950s and 1980s I changed utterly, between the 1980s and 2017, the world around me changed while I stayed much the same. Almost everyone is gone.

A life can be wasted trying to go back.  Is it the people, the place or moments in time that always remain just out of reach, like the punishment of Tantalus.

On this first day of meteorological autumn, I allow myself the luxury of squinting into a bright setting sun and imagine everyone is here again, heading for the shoreline.  Safe, certain and watched over, what could possibly go wrong.

Travel theme: Orange

I know, this is a cheat but I just wanted an excuse to post another image from Falmouth 1977, from a time when orange was just a fruit and not a telco and apples were for eating not touching.  This local painter does not look exactly happy in his work but the weather is gloomy and there is a sharp wind blowing across the harbour – perhaps he just wants to go home.

I cheated with something else too – the orange is sampled from here 🙂

Falmouth

Falmouth 1977

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray – The contact sheet is dated 7th July 1977 – I am unsure if this is the date they were taken or the date the contacts were created.  Perhaps the greater admission is that I could not remember where they were taken and it was only by a process of elimination and the help of Google images that I pinned it down to Falmouth. What I do remember is that the lad with the out-of-shape trilby was not amused at being photographed by a similarly scruffy oik (me) brandishing a TLR, which begs the question how did Vivian Maier get away with it.

Not many look back on the seventies with fondness but I had a good time, perhaps because I felt at home with the tattered and frayed, a hangover from the sixties – some might say I have not moved on.

FalmouthFalmouthFalmouth

(click on the images to enlarge – not the best quality, they are scanned from the contacts, not the negatives)