Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cornwall

We have just been away for a few days escaping the hurly burly that is Christmas


to a hotel that holds a special affection for us, and is just a short coastal headland walk to St. Ives 
Alternatively you can take a little train that trundles along below the footpath every hour to
St. Ives
Silvanus Trevail was the architect of The Carbis Bay Hotel built in 1894. He was a prominent Cornish architect who rose to become Mayor of Truro and nationally, President of the architects' professional body, the Society of Architects.
The hotel was immortalised by the author Rosamunde Pilcher when it was featured as The Sands Hotel in her novels 'The Shell Seekers' and 'Winter Solstice'.
Although the hotel has changed over the years it still retains much of its character and houses a wonderful very large original oil painting by Sir Claude Francis Barry - as a young painter he studied first with the Newlyn School of realist painters and then under Alfred Bast with the St. Ives group of painters 
St. Ives - painted in 1910 - Claude Francis Barry
He was known for his great love of colour and for developing his style continuously during his lifetime
We left home in typically December weather only to discover warmer, sunnier climes had blown in to Cornwall from the continent. It is this special light that attracted the colonies of famous painters to Newlyn and St.Ives at the end of the c19th.

The late afternoon sun is slipping away rapidly - time to hasten back over the headland for our eagerly anticipated evening meal
 This is not an advert or recommendation for the hotel, it is simply a place that we know and love
 A Christmas thought
Why have we allowed ourselves to be manipulated into thinking that Christmas needs weeks of preparation and shopping?
When I was small Christmas arrived hardly more than a week before the event. On the morning of Christmas Eve our turkey would be delivered from the farm along with a box of fruit and vegetables, and father would go out into the garden with his spade and dig up our Christmas tree. Myself and siblings would spend the afternoon decorating the tree, and then just before we climbed the stairs to bed, the lights would be ceremoniously switched on, filling us all with great excitement and anticipation.

59 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary, I have often heard of St. Ives, but yours are the first pictures I have seen of it. Everything about the place makes me want to go exploring there. By the way, what is that second-last picture of, the one between the ramp down to the sand, and the glittering ornaments? I can't quite get it into focus.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - sorry for the confusion - I have now lightened the photo up so that it can be seen better. It is just the beach rocks covered in seaweed.

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    2. Thanks, now I am seeing it properly. I possibly was led astray by the preceding words, "anticipated evening meal," in in its darkened state, almost thought the white rocks looked like melted cheese! --Jim

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    3. Sorry about that Jim - I shouldn't have left it so dark

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  2. What a magical place for a getaway, Rosemary. The Carbis Bay Hotel up on the headland, and the idea of a short walk to St Ives, such a famous and interesting looking place. Thank you for introducing me to Sir Claude Francis Barry, and his painting of St Ives which is absolutely stunning. The work of the Newlyn painters is always very appealing. Yes, Christmas was much simpler back in the day, for me too. We always went to my grandparents town, a five hour drive away, and looked forward to that very much. We would only have begun making little gifts when school finished about a fortnight before Christmas, and I organised my younger siblings into a concert for the adults presented on Christmas night. As it had to be a surprise, there were challenges in smuggling a few props into the already overloaded car!

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    1. Dear Patricia - I love that painting which was quite difficult to photograph in situ as it is extremely large. It appears to be embedded into the hotel wall in a small anti lounge and as far as I am aware it has never been shown anywhere else.
      Yes, things move on and change don't they? you would imagine that Christmas would be even easier now with gift buying on the internet etc, but it isn't.

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  3. Lovely place to be for a break. I agree with you about Christmas, everything has become so commercial.
    We never had big Christmas celebrations here, only two days with family diners and a tree in the house. Now you have to decorate your whole house, inside and outside. Well I am still old fashioned and don't make myself crazy.

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    1. Dear Marianne - I hate it when I see Christmas adverts and the shops full of goodies when it is still a time for country walks through forests filled with Autumn colours. They send a message of panic, and you begin thinking 'can it be that time already'! Good for you - be old fashioned and enjoy.

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  4. The shining sand in your photo is very impressive. This golden color is ephemeral and makes us think about a miracle of nature power.

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    1. Thank you for visiting roughterrain crane - you are right the golden colour is very special

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  5. A lovely selection of photos of St Ives. I once spent two New Year holidays in this area; I remember visiting St Ives on New Years Eve and it was incredibly warm and sunny. I often think it has its own micro-climate there.
    I agree with you about the long build up to Christmas. I'm sure this is why so many people don't like Christmas at all now. If it was celebrated (and only thought about) just around the date, it would be so much more enjoyable.

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    1. The flowers that grow in St. Ives are so exotic - all due to the Gulf Stream that swirls around its shores. I kept seeing plants growing wild in the hedgerows that I have difficulty growing in properly in my garden.

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  6. Dear Rosemary, I especially love your first photograph...that beautiful sand and the entire scene is just so very special. I'm so glad you explained the roundel photograph (see above). I couldn't make it out and it is still somewhat of a mystery.
    Loved your Christmas story. Did your Father replant your Christmas Tree after the Holidays?

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    1. Dear Gina - it is a good job that you mentioned that and the description I gave to Jim must have sounded rather bizzare to you as I was describing the wrong photo. The roundel is just beach rocks covered in seaweed which I have now lightened up a bit - hope you can now make it out.

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    2. Aha, the enlightenment did the trick.

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  7. Wonderful photos of St. Ives and a gorgeous sunny painting of Claude Francis Barry. Good idea to go out for some days to avoid the commercial hassle before Christmas. We usually start decorating only one week before the 25th, but it becomes more difficult each year to keep up our position.

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    1. Yes, I too love the painting by Claude Francis Barry - the colours give you a warm and happy glow

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  8. St. Ives is such a beautiful little village, it looks like a painting from every angle. I love Christmas, but our version of it, quiet and home-centered.

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    1. It sounds as if you and Mac have got Christmas just right.

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  9. I've heard of the Carbis Bay hotel but I can't remember in what context. I don't think Rosamund Pilcher. Hmmm, now it's going to niggle at me! It looks a lovely spot, though. I haven't been there for many years and had forgotten what a pretty colour the sea is.

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    1. The colours in the sea and the sand really lifted our December spirits - you will probably remember how you heard about Carbis Bay Hotel in the middle of the night, that is what usually happens to me.

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  10. your childhood Christmas sounds just perfect. I fear though unless you take yourself away to some remote place with no connection to social media or television we are all going to be swept away with the Christmas madness. I think a few days away in St Ives is a great idea and lovely photos too. x

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    1. Thank you Lyn - we have gone down to St. Ives at this time of year several times before, but never in the summer. It is quiet and it does remove you from the madness for a few days. However, I must admit that the hotel was looking beautiful dressed for Christmas!!!

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  11. Thanks, I needed that. I have been working all day. Have fifteen neighbors coming here for a Christmas party tonight. My husband always has good intentions of helping..but he is not sure how? He spent the day at the gym, Home Depot, the car wash and napping. It is not entirely his fault. I am a bit of a perfectionist and have a difficult time delegating. Your childhood Christmases sounded delightful. St. Ives reminds me a bit of the village Doc Martin was filmed in, especially the beach.

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    1. Doc Martin was filmed in Cornwall but at Port Isaac which is about 50 miles further up the coast.
      Hope that your Christmas party goes well tonight and that you all enjoy yourselves

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  12. Christmas? Probably because a large enough number of folk ARE very easily influenced by those wanting to make money. Christmas seemed to start around mid November here :) That's a lovely area. Spent a few weeks years ago cherry picking the best bits of the Devon and Cornwall coastal path. Can't beat a good seascape.

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    1. You can make your own little stand about how to do Christmas but it is all the stuff that continually surrounds you that is the problem for me.
      Love that corner of England and especially at this time of year when others are busy preparing for Christmas!!!!

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  13. St. Ives looks delightful Rosemary and good for me to look at for I'm not used to being sand/sea like that as our ports and fishing places are very different to view.
    Haven't put my Christmas tree up as yet, next week I expect, for me there is no great rush.
    I don't understand those that rush about long before.

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    1. St.Ives grew up as a small quaint fishing village and still retains much of its character - don't tell anyone but I am not bothering with a Christmas tree this year.

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  14. Dearest Rosemary,
    It is such a pleasure to find mild areas in the very southern tip of the UK. It looks almost magical and one can clearly see why artists loved it over time.
    Indeed, you made that one photo into a puzzle, only after I read Jim's comment and your reply, did I get it.
    Sending you hugs and blessings for this Advent season.
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - much of the mild weather in that corner of our country is as a result of the Gulf Stream that swirls around its coastline - pleased to see you, take care.

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    2. Dear Rosemary,
      Yes, we know that and Pieter has been consulting in England for decades and he especially was fond of his outings to the South!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

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  15. I'm wary of returning to old haunts these days but your trip looks delightful.

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    1. It is a great place to escape to at this time of year

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  16. St Ives is such a beautiful place! Glad you had a great time and thank you for taking us along!

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    1. Happy to have you joining along Amy

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  17. Dear Rosemary, I share your thoughts about "Christmas Stress". When I had 'Good Housekeeping' for many, many years, I felt the stress even more - yes, English preparations are even more time consuming than German ones - but after our son went to study - and now work in Bavaria - I reduced old traditions, distilled them, in a way - and can live with that quite well (whether the merchants are happy: I don't know :-)

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    1. I don't expect the merchants would be happy Britta - but there are plenty of others who are happy to spend, spend, spend.

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  18. This place looks lovely for run away from Christmas.

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    1. I like that expression 'run away from Christmas' Orvokki

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  19. Would love to visit Cornwall sometimes in the future, looks really lovely and beautiful! Thank´s for sharing this lovely place with us...
    Have a happy day, take care!
    Titti

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    1. I think that you would like it there Titti but best to avoid the school holiday periods

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  20. Beautiful Cornwall! How I would love to spend some time there, especially from now until Christmas. This year, I have found it difficult to get enthusiastic or involved with much preparation. Must be getting old!

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    1. Yes, I feel the same. I think that having done it for so many years ones perceptions change.
      I remember that you visited Cornwall when you were over, and I seem to recall that you had ancestors that came from the area.

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  21. The light is beautiful isn't it no wonder the artists loved it down there. I feel the same way as you about Christmas - it was just the same when we were young - much more enjoyable instead of being strung out from November. These days I keep it simple, no fuss, no panic, no great expense, no debt.

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    1. The sunshine and the light made us feel happy Elaine - good for you, we are old enough to be able to make our own decissions and plough our own field.

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  22. Awesome photos and wonderful paintings. Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Thank you for your visit and kind comment

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  23. What a marvelous place that is Cornwall, I wouldn't mind spending a few refreshing days there either ! My memories of my childhood Christmas is very similar to yours, but now a days Christmas seem to start even by end october (in the shops )!

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    1. It was a lovely place to take a quick break from the razzamatazz Jane - life seemed much simpler then

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  24. What a beautiful place to escape to Rosemary. The gardencenters are starting with theire christmasshows all ready in october these days. I always love to see how creative certain people are in decorating theire homes. I am not that creative (fun).
    Have a lovely sunday Rosemary

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  25. A wonderful location to escape too and one of my favourite places. The light there is always magnificent. Sarah x

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    1. Dear Sarah - it is a little 'bolt hole' that we use regularly especially at this time of year.

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  26. PRECIOSAS FOTOS!!!!
    LINDO PARA UN DESCANSO.
    SALUDITOS Y FELIZ AÑO

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