To the Lighthouse

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Like many, St Ives in Cornwall was my dream holiday destination as a child. Although we holidayed abroad, went to marvellous locations, nowhere else had quite the same magic. Not sure if it was the light beloved by the St Ives art set. Or if it was the perilous, vulnerable feel of the Spanish style fishing village stuck out into the Atlantic ocean, pounded by waves and storms. Or maybe it was just travelling West. When in America, California’s Big Sur had something of the same feel.
Over the years my tastes changed, from toddler to rock climber. From surfer to party person and boozer. But the magic still held good.
During my university years my circle of friends came from Penzance and I spent many summer months there and experienced a little of what it was like to be a local. In those years I was often stoned, but also very active, cycling to hidden coves, breaking into abandoned tin mines and exploring the subterranean depths. Once, according to my friends, we were actually below the sea bed. My rock climbing and surfing also became more adventurous and I had a few close shaves.
I also explored the mythology and Celtic history of the area. I had some particularly odd experiences in Zennor cove, home of the legendary mermaid, as I have fictionalized in a recent story, Magic by Button.
So when my Mother offered a holiday to St Ives it was a perfect opportunity to check the accuracy of my memories and research the details of my story, before starting the final draft.
As soon as we passed Redruth, I had the feeling I was returning home. Although the last time we had visited was during the final phase of my Dad’s fight with cancer, our spirits were lifted and our love for the place was undiminished.
In Penzance my Mother started checking house prices. She had intuited what I was feeling. This is where I belong.
So now I must decide, am I ready to live the dream?

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