Mid-May

I am going down to London for a week, because this time of year used to be the time I had holiday with my Dad.

I need to go away, and be with friends, because I am so sad that Dad is no longer around. I miss him so much.

Every second week of May, we would go down to Fowey, Cornwall for the Daphne du Maurier Festival. There Dad would give a talk.

I saw him talk on Charles Causely, Newquay School of Artists, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Masefield and Thomas Hardy.

He was a wonderful speaker, using light and dark with ease. Bringing in personal memories then the sweep of history without any jotting.

He let the audience laugh, then would make them wipe a tear.

He had power but never abused it.

I hope as I choose to be a speaker, I can carried some of his tactics. I hope I hold an audience as he could, that I never lose my humanity.

I cannot go to Cornwall for a while, for Cornwall was so much part of Dad.

He and I loved Cornwall so much.

I do not remember a time when Cornwall was not in my heart, it is part of my dreams, my writing, my hopes and part of my breathing.

Holding Cornwall for me is holding the love of the good people in my life.

I don’t give a damned about the Celtic history – most of which is fake anyhow.

My Cornwall is the cliff walks, the winds blowing seabirds in the wrong directions. My Cornwall is of wrecks, a violent history of survival – Cornwall without cosy edges.

My Cornwall is also ice-creams, cream teas, fish and chips, mackerel, fudge and starry-gazed pie. My Cornwall is surfing, endless sandcastles, climbing cliffs, finding caves and pulling away limpets.

My Cornwall is chatting up locals for free ice-creams – saying I meet you in Bodmin, then running away with my cousin laughing.

My Cornwall is smoking in a haystack, nearly killing ourselves with danger and laughter.

My Cornwall is tales of cursed fields, wreckers, hanging monkeys as Spanish traitors, poverty and getting lost on the Moors. Cornwall is full of tales to chill the bone.

I could be scare in Cornwall coz I was always safe. I was wrapped in my Dad’s love.

So I very sad not to be in Fowey.

I go to London, for my Dad was a Londoner though and though. He lived a short period in South England, and in Denver. He travel all over the world for his work and on holidays.

But he lived in London for all but about ten years of his life.

Although he spoke often of moving to the West Country to retire, it never felt like a reality – for he had London in his blood.

I in many ways am the same.

When in in London, I see and feel it as I remember my Dad.

I often spent many hours with him going the parks, the architecture, into Italian coffee houses. He took to the theatre, to art galleries, to museums.

He wander round bookshops, especially South Bank and Charing Cross Road.

Through I learnt the pleasures of wandering round London alone, letting yourself go with the flow.

Like all Londoner, we both hate the public transport. Hate the crowds in areas like Oxford Street. Hate the filth that everywhere.

Hate it but would miss it it wasn’t there.

Personally, I find “clean” cities sterile and not human.

I go to London, and wander, then I feel I following in Dad’s footsteps, as he followed his Mum.

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