Sunday, 21 February 2016

Weathered & White Washed; Home Again for a While

Fish Tales 

"Beware of little Undine, they had always sang. It was written in our poetry, in our histories and in our lore. I never feared a creature I could not see, for the sea caves remained empty except for the barnacles that clung dearly to their homes the rocks, and the lonely wind sailor that had lost his way in the storms. I grew weary of fish tails and fancied them only fantasies but sometimes, sun dreams of Undine floated into my mind on the soft spring winds in the way that the breeze carries the smell of salt water up from the cove and into the valley. What was more dangerous to me, was not a bucca or fae, but the capricious ocean that sang in a voice only some could hear. 
It was normally the sailors that called the sea their mistress, but our relationship was not one of fictitious romance; It was one of separation. I felt as though the sea was my body and what was left of me, if you might call it a soul, was trapped in this clumsy vessel of flesh and bone. The sea was my being and it called to its fragmented, chipped away piece of salt and breeze and that shard, myself, beat wildly at its capsule in a desperate feat to free itself and return from whence it came. I used to watch longingly at the ocean in the bitter, late winter evenings, living out my muddled white wash days, never sure whether what was inside me was salt or soul. But an old fisherman told me once with a wink; "You are little Undine and we must keep the sea's secrets". 
Maybe the folktales are wrong, and the ethereal are not born at all, but instead an accident of chance. A piece of the ocean spray carried inland on the mischievous breeze happens to drift through an open window and dowse a new baby, washing away its mortal soul. What if what is left behind is Undine?"

This winter is in no hurry. It's mid February, and as I look about, people are hopeful for every flower that foolishly sprouts from the earth or bud on a cherry tree that emerges. Winter has been mischievous, tricky even, and the frost has claimed many a keen garden for its own. I can wait patiently because I remember that when the last spring came, it had taken its time but when it finally did arrive, it was as though the island was rejoicing in its victory over the bitter winds and the flowers bloomed in colours more vibrant than ever before. The nights are brisk and sometimes, I can see the constellations stretched out above me like a speckled canvas; Ursa Minor, Canis Major, Andromeda and the great Milky Way, reminding me of summer evenings camping with my friends and spotting the asteroids as they passed us by. But it's too cold to dwell long on the Great Bear or the dog star, because the temperatures are small and the warm lies dormant in these parts because it's busy elsewhere, heating the other hemisphere far away.  So we swaddle ourselves in blankets and thick, old jumpers and turn to our books, we hunch by fires if we have them and shiver if we don't, waiting out the long, bleak winter waiting patiently for the spring. 

I returned home alone this time and George stayed in Bath. The entire week was spent laughing with dear friends and family, crowded around a small table with seats that swallowed us up in a candle lit bar, chatting and reminiscing together until the small hours. We never wanted to leave. It gave me such joy to unite my friends together from different chapters of my life and to see them share an affinity. It was with heavy hearts when the bar called last orders that we parted ways under the canopy of string bulbs lighting cobbled, seaside streets. Cornwall is pulling me back to it more than ever, but it was kinder to me this time. It knows that it is victorious, that I'm coming home to it and it soothed me with calm weather and shimmering light on the waves. On the Thursday, I found myself Lizard bound, visiting George's home peninsula; the place I've spent the last four and happiest years of my life. We floated about the fishing villages, Alex and I and watched the waves for the longest time. I was hypnotised as ever by the rolling, tossing tides of turquoise and pale waves and the way the sunlight danced on its surface. Eventually, the fishing boats returned to the cove for the evening with their catch and the moon appeared, most peculiarly with a rainbow. 

There's a million photos of the ocean that I'm just desperate to share, but holding myself back for fear of repetition. This space is highly in danger of becoming just a blog of images of the ocean, the colours the sea can turn and the different weathers. That may yet happen, if I don't keep myself under control. 

Since I'm making an effort to talk about personal style a little more, and also recycling clothes, it would be a great time to mention my new (old) coat. This sheepskin coat (I'm so sorry vegetarians!) was a gift from my Nan to me and it once belonged to her father, my great grandfather. It's as vintage as it gets and it's so warm, it doesn't let any rain or wind in at all. I'm not an advocate for fur or skin coats, but it is an honour to give this coat another home and to be another pair of shoulders in the same family for it to warm. Four generations in total have enjoyed this coat, as it belonged to my cousin for a while as well. It just feels really special and I'm not sure I could ever have afforded something like this if I was looking to buy a coat with my own money. I like it more because of the sentimental value it has. Anyway, I just thought it would be nice to record this and the time I received a family heirloom. The dress and jumper are both from Fatface clothing, left over uniform from my last job that I wear as regular clothes now. 

 Dress: Fatface old  |  Fishermans Aran jumper: Fatface old | Stockings: White stuff, current  
Boots: Charity Shop  |  Coat: Vintage heirloom 

This art gallery is reached by a rickety, ladder. If that isn't proof that there is magic left in our every day world then I really don't know what is. 

Narrow steps built onto the rocks. The view of the waves from the rock pools was incredible. If you're curious, the name of this enchanting cove is Cadgwith and it's located on the Lizard Peninsula in the very south of Cornwall. It's a working fishing cove and home to many of the gig racing competitions. It's one of the prettiest fishing villages in Cornwall and I love living among these quaint and whimsical villages. George and his family live a couple of miles away between two other fishing villages named Porthallow (pronounced Pralla by the locals) and Coverack (pronounced Covv-Err-Ack not Cove-rack as believed by many tourists!) The Lizard is my most cherished place in Cornwall and when I come back here in the summer to live full-time again, I hope to be as close to the Lizard as possible (but in commuting distance to Georges job!).
George has vowed that he's going to take his full motorbike test which means that I get to ride pillion with him. I'm incredibly excited for this because I LOVE MOTORBIKES. Normally Dad and I go for long drives on the coast road and through the country lanes on his, and I love feeling like a flying bird as we race past the colourful hedgerows and past the babbling brooks that line the roads. I am so excited to share this experience with my best and feel the freedom of the wind on our faces and the country road stretched before us. 

I would like to thank beautiful Alex from the On Serpentine Shores blog for taking such lovely pictures of me. I am honoured to have such a talented and creative friend and bridesmaid ^_^ 

That was an awful lot of ocean to digest. I took over 150 pictures of just the sea alone and it was difficult not to share them all. Pictures and illustrations of the ocean are soothing to my soul and if I can't look at it in reality, then I need to be surrounded by pictures of it at the least. I crammed so much into my week back home and now that I'm in Bath again, it all feels like a distant dream. My friends and I are quivering in anticipation for the prospect of summer stretched out in the distance, waiting for us, promising adventure and stargazing. I have a good feeling about this year. Old chapters are coming to a close with graduation approaching and it's bittersweet, but I've got such joy to greet me and I have so many incredible people in my life now, I feel I might burst. My years get more and more joyful, even if things like bills and work linger on the borders of adult hood and the real world. Experiences fill my shelves like pretty plates to look at when the weathers grey, and this warms my heart like a little bonfire in the woods. 



  1. Gorgeous! I really must take a trip down to the Lizard this Spring - I've never been!! Perhaps you both can show me the best places to explore :) just looks stunning.

  2. I love Cadgiwth and I love the Sea :) Your sea photos are not repetitive at all; share them share them share them! xx

  3. This is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read.

    Every time I read one of either your or Alex's posts I find myself yearning to go back home. To have a post filled with pictures of the sea is a magnificent thing and I would only ever encourage it. For the sake of my sea-less soul, miles away from home.

    B x

  4. This coat looks like it was made for you! I love pictures of the sea so you won't find me complaining <3

    Gisforgingers xx

  5. You have such gorgeous photos, I wouldn't mind if you shared them all! I love the atmosphere you captured, I can totally feel how calm and misty it must have been. What do you use to edit? All your tones are amazing!

    Oddly, winter is in quite a hurry in California. We barely had 2 weeks of rain, and now it's back to shorts and dresses!

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

    1. Thankyou Angelina for such sweet compliments :D
      I normally use lightroom to edit, but I've been working recently on taking a leaf out of my friend (a fellow photographer's) book and working on capturing the aesthetic of the image as I take the photograph rather than in post processing. These images have had very little (if any) post processing, Instead I do little things like 'slightly over expose' the photographs to give them their ethereal feel but to be honest, it's all about the light ^_^ It's the light that gives them the aesthetic they have - I am very lucky to live in Cornwall with it's famous light! It attracts artists from all over :)

      What I would give for a winter with barely 2 weeks of rain! :P I'm counting down the days to shorts and dresses :P I'm quite envious! xxx

  6. There's nothing wrong with beautiful photos of the ocean. It's such a peaceful & lovely place to be. Here's hoping this year is everything you dreamed it would be & more. :]

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  7. How amazing that the coat fits you so, so well! I don't advocate fur either, but this is an old garment so there'd be no sense in not wearing it now, when it's already been made and worn for so long.

    Becky | accoohtrements life, travel & design blog

  8. Your photos are always so breathtakingly beautiful! The light makes me heart soar!x

  9. Your photos always have such a simple majesty to them. Loved being a part of this adventure -- I can almost smell the spray of the sea!


    Ashley || Sed Bona


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