Monday, August 16, 2010

The Youth of St Ives

On a very special day of our holiday in Cornwall we went to St Ives. It was one of those days where a good feeling permeated everything that happened to us. We agreed to meet friends who were staying down that way, and even though it took us the thick end of two hours to get there, everyone was in good spirits.

We also met, by chance, my favourite living artist - Liam Spencer. He wasn't exhibiting in the Tate or anything, or painting by a cliff top, he was heading out to surf with one of his sons. One of the sons featured on Watching Pingu, one of his gorgeous paintings which adorns our home.

After a day of fun and seaside frolics at Gwithian Beach we headed for St Ives. The evening light and warm air made it feel positively Italian. Loads of families meandering the shops and the harbour. We ate posh fish and chips as we walked and fought off the interests of seagulls.

Along the harbour wall about a dozen or more local lads in wetsuits were enjoying high jinks of the highest order: jumping off the lighthouse, the jetty and into the sea below. They were boisterous and hearty and clearly this is what local teenagers did in this part of the world. Some could do somersaults, backflips or just dive bombs, but all seemed so full of adventure and joy.

As the father to a pack of lads of my own I admire such courage and spirit. We liked too that they were friendly and keen to impress our brood with their daring. Capturing these memories is important and I saw in our boys and my friends' daughters a suitable admiration.

I have some good photographs to remember the day, but imagine my surprise when I found a painting of three lads in wetsuits called Jumping off Rocks. I have to have it. The artist? Yep, Liam Spencer.

1 comment:

Sharon Cain said...

This post has brought fond memories of my childhood holidays in St Ives and and going to Cornwall on the train. My late father worked on the railways so we took advantage of our free passes! The resort was so full of character and the days on the beach stretched out endlessly and were fantastic. You've really captured your family's enjoyment of it. Thank you for a great reminder.