It’s Armed Forces Day in Plymouth tomorrow, and a bunch of us are swimming off the Hoe in the evening when the Red Arrows are due to fly over! I can’t think of a better viewpoint, and it won’t be too crowded in the sea, that’s for sure. The only problem is that I have Swimmer’s Ear – a bit of a discomfort – so I’ll have to keep my head out of the water. I love swimming off the Hoe. We usually go in from the little beach on the left of Tinside Pool as you look out to sea. I’ve e-mailed the authorities to see if the area can be spruced up a bit – it looks so scruffy and dilapidated in contrast to the beautiful turquoise of the Lido!
I discovered today that the Plymouth Dome is to become a wedding venue. Rhodes @ The Dome is “Plymouth’s new flagship Gary Rhodes wedding banqueting and hosting facilities located on the Hoe in the iconic Dome building.” I’m a little disappointed: I was planning on dropping in for a hot chocolate and a kitkat after a swim. However, I am looking forward to seeing the Dome opened at last and it is a fantastic venue for a wedding! I just need an invitation now.
Swimming buoys and girls
Paul is off to Falmouth to sketch the beautiful J Class yachts. The masts on these elegant boats are as tall as 175 feet – we were trying to work out how high that is in comparison with the Civic Centre. This is our preferred method for comparing heights. We have always understood the height of the Civic Centre to be 200 feet. My Grandma took us up to the top once and it was very windy, so she tied her hat on with one of those folding plastic rain hats.
Sitting here at my computer with the rain beating down outside again, I find it it difficult to believe that we had such a lovely day in St Ives on Monday, in the sunshine! Paul and I love the colours of St Ives – as I’m sure countless others do too. However this time, we were almost speechless. There was no surf – we were expecting wild water with all the recent storms – just calm, clear turquoise, jade and cornflower blue sea. We swam up and down Porthmeor beach entranced. Porthminster was very still – and a beautiful pearly green. We had tea on the terrace of the Pedn Olva Hotel and looked down into clear blues and purples. In the evening, I swam off Porthgwidden beach, alone in the crystal water with the gannets diving just offshore amongst the fishing boats.
Purple Sand at Porthmeor
At Paul’s Art Class on Tuesday, we painted stormy skies. Then I painted this picture of Porthgwidden from a photo on my camera. I haven’t added the gannets or the fishing boats, but they are there in my memory.
Colours of Porthgwidden, by Rosie
Going to St Ives for the day tomorrow! I’ve been visiting St Ives since I was five. Quite a few times I have cried on the train leaving for home. We’re travelling in the van tomorrow, although it’s worth catching the train just for the wonderful view from the branch line between St Erth and St Ives. I’m looking forward to seeing the turquoises, jades and blues in the sea. It was in St Ives that Paul first pointed out the purple sand to me. I thought he was completely wrong, and then suddenly I could see it! I wonder how many other times I’ve missed something beautiful that was so obvious? Since then I’ve paid more attention to him and have learnt a lot about the colours in the world. Insistent exhortation is the way forward.
We shall take our surfboards, bellyboards and wetsuits so we are prepared for every eventuality! I plan to buy some wool as there are two well-stocked yarn shops. Living Food of St Ives is there too – on the Porthmeor side. The home of Raw Chocolate Pie – not to be missed.
What a good day! Thanks to everyone who came along last Saturday and supported us at Paul’s one-day exhibition at the Yacht Club. We had a great day during which everyone helped to raise around £400 for RNLI Plymouth. Many thanks to the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club for their spectacular venue and help on the day. Special thanks to the RNLI Volunteers for their support and congratulations to Jill for winning the draw prize!
This week it’s back to normal for me and Paul. The students have had a half term break, and Paul’s classes now continue until the beginning of July. We’ve also planned a summer programme for Tuesdays and Wednesdays over the holiday period. The programme includes a beginners course, and some fun with colours., so let us know if you would like more information – Paul’s e-mail address and phone number are on the Contact tab on this website.
Yesterday we drove through the heaviest rain I’ve experienced for many years. We were travelling from Plymbridge and apprehensively drove up the hill through a muddy river! The roads through Plympton were very flooded. I know we Brits keep talking about the weather, but it’s no wonder, really! Even the chickens have stopped laying and are putting themselves to bed early.
To cheer us up, here’s a picture of a sunflower I painted at Paul’s class today.
Well – that was a bit of a hooley! Paul & I went up to the Hoe last night to see the waves crashing – and did they crash! I had to abandon my swim! The sea was swamping over the sides of Tinside Pool. I’ve never seen the Sound look so stormy. Spectacular.
We’re almost ready for tomorrow – Paul has had an Exhibition Hair Cut! We have to transport and label paintings today. Tomorrow we shall set up early in the morning at the friendly Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club on the Hoe. Paul and I go through our usual hour of arguing over how the paintings should be displayed, then we very much look forward to seeing students, friends, family and everyone else come along. We will have Chris and Victoria with us, along with representatives from the RNLI who will be selling RNLI merchandise and draw tickets for one of Paul’s paintings ‘Barbican Boats’:
Paul will be donating 25% from all art sales – including prints and cards – to the RNLI. This will be our fifth year of supporting the RNLI. We hope lots of people will come! There should be places to park nearby or Elphinstone and Lambhay Hill car parks are a short walk away. The number 25 bus stops right outside, and there is always the option of parking at Mount Batten and taking the water Taxi over – a chance to have a trip on the ferry.
See you there!
Hello! Where am I? What a busy weekend! Twenty seventh Wedding Anniversary with lovely meal out at the Fisherman’s, then awake at 4.30 am to drive for 5 and a half hours to Aberystwyth. I have never seen so many cars, caravans and campervans travelling the other way. We moved Chris’s belongings into storage at the Golf Club. Our poor little Focus had to negotiate a rutted tractor track to get there. Panoramic sea view though! On the way back from Wales we joined the queue to enter Cornwall. The Midlands are empty and the South West peninsula is surely tipping into the sea. Lucie and her Chris were cooking for us when we stumbled, twitching, through the door at 9 pm. It took them 6 and a half hours to drive from Oxford. What a day!
Lucie and I had a Jubilee swim on Sunday at a stormy Bovisand. It was as wild and windy as it was on Christmas Day when we had our traditional family swim. We have a lot of weather in England.
Paul neatly arranged to have a birthday on Bank Holiday Monday and we had a barbecue in the garden with the chickens. Slightly dangerous with meat-mad men around, but I counted them out and counted them in. The Queen then staged a wonderful concert for Paul to watch in the evening. My highlight was Grace Jones singing a whole song whilst hula-hooping, at age 64.
Exhibition preparations continue in earnest now!