Tuesday, April 30, 2019

It Happens All The Time

Sometimes a silent train ride seems preferable, especially after a long flight and impending jet lag. I thought I would climb aboard the Great Western Railroad and just, well, sit there looking out of the windows. Doze, perhaps. Dream.

For an hour, peace reigned, but I could not doze. The scenes speeding past me were too striking - the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. Why are sheep so completely enchanting, in England? How is it that British cows are so much more adorable than our own? It must be the green grasses they munch on, or something. So very pastoral, and absolutely perfect. 

Then the train stopped, and from my window seat I noticed a tall, smiling lady hugging a short, sweet one. The short, sweet lady kissed her cheek and then stepped aboard, where she peered at the reservation cards attached to each seat. 

"Oh! This one's mine," she said, indicating the seat next to me. I smiled, and she sat down, arranging her coat and her bag, then waving cheerily at the tall woman who waved cheerily back. The two of them were so very positive that I waved and smiled, too. We pulled away.

"My daughter," said my new seat mate, with a nod. "She's a nurse."

"How nice for you," I replied. "My son-in-law is a nurse. I think nurses are splendid."

"Oh, yes. I do feel so very safe, when I am around my daughter." I knew that feeling, since the son-in-law in my life makes me feel the very same way. 

We talked all about children, and grandchildren, and the fact that I was missing mine. She asked what had given me the idea to visit Cornwall, so the conversation naturally turned (as it always does) to Rosamunde Pilcher, whose descriptions of Cornwall had drawn people here by the thousands. 

"Have you read her books too?" I asked.

"Well, no," she said sheepishly, and to my very great surprise.

"Oh, then you have the most enormous treat ahead of you! Once you start a Pilcher book, you won't want to stop."

We discussed the many and varied things one might do while in Cornwall, and the fact that I would be writing books while there.

"Books!" she said enthusiastically. "Ooh, I love a good book. Where might I find yours?"

"Well, nowhere, just yet," I replied. "I am putting it out there now, to see if it might attract an agent..."

"I'm sure it will!" she said, filled with confidence in this American lady she had only just met. It was positively heartwarming. "Might I have your name? I want to watch for it!" We exchanged information, and it was then that I realized I had made a new, and very real, friend. We would be pen pals!

Just before I left the train, she confided in me. "I'll bet you can't guess how old I am," she said, in a low voice.

"No, I'm sure I can't. Do you want to tell me?" She leaned over to my ear, and whispered, "I'm 84!"

"You're not!" I exclaimed, very sincerely surprised, and absolutely making her day. We were laughing as I stepped down from the train, carefully minding the "Gap".

As the train pulled away, her window slid past where I stood. She was waving energetically, her face almost pressed to the window, grinning from ear to ear.

I guess she had found a new friend, too. It happens all the time on Cornish trains.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Leaving Here, Going There

"Grandma, why do you like going to Cornwall so much?" A sweet small voice yesterday uttered this oft-spoken question, causing 3 pairs of blue eyes to turn suddenly toward the SconeLady. I knew the question would be asked, as it usually is when Grandma goes off traipsing. I knew the answer, but was not so sure the answer would stand up to the question. I cleared my throat.

"Well," I began, "the sea and the sky are so beautiful that I can't keep myself from going to see it." The solemn eyes kept on looking, as if waiting for a better answer.

"And then," I continued, "the people are so inviting and kind that I can't keep myself from wanting to talk with them..." Hmm.

Then I remembered. "Well actually, you know all of this because you went with me two years ago. Remember?"

They did. 

"Oh yes, I loved the sandy beaches in St Ives! But not the sea gulls..." 

"I remember riding on trains with you!" 

"And I liked seeing St Michael's Mount, Windsor Castle, and the Tower of London!"

"So you see, there are lots of reasons for wanting to go and see them. Aren't there?"

"Well, yes, but in order for you to go there, it means you have to leave here."

This was true, and I had to admit it. And I don't want to leave here. But if I am to go there, that is what must happen. A conundrum, which all boils down to one unchangeable fact.

"I can't be two places at once."

Just then the baby came running through the room, escaping his mother and lightening our mood. Someone came over and hugged me.

"It's ok, Grandma," she said. "We'll just miss you."

I am sitting on the floor of an airline terminal, watching people go about their travel business. Someone's baby cries. Agents call out for stand-by passengers. People search for electric outlets (I snagged one because it pays to be an early bird). Everyone is busy, so no one is aware of the lone grandmother sitting on the floor, thinking of her Littles.  

"I'll miss you too..."

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

On The Move Again

 My favorite view of St Ives, Cornwall

The suitcase lies open and filled, waiting to be deemed ready for flight. It has been patiently waiting there all week long, as I put things in and take them back out again. But even after all of that, there are still TOO MANY HEAVY THINGS INSIDE! I must fine-tune. 

All this frenetic activity is down to one thing, dear Readers: the gleaming gem of St Ives. Planning and packing is (nearly) behind me now, and it has become time to go. I have utterly stopped checking the weather for "home" (which is almost always accurate and a little bit boring) and have full-time gone over to checking the Cornish weather. It is different every time! Cornish weather is its own strange little self and I cannot micromanage it, however hard I may try.

While there, I will focus on two main things: waiting for an agent to pick up my new book, The House By The Side Of The Road, and continuing to write my second book. Want to know its title?!! I know it, but can't put it 'out there' yet. It's fun, though, lots of fun and I can't wait to sit down by the blue, blue seashore and type away. 

Besides those two things, I will -

*continue scoping the Cornish tea shops for a lovely cream tea
*walking miles each day, over the lush, green pathways on offer 
*being a 'Roadie' at my dear Mousehole Male Voice Choir's rehearsals and performances (there are 3 'Roadies', and we are faithful)
*renewing acquaintances with numerous Brits in and out of St Ives
*attending the Parish Church services, where excellence reigns
*blogging to YOU

And best of all treats, this trip will include our dear friend-Rosie and her Ted, along with "our Em". AND (drum roll), the Rather Stunning Son and his Darling wife! Oh, the fun we will have, tramping about, eating delicious food, marveling at the sky, and - laughing! There is always lots of that.

But uh-oh, I must make for the airport now - the clock is ticking! Once the enormous flight is over and I am aboard a train for all points Southwest, I will reappear. Keep watching! 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Josh, delivering his Cream Tea at The Digey