Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Far away from Cornwall, a small boy has learned to read. It has been fun to watch it happening, and to follow the kinds of books that appeal to him. As is true for most of the members of our family, Calvin and Hobbes has played its part. So have the books of Roald Dahl, whom we learned about in 1990 while living in England. All of us, including the grownups, were hooked. How could anyone write such tales as Danny The Champion of the World, or Fantastic Mr Fox? All of his stories held us fascinated, and this fascination has now sifted down to the next group of youngsters.
This young boy also loves Where's Waldo? and Richard Scary's Busytown, which illustrates the members of a sweet, small village, and the adventures they have. We have spent hours looking and reading and laughing at the antics of all its citizens. And the books illustrate what it is like to be a productive and positive citizen of this world.
As you might have guessed, no one in Busytown is the least bit lazy. And today as I walked around the village of St Ives, it felt as though I'd stumbled inside the pages of that lovable spot Everyone was working! In just a few steps, I came upon no fewer than six workmanlike scenes, many of them wearing bright yellow/green vests or shirts. The baker was rolling his trays down to be filled; a construction worker carried a plank off to some unknown plank-layer; another man carried a ladder in the direction of the harbor; a painter stood at the end of Fore Street, painting the trim of a shop; a cottage owner stood sanding her outer window frame, and three men stood upon the scaffolding of a shop's facade, clanging away while listening to the radio. It's all a part of that St Ives lifestyle.
The lady sanding her window frame looked familiar, and I suddenly remembered - she was the owner of two of the cottages I stayed in! The one who was so kind to me last week. There she was, scraping away the peeling paint that is a given in this town of rain and wind.
"Oh - it's you!," she said with a friendly smile. "How is your holiday coming along?"
We chatted while she took a tiny break from her sanding, about ownership, and the work it causes. She and her husband are clearly the sort who would never consider hiring someone else to do their work. They do it all. But dear Readers, you should just see them! You won't believe this, but they are both gorgeous enough to be in FILMS. She, with her long, straight blond hair and stunning blue eyes, and he with his rugged dark Hollywood-scruffy face that could stop traffic. Yet they work hard without being too proud for it. Is there any end to the cottage they own? The one she was working on today was #4, as far as I knew, but I felt too shy to ask more questions. Fascinating.
There is much more to say on this subject, but I think I'll stop and dash out of doors again where who knows what I might see? I think of the lady asking me about my holiday, and I whisper the truth: "It isn't actually a holiday. It's a lifestyle." And in this busy town, that's better than Hollywood.
See you along the way!