I keep looking at the grey clouds hovering above Lostwithiel and hoping that one of them just gets rather heavy with moisture and lets rip all over the town… I would stand and let it drench me. None the less having just been into Fowey, Lostwithiel is less heavy and humid than there! Small little moments of gratitude.
I had a terrible nights sleep last night.. the heat and a dodgy sausage from my breakfast yesterday kept me awake. Lesson learned! But when I did fall asleep Dave said I was tossing and turning and talking in my sleep… something about ‘getting it sorted’ obviously my dreams are well organised. None the less when the alarm went at 7am it was a shock to the system… I slowly got up, opening the french doors to let in as much cool morning air as was possible.
Today I was off to Penryn, the Falmouth University campus, to have a low-key tour of the digital printing area for the use of local artisans wishing to have fabric printed. I dressed appropriately hoping the cool cotton shirt I wore loosely over my sleeveless dress would ooze confident hot weather wear! I went off in the car and completely forgot to turn up Tanhouse Road and get on the A30 to avoid St Austell…. and when I drove down Penpillick Hill and realised that I was on auto-pilot I couldn’t be bothered to turn around, I trudged through St Blazey and Par and then past the huge building site at Holmbush and then the traffic got heavier, I turned towards the town at the Mount Charles island and it was like every slow coach was in front of me. I got down to the Mevagissey island and turned right, the traffic wasn’t that heavy but in the ever-increasing temperature and humidity it was horrid. I got through and glided into Grampound and then into Tresillian.
Getting through Truro is a breeze in comparison to St Austell. And I was well on the way to King Harry’s Ferry island, I pulled into the garage for some water and a Costa. I needed the water and the sugary yum-yum I bought at the same time. Only problem was I took 2 bites and then dropped in the passenger foot well…. bummer! The traffic up to the Penryn turning was heavy but I was in good time when I got to the campus.
There is a lot of building work on site and I had no idea where reception was located so I drove through the barrier, then drove to the only building with Innovation in the title but this was not the right one said the dis-embodied voice at the barrier (she said head for reception but that’s no good if you have no idea where it is!) I then headed to the only building I knew which was the Sportshall where we did the Christmas Outlaw Market last year. I messaged Freya Moses, who was hosting the event, to say I didn’t know where to go and that I was near the Sportshall – after a few stressful moments of feeling pathetic and lost and too hot to care, I heard my name floating in the air and there she was. Fabulous.
We walked down paths, past buildings, up steps, under buildings and if anyone had asked me to tell them how to find my car I would have cried. I had no idea where we were and where we’d come through. At reception, which is randomly called The Heart, we met another visitor but no one else arrived. It turns out this is the NEW main reception and the old one is near the building where Freya works and sure enough when we approached the others were all there. I actually felt a bit smug that I actually knew there was a NEW reception… though whether I’d ever find it again is a good question.
We entered the Fashion and Textiles Institute (originally known as FATI but now sensibly known as FTI) and there were loads of GCSE and A level art work on display from local schools, amazing stuff. We followed Freya up the slope to the Digital Printing Suite which was possibly the hottest room in the entire university. I’d brought my coffee with me so that did help and my handy old-school fan was a blessing. Freya was fabulous taking us through the fabrics available, pricing and how we would sort out getting fabric printed. Alison Bick and Keri Valentine were there along with one of Freya’s old student mates plus Keri’s hubby and 2 of Alison’s friends, and we were the first of a number of these low-key informal get-togethers. I was getting very excited thinking about seeing my sketches on linen…. no end of ideas were swirling around in my head. Soon it was time to go and see the rest of the print department and the facilities are amazing in comparison to what we had at Birmingham Polytechnic in 1981, it made me want to come and have a play with the screen printing and the dye room was extensive… the university has such a lot to offer beyond the students it’s an un-tapped resource.
Just before 12 noon we said our goodbyes and Keri showed me where the faculty canteen was so I could have a sandwich and a bottle of water. It was immense and empty as nearly all the students were long gone after the term ended in early June. I asked the only other 2 people in the vast space where I paid for the parking and I wondered up to the carpark nearest to the canteen and paid my fee. I then realised where I was in comparison to the Sportshall, walked up a tree-shaded path with the most amazing Hydrangeas (just look at that blue!) and I was back in the car within a couple of minutes walking.
I drove with both windows down and really enjoyed the breeze as I retraced my journey into the campus and back on the A39. I got to Truro and instead of following the same journey back to Lostwithiel I decided to drive up to the A30, it wasn’t long before I was exiting at Lanhydrock and drove down to meet Dave at Q Street Coffee. The heat and humidity were now at total irritation point. We sat and chatted with Chloe consuming iced coffee lattes which are just the ticket for this oppressive weather.
I dropped Dave off at home and I drove down into Fowey, I decided to see if my parking genie was still with me so I drove down into the narrow lanes through the town centre. So many people forget it’s a road and amble along without a care in the world then jump a mile when they realise there is a car behind them.
I crept past all the shops until I got to the clearing where the harbour car park is located… I slowly inched forward and there were at least two spaces available – my parking genie was still hard at work! Parked up I walked back up the lane to Seasalt and collected my parcel I’d ordered in their sale online. I tried both items on and kept one but return the other. Pleased with my new short-sleeved dress I walk back towards the harbour, popping into Boots to get some stuff for Dave and a new Minions box of tissues for him! LOL. The heat in the narrow street was overwhelming, my lovely cool cotton shirt was sticky and my hair was plastered to my forehead… it was way hotter than in Losty…and I was glad I only put an hour on the parking meter!
I popped in Brocante for a quick look and saw loads of lovely sea inspired pieces, some lovely candy coloured blankets and cushions. But then I couldn’t stand the heat anymore and got back into the car and drove up out of Fowey back onto the road, climbing slowly out of the valley where at least there was some slight breeze. I got back into Lostwithiel and stopped at Penhaligans to get Country Living and The Simple Things magazines, plus a punnet of strawberries and a tub of Cornish natural yogurt from Trewithian dairy just up the road. I noticed there was a notice in the old Bookshop about renting the shop…. I made a mental note to contact the owner to see what the rent would be.
Back home I took off the now grubby sweaty creased cotton shirt and it, along with a few other ‘whites’ are in the middle of their washing cycle as I type.
Time for an afternoon nap and then I might, just might, go out to do a couple of sketches…. hoping to wake to gentle rain or a nice thunder-storm.