Like a song of a magical week

Featured image: A fitting note from the daffodil fairy.

Cornwall Cogitation 14/192 Saturday 6 April 2019  What do the opera The Magic Flute, the movies Fisherman’s Friends,The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, The Bookshop, Trerice (a National Trust property) and daffodils have in common?

All were part of our week, a week of many parts, where music, drama, wind, rain, hail and sun, flowers, friends, food, walks, dreams carried notes of mystery, magic, challenge, pleasure–again proving Aristotle’s dictum, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” For us, like a song of a magical week.

The parish church at St Erth sponsors an annual daffodil festival. This bouquet greeted us on arrival.


A day for The Magic Flute

The Welsh National Opera presented The Magic Flute at Theatre Royal Plymouth, Devon. We traveled the two-hour trip by train to Plymouth with Noel and Lynne Brereton.

Mozart’s opera is both a simple fairy tale where a prince rescues a damsel in distress and a more complex allegory of the quest for wisdom and enlightenment. First produced near Vienna in 1791, less than three months before he died, the opera timelessly drives home its message in song and word.

Outside Theatre Royal we met up with a mammoth sculpture, named Messenger. Designer Joseph Hillier, who named the sculpture, quoted in the Plymouth Herald (19 March), said, “The title Messenger refers to the pivotal role the performer takes to breathe life into the words of a writer and the intent of a director.

“The sculpture celebrates the potential of creativity as a dynamic catalyst for change. This work offers a young powerful woman, a potent force about to transform the world by her actions.

“The actor carries the voice of her playwright or director–she carried a message. It’s a metaphor for what great theatre does.”

“Messenger,” is a new permanent sculpture at Theatre Royal Plymouth, Devon.


The sculpture is based on a real person who played Bianca in a modern version of Shakespeare’s Othello, co-produced some years ago by Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
“The rain it raineth every day” is a line from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Act 5, Scene 1), and also the title of a painting (1889) by Norman Garstin showing people in the rain on the promenade at Penzance, Cornwall. Here’s my “It raineth today in Plymouth, Devon” snap on Thursday.
Charles Church, Plymouth, founded 1634, was burned by incendiary bombs during the night of March 21-22, 1941.
Dinner at Turtle Bay Caribbean Restaurant before the performance of The Magic Flute had a magic of its own.


Fisherman’s Friends

We thoroughly enjoyed Fisherman’s Friends, based on the fishermen from Port Isaac, Cornwall, whose sea shanty songs entertain locally in the pub and who have hit the charts, with four CDs now on offer.


The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

We got the rental copy of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society from the St Ives Library. The story centers around Juliet Ashton who forms a life-changing bond with the Guernsey group who survived the occupation of Guernsey during WWII by forming a book club. Fine book, irresistible movie.

We read the book some time ago and recommend it to anyone interested in a slice of how people faced into the trials and triumphs of war.


The Bookshop

The St Anta Film Club showed the movie, The Bookshop, at the St Anta Church Hall on Friday night. Florence Green, a woman of courage, sets up a bookshop in an East Anglian town. The year is 1959. The house she selects has been empty for seven years. This woman of vision, compassion and courage nurtures life and love through her Old House Bookshop, the place where she also lives.

But watch out, the local grand dame has designs on the building and now freshly schemes to get this long-neglected listed property and make it into an arts center. She stops at nothing to get her hands on it. Through devious measures she gets Green evicted. Green ferry’s off for greener pastures. The community not only loses a bookshop, but its soul.


The West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society

Hail and cold winds off the Atlantic coast caused our walking group to turn around–a rare event–and sent us to Wyevale Garden Centre for refreshments. Wise decision.

Walkers at Wyevale.
Camellia plant for sale at Wyevale.



Steve and Marilyn Bowden took us on a day out, today, Saturday, to a secluded Elizabethan manor house, Trerice, near Newquay. On the way home we also stopped to see the Bedruthan Steps, famous since Victorian times for bracing clifftop walks and views over the giant rock stacks.

(Photos later)


Windows on the week

Hail on our patio.
View to St Ives from South West Coast Path.
Rain clouds gathering over St Ives Bay at Porthminster Beach Cafe.
Carrot coriander soup at Pothminster Beach Cafe.
View from the library over an Up-a-Long section of St Ives.



Both visible and invisible qualities made up our song, in sum, of a magical week, really.


5 thoughts on “Like a song of a magical week

  1. What a magical week, John! So much beauty and art and so many soul-enriching relationships! I just read The Bookshop and enjoyed the slice of life it portrayed. And, of course, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society and The Magic Flute are both favorites! It raineth here today in Port Townsend as well, much welcomed after several dry weeks in a row. It appears that our spring season is nearly parallel with yours — lots of daffodils and camellias, with tulips and azaleas just emerging, along with buds on the lilacs.


    1. Thanks, Marlene. From Pacific to Atlantic, winds and rain bring blossoms of spring. I even smile when I see dandelions. Much pleasure in your gardening.


  2. Oh my, another delightful post! Thank you. Your mention of the Guernsey and Bookshop movies caught my eye. I really enjoyed seeing them in recent months.


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