Autobiographical novel by Charles Marriot
Do not wander too far into time at all, lest with the everlasting now the centre of all life and experience, and your own true lover you fail to keep your first appointment."Edward Carpenter.
ON August 31st, 1904, I started from Helston to walk round the Lizard to Falmouth by the coastguard path as a wind-up to my holiday in Cornwall. I had sent my luggage in advance to London and carried nothing with me but a toothbrush.
The day being important in its consequences, I find it convenient to turn to my notebook for records made at the time of trivial incidents and impressions. These may or may not be interesting to the reader; they are certainly irrelevant, but then the whole thing was irrelevant or seemed so at the time and at any rate they set the scene for me and illustrate the casual way I was "let in" to the story better than any composed description I could write from memory. "August 3ist, 1904. N.W. wind; very pale sky. On Loe Bar, I found yellow sea-poppies,! lavender sea-holly and rest-harrow in flower.
The Bar is chiefly of shingle covered with sand. Here I saw many small blue butterflies." For some reason, nothing that happened before I got to Loe Bar seems to belong to the story; while everything that happened afterwards, though apparently irrelevant, is more or less connected with it in my mind.
The curtain goes up on Loe Bar, so to speak, and the opening of the story is always associated for me with small blue butterflies and the prickly feel of sea-holly. I remember, as one remembers getting to the theatre, that on leaving Helston I missed the path and got into difficulties among reeds and waterfowl on an arm of the Loe Pool called Carminow Creek. Loe Pool, by the way, affectionately called "The Loe," is one of the lakes wherein Excalibur was thrown. It is a seven-mile sheet of still, freshwater, reflecting hanging woods, well stocked with trout, fed by the tumbling, tin-stained Cober and separated from the sea by the narrow strip of sand and shingle called Loe Bar. South of the Bar, you open out the coast of Mount's Bay. I find in my note-book references to Porthleven huddled in the shelter and backed by Tregoning Hill, Trewavas Head, Cudden Point, Penzance,the book details :
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