As Alfie traversed the coast path towards Padstow,his mind allowed for an excursion too.Wether it was the early morning mist,or just the juices of his imagination,it was like he was in a mental whirlpool of the best days that he had ever spent in the county of his birth.As if by magic,all the sadness,the angst,the heartaches had been airbrushed out,leaving him with wonderful sights and sounds that stimulated his sensory nerve cells,leaving him in a mental paradise at it were.At first,these were sound bites,vague entrances in a show of which nderfuo colours and sounds.The first me,Roy was of Bedruthan steps on that wistful August day in 1972″that day when he caught the tide just right ,when he got himself right down on to the waters edge,that day when the Atlantic spoke to him with that roarkthat roar that said,”Coke on over,but watch I did not bite”.Yes,that day when the weather ,the sounds,the chemistry fused with my mood to replenish me from “the other stuff,”as I would term it.As I walked further on,and as the sea mist began to lift,an adorable memory of hearing the sights and sounds of Padstow Obbyhorse,that I was fascinated with as a boy,and the people flooding nag into the town to witness us Cornish folk grapple with our unholy alliance between the sacred and the pagan.Like a cocktail that you know will give you a huge hangover in the morning,but you just can’t resist the taste.This was the Mayday celebration at Padstow.As if by another conjuring trick,my mind took me to Tintagel-a fair way along in my journey,but I was looking forward to it-and that great fusion between legend and Cornish a myth that was King Author and the knights of the round table.As a boy ,I dreamt of being a knight in the manner of Lancelot ,and my sister Shiela often told me stories above the knights of the round table.Yes,in hindsight,I’m sure that there were embellishments,but they added to the flavour of those depictions,and they glued me ever more to the narrator.
As if by fate,I spied the morning fog lights of a Padstow boat as it made its way out of the harbour.Fishing is,and has been,the staple industry of this small harbour town,and I have always had a deep affection for the place.Many members of my family can be cynical about the place now,and of the business pursuits of the towns favourite son,and they love that rather cynical rebranding of the place as Padstein.However,I a fan of Rick,I would say that he has not only put, Padstow on the map,but exerted a positive influence on the county as a whole.We Cornish are rather fond of knocking what we often say tongue in check,Emmits,but to be honest,without people like Rick and the tourism that his enterprises bring,where would the county be?
As light was now upon him,Alfie decided to spend the day at Padstow soaking up the life of the place,viewing Rock from across the water and generally feeling that he could be at peace there.He needed a place to get some breakfast and scouted around for a while until he spotted a Cornish greasy spoon just off the Harbour.Alfie knew that in Cornwall a cafe by the Harbour meant a 15% hike in prices,so he went off piste as it were to locate a place that was frequented by fishermen.He knew that those who went out at 4 to inspect their Lobster Pots would be inshore for a while,and would be requiring feeding.He liked to think that he was one of them,but ,deep down,he knew that when he left the county decades ago that it would never really be the same.He was ,on the road he hand,a lover of the Cornish culture,the scenery,the food even,but he was far more English or even Eoropean than any of his sisters,who preferred these shores,and had made them their life long home.
As he stirred his tea,awaiting his breakfast,he thought of Sir Malcolm Arnold’s composition “Padstow Lifeboat”,and he always admired the respect that Armoldnhad shown to the Cornish while he lived in the town.He admired how he had encouraged young musicians like him and in so many ways,played a part in Alfie’s musical journey.As Alfie’s muse took him further into the good past as he saw it,he was oblivious to Tricksy,who had managed to ingratiate himself into the hearts of two Fisherman lFor these moments,Alfie’s was able to pidgeon hole the bad past,lock it away,and enjoy this moment,and he would look forward would look forward to planning the next part of his adventures along the Atlantic way.
Thank you for your attention to Alfie’s return to Cornwall.