I've just got back from the Du Maurier Festival in Cornwall, after a weekend of sunshine and blue skies (the first time it hasn't rained in the three years I've being going there, so this must have been third time lucky). I got there on Friday evening, and it was still light enough to go for my favourite walk -- along the Esplanade, past the big house, Point Neptune (complete with its grand iron gates, transplanted there by previous inhabitants, the Rashleigh family, from Menabilly, and now keeping the world at bay from its current owners, Dawn French and Lenny Henry), down to Readymoney Cove, and then up the steps from the beach to St Catherine's Castle, pausing for breath to gaze at the view out to sea, before going along the cliffs to the lovely, hidden cove at Coombe.
It's a walk I did many times over when I was researching and writing my book, and this is also the way that the narrator of my novel walked from Fowey to Menabilly, following in the footsteps of Daphne du Maurier. So it seemed fitting to be back here again, on the same path, the night before I was due to talk about 'Daphne' at the Du Maurier Festival.
It can be very conducive to meditative thought, walking at the close of a long day -- the sun slipping at the horizon, where the sky meets the sea -- and on Friday evening, I found myself wandering around and about the path that led me to Daphne; both literally and otherwise. It's been a long journey -- and there were times when I thought I was entirely lost, and would never find my way out again. But as I looked out across the water, in the strange, magical silvery light that often seems to gleam along this stretch of Cornish coastline, I was glad that I had followed this path, with all its twists and turns.
As for what was to come... well, it's getting late now, so I will write more tomorrow about my conversations with the du Maurier family.