Saturday, 24 May 2008

Port Eliot


I've just been out in the garden, enjoying the last of this weekend's sunshine, and I wish I knew a prayer to the god of good weather, so that there might be blue skies for next Saturday, when I am doing an event at Port Eliot. They've got some lovely things planned there -- a tea party in a secret garden, and delicious champagne cocktails, and what might be an unusually haunting evening. (More details are here.)
Port Eliot is the most magical place -- it actually looks more like Manderley than Menabilly -- and there are du Maurier associations. (Last Saturday's Western Morning News gives an account of these; annoyingly, I can't post a direct link to the page, but once you open the main site, just put Justine Picardie into its search bit, and the story should come up.)
Anyway, I'll be there on May 31st, talking about Daphne and 'Daphne', and hopefully I'll get to meet some of you, as well. I know Dovegreyreader is coming, so we'll be eating some cake together, in between talking about all things du Maurier. The rhododendrons will be in full flower, and the candles will be softly burning in the library, and you never know, as twilight turns to darkness in Port Eliot, you might just hear the swish of a skirt rounding the corner ahead of you, and a soft, low laugh.
Or to quote Mrs Danvers, as she follows the second Mrs de Winter into Rebecca's bedroom at Manderley, "I feel her everywhere... You do too, don't you?... It's almost as though I catch the sound of her dress sweeping the stairs as she comes down to dinner... Do you think she can see us, talking to one another now?... Do you think the dead come back to watch the living?"

4 comments:

oxford-reader said...

Prayer to the God of weather: 'You can rain all you like after Saturday 31st!' --- will that work?
It will be wonderful to walk around and feel all glam for an afternoon, with the spirit of Daphne with us.

HelenMH said...

It looks like a wonderful place. And I'm sure the spirit of Rebecca will be there too!

Justine Picardie said...

Helen -- I wish you were coming.
Oxford-reader -- I've been punished by the gods for my impudence in asking for a weather intervention with a black cloud of flu instead. Have been in bed, feeling sorry for myself...

oxford-reader said...

I think I was, perhaps, punished too - I ruined my shoes and sat about with wet feet all day! Hope you feel better soon.