Sunday, 31 July 2011

In the flower tent at Port Eliot

I loved the white bunting and the stage edged with box hedges. Other highlights of the weekend: talking to Tom Shone about the heartlessness of Trainspotting; admiring Stephen Jones' pinstripe suit; the literary pub quiz (our team came third, but we felt unfairly marked down on the Harry Potter section, despite excellent contributions from Hanif Kureishi and Alex Bellos); meeting Kate Winslet in the fish tent; discussing Daphne du Maurier in Cornwall, and remembering why she is unforgettable; drinking a long glass of Sipsmith gin and tonic, as the sun went down over the walled garden; walking through the woods to the quiet river at Pentillie Castle on Sunday morning... Who could ask for anything more?


kairu said...

Loving the Port Eliot photographs! Wish I could curl up in dovegreyreader's beautiful tent and stay for hours...

That camellia-white bunting and clipped boxwood looks absolutely the last word in chic, as perfect as your stripey tee under a navy jacket...I think Madame Chanel would have approved.

There were more tourists in Russia, more cars (and therefore traffic) in Moscow and St. Petersburg, 24-hour supermarkets on every corner and glossy fashion always the women had endless legs and gleaming long hair, and they walked as easily in five-inch-heels across cobblestones as I do barefoot on carpet. Some of the old babushkas guarding museum rooms were as fierce as they had been a generation ago, but more often than not they smiled, and were extraordinarily helpful and kind.

Our last day we went to the Anna Akhmatova museum, where we saw the apartment where she'd lived with her lover and his wife (!!) and other family and friends. It overlooked a green-shaded garden; when Akhmatova was under house arrest she had to show her face at the window to the guard down below every day, to prove she hadn't committed suicide in the night. What an incredible woman she was, who endured so much, who used words in a way that cut so fiercely to the bone, like a knife.

Justine Picardie said...

Kairu, your description of Moscow and St Petersburg is just as I remembered them from my trip there in June. The heels! The legs! The high-octane fashion and consumerism. But woven into the new glossy surface is all the history, as you say... sometimes the past and the present collide with such force -- the Cartier boutique opposite Lenin's mausoleum on Red Square -- but in other places, one feels the dead and the living coming close again, just as you felt in the Anna Akmatova museum...

enid said...

I love the tents, bunting, flowers and patchwork. You look great !! Kairu Akmatova is one of my favourite poetHe loved three things, alive:’

He loved three things, alive:
white peacocks, songs at eve,

and antique maps of America.

Hated when children cried,

and raspberry jam with tea,

and feminine hysteria.

…and he had married me.


Lilacs In May said...

Port Elliot looks like a mid summer dream.

kairu said...

Enid, I love that poem, too!

Justine, my photos are up here: I especially love this shot of a woman taking a photo of her friend in Red Square: (she looked so cool).

Ross said...

I love to heard her talk, she always speak with such enthusiasm.
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