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St Michael's Mount. Cornwall.The Mists of Avalon .23rd February






































                                                                    St Michael's Mount

Once a month, I have to drive to Penzance, which is about 20 odd miles away to the West of here, heading in the Lands End direction. Today, was that day !

On my way to Penzance, I took a detour, through Marazion.  Just off Marazion, is St Michael's Mount.  A small, tidal island, reached by a causeway at low tide. Part of the National Trust, it is still home to the St Aubyn family. They've lived there since about 1650.

On top of the island, is a castle and chapel. It's quite a steep climb to the top, but well worth it for the views towards the Lizard and Lands End. The earliest buildings at the top , date back to the 12th century.

The National Trust have in recent years opened up the gardens around the island. There are sub-tropical plants and many kinds of succulents. It's worth a visit, if you are keen on gardening.

The castle and island are very special and I'd encourage anyone to visit it.

At high tide, a fleet of ferry boats take people to and thro , to the island.

I went on one such occasion to the island at high tide on a boat with my Mum and Aunt. It was quite stormy, blowing a hoolie, raining and lots of sea spray. As we set off across the water, my Mum was convinced we were all going to die !
She didn't like it. I could see her eyes looking up to the sky, muttering, praying for safe passage !

I said to her, that I was sure they wouldn't lay on boats, if it wasn't safe ! Anyway, as the boat heaved up and down, she wasn't convinced ! I actually loved it. The boat rocking, the spray, the adventure ! The artist J.M.W Turner used to tie himself to the  ship's mast, so he could sketch in rough, stormy seas, for goodness sake !

I didn't have my sketchbook ! I just had my Mum and Aunt, quivering, under the boat's hood, convinced it was the Titanic.
Anyway, we obviously did reach the island safely. With the two of them, muttering, " Bloody boat !  Never again !"




































On another occasion, that I went across to the island with my Mother, we started off ,walking back along the causeway to the mainland, just as the tide started coming in. But oh ! the shock ! horror ! Halfway across, the water had covered the causeway, and we had to start paddling !  The look on my Mum's face ! It was classic. "Be brave", I said.( It was very funny !) But I don't think I was ever forgiven. That and the boat trip !




































The picture above is looking back East, towards the Lizard direction. As you can see at low tide there are lots of rock  pools.

























It really is a landmark. You can see it, away in the distance, looking from the top of Mullion Cove, here, across Mount's Bay.













































This is looking towards Penzance. A great, long, sandy beach, stretches from Marazion to Penzance. Driving a bit further along, I stopped and took a photo of the castle, looking back to Marazion.



































Can you see the couple walking along the beach. Looks like a travel brochure pic !

Well ! St Michael's Mount makers an appearance in one or two of my paintings. Here is one! It's on the book cover of a novel,called,  The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It's a sort of pre-history version of the Mount in pagan days.

I'll probably talk more about The Mists of Avalon artwork at greater length in a future blog. But for now, here's a taster !




































For people who love Mullion, here's how Poldhu Cove looked about 12 o'clock, midday today. A fairly rough sea ! I took the pic on my way back from Penzance.




































Take care


Stephen