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I’ve never made it to Cornwall Film Festival, despite good intentions, as it’s been mainly based up the line in Newquay or Truro. Well, this year, a mini film festival in Redruth is in the offing for next week. (In case you didn’t know, Redruth has a surprisingly cool art deco cinema, which I blogged about a little while back here).

www.cornwallfilmfestival.com

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The thing about Cornwall is that it is very long. So a happening at one end can feel positively foreign to someone who lives at the other. More’s the shame, as this art event near Bude looks like something discriminating and different (‘bring your own ale‘ certainly bodes well).

It’s curated by the people at Hickory Nines, a surfy collective of writers, artists and assorted cool-sounding people, and is all about the dark side of the coast – ie the bit where there’s no Kelly’s whip *shudder*.

I asked nicely and Cai at Hickory Nines has allowed me to reproduce this mini selection of art on pasties & cream. But for the whole shebang, make your way to National Trust Stowe Barton near Bude on Friday 27th September or Saturday 28th. Full detailage on the poster below.

Friday 27th & Saturday 28th 2013, 6.30pm-9.30pm, bring your own ale (corkage applies). Free entry. Stowe Barton, Nr Bude, Cornwall, EX23 9JW. www.hickorynines.com

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The Yacht Inn Swim is an ever-growing annual sea swim from Newlyn to the Jubilee Pool (next to the Yacht Inn, hence the name). It is traditional for me to talk about doing the swim every year yet never quite manage to train or make it to the start line. But it’s a classic Penzance event even for spectators and a stirring display of (other people’s) human endeavour – Penzancers of all ages can be found crossing the finish line.

I saw these pictures on flickr and loved their black and white realism, so I asked the author, Julian De Courcy, if he’d allow me to post them on pasties & cream. He kindly said yes; if you like what you see, you can view the full 2013 set here.

I enjoyed the unedited expressions on people’s dripping wet faces – smiles, grimaces, relief, exhaustion – and the refreshing lack of Cornish ‘colour’.

“I do approach this type of subject as documentary,” says the photographer, “I love the old photographs of a gone age – with as much reality as photography allows.”

http://juliandecourcy.weebly.com

Click here to see my video of the 2010 swim.

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This is happening tomorrow and describes itself as ‘not your usual craft fair’. You have my attention!

www.outlawcraftfair.co.uk

PirripPress2013NewlynFishFestival04

I​ have been snapping up cards and prints by Pirrip Press for a couple of years now – everything produced by this small print studio is so perfectly clean-lined and well-spaced, with a classy wit about it. There is a stylish economy to their work that I much covet – just the right amount of white space, never too many colours or words.

The designers in question are Alexandra Higglett and Georgina Hounsome, previously based in Penzance and still maintaining strong ties with the area. Hence their annual limited-edition poster for the Newlyn Fish Festival – a two-colour silkscreen print, this year featuring circling gulls over the harbour wall. I’m not one to romanticise seagulls (if I ever did, then it stopped dead with the theft of my Callestick Farm ice-cream on Porthmeor Beach, summer 2011) but I love this image, printed on thick mushroom-coloured paper.

It’s already a bargain at £10 and they give 20% of the money to the Fishermen’s Mission. Which is why my print has been firmly checked out of their online shop before I click publish on this! They only make 100. You can buy one here.

You can also catch these guys at the Outlaw Craft Fair (tagline: ‘not your usual craft fair’) in Penzance on 14th September.

www.pirrippress.co.uk

For a couple of years I think I didn’t quite get Golowan. I was busy trying to find out what was happening where, searching the scant printed information for details – it all seemed too scattergun to get a handle on. Now of course I realise that this is absolutely the point of it, and its beauty.

It’s about the chaos and the wandering, the random discoveries, with mini stages and micro events on every street – some planned, some not. As Old Mike rightly said in his column in The Cornishman last week, Golowan is not supposed to be anything as divisive or elite as an ‘arts festival’; it’s a community festival and it represents Penzance perfectly in all its fruity glory.

This guy, who was kicking up dust on Greenmarket at a mere 10.30am, was a particular highlight – anyone catch his name?

 

A good Golowan is being had by all this week, with Mazey Day as giddy and chaotic as ever yesterday. Here’s the beginning of the morning parade for those who missed Mazey or who enjoyed it so much they already want to relive it. Quay Fair Day is cranking into action today on the prom – check website below for events.

www.golowan.org

A speed-blogpost to alert you all to the fact that comedic Trifle Gathering Productions – surely the hottest thing in Cornish theatre – are touring again, with west Cornwall dates imminent.

I freakin love these guys, especially Kyla who barely has to raise an eyebrow to get a belly laugh. They made a name for themselves in festivals around Cornwall with the surreal, mullet-haired Zodiac gymnasts (pictured below) and then in small venues and village halls with Charity Shop Cabaret.

The new show is called A CURIOUS EVENING OF TRANCE AND RAP WITH THE OGDEN SISTERS – and I’m afraid that’s all I know about it, so I’ll give you the blurb:

“Travelling back in time to a darkened room in 1892, Cornish production company, Trifle Gathering Productions presents A CURIOUS EVENING OF TRANCE AND RAP WITH THE OGDEN SISTERS. A new play written by Nick Whitby and Kyla Goodey, this all-encompassing trip into the world of Victorian mediums is to tour the UK from 17 March to 20 May.

Lettie Ogden has a gift. Born in 1867, the youngest of four girls, Lettie begins to experience Œraps‚ from the other side following the tragic deaths of her father and her twin sister Vivienne. Desperate to escape the brutal upbringing inflicted on them by the hated housekeeper Mrs Skunt, her two older sisters Adeline and Constant take it upon themselves to take their show on the road and to share Lettie’s gift with anyone who will listen.”

So that clears up the narrative, right?

Slightly clearer are the dates:

Tonight! Wednesday 4th April; Princess Pavilions Falmouth 7.30pm; 01326 211222

Thursday 5th April; The Acorn Penzance 8pm; 01726 879500

Friday 6th April; Devoran Village Hall 7.30pm; 01872 864854

Saturday 7th April; The Burrell Theatre Truro  7.30pm; 01726 879500

More details at www.triflegatheringproductions.co.uk.

Enjoying the announcement of a micro-festival at Barefoot (the place I was rave-blogging about the other day) over the Easter weekend to celebrate the launch of their surf school and record label – uh-huh, a record label on our very own Lizard Peninsula. It’s £30 for a day ticket (£45 for the weekend) but I see BF have managed to lure some interesting folky/acoustic names to the deep south, plus it is being opened by none other than Michael Eavis (if ever there was a good festival omen…).

I’ve been checking out the artists, and here are the ones that caught my eye. The beard count is reassuringly high.

www.barefootkitchen.com

Neil Halstead (Mojave 3 – he’s a NQY boy)

Matthew P (summery acoustic…)

Harry Fricker (guitar-as-drum)

It was a rare, surreal but ultimately life-affirming sight to behold late-middle-aged Truro types unbutton their smart Jaeger coats at Hall for Cornwall last night and party like it was 1979, belting out the lyrics to ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ like they meant it even more now than they did in 1979.

Respect to the cast of ‘Reasons to be Cheerful‘ for this achievement and numerous high-voltage standing ovations. The show – delivered by an endlessly energetic cast – is a part-gig, part-play spectacle inspired by the life and music of Ian Dury and it’s playing Hall for Cornwall tonight and tomorrow.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Hall for Cornwall tonight and tomorrow at 7.30pm. £12.50-£20. More details here.

Click through for more pics Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Spooner at the Poly

A shout-out for two interesting things happening at the Poly in Falmouth. The first is a talk by very long-time pasties & cream friend Paul Spooner, whose career as an automata maker (“making mechanical jokes for people with short attention spans”) has included pieces for the Science Museum, Louis Vuitton and, er, me aged six – a wooden box that I still have and keep my drawing pins in. Takes place tonight at 8pm at the Poly; pay a little visit here for more information and tickets.

The second thing I’m giving you a fraction more notice for. Opening on 21st February, also at the Poly, is an exhibition of the sumptuous illustrations and photography that appear in the Parabola Project‘s second book, the beautifully designed anthology I blogged about the other day. Here’s a taster, reproduced here with kind permission of Parabola.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Falmouth gets all the fun. Literary types, here’s a date for your diaries: 29th November, Rum Bar, Falmouth, 7.30pm.

The Parabola Project – a not for profit creative writing and storytelling project – will be launching its second writing anthology, showcasing the talents of signed and unsigned creative writers from around Cornwall. The book is edited and masterminded by p&c friend and self-confessed ‘alphabet floozy’ Clare Howdle.

On the night, there will be the chance to hear the writers read from the new book – called Quickening – and other spoken word performances; buy a copy of the new book, priced £6; and drink Winter Pimms (and presumably rum).

The book is rather lusciously designed by Venn Creative.

www.parabolaproject.com

The Parabola Project Issue II: Quickening is available online from http://www.parabolaproject.com, in Waterstones Truro and from independent bookshops across Cornwall, it costs £6 – with all profits going back into the production pot for issue III.

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I’ve had a bath, downloaded my photos, and strewn muddy camping kit all over the lounge. After the non-stop stimulation and good vibes of Port Eliot Festival over the weekend, Monday morning from where I’m sitting is looking a little grey and boring.

But I still have many inspirational words ringing in my ears, so I thought I’d write a blog post before they are drowned out by the pile of admin tasks. As someone tweeted last night: “Back from Port Eliot with serious festival state of mind. Do I go back to work tomorrow, or set up an organic cider press in Cornwall? Sigh”.

The journalistic shorthand for writing about Port Eliot is to say that it is incredibly posh. Well, it turns out Read the rest of this entry »

I’m a fan of this poster for the Cornwall Film Festival. It’s the wunderbar work of Cornwall-based illustrator & animator Darren Whittington, and is inspired by the Cornish national [sic] emblem, the chough, which is of course making an exciting comeback on the cliffs of the Lizard. And, no, non-Cornos – it’s clearly nothing like a boring blackbird.

The 10th annual Cornwall Film Festival will be Read the rest of this entry »

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A few ale-addled snaps from Mazey Day in Penzance last week. It was my first and I loved it – the chaotic anything everything goes atmosphere is pure Penzance. One couple had dressed up as hippies – which is akin to dressing in camouflage.

I want to get more into top-five lists on pasties & cream, so I’ll kick off with my top five Golowan festival highlights:

1) The DJ in the Arts Club garden dropping Black Box ‘Ride on Time’ at 3 in the afternoon. Not only did he get away with it – people went crazy.

2) Singer Dom Youngman at the busk-off at Zero Lounge’s alfresco bar on Mock Mayor Wednesday (incidentally, was anyone else confused by the brisk trade they were doing all week in Veuve Clicquot??! Do these people know of a secretly booming industry in Cornwall that I don’t?).

3) Pondlife ska at the Dock (listen here) – young and old dancing in the streets and things starting to get messy.

4) Mr B’s new vintage ice-cream van’s first outing.

5) Of course, Pirates on the Prom – 8,734 pirates and a real pirate ship. Rad.

Till next year…

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In case you can’t wait for the splash in the Cornishman on Thursday, here’s a quick post to bring you news of our great victory: Penzance now holds the world record for the most amount of pirates in one place. The title is in its rightful home! We beat Hastings by several thousand, with a total of 8734 Cornish pirates, most armed with cutlasses, lined up on the prom.

It was a truly uplifting event, with communal ‘oooo-arrrrrrrghs’ encouraged on the sound system – and, of course, the mother of all ‘oggy, oggy, oggies’ when the winning result was announced.

Some people looked like they had hardly needed to dress up – what with the prevalence of beards and unruly, salty hair. And one pirate had a real parrot on his shoulder, which was causing mass piratical hysteria.

Unless you actually are a pirate, and therefore a bit off-radar, you will probably have heard about Penzance’s forthcoming attempt to beat the world record, currently held by Hastings, for the number of pirates in one place.

Hastings managed just over 6K but surely, Cornwall, we can pound that – we are in a piratical class of our own. Many people do actually wear kerchiefs in their daily life, after all, not just on pirates Sunday.

Read the rules on costumes here. £1 to enter. 1pm. Sunday, June 26th, 2011. Penzance promenade. Be there or be, well, a massive spoil-sport.

Bandanas are de rigeur for the event – pantaloons also welcomed with open arms.

Pirates on the Prom (www.golowan.org)

…make it the Anchor in Newlyn.

Open to the public for the first time this year as part of the Open Studios event, this wildly atmospheric studio in Newlyn was once the workplace of 19th-century Newlyn trailblazer Stanhope Forbes and has, it would seem, changed brilliantly little since. It’s all overgrown outside Read the rest of this entry »

OK, I realise that two consecutive blog posts have contained images of bunting fluttering in the Cornish breeze – you’ll have to forgive me (particularly male readers) but really you’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.

This is a clip of Porthleven Food Festival on Saturday, taken from next to the food marquee, where I sat pint of Betty in hand, enjoying Read the rest of this entry »

I know this is old news now but: Happy New Year all!

I have only just emerged from the self-inflicted carnage of a St Ives New Year, which I spent dressed in some high-waisted snakeskin trousers and a blond wig – and in the company of a womble, Big Bird, two shepherds, Dr Zoidberg, a carrot, a robot and a crocodile.

We spent most of the evening in the throng outside the Sloop and then, as is traditional, Read the rest of this entry »

On account of semi-comatose stints by the wood burner, brought on by the repeated appearance of a family-sized tub of Rodda’s and vats of egg nog, this video of Montol is going out a week late.

As in previous years, it was a suitably elemental, quirky affair up on the beacon: full moon; big fire; masked people; music in a minor key; person dressed in horse skull.

And with it belated happy festivities from pasties & cream!

www.montol.co.uk

I had an intensely festive evening in Truro last night. Mulled wine & chestnuts – check. Choirs & carols – check. Hotdog from a van – check. Train home – an hour+ late. No problem, First Great Western, it’s Christmas.

I stopped by the Cathedral to see my Mum singing with the Riverside Singers – here’s a video of them performing the soothing hymn, ‘Brightly Beams’ (also on the Fisherman’s Friends album earlier this year). As ever with my videos, Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve got a bit of a thing at the moment for monterey pines (see also banner pic!), so here is a quick vid of the fireworks on Friday going off behind the silhouette of a monterey pine in Penlee Park (aka the cheap seats).

A few pics from the jolly Sea Salts & Sail maritime festival in Mousehole harbour at the weekend – next one in 2012. www.seasalts.co.uk.

(Apologies for minimalist blog post today – large book to edit. But a picture speaks a thousand words, right, so really this is a 7000-word blog post). Read the rest of this entry »

jubilee pool penzance cornwall

The 1930s deco lido in Penzance is a great source of inspiration to local photographers and artists – the cool curves, cubist steps, and triangular shapes pointing out into the sea are a pretty extraordinary sight.

To celebrate my first ever swim in the Jubilee Pool – so overdue, it was getting quite embarrassing – I thought I’d post my humble interpretation of this iconic monument. This was the view from my towel as I lay sunbathing at the weekend (before, that is, I was told to stop photographing the architecture due to ‘child protection’).

I lay there for at least an hour thinking that if I could just absorb enough rays, it would defend me against the famously cold temperature of the water. I noted with some concern that over half the people in the pool had some sort of expensive-looking swimming protection, including swimming caps made of wetsuit material.

But I have to say the water really was lovely – fresh but manageable, and considerably warmer than the sea proper (I know this because I swam off Battery Rocks on Friday evening sans suit and it was… challenging). The feeling of swimming in a pool of that size (100 metres long at its longest point!) was invigorating – and the unconventional triangular shape liberates you from boring old up-and-down lengths, and makes it feel more like a wild swim.

This year is the 75th anniversary of Jubilee Pool, and there are celebratory flags flying (below) and historic Read the rest of this entry »

I took this vid of the Grand Prix of the Sea on Saturday in Penzance, a powerboat racing event. As you can see, the shameless seagulls couldn’t believe their luck. Er, sorry I don’t seem to have focused for very long on the actual sporting action there.

To be honest, I found it a bit of a tricky one to get into as a spectactor as the boats were really just dots in the Bay – albeit impressively fast dots. But it was SO nice to see the town make use of its fantastic promenade for once – it’s such an underused feature and, trivia alert, it’s also the only one in Cornwall.

Everyone seemed very happy sunning themselves and knocking back flutes of pink Polgoon bubbly and eating big slices of watermelon. More soon please… Read the rest of this entry »

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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