St Ives, Cornwall
As I was going to St. Ives I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits: kits, cats, sacks and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?
If you want the answer go to the bottom of this page.
In the days when nursery rhymes were still read to children, for all I know they still are, this was a famous one.
We were able to get to St Ives easily as a bus from outside the front door of the cottage went straight to the centre of this famous little town. There are two or three streets that are very popular. They are full of tea and cake emporiums, purveyors of Cornish pasties, a lot of art shops and novelty establishments. The streets are little more than one cars width. In the summer, they are packed to bursting. Out of season, they are fairly busy. If you are subject to claustrophobia, the visit is not recommended.
You can however go out on the cliff area immediately surrounding the town, situated slightly above it (obviously).
We visited the Tate Gallery which I found to be double the size of when I last visited (see the annals of this diary). The light in Cornwall is very special and the design of the new main gallery had taken into account this phenomenon. They also have a new gallery for viewing videos which seems to be a parcel for special exhibitions these days.
This was the view from the topmost level looking out on the sea and yes that is sand that you can see right ahead. There is also a restaurant. It is small and can be noisy but the food is stylishly served and reasonably priced for art galleries. I do understand that everyone needs to make a profit but I don’t think anyone dares charge more than £2.50 for a coffee of whatever ilk. Two or three people can occupy a table and linger over a drink which doesn’t make much for the restaurant. The restaurant has three sections; one is a separate room and one is an open-air area overlooking the sea and one is the main area by the serving counter.
I cannot say that the welcome was gushing. We had to wait a fair amount of time for our order but it eventually came. I felt the staff were more concerned with being arty then actually serving the customer. See what Trip Advisor reviewers thought.
A pleasant enough day. The bus wended its way home via a holiday village which added about 10 min but I guess they’ve come to a deal somewhere. The weather was decent.
Only one man was going to St.Ives!
He met the following who were going the other way:
A man (1) with 7 wives
7 x 7 (49) sacks
7x7x7 (343) cats
7x7x7x7 (2,401) kits
A Total of 2,801 wives, sacks cats and kits!