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From Obby Oss to Furry Dance

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Pen McClymont

The usual flurry of spring festivals has seen us out and about and enjoying all that Cornwall has to offer in such abundance in May.  Seemingly endless sunny weather vanished suddenly and with a certain amount of irony, just in time for some of the major Cornish festivals.  You had to be at Padstow’s Obby Oss early to see much dryth (is that still a word?!) with the rain taking a firm hold later on.  Another beautiful week weatherwise separated the May Day celebrations up and down the county from Helston’s Flora Day, by which time the rain was in clear evidence again all day, clearing up just after the crowds had departed following the last dance of the day!Maypole at Padstow's Obby Oss celebrations

It may have put off a visitor or two, but there was no evidence of the locals being in anyway perturbed.  It was a real pleasure this year to see the two events back to back as it were, and to enjoy the similarities and differences between them.  Central to both was the commitment of the townsfolk to getting stuck in – I would be tempted to live in either one solely on the basis of these single events each year!  With flags flying and local hostelries open from dawn till dusk, nothing was going to stop the revelries. Brass bands in Helston compared to massed drums and accordions in Padstow, an ancient dance and re-enactment by townsfolk in their finest as opposed to two rather badly behaved whirling horses and their retinues, but the common element is the music.  Two quite different beats, but as the drums start I defy anyone not to be stirred, nor to be humming the tune for days after. 

Dancing up Coinagehall Street, Helston's Flora Dance

The beauty of attending Flora Day with the Evocative Cornwall stall was being able to enjoy the spectacle of the whole day playing out around you, from before first light until the streets emptied.  A similar, if somewhat shorter and drier, effect can be enjoyed by watching this clip from 3HW Architecture and Design Limited.  Both events celebrate people coming together, and I think this illustrates that rather well!

Pen

Spring has sprung!

Posted on April 12, 2017 by Pen McClymont

We’ve been so engrossed in designing and producing the 2018 Evocative Cornwall calendar in time for Easter that the arrival of Spring almost went un-noticed. When I hear the word ‘spring’, it always has positive connotations – ‘spring in your step’ or ‘spring into action’. Even saying the word feels a positive thing. Well, Spring has arrived in Cornwall with longer evenings, sunnier days and every now and then, a hint of warmer times to come.

Delighted to say that the better weather has been a great excuse to get out and about with the camera to try to find those hidden places, off the beaten track. Here’s a picture of the beautiful village of Altarnun on Bodmin Moor. The old church signifies a settlement that has a long history and the postbridge is exquisite. The sound of a gentle stream adding to the overall ambiance.

Altarnun, Bodmin Moor

Cornwall has many traditions specifically linked to Easter.  Good Friday triggin’ on the Helford, the ancient custom of collecting shellfish at low tide, has become such a social event that there are concerns over stocks being depleted.  Be sure to trig responsibly!

The arrival of Spring also means that Cornwall’s many festivals, fairs, fetes, shows and parades are starting to take place. An extensive listing of these is a key feature of our calendar and we plan to attend as many as possible. Here’s just a couple coming up soon to whet your appetite–

29th April -1st May       Saltash May Fair

29th April                       Trevithick Day, Camborne

1st May                            St Ives May Day celebrations

 

If in doubt, ask a professional

Posted on March 27, 2017 by Pen McClymont

We were aware we didn’t know much about printing when we started this process, but then, how hard could it be?  Well, it turns out it’s all much more complicated than we ever imagined.  Dave Mynne, our extraordinarily patient graphic designer, did his best to explain some of the nuances of the process to us, but for every concept we took on board it seemed there was a further complication just around the corner.  Last Friday we went to Four Way Print for the ‘press pass’ (get us!).  We had learned enough by now to be fairly sure we wouldn’t know what was going on, and finally we were absolutely right …  alchemy, the lot of it!  Stephen Lewis took the time to give us a comprehensive tour of the production process and introduced us to all the team. We were thrilled with what we saw of the Evocative Cornwall Calendar 2018 – hope you will be too!

Ewan tries to look knowledgeable!

The ones that got away ...

Posted on February 25, 2017 by Pen McClymont

 

It has been fascinating to find that the first major job of this year is pulling together next year’s calendar!  Really interesting for us to collaborate with so many talented people, and to start getting to know the myriad of volunteers behind the many Cornish events and festival which are listed in the calendar.  More of all that in the coming weeks, but before sharing too much of next year’s Evocative Cornwall calendar with you, I thought I might post some of the images that we won’t be using, but which we thought pretty evocative anyway.

The first was a beautiful sunrise snapped from Helman Tor.  I may rather have spoiled it for 4 deer, who had the place to themselves before I arrived on the scene, but it was a joy to share such a perfect moment with them.

The second was a lovely still November evening when we thought we’d go out looking for the ‘supermoon’.  A low bank of cloud hugging the eastern horizon meant we had just about given up on it and were enjoying watching the last few boats come into harbour, when it peaked out just in time for us to snap the following image.  Time to call it a night, for photographers as well as fishermen!

 

Chasing the Light

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Pen McClymont

On the day we formally took over the business from Sarah, she presented us with a beautifully wrapped gift - a book on landscape photography entitled ‘Waiting for the Light’.  Although so far there has been no time to do anything more than flick hungrily through its pages, it has already proved itself to be another of the many pearls of wisdom Sarah has shared with us through the handover process.  Last week, on an extraordinary January day, I spent far too much time trying to get my head around the nuts and bolts of the business and set off too late in the day to try to get some photos on the north coast.  About halfway there the quality of light was extraordinary, but by the time we had parked and made our way to the headland the light had all but gone and there was nothing to do but snap hopelessly and enjoy the end of an amazing sunset with son Kai, before racing back to the car in the gathering gloom. 

Lesson learned - rather than chasing the light we need to be in place early and wait for it! Thank you, Sarah, for your amazing insights - please keep them coming ...

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