This past Saturday was the start of our Fowey Festival experience. I had been so looking forward to it: I’ve never attended an event like this before and B and I have done relatively little together on the cultural front. Also, this would be our first introduction to Fowey. We’ve lived here well over a month and we’ve yet to venture over there. Now we’ll be going several times in a week.
If you’d asked me, I would have said I had no idea of what to expect from the festival, only that I was really looking forward to it. And I would have been wrong. I most certainly had expectations and they became very evident very quickly. I expected blue skies and sunshine. I expected Bernie to be as enthusiastic as I was – and I expected to be very enthusiastic indeed. I suppose one of those expectations was met: B was as enthusiastic as me – which was not very enthusiastic at all. And whilst the rest of the country seemingly baked in soaring temperatures, Fowey was overcast, cold and wet.
Disappointment floored me. Anxiety took its grip. B wasn’t keen; he really didn’t want to go and he certainly wouldn’t enjoy it. It was perfectly obvious that he was only coming because I wanted to go and this after all my careful planning to ensure he was involved in deciding what we attended and when. I’ve been round this loop before. I know the ropes: the twisting knots my thoughts tie for me. I know all that and my intellectual self can see what’s happening and knows how I should react. Generally though, my disappointed Inner Child muscles in and takes over. Calm, reason and acceptance are trampled on and tossed out of the ring. They withdraw to lick their wounds. And this past Saturday was no exception.
I have a long-cherished practice of writing daily gratitudes. They read rather like a diary of my day but the focus is on good things: things that I’ve noticed; things that have happened; things I’ve appreciated; beauty; joy; things that make my heart sing. If I’m in a morass of muddled thoughts it can be hard to write these gratitudes. Then I can add another layer to the unhappy mix: I have so very much to be grateful for, I tell myself. I should be very grateful indeed; how very ungrateful I am instead, not to be feeling happy and thankful and appreciative… Dear old Censorial Self steps up and points the finger. Censorial Self and Inner Child can team up and create a powerful partnership and on the eve of the festival they were on top form.
So this is the background against which we embarked on our first Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature. Not great: humour and connection in short supply. But we did it. The sun did shine occasionally; I now know Fowey and her smaller sister, Polruan, very much better; there were plenty of highlights, new experiences and inspiration. All of which will have their own moments centre stage in other posts.
This post has been an honest one, if not particularly bright and breezy. I toyed with passing over the undercurrents dragging me down as we experienced the festival but if this is to be an account of our lives here, it needs to include the downs as well as the ups; the bad as well as the good. I can’t always sing from the treetops about how wonderful life is because sometimes, it’s not. The view from here is honest. And sometimes it rains in Cornwall.