The View from Here: The Pinnacle of my Festival Experience

I don’t know why she’s exerting such a huge influence on me here but I’m glad that she is

I could have tagged this onto either of the previous posts. But really, this small nugget of time was so special that I need it to have a post all to itself.  A seemingly tiny thing, and I don’t expect to do it justice in words, but I need to have it here.

After the A Space to Write talk, I was wandering the streets as I’ve said, enjoying the experience but actually heading vaguely towards the car ferry.  All crossings thus far had been using the foot ferry.  The car ferry is on the far edge of Fowey and crosses not to Polruan but to Bodinnick.   It takes foot passengers as well as vehicles and it’s nearer to home for B, who was collecting me.  Of course, it also docks across the water right next to Ferryside, Daphne’s first Cornish home.

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I am not a fan of taking photos of famous people’s houses; quite the opposite in fact.  But I couldn’t not do so in this instance.  The house remains in the Du Maurier family.  It’s had a facelift but it’s still there, still incredibly evocative, with the figurehead of Jane Slade, which inspired The Loving Spirit still fastened under the eaves next to the young Daphne’s window.

And that experience – crossing the estuary on the creaking iron hulk of a ferry, which takes barely a few minutes, and is a long way removed from the wooden platform that was in use in Daphne’s day – was sublime.  I won’t attempt to capture it in words; I doubt I shall ever experience anything quite like it again.


Somehow, it felt absolutely right that it was raining lightly.  And such a strong pull – back to Daphne’s early years.  I could practically see her in her rowing boat…  I don’t know why she’s exerting such a huge influence on me here but I’m glad that she is.


The view from here spans the centuries.

Daphne in her boat 1931. Credit:


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