As I Was Going To St. Ives

Most children grow up with the English nursery rhyme shown below. I remembered it when I first heard about St. Ives, a well know holiday spot that is famous for the light which tends to look more blue than other places. This special light as well as the coastline has attracted artists to the area since the expansion of the Great Western Railway in 1877.


By now you must have figured out where John took me on my overnight birthday trip. We left about midmorning on Thursday and headed south. There is only so far you can go before you run in to ocean in Cornwall so I had one or two ideas once we were on the A 30. I thought perhaps we might be going to Mousehole which is pronounced “Mowzel” and is pretty village near Penzance.  We’d been there briefly on a trip to Penzance and I had mentioned wanting to go back.  We had talked about going to St. Ives a few times, but it was usually during a school break for children which is not the best time unless you want to feel swept along in the sea of tourists and people on holiday. He did throw a twist into the drive to St. Ives when he pulled off the A 30 and began searching for turn that was difficult to find. I knew as we were turning into to Burncoose Nurseries that we must be there to pick up something for me.


Right away, I knew what John had in mind. Earlier in the spring when we were out for a walk through the gardens at Lanhydrock, I spotted something very familiar to anyone who’s spent much time in Georgia. I know these types of trees grow in a variety of places, but I wasn’t prepared to see this one there.



In case you couldn’t tell…we stopped so John could pick up a Dogwood tree for me. Earlier in the spring, I had talked about how I missed the blooming Dogwood trees in Georgia and John remembered and made arrangements to get one and plant it so I’ll be able see it through the window of my studio room while I’m writing at my desk. How sweet is that!  I told him that was a perfect gift for me. When we stopped for the tree, we had a look around the nursery which had an interesting history. As you can see from the picture below, it was used during WWII as a laundry  which was worked by women who were in what was called Womens Land Army. I had not heard of this before and found the personal stories of some women who were involved here.


The pictures above show it before and after renovation in 1989, but I have a few pictures from our visit below.



Me with my Dogwood Tree.

We left it there to pick up on the way home and then we were off back on the road for the rest of my birthday adventure. I still didn’t realize where we were going at this point and it took me a few more road signs before I worked it out. It was a perfect day for exploring St. Ives and it didn’t take me long to see the blue reflected light through my camera once we arrived.








Notice the churchyard and grave stones on the hill.



Surfers are very welcome here with many in from Australia.




Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ice Cream and birthday candle.

I’ll be back with part two later to tell you about the sweet B & B we stayed in and our visit to an interesting church on the way home.

6 thoughts on “As I Was Going To St. Ives

  1. I’m glad to hear you had such a great time on your birthday trip. How absolutely sweet of John to think of the Dogwood as a gift, now that I have seen the photo of it in bloom I want one too.

    I cant wait for part two.

  2. Happy Birthday!! sounds like it’s off to a great start. what a sweet man you have – to remember the dogwood tree. what a special gift that is and i’m sure we will hear more about his love for you on your special day.
    there really is a unique blue reflected light there at St Ives. thanks for sharing. your wonderful photos.

    (i have been away much too long)

  3. You are such an insiration for me! And I got a chuckle out of seeing you in your trademark scarf! Happy Birthday dear friend! It makes me so happy to share your obvious happiness with John! What a perfect birthday gift for someone who is not fond of gifts! I would surely love to be a part of of your big bag of dreams workshop! Cheers!

  4. Happy Birthday, Elizabeth! John sounds like such a wonderful and thoughtful man 🙂 I went to St. Ives many years ago and loved it. I never knew about the blue light though and like how you captured it. Oh, and your Bag of Dreams, that’s a brilliant idea and title! Looking forward to more on this. Big birthday hug, Kerstin xo

  5. I love the little drawing of the nursery rhyme you found to kick off the post!! And John’s perfect gift . . . will a dogwood be able to flourish there? It’s so wonderful that you will have that outside your window! And sounds like he prepared just the right birthday weekend away.

    Happy Birthday!!!

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