Every year we visit the Isles of Scilly, we look forward to that especially warm and pleasant day on which to visit the famously beautiful beaches of St Martin's. The 1st September brought sunshine after the recent showers and the weather report on Radio Scilly at breakfast time suggested that this was the last of the good weather this week so we wasted no time and headed off to St Martins. I think I shamefully donned sunbathing gear beneath the cargo trousers and jumper knowing full well that for the first time in many years, they might never see the light of day. Unfortunately this prediction was right, it was sunny and pleasant alright but extremely blustery!
On arriving on St Martin's we headed straight up the hill from the quay to the bakery to buy our lunch. Every year I look forward to the delicious rolls (crab, egg mayonnaise, tuna, what to choose...), a generous slice of cake (often pecan tart in my case) and a cup of cloudy homemade lemonade. Yum! We visited the gallery by the bakery as this is always one of my favourite arty places to look in on the Isles with some beautiful seascapes, cards and other items like scarves and jewellery. For some years, I collected the cards decorated with wistful seascapes and night skies and snippets of poetry (Keats, Yeats etc) which appeal to my love of literature and art. We then headed towards our favourite beach, stumbling up the sand dunes to find a deserted beach. This would have been wonderful but for the fact that the wind was so strong beyond the dunes' windbreak that we'd have ended up with sandy sandwiches! So, for this year at least, we retreated to some benches by the bakery and ate our lunch in the still quiet of the centre of the island with the bakery's resident auburn-coloured dogs. They eyed us sleepily for a moment but barely budged, well-used to the throngs of summer crowds lining up for home-baked treats and I thought fondly how differently our old labrador would have acted when tempted with so much tasty food! And who could have blamed her, the lunch was delicious.
On the walk back to the boat that afternoon, the wind still buffering against the cliffs and rustling through the palm trees, we stopped at another roadside stall, popped a pound in the honesty box for a bargain 3 for a quid bag of belladonna lily bulbs. I was delighted to find these, another exciting purchase for the garden! This time on the boat at least we were not soaked, having come a bit better prepared and knowing where the best seats were to avoid the splashes over the boat! For our evening meal, we decided upon the Kavorna Cafe, a light, airy venue serving a good variety of generously portioned meals. We followed this with a glass or two of alcoholic ginger beer at The Atlantic, a great end to the day!