As predicted, the rain came down with a vengeance. Peering outside at the dripping mackintoshes as walkers shuffled by with gutsy resolve, we decided to stay in the dry to see if the dark clouds would pass. By lunchtime, a few boardgames later, the skies were still driving their iridescent shards smashing against the newly glossy tarmac. We donned the essential weatherproof jackets and headed out for the ultimate 'rainy day' visit to the Phoenix Craft Studios on Porthmellon Industrial Estate. This is always a highlight of my holiday, come rain or shine, because being an arty sort, I love nothing better than perusing all and anything creative. I love the diversity of disciplines in evidence at the studios - painting, stained glass, printing, felt, chocolate and a lovely little shop of various crafty bits including enamelled jewellery and some lovely wooden fish which now hang in my dining room. In the same shop I bought a kit to make a driftwood mobile (also now hanging up in the dining room!) and the beautiful little seed beads and sequins which have since become part of the materials used in my wire-knitted 'Jetsam' bracelet (found on the bracelets page of this website). I'm really pleased that this is one of my most popular wire-knit designs as it is seems fitting to have bought the beads from the islands, as well as obtaining the inspiration for it from flotsam and jetsam washed up onto Scilly beaches!
Being that we were still so close to our holiday let, we dropped off our purchases at the bungalow and walked up the hill, then down again into Old Town. The tide was out, exposing deep green and brown seaweed, like writhing snakes, to the lashing droplets. Cuttlefish bones and slices of slate were scattered along the sand and the road ran slick between the thorny hedgerows. We sought refuge in the Tolman cafe where the generous slices of cake and cups of earl grey tea were well received. From this perch on the hill we watched the wind, cosy behind spattered glass panes, steaming cups warming our hands. Outside the palm trees shook their spiky heads furiously in the quickening wind but inside the moment hung in time.
The rain never did yield that day, but it really didn't matter because Scilly is beautiful whatever the weather. It wouldn't suit everyone but, for me, to see it when it's wild and unruly, in storms, Winter, wind or rain is just to see another part of the Islands' character in all its splendour.