Today we are leaving back for the South coast. It’s been a productive trip, seeing so many of the places that inspired Daphne du Maurier and appreciating tthe breathtaking coastal views. It’s also been interesting to study Cornwall and Cornish people. Given that they are so reliant on tourism I expected a more customer-friendly attitude. We have used the same gruff taxi driver (I will name and shame Coastal Cars). Yesterday, when in Fowey, we asked him to wait as we picked up some provisions and he became extremely cross. He drove far too quickly through the narrow streets of Fowey, causing one pedestrian to take evasive action and bash the car roof.
We also walked up to the main house and asked to stroll though the grounds, but were promptly refused. There is no mention of Daphne du Maurier on the Menabilly holiday website, so I fear there is still bad blood to be let. Daphne is an enormous attraction and I am sure a significant reason for the popularity of the Cottage, which is fully booked years in advance. Our own Daphne (Colthard) took a rather robust view that if the cottage is being let by choice of the owner then they forfeit the right of privacy and should be more customer-friendly. Similarly, if tourists are coming to spend their money then the locals should receive them more graciously. She said she experienced a similar attitude in North Wales.
Of course my mission was somewhat different as I came principally to prep up on Daphne and to acquire certain books and memorabilia. At the Bookends bookshop I acquired a signed edition of Vanishing Cornwall, a pictorial memoir of a trip she made with her son Kits around Cornwall in the Sixties which attest to her thorough researches and some letters to Sir Arthur Quiller Couch who was a noted literary and academic figure and resident of Fowey.
I will look back over these last few days with nostalgic affection.