Saturday, October 23, 2010

Photos of Still Waters

Well, of locations used, at any rate. The Cornish village of Port Trevan where the first part of Still Waters takes place is based on the lovely village of Port Isaac, which I visited last week. I thought I'd take some pictures so you can see the locations for yourselves, and add an excerpt or two where relevant.

  Eventually we found the cottage, hiding away on a little alleyway that was, according to the sign, Rose Street.
  “That’s a street?” I said in disbelief, staring at the gap between two buildings that were about six feet apart.
  “Narrowest in Britain,” Maria said with some pride. “The locals call it Squeeze-ee- belly Alley.”

The cottage with the blue trim is called Jolie Brise and it's where I stayed when I came up with the idea for Still Waters. The window very close to the floor is Sophie's basement room; unfortunately, someone was staying in the cottage, so I couldn't sneak a photo through the window to show you the cherubs.

Right at the end of the street you can see where one of the buildings is built over the alley itself. That part of the street is about shoulder-width; it may or may not be the narrowest street in Britain but it's up there in the top ten.

 I’d checked the tide table before I left and knew it was about half an hour to low tide. The causeway that led down one side of the harbour was about a foot above the water level, and the pub cave was high and dry—well, sort of damp really, but drier than it had been this morning when I stood on the harbour wall and looked out with Maria and the young copper.

 The cave was maybe fifteen feet high at the entrance, and from the harbour it looked like it went back about thirty or forty feet, the ground steeply raked, pebbly, punctuated with severed crab claws and bottle tops. The bright beam of the flashlight glinted off the metal of the bottle tops and the glistening wet walls. The place stunk of seaweed and something else, something that was possibly the odour of a drowned body. I’m glad to say it’s not one I’d come across before.
  I ventured in further. The sensible part of me said that it was just a cave, it held nothing scarier than a couple of hermit crabs and some seaweed, but the rest of me, the largest part of me, said, it’s dark and dripping and someone died here. It’s got to be full of monsters and they’re all going to leap out from the shadows and eat your brains.

The Golden Lion pub, standing in for the Blue Dolphin, seen from the harbour.

We also went to Tintagel, where an important scene between Luke and Sophie takes place. And where the pasties really are delicious.

 He looked sulky, but eventually, after insisting I was to be allowed nowhere near anything that controlled anything in the car, he agreed. I took him to Pengenna’s Cornish pasty shop for lunch, and we sat on a bench overlooking the cove, eating the best pasties in the world.

 We sat there for a while, looking out at the sea, Luke’s thumb stroking the back of my hand. It was cold, and I was glad I had my scarf and hat on. My gloves had been shoved in my pockets while I ate, and I could feel exactly how lightly Luke was torturing my hand with his fingers.

 I felt dreamy. His fingers were good. “Mmm?”
 “I’m sorry I called you stupid.” 
 “I’m sorry, too.” 
 “You’re not stupid. You’re reckless and foolish and you never think things

 “You really do suck at apologies, don’t you?” I looked over at him, and he had the
grace to look embarrassed. 

 “So you should be.”
  I made the mistake of glancing at his face again, and then I caught his gaze and couldn’t let it go. Luke slipped an arm around my shoulders and pulled me to him, but instead of the kiss I was expecting—wanting—he pressed his lips into my hair.
  I was glad I’d washed it.

  “You still smell like seaweed,” he said, and I pulled away sharply.
 “And a hundred other things not to tell a girl. Are you ready to go?” 
 Luke nodded and stood, and I threw my pasty wrapper into the bin and trudged off towards the path that led down to the bay. My hair smelled like seaweed. Huh! 
 I surreptitiously pulled a few strands in front of my nose. It smelled of Maria’s pretty herbal shampoo. 
 It smelled nice! Stupid Luke.
  I found myself stomping down the steep path so hard my knees were jarring. Well, that was because my DMs had gone the same way as my chocolate jeans. Stupid jeans. Stupid sea.
  Luke caught up with me. “Are you okay?” 

 “You’re striding.”
  No, I was stomping. There’s a difference. “Why is everywhere in Cornwall so bloody steep?”
  “I think it’s supposed to be charming.”
  “Be a hell of a lot more charming if they’d let us bring Ted down here. He is Top Gear’s Greatest Car. I should be allowed to drive him down here. After all, aren’t I injured?”
  “I’m still not very clear on that,” Luke said. “Maria wouldn’t let me look.” 

 I’m afraid I blushed.


  1. Love the photos and the captions, kate. I always find it interesting to see how locations inspire authors!

  2. When I read Still Waters, I could picture all your descriptions in my head. I've been to this place so reading about it in the book brought all the memories back. I loved the book and the fishing village.