If you don’t live in Cornwall, you may not know how unusual it is for it to snow here. So, for the benefit of the uninitiated, on a scale of one to ten, where one is “very likely” and ten is “very unlikely”, the chance of snow in Cornwall in March is generally accepted by most academics to be about twelve. In fact it is one of the things that the three brothers complain about in The Solstice Blade.
Having made the point about how unlikely snow is in the opening chapters of the novel, today the weather decided to prove this author wrong, but also provided a photographic opportunity that was too good to miss, so without further ado, you are invited to follow Liam, Evan and Travis’s journey through Liskeard once again, this time featuring Actual Snow™
To see largely the same scenes without the addition of Glorious Natural Snowfall™ visit this page.
Travelling home through Liskeard last night, I realised that now the Christmas decorations are up the town looks almost exactly as it did in my imagination when I wrote The Solstice Blade.
Incidentally, if you are reading this on GoodReads and cannot see the images, please head over to www.thesolsticeblade.co.uk/posts My blog is hosted on a WordPress site, and the images (which are central to this post) may show as [image error] on GoodReads.
“The rain continued as they made their way through the town, blurring and streaking the Christmas lights that were strung across the roads and wound around the town’s Christmas tree that stood by the fountain.”
When this photograph was taken the rain was a drizzle rather than the heavy rain that features in the story. Strung across Greenbank Road in the centre of the picture are the words Nadelik Lowen, which as you probably inferred from the title of this post, means Happy Christmas in the Cornish language. (When first erected this year it did read “Lowen Nedelik”, which although a literal word-for-word translation actually reads as “Christmas Happy,” fortunately this was soon spotted and rectified!)
Did you notice that there are no light bulbs at the bottom of the tree? Read Chapter 1 – Rain to find out why! (don’t forget that “Rain” is included in the free preview and can be found here )
At the base of the Guildhall clock tower is the small arcade of shops where Travis first thought he heard footsteps following them.
“No one else would be stupid enough to be out in this weather,” said Liam. “You’re hearing things, there’s no one there. Come on, let’s just get finished and get home, I’m fed up with this.”
“Above them the sky was aflame. The wavering curtains of coloured light of a spectacular aurora rippled across the narrow band of sky between the two opposing rows of shops.”
“Above their heads the aurora still shimmered and rippled across the sky like a wind-blown flag.”
I hope that you have enjoyed this short tour of Liskeard by night following the route taken by Liam, Evan and Travis in the opening chapter.
Follow Liam, Evan and Travis’s journey into Liskeard on their initial Christmas shopping visit in Chapter 1: Rain.
We first meet Liam, Evan, and Travis, as they make their way across the cattle market car park in chapter 1: Rain. When they next cross the car park things are very different!
The town’s Christmas Tree which is mentioned in Rain, is positioned to the left of the fountain in the Parade, the main road through Liskeard town centre. The fountain was given to the town by Michael Loam, the son of the man credited with inventing the ‘man engine’
The small arcade of shops beneath the Guildhall arches. The is where Travis thinks he hears footsteps following them along a deserted Fore Street as they double-back on themselves for a final attempt to buy presents before heading home.
The Guildhall clock tower is a major landmark in Liskeard, visible from most parts of the town. The stone arches are at its base. The Guildhall was built in 1859 at around the height of the copper mining boom.
Fore Street, the location of the junk shop where Travis purchases the paper knife that he intends to give to his mother as a Christmas present. The view in the photograph is along Fore Street from the junction with Pondbridge Hill.
The landscape that Chastity Trewartha worked in, and which she was pursued through by the Wild Hunt, in the 1850s at the height of the copper mining boom, was a very different place from the one we see today. Then it was essentially an industrial landscape, albeit a remote and exposed one.
The following photographs show the landscape around Caradon Hill and Minions as it today. This was the general area that Chastity was traversing when she encountered the Wild Hunt. The following two images are from Caradon Hill.
To the west of Caradon Hill is the village of Minions, the highest village in Cornwall, right on the edge of Bodmin Moor.
The following images are from the moor close to Minions.
This image is a view from above the path leading to Cheesewring quarry on Bodmin moor out towards Dartmoor in the distance. The Prince of Wales engine house with its distinctive red brick chimney can be seen in the mid-ground. The Prince of Wales engine house is more recent than a lot of the other mine buildings here, dating from 1910.