Photo credit: Lisa Franklin
21 things I have learnt while being in residence at Cyprus Well
- It only takes a few minutes to feel at home, here.
Source: my relaxed mind right after unpacking, and visitors’ comments throughout my stay.
- The two beds are incredibly comfortable.
Source: all the poems I didn’t write due to lie-ins.
- I thought I was okay writing with noise around, and I guess I still am, but peaceful surroundings and a quiet work environment really do help, actually.
Source: the house’s perfect location.
- There was a poem of mine in Charles Causley’s home before I even arrived.
Source: page 51 of the anthology Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, edited by Claire Trévien and Gareth Prior in 2014, which I found on the shelves in the study.
- Launceston’s hills are steep.
Source: my heart rate.
- The library is really close, but the medical centre is much farther, and the Royal Mail Delivery Office even farther.
Source: rainy November days.
- The Causley Trust’s office is in Southgate Arch, a historical building which used to be a prison. The power of poetry in re-signifying a place… This building was also the home of a beautiful old sycamore, which grew out of its walls. Despite being loved by locals, it had to be “cut down in 1953 as it was deemed to be causing damage to the building.” So it is true that poetry, like nature, always finds a way.
Source: a pamphlet bought at the Tourist Information Centre: Launceston Town Trail (Short Walk).
- I am not particularly skilled at Launceston’s tradition. It took me a good thirty attempts to manage to cast a pebble over my shoulder up onto Marie Magdalene’s back, at the church.
Source: My frustration, and my friend’s patience as I was trying over and over. Okay, just once more. Okay, just once more. Okay, etc.
- Going to Plymouth from Launceston with the 12 bus takes exactly 80 minutes.
Source: the many pages read during these trips.
- I actually don’t mind lemon tea.
Source: consequence of an impulse buy at Co-op due to a 3-for-2 offer: the guilt of not actually drinking it
- The Eagle House hotel inspired Causley to write a poem. It definitely inspired me too after I tried their delicious food.
Source: greedy as usual.
- Lawrence House (Launceston’s museum) closes from November to March, but it is definitely worth a visit. It is housed in a beautiful Georgian House with fantastic views. And you can learn about the evolution of the vacuum cleaner.
Source: my passion for domestic history.
- At the Bakery, they do gorgeous sourdough bread, and with a loyalty card, the eleventh loaf is free.
Source: it never takes long to re-create a routine.
- Not everyone in Launceston knows Charles Causley, but everyone who does only speaks highly of him.
Source: Causley’s legacy.
- Here, people don’t say “Charles Causley”, they simply say “Charles”.
Source: a sense of friendship.
- Charles Causley’s ginger cat, Rupert, who now appears on Launceston postcards, may not have been his own cat after all. But he loved Causley so much, he followed him everywhere.
Source: The neighbours.
- Charles Causley may have been in the navy, but he was sea sick.
Source: Malcolm Wright, Charles Causley: A Universal Poet, 2013.
- Charles Causley once gave olives to his students to invite a Mediterranean air into the classroom.
Source: A Certain Man: Charles Causley in His Own Words, compiled and edited by Simon Parker, 2017.
- I have diabetes, apparently type 1, and need four insulin injections daily.
Source: Launceston Medical Centre and Derriford Hospital.
- I could easily stay here for another six months, and still think I have only just started…
Source: My to-do lists.
- Cornwall really is as beautiful as people say it is.
Photo credit: Lisa Franklin