ST. IVES FISH CRISIS

Arrived in St. Ives Sunday night and dined at The Sloop Inn on fish pie. All fine. Mum says very reasonable too. I say I paid. All fine. This morning however I received very bad news via a note taped to our destination fishmonger's closed shutters. "It is with much regret that after 63 years our shop will close for good." We were suitably up in arms, as Matthew Stevens' shop has been a Stubbs pilgrimage dating back half a century.

High rents are to blame I was informed, having asked an actual fisherman in yellow wellies on the quayside. He kindly explained you can't get wet-fish in St. Ives anymore. 'Unbelievable' was my mother's text back and the prevailing general consensus. The only option was to drive some distance to Newlyn or Penzance. Now the massive Merc is ensconced safely on The Island (not actual island) car park, am very inclined to leave it there. The corners of those fisherman's cottage terraces are pretty acute in a limo-length vehicle, not to mention ridiculous looking while attempting. There's little about incongruity I do not recognise, and this was it in it's purist form. The S500 in the backstreets was a fish out of water. Meanwhile, we were wet-fish marooned.

From the steps of our plot, the Madre spied a fish delivery van nearby our place on the harbour. She shouted the alarm, repeatedly, and made me run out to corner the driver. He explained the same scenario, but suggested someone from Newlyn was now on the internet delivering to the public. A massive mongering leap forward. Google/dongled, and minutes later I was on the phone to Cornish Craig, who is this morning putting together a box of requests from the night's catch, he said. Reckons it all keeps for two weeks. How? Anyway, it might need to, as we've ordered an almost catering size haul. Sea bream, sea bass, a k of scallops, a k of white crab, a selection of sole...should keep us busy. To celebrate the deal, Ma and I went out and ate a load of sea food and drank white wine in the Rivieran sunshine on the harbour. Mum channelled La Dolce Vita for pensioners in black/grey leopard print top, black cardy and dark wrap around glasses, (in contrast to the pedestrian pastel vs fleece holiday maker garb that abounds). I went for white linen shorts by Hartford with navy Marc Jacobs polo, fitted as you like. Also Sergio Rossi pale blue suede fisherman's knot motif loafers. Ridiculous yes, but this time not incongruous in the slightest. Ahoy.

Stubbs in the harbour.

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