This is a love poem to a road. It runs from the A30 just east of Sennen through St Just, Morvah and Zennor to the much-loved Cornish holiday resort of St Ives. I came to love it despite the frenetic endurance test of driving an open-topped double decker bus along its entirety for a summer season. The road is quite simply stunning…especially on a sunny day when the sky and sea are as blue as lapis lazuli.
I was hoping to provide a link to Great British Drives (BBC episode 2) in which Richard Wilson drives along the entirety of the B3306 in a VW Campervan but the link on BBC iPlayer has been withdrawn (probably in the hope of selling DVDs). There are numerous videos of journeys by car, motorbike or bus along the road and I’m sure you can find these yourselves by ‘searching’ B3306. To be honest, I don’t think any of them do the road justice, but then I’m biased…I’m in love! If pressed to choose which part of the B3306 I prefer, I would have to plump for the northern section between Rosemergy (famed for it’s wonderful cream teas) and the point on Rosewall Hill where the whole of St Ives Bay jumps up in front of you like one of those pop-up books you used to get at Christmas.
I’M IN LOVE WITH THE B3306
or As I was travelling to St Ives; a metalled way took me by surprise.
I’ve fallen in love with a B road.
If I’ve shocked you, that wasn’t my aim
But her curves drive me to distraction
And B3306 is her name.
My friends, they can’t see the attraction…
“Isn’t a road just old, plain and grey?”
“We’ve heard it said that she gets around…
So just use her to reach B from A.”
True there maybe lines on her face and
The best part of her’s over the hill.
My friends, you don’t see her like I do
And I don’t think that you ever will.
Yes, at times, she’s far from her best; like…
At night when her danger’s apparent
Or at dawn when she’s moody in mist…
I turn a blind eye when she’s errant.
Some warn me of her deviations…
“You won’t like her when she starts to stray”
“Just like all roads; she’ll leave you to roam”
Then I’ll stay with her all of the way
To me she’s a glamorous screen star
Who has seen it all back in the day.
I love her this Marilyn main road;
She’s a jewel of a carriageway
When asked why it is she’s so gorgeous
Says “Be seen in all the right places”;
“A blue sky’s as good as an airbrush:
“Accessories zhuzh-up plain faces”
Red campion and corn marigold
Adorn her peripheral tresses;
With primrose, foxglove and bluebell print
Stella Mac would envy her dresses.
Her soundtrack of birdsong reminds me
Of a nocturne by Frederic Chopin.
Grasshoppers whirr with vigour for her
Like a passing air-cooled campervan.
Oh let me be called to her bower;
Enough Eden to make Adam blush.
Where wind-tossed scents waft in soft verges
In an embrace so verdant and lush.
Given chance to lay in that boudoir;
I’d smooth out her grand corniche edges.
For true love’s course takes curvaceous form
Despite what Will Shakespeare alleges.
I’ve seen her on Facebook with others;
Their photos and selfies above her.
Will such flirtations ever be thus,
My open-topped succubus lover?
I’ll still be there for her in winter
When the coaches and tourists depart.
As she pulls back on that plain housecoat,
There’ll be no rivals left for her heart
My love will be constant and true to
Her every gradient and camber;
Growing green shoots like a red, red rose
Yet steadfast forever in amber.
Not just fleeting, like visiting popes;
From me there’ll be no tarmac kisses.
I’m proud I’m in love with a B road –
Don’t tell the A30…my Mrs.
© gray lightfoot
Hear Gray read the poem…
DISCLAIMER In no way or form is my real wife anything like the A30…she’s lovely…and very understanding.