I thought today on my solitary walk on the scarcity of good roads in Cornwall. In the South you find it difficult to escape from the road; broad & smoothly hammered they drive across the country at all angles. Even the lesser paths are workmanlike & strike directly to their destination. We have here our High Road, which however bears such marks of rusticity that it would be accounted a lane elsewhere. Once you step aside you must trust innumerable little footpaths, as thin as though trodden by rabbits, which lead over hills & through fields in all directions. The Cornish substitute for a gate is simple; in building a wall of granite blocks they let two or three jut out at convenient intervals so as to form steps; you often find these arranged beside a gate which is heavily padlocked, as though the farmer winked one eye at the trespasser. The system of course has its advantages for the native, or for one well acquainted with the lie of the country; it keeps the land fluid, as it were, so that the feet may trace new paths in it at their will; but the stranger must often prefer the cut & dry system of regular high roads.The secondary roads, moreover, are not only badly preserved, but sometimes after starting out bravely enough they dwindle off into a track across the heather. The pedestrian then should sketch his path with a free hand, & trust that he will find some little trodden line to guide him; for in the course of an afternoon's tramp he need not strike the road.

There are very few villages in this country, & the little clusters of gray farms which gather among the hills connect themselves with the main road by some roughly worked roadway of their own, leading directly into the farm yard. A traveller who follows the track finds herself at the end of half a mile or so confronted by a lean sheep dog, & a sour looking farmer's wife who is scouring the milk pails & resents the intrusion. But for the walker who prefers the variety & incident of the open fields to the orthodox precision of the high road, there is no such ground for walking as this.

It was more, perhaps, to fulfil a tradition than for the sake of any actual pleasure that we took the train into St Ives this afternoon, the day of the Regatta. I, it must be confessed, secretly expected some present & not merely retrospective enjoyment from the crowd, the gay flags, & the fitful trumpets of the band. This was the scene I remembered; vaguely joyful & festive, without reference to the swimming or the sailing which we pretended to watch. I remembered the crowd of little boats, the floating flags along the course, & the Committee boat, dressed with lines of bunting, from which naked figures plunged, & guns were fired. A certain distant roll of drums & blare of trumpets, we confessed to each other, never fails where ever we hear it to suggest St Ives Regatta day on such [a] bright afternoon as this. We listen from the beach, safe in a Nurses hand again. The band was playing on the Malakoff, now as then; on close inspection we saw that a venerable clergyman waved the conductor's staff, although the music that issued from his beat was certainly secular in type. Two or three little booths for the sale of sweets & cakes lined the terrace, & the whole population of St Ives paraded up & down in their reds & greens.

There was the Committee boat, & the little rowing boats, the flags on the water, & the swimmers poised for a moment before the gun sent them shooting into the sea, & the general stir of talk & movement. Reduce it all to a French impressionist picture & the St Ives Regatta is not a sight to be despised.