The Doctor Is In
One of our absolute favourite places to visit when we’re in Cornwall is Port Isaac. It’s beauty surpasses pretty much any town we’ve ever seen, with its quaint cottages that are hundreds of years old; the boats tied up to the shore ensuring they aren’t swept out to sea with the incoming and outgoing tides; the many enticing cafes offering cream tea; and of course the Doc’s House (and Surgery) for the ever popular show, Doc Martin.
Port Isaac converts into the quirky village of Port Wenn, the town in which Doc Martin, in his ever so anti-social way, sees and treats his patients, each with their own unique idiosyncrasies. The Doc’s Surgery (in North American terms, the “surgery” is the doctor’s office), sits about two thirds of the way up a steep hill that overlooks the beautiful harbour of Port Isaac…ahem, Port Wenn.
Looking for a doctor, Doc Martin that is
Overlooking the harbour at Port Isaac or today it's known as Port Wenn
We became hooked on the show when we came to Cornwall two years ago, and having visited Port Isaac a couple of times during that visit, we were always excited to be able to watch the show and say “hey, we’ve been there! That’s The Golden Lion Pub”, or “That’s the Tidekeeper’s Cottage”, and “oh, we’ve seen that place! Its…”.
So, back to Port Isaac we went, rather early into our stay this time. We actually came twice in 3 days. The first time, we brought the dog with us. The streets of Port Isaac are extremely narrow and steep, and today they were quite crowded…much more than usual. It didn’t take us long to figure out that filming for series 8 was taking place. I immediately go into groupie mode, trolling the streets for a glimpse of someone that I may recognize from the show. The crowds were a little much for the dog (and us), so we agreed to call it a day pretty quickly.
The Golden Lion, a lot of the show takes place in here
Two days later, we decided to head out much earlier to beat the crowds, and this time we leave the dog at home. Our house isn’t far (about 20 minutes), so we’d only be leaving Seve for 2 to 3 hours, and perhaps this groupie could actually happen upon one of the dysfunctional characters from the show today.
The crowds are much smaller today. In the distance, we can see that there is a gathering of people outside of the Doc’s Surgery. We make our way up the steep incline to find camera crews mulling around. My radar immediately sees a tall man in the distance with his back to us, in a navy blue suit, and those larger than life ears…yes! It’s HIM! It’s Doc Martin (Martin Clunes), himself! I immediately go into bossypants mode and direct Mark to get the camera ready. He’s already ahead of me…he’s totally in groupie mode too, obviously! As we get closer, both of us, one after the other, almost slams into this lovely young lady with dark brown hair that is pulled up into a perky pony tail. I utter “I’m sorry” (it’s the Canadian in me, I’m sorry!). She smiles graciously, and I realize it’s Louisa! But our camera wasn’t ready. Darn. We were able to get a few good shots of Doc Martin though, and even Buddy the dog (he’s a stray that follows the Doc around and drives him mad).
Martin Clunes and another actor rehearsing for Doc Martin
Our day is made! We got we came for, and all of that excitement has made us a little peckish. (I’ve been waiting to use that word!). We sat down at an outdoor café, sharing a picnic table with another couple, who we engage in friendly conversation. They immediately pick up on our accent and ask where we’re from. We say “Canada”. “Oh” says the wife. “We’ve been to Canada quite a few years ago. We were in Windsor, Ontario”. Another fine example of how small the world really is. The grand finale of our day ends with the husband of the couple handing Mark a bookmark and asking him “have you ever met a best-selling author?” The card reveals that HE is that best-selling author, Peter J. Murray.
The famous author himself
His books are geared to children 7-14 years of age, and they fall under the genre of a mild sort of “suspense/thriller”, and as Peter says, “they’re a fun kind of scary; nothing gory, just suspenseful”. So, in another year perhaps, Noah will be getting the series of 6 books called “Mokee Joe”. To find out more about Peter J. Murray, go to www.PeterJMurray.co.uk.
So, another memorable day to go into our books. We have to say, we just love our life!
Linda & Mark