Sunday, 13 July 2014

Cornwall 2014 (Part 4 of 4)

Wednesday 9 July

@DerekTheWeather has promised great things today, and after all the buzzing about we've done over the last few days, we've not got plans to move far from the van today.

I was in charge of breakfast, so made myself half a loaf of bacon toasties while I sorted out a few boiled eggs for Herself.

By the time we've cleared away the breakfast dishes the sun is burning the grass, so I scoop out a cupful of last night's chip fat from the pan and go about smearing it all over me from head to foot. The blanket is spread out on the grass and I set about the task of getting the bronzed Adonis look.  No sooner have I laid myself out star shaped, than Cerys decides now would be a good time to cwtch up to daddy.

I am now covered in dog hair.

I did not move for a few hours, and started to attract some attention from the lady folk on site.  I'd like to think it was a diet coke moment, but Herself tells me that one or two were curious as to how a seal got washed up this far from the beach.

We spent a blissful day soaking up all the sun had to offer moving only at tea time to take a short spin into St Just to pick up something to cremate for tea from the butcher.

Apart from that little jaunt the most energetic things  I've done today are to walk back and fore to the coolbox and empty the toilet.

Nos da

Thursday 10 July

I was up waking the larks this morning, not because I was feeling fresh and energetic or anything (who are these people who go to the gym first thing in the morning? I've got a job to stand up straight!) but because I have a bit of a situation ongoing.

Today is Herself's birthday, and for the last two days I've been a worried man.  You see, I have managed to lose her birthday cards from Ronnie and Roids that they had written before they left.  I have lost mine as well, but Herself wouldn't care about that, it's the ones off the boys that would get me into big doodoo.

I am sweating like a 1970s BBC TV presenter every time there's a knock on the door as I empty out Miranda's interior, but just as Herself opens the black out blinds I find the lost cards and the day is saved.

After breakfast Herself declares that she would like to go into Penzance to do a bit of shopping.  In my head I can see the £20 notes fluttering away buy I say nothing as it's her birthday, and me saying anything at all would result in my conjugal rights being terminated forthwith.

I park up in a shaded space and Herself and I head off to the shops.  Herself is enjoying making me sweat as she browses jewellers after jewellers and I have palpitations at one point when she takes a like to a bracelet costing more than Miranda's new tyres.

Having exhausted shopping opportunities we make our way to the promenade where after managing to get myself tangled up in the dogs leads and falling over, we sit and have lunch on a bench with Newlyn to our right and The Lizard to our left at the other side of Mounts Bay looking up the English Channel.

With lunch out of the way we head over to the other side of the bay and have some beers in a garden looking directly over to St Michael's Mount before browsing the village of Marazion.

I've been dropping hints all day, but tell Herself straight that I've Booked a table somewhere special for tonight.  She's curious and keeps asking "Is it her?" "Is it there?" and I tease her a little playing warmer, cooler as we return to site along the winding roads.

I tell Herself to scrub up and I don't want her letting me down and fair doos, she emerges from the back end of the van looking the business.  She finds me rummaging through the shoe crate looking for some tidy shoes that I have not brought with me!  The tidiest thing I have to put on my feet are my Jesus creepers!  The look of disdain was shattering.

We leave the site and turn left - remember that Herself does not yet know where we are going.  We pass the turning to Sennen Cove so she works out that we are not going to the posh Beach Restaurant, we also bypass Whitesands before slowing down in Sennen village.  I come to a halt outside 390 degrees west and hop out.  As I walk around to open her door for her I can sense that all is not well. The tirade of abuse and floods of spittle that was directed towards me left me in no doubt that my choice of venue for her birthday meal was not what she was expecting.

Before one of her swipes with a nail file hit its target I am forced to admit that I am joking with her (surprisingly she did not laugh).  By the time we are cruising into the car park she has calmed down a little and when I pull up outside the hotel reception at Lands End and turn off the engine the love of my life is smiling once more.

You see, earlier on last week when they all thought I was popping to the toilet I was actually reserving a window table here for this evening.

All was going well as we strolled hand in hand past reception towards the restaurant for our 6pm reservation until a bemused young girl at front of house tells us they don't start serving until 6.30pm.  We are invited to take drinks and plonk ourselves down at a table with a view up towards Cape Cornwall and browse the menu.

Front of house comes to collect us when the restaurant is opened.  We are feeling a million dollars as we are led past the last of the day trippers (I've pulled my trousers down a little so they hang low and cover my rather inappropriate footwear) and are asked which table we would like to sit at.  We opt for one looking straight out to Longships and she leads the way with all eyes on us.

I wish I'd seen it but I didn't - the raised floor that is.  Arse over tit I went and went down like a sack of spuds.  I'm no lightweight and I think they felt the tremor out on The Isles of Scilly.  The young girl was extremely worried, whilst Herself was rather less so struggling to catch her breath in between fits of laughter, Feeling like a right dick I hobbled over to our superb table where I composed myself before ordering.

We pushed the boat out and I'm playing a blinder.  Herself is putty in my hands as the divine courses are rolled out and the bubbly flows.

I had a belly pork starter and Herself had mushroom soup.  We both had a superb ribeye steak for mains and I made a pig of myself with a really posh chocolate desert.,

We rounded off a simply perfect evening sitting hand in hand on Miranda's boot as the sun set over the Atlantic once more.

Nos da

Friday 11 July

Sunny skies wake us again this morning, but no chance to sit round and enjoy it.  We have to break camp today in readiness for our departure late this evening.  Breaking only for a few bottles of water we are all done by 12 noon and jumping into Miranda to head off out for the day.

We get the dogs loaded up, clunk click then turn the key.  Nothing, absolutely bugger all.  There was no point in trying to hide it, I had dropped an almighty bollock.  Earlier on while loading up the car I had to move the front seats forward to drop down the back seats.  With Miranda everything requires power to work, so I had turned on the ignition to power up the seat adjusters ......... and left it on with the very same battery running the air con.  This I had done some 2 hours earlier, so repeated turns of the key only brought a dead mans click!

Herself turns to me with disdain written all over her face and utters to me the words made famous by Bryn Cartwright in the film Twin Town when Fatty Lewis falls from the rugby club roof.

I have to go digging now into the depths of Miranda's boot and retrieve our a set of jump leads.  I could have just called Green Flag, but that would have resulted in a few hours delay, which in turn would have written off the rest of our last day, which would have in turn removed my rights to conjugal activities being withdrawn medium to long term.

So I get out the leads, open up Miranda's bonnet and drape them over the front for all to see.  Next door is sunbathing so I clatter about a bit and cough a few times rather loudly so as to attract their attention.

They clock Miranda's open bonnet, leads draping over her front and Herself sat steaming in the passenger seat muttering expletives with every breath.  Any brownie points I may have earned last night have long since been forfeited.

"What's up, flat battery is it?"
I bite my lip to stop myself replying "No shit Sherlock!" and instead explain in great detail how herself had left the key in the ignition with everything turned on.
"Women eh!"
"Yes." I said "I'm going to try find the farmer now, see if he can jump start me."
"I could give you a jump now if you want."
"Really?  I didn't want to bother you."

No sooner is Miranda purring away than he is left standing there waving us off as I spray grit and grass in his face waving a cheery goodbye.  We stop off briefly in Sennen to let the dogs relieve themselves while we watch some nutter attempt to launch himself into orbit under a hang glider.

His first attempt didn't go too well as he tripped and then got dragged closer and closer to the cliff top, his mates worriedly ran to his rescue while I struggled to contain myself.  He got picked up and the wind caught him immediately.  I hope he knows what he's doing because the next land from here is the good old US of A.

We take the coastal road from St Just to St Ives and after about 10 miles Herself is starting to mellow a bit and words that would not need to be bleeped out on Channel 5 are passing her lips.

The scenery on this road is really out of this world.  We pull into St Ives and wonder of wonders, we find a parking space close enough to the town that you do not require a picnic break half way in!

With the dogs on their leads we explore the narrow streets and get lost immediately.  We eventually find our way to the harbour and Herself gets into spending mode as she explores all the little jewelry workshops plying for trade.

After a few hours we are done.  St Ives is rammed and it is very hot, too hot really for the dogs, so we head back to Miranda and make our way over to Hayle for same pasties to take home for the boys.

With that task done we make tracks for the south coast and the small village of Mousehole, in which taking place is the Sea Salt and Sail festival.  We manage to park up and feed yet more coins onto another parking meter before strolling down to the harbour.  The festival isn't really up to much and seems only to comprise of a few sail boats flying a few flags in the harbour.  We turn on our heels and settle down on some tables outside a Bistro for some refreshments.

Herself was in charge of ordering, and handed over the best part of £25 for two 9" Meatfeast pizza and a few bottle of warm Pepsi.  The Meatfeast pizzas arrived, but appeared to be sans meat!  After a few minutes the girl comes out and asks if everything is OK.  My prodding of the pizza with my knife and saying "I'm having a little trouble finding the meat in this meatfeast pizza!" earned me a swift kick in the shins.

After polishing off our veggie pizzas it dawned on us that neither of us had bought the obligatory sweets for work.  Time is getting on, so our only hope down this part of the world is Lands End.  We pull up to the booth where Dick Turpin lies in wait.  Welcome to Lands End he bellows, and I ask if the gift shops are still open.  He doesn't know but still wants £3 off us to park up.  I say that we only want to spend some spondoolies in the gift shops and all the other attractions are closed anyway.  He still wants £3 to park and for us to run over to the shops to see if they were open.

I refuse his ever so generous offer with a "thanks for eff all" and we spin round to return to site sweet less.

We spend the next few hours watching nutters soar above the site hanging by a piece of string from a kite and catching some kip before doing our final preparations for the off.

Time for one last final treat and at 8.30pm we go to get some fish and chips from 190 degrees west to be eaten on our cliff top looking down towards Gwenver cove where a pod of dolphins are in temporary residence and creating a bit of a stir.

With the van hitched up to Miranda we say our final goodbyes to fellow caravanners on site and we are pulling out of Trevedra at 9.30pm with the sun setting behind us.

The tow home was uneventful, which is exactly how it should be. Miranda shrugged off the monumental climbs over both Bodmin and Dartmoor with nothing more than a throaty growl.  5 1/4 hours later we are pulling up outside home completely knackered.

The tow home had not been as uneventful as I thought as we have lost one of our fridge vent covers somewhere along the A30, M5 or M4.


We never tire of Cornwall as a holiday destination, and have certainly found a little gem in Trevedra Farm. This is the first time in many years that we have holidayed outside of the school summer holidays, and whilst we appeared to be the youngest couple in our field, it was like travelling back in time to the days when campers used to be not so insular.

I cannot remember the last time we talked so much to our neighbours, and it made a very pleasant change. Those young families that are new to caravanning should take note, it makes for a far more enjoyable experience if you interact with people.  A sign of modern times that this is now not the norm.

We've had a blast.  Flat out for the first week when Ronnie, Roids and TF were down with us, and a little slower during the second week when it was just Herself and I.

We were lucky with the weather again this year with there really being only one bad day, and the colour on me you'd think I'd returned from 14 nights in Sa Coma and not Sennen.

Herself and I are both agreed that the low point of the holiday was when Tali decided to empty his bowels in front of half the population of Falmouth, but picking out a high is a little more difficult.  Up there for consideration though would be our dining experience at Lands End closely followed by one or two others.

Until next time, Da bo chi.

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