In the depths of winter I'd planned a two site break to Sussex and Norfolk. All was fine until we spent our 25th Wedding Anniversary at Lands End back in April, when Herself let slip that she wished we were returning to Cornwall rather than going else where.
Without further discussion we called in at our usual site down these parts with perfect timing. This site is popular, and by chance they'd just had a cancellation for our dates. We booked it.
Trevedra is special to us. I can't describe it in one word of English, but I can in Welsh. .................. "NODDFA".
Noddfa is a Welsh word meaning refuge, a place of welcome and peace, a place where you can regain energy. That is how we feel about the Lands End Peninsular, Sennen Cove and Trevedra Farm.
Saturday 5 August
Herself was working until 10pm last night, same as last year, but this year we do not have a caravan to tow the 280 miles. No we've not sold it, Ronnie wanted to borrow it so I towed it to site for him in July and the owners are storing it for us until we arrive. So rather than leave straight after, we got a few hours kip before setting off.
Just after 3.15am and we're off, with Vera brimmed to capacity with V-Power we accelerate up to cruising speed (ahem 82mph) at J48 and settle down for the ride. The roads are empty, somewhat different to the tales of 4 hr delays just a few hours earlier, and we make good progress.
Herself will tell you that she struggled to get comfy enough to sleep, but the noises emanating from her nostrils told another story.
I don't bother stopping, just letting Vera's cruise control do the work, and by 6am we are in Cornwall stopping for a bite to eat for breakfast. The new Cornwall Services at Roche are a weird place to be at 6am on a Saturday morning in the holiday season, and we settle down to devour our gourmet feast in the company of many shell shocked souls, all in a parallel universe after a long overnight drive.
By 7am we have cleared Penzance and cruise onto the Lands End peninsular in bright early morning sunshine. It's far too early to go to site so we head over to our favourite spot above Sennen Cove to drink in the view and exercise the dogs.
By 8am I'm on my chin straps and scared of being caught by Parking Eye, we make the short hop over to Trevedra and embark on some power personal contemplation time in their early arrivals field.
At 11am I woke myself up snoring and immediately clock an embarrassing wet patch on the front of my tee shirt. I must have presented some spectacle to the families arriving to park up their cars for a day on the beach!
With the squatters on our pitch showing no signs of vacating any time soon, we dump our kit in the van and make tracks to Penzance to get some food and drink in.
Back on site at 12.30pm and John, the owner, has got our van on the freshly mowed pitch. setting up is delayed though as we get chatting to a family who were pitched close to us down here 4 years ago. He said he'd recognised the two dogs, but enthusiasm for conversation diminished somewhat when I informed him that the dog he thought he recognised died 12 months ago!
Our pitch is a bit of a culture shock as our last few breaks have been to spacious CLs, where striking up a conversation with your nearest neighbour required the use of a megaphone. We feel hemmed in a little but will acclimatise soon enough. The hippies opposite have got me concerned though and I'm sure they can feel my contempt through my gaze.
I won't lie to you, but setting up, although hassle and incident free, was a somewhat arduous task after a long over night drive and just a power nap to recharge batteries. But never the less by 2.30pm we're done and I can announce to Facebookville that "We is arrived!"
By 4pm and we are tired and hungry (and irritated) so jump in Vera over to The First and Last Inn for a bite to eat. I order drinks and ask for a menu. the young man informs me that service does not start until 5pm. I ask if I can order now anyway, but this seems too much for him to comprehend. I am told that I can come back at 4.50pm though.
Drinks are taken outside in the sun, and the first one didn't touch the sides.
For those of you that have been confined within the shores of GB for the last 4 weeks or so, you'll know that we've not had much of a summer. So we were particularly enjoying sitting out in the sun trap. I was in heaven, sipping on my cider, shades on with the sun shining on me and warming my bones. I'm close to nodding off such is my contentment ........ then it went cold and dark. At first I'd thought the sun had gone behind a cloud, but no, some git had showed up of the next table and then proceeded to erect the mahoosive umbrella to protect his delicate skin for the monstrous sun.
I wasn't impressed. If he wanted to be out of the sun he could have gone inside, and not sat outside and then erected the bloody thing and cast a mahoosive shadow over 3 other tables. I turn around to stare at him, he looks uncomfortable and just says "What?"
Herself does not want a fuss, so we move!
At 4.50pm on the dot I'm back at the bar talking to Worzel Gummage who manages the gaff.
"Can I order some food please?"
"Not yet, service isn't until 5pm."
(Service? That's a grand term for a menu that consists of burger and pizza)
"But he (pointing at the other goon) said I could order at 4.50pm, and it's now 4.52pm."
(I'm trying to hold it together now)
"Ok, I'll take your order now as long as you understand we don't start cooking until 5pm"
"Great, that's very decent of you. I'll have one regular cheese burger and one crab and lobster burger."
"What sides do you want?"
"None thanks, the burgers and chips will be enough."
"They don't come with chips, chips are an extra side."
(Red mist descending)
"£10.50 for a burger and the chips are extra?"
"Yes, what do you want?"
It didn't even come on a plate, just in a plastic basket ..... like being back in 1984 mun.
The site is busy when we get back, families have returned from the beach, a new Pope is being elected in every corner as BBQs are lit and the hippy opposite starts blowing into his saxaphone, treating the site to a rendition of something that sounded like a slave being given the good news with a whip!"
I need some sleep.
Sunday 6 August
We wake to cloudy skies, but at least it's not raining.
A lazy morning is called for. Flames are lit under the kettle and bacon is thrown into a pan.
Herself suggests a beef goulash for tea. Great, I say, that sounds nice. We cut up some rump and an onion and throw them in the multi cooker.
"Tin of tomatoes."
"Have not got any."
"Ok, beans will do.
"No, but we have chilli powder."
Are you getting the picture yet?
Anyway, some mushrooms, peppers, stock cubes, garlic and a tin of potatoes are thrown in for good luck, before we set it to do it's magic.
Herself is of the opinion that the dogs do not have enough toys or chews, so we stop off at B&M before parking up in Penzance and clipping the dogs onto their leads.
It's windy as we make progress, and I feel the return journey will be a trifle more difficult. We pause briefly and ask a stranger to take a photo of us, she obliged but failed to capture St Michael's Mount in the background. Not that I'm ungrateful or anything.
We pass a caravan converted into a cafe and the outdoor sea water pool that is rather busy on our way to The Dolphin Inn for refreshments.
It's very busy and ideal for people watching. And while we were there a couple pull up on push bikes, and the bloke has a rucksack on his back with 2 Westies stuffed into it.
We make tracks back along the prom, but only as far as The Lugger Inn where we pause for more refreshments. Again it's very busy and there's a bloke warming up with his guitar to put on an alfresco show for customers. I know it must have looked rude, but we'd finished our drinks, and as I was driving I could not have another, so we got up to leave just as he's three bars into his gig.
He gave us a look and I quipped "We've heard you before!" (regular readers will not that I also did this in Looe back in April). Herself kicks me in the shins for my trouble.
Back on site our beef somethingorother is bubbling away nicely, and I must say it was very good.
After tea, as families return for the day, the football crowd come back out to continue with their "Jumpers for goalposts world cupathon" I move a couple of guy ropes and tuck Vera in out of harms way.
They didn't play long tonight. Maybe not having Vera as a bouncing board has taken some of the fun out of it for them.
The hippies light up a fire and start smoking some funny smelling fags, while their kids run riot between the vans. I sear to God though, if the kite they are trying to fly comes down onto the caravan or Vera, I'll be on Crimewatch next month.
With the dishes cleared we went down to Sennen Cove, parking up behind the life boat station and walking along the front towards the surf shack at the other end of the hamlet. As we arrive there is a DJ spinning some discs, and he's giving it some. Herself grabs a table while I go and argue with the barman.
£11 he charged me for these mind! I asked if it'd be cheaper if the DJ buggered off! Still, it was a nice view and we enjoyed watching groups having BBQs on the beach below and surfers do their stuff on the Atlantic rollers. I'm starting to mellow as "A message to you Rudy" blasts out of the speakers when Herself lets me in on her little secret.
While I was having a go at the barman, a woman approached her and demanded that she moved tables, as her large group wanted to join 3 tables together. Herself is learning from me and there was much huffing and puffing coming from the 2 joined up tables next to us as they fought for elbow space, many filthy looks were cast in my direction, but they soon realised they were dealing with a "world class filthy looks giverer" and backed off.
Their pizzas arrived and all of a sudden I remembered that Tali is moulting terribly, so I made a point of making a fuss of him, ruffling his coat and sending clumps of dog hair to float in the breeze .............. an extra topping for their pizzas!!
We finish our drinks and walk half way back to Vera where we take an outside table at the chippy and share a pasty and chips for our supper.
Back on site Vera is tucked away out of harms way as the hippy kids continue with their ariel bombardment of footballs and Nerf bombs. Like being carpet bombed in Bagdad mun.
Monday 6 August
We had a drop of rain overnight. I wake
With the toilet emptied I take the dogs over to Sennen for them to sort themselves out whilst I wipe the sleep from my eyes. If there is a better place to come round in this country, then I'm yet to find it.
Back at the van and Herself has been busying herself. Sausages, bacon and eggs have been cooked to throw into some bread rolls, mugs of steaming tea are produced and there is even a glass of OJ on the side!
It's noon by the time we're squared away and Herself overhears a conversation and rain is due at 3pm.
We get a move on in the hope of getting a few hours out before having to take cover.
Failing to park at St Michaels Mount we press on to Porthleven where we manage to park for FREE!! Yes I know, Cornwall in peak season, and parking cost us nothing!
To help us recover from this phenomenon we stop off at The Harbour Inn for a pint of cider to be taken on one of their quayside tables. It's idyllic, and quite easy to forget how hostile this place can be at the height of the winter storms.
From there we take a stroll to the other side of the harbour, deciding on The Ship Inn as the next port of call. There are some tables at street level but Herself doesn't fancy them, so we start climbing up the beer garden, past the first level we go, and the second too. The ascent up to the top level would leave a mountain goat sucking vast quantities of air through it's teeth, but Herself has her heart set on a drink up in "The Crows Nest". She settles at a table and says she'd like a drink. I'm gasping for air as she says, "You go back down and I'll hold the dogs!"
I take 5 to compose myself before entering the bar to place an order for 2 pints and a crab sandwich to share ..... Oh, and an oxygen tank.
I moaned a bit, well a lot really, but the effort was worth it to enjoy lunch looking at this.
We hit the road back as far as Penzance. Vera abandoned, we lead the dogs and head for the packed high street. Now I've not been to the toilet properly since we've been away, and I currently have a bit of a wind problem. I don't think it's a problem but Herself is adamant that it is.
Progress is slow through the throngs, and Tali is getting spooked by traffic noise. It was then that it happened. You know the "pull my finger game"? Well Tali got spooked and darted one way while I was walking the other, his lead yanked heavily on my arm and I (involuntarily I may add) let out an almighty, rasping fart.
Everybody in the vicinity stopped what they were doing and Herself has turned a rather fetching shade of crimson. Everyone knows it was me so what else could I do other than to claim it and wave to the adoring crowd.
Herself is no longer talking to me.
Back on site we chill for a bit, and by the time we are sitting down to our evening meal, Herself is no longer communicating with me via post it notes, but has rediscovered the power of speech.
I'd promised Herself that I'd only have the one drink this evening, so with tea out of the way I make myself up a whole jug of Turbo Pimms.
By the time the sun is setting over the Atlantic I am feeling no pain whatsoever
Till next time ......