Thursday, 20 September 2012

Good Times

It's a chilly Thursday morning, made worse by not quite dried hair. Even though it's tied in a loose knot, it still manages to send rippling waves of cold through my scalp, butterflying down my spine. So, I'm wearing a blue cardigan overlaid by a sleeveless jacket to offset the shivers. Our boiler, over aged, very tired, is on the blink. As too is my very ineffective hairdryer that's intent on blowing tepid air through my long, damp strands.

As I contemplate the sudden drop in temperature, inside and outside, and I wonder what Autumn has up her blustery sleeve, I realise I haven't told you about our recent Summer escape to the beautiful Lizard Peninsula, in South West Cornwall. I've hinted at it. But up until now, I haven't forged a blow by blow account. Don't worry, I shan't bore you with the tiniest grains of detail, just the highlights accentuated with a few pictures!

St Ives Harbour

Every year, thankfully, we manage to grab a week's break away from the walls of our two bed roomed flat. And every year, regretfully, we kick ourselves (that's Younger Dad and I) for not having taken two weeks instead - this year, probably more than any other. Have you ever been to Cornwall? Have you ever seen the abiding charm of the Lizard Peninsula? For me, other than the Lake District, it isn't like any other place in this country. Quiet, secluded, untouched. Beautiful, dramatic, undulating. The craggy coastline is dressed with golden sands, sculptured by hidden coves, decorated with tiny fishing villages, and sugar coated cottages. The landscape is unspoiled by tarmac and industry. Only fields and farmyards reign.

And as a child, The Lizard was the Summer destination, year, after year, with my parents and younger brothers. So it was a joy to return after nearly three decades. My memory, after all this time, still intact, held a vivid bygone portrait that accurately mirrored the present day. Nothing much had changed, apart from a better selection of ice lollies, and the lack of dubious role models - Punch and Judy anyone? ...


We feasted daily on Cornish ice cream (Little A introduced to the flavoured delights of chocolate, strawberry and hokey pokey honeycomb). We luncheoned on freshly baked pasties, Cornish Yarg, and plump apples. We Sunday roasted in a cliff top dining room overlooking the misty swell of the most southerly point of England. We ate locally caught fish and chips out of vinegary, salty, paper. And we scoffed three too many clotted cream teas; one afternoon, we found ourselves gorging on scones, piled chin high with jam and cream, in the front garden of a very hospitable farmer (she just happened to be selling homemade teas). The down side was that it attracted the unwanted company of determined, yet dozy, bees, and the unfortunate nostril pinching fragrance of manure, pigs, and chickens.

Little A thrived. She stroked miniature ponies. She watched cows being milked. She ran gleefully around and around the garden belonging to our holiday cottage, prodding snail shells, zig zagging after royal admirals. Sheltered under the leafy canopy of a giant rhubarb, she imagined the residents of a pair of antiquated gypsy caravans we'd discovered in the neighbouring meadow of a dairy farm. "Does the Gruffalo live in one of those tiny houses?" "Is this where Abney and Teal go on holiday?" She trekked up St Micheal's Mount, in a back pack, with Younger Dad. She built sandcastles, collected empty crab shells, hopped over baby waves. And she slept like a dream ...

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

We revisited the hotel I stayed at when I was a child.  To my dismay, it was boarded up, paint peeling from the balcony windows, moss growing on the tennis court, the garden, wild and over grown. My mind threw flashes, recollective missiles, of times gone by. Aged nine, a tennis rookie, learning the ropes with Dad. Aged eleven, eating sweet cream cakes on the manicured lawn with mum. Aged thirteen, styled in a Frankie Says Relax t-shirt, pining after a boy ...

It was wonderful, liberating, not to feel the chains of my laptop for a week. I thought about my writing a little, the direction of my blog, the plot for a novel I have in mind (whether I am brave enough to pen my story is another matter). It was lovely to be away from the call of my inbox. I spent the days doing nothing much other than sightseeing, eating, and just spending quality time with my family; we played raucous games of 'moo, baa, meow,' as Younger Dad navigated the car cautiously down tractor wide lanes to our next port of call. On the beaches, I studied sand smoothed pebbles, and let myself melt, disappear, into the light buffeting of the on shore breeze and the reserved sound of waves gently breaking at low tide. I inhaled the present, and exhaled my worries, and for those five days I forgot about my higgeldy piggeldy life outside of Cornwall.

Good times ...

Mousehole Harbour

Such a wonderful holiday was had, albeit a fortnight ago, that I'm linking this post up with Reasons To Be Cheerful.

42 comments:

  1. Ohh how random, I was just coming over to visit and see what you were up to and then got to the end to find you had linked up with R2BC - spooky!

    Looks like a wonderful holiday. Mich x

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    1. Ha! Ha! Excellent. It was lovely thank you! Just about to pop over and read/comment on the other entries!

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  2. Wonderful break! Loving Cornwall too :)

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  3. I'd love to go there - last time was in 1977 just before my O'levels. It rained the whole week and we watched the Jubilee celebrations on an old black and white tv in the campsite playroom. I would be looking for an altogether more magical experience this time as it looks far more beautiful than I remember. Remind me to remind you to book for two weeks next year.

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    1. My earliest memory of Cornwall I think is the Summer of '76 (I was five at the time). I remember black and white TV's! I can highly recommend Cornwall for a holiday. Yes, I will remind you - one week just isn't long enough!

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  4. Wow what wonderful views...Glad you had a nice break xxx

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  5. looks so lovely there, reminds me of Torquay in Devon, glad you had a lovely time xx

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    1. It's gorgeous! We had a fab time! :o).

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  6. The Lizard is lovely! Glad you had a lovely time, although it's a shame the place you remember so well is gone. You'll be helping Little A to have those sorts of memories in the future, though. :)

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    1. It was lovely - and a shame the hotel is decrepit. We will be taking Little A there again ...

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  7. Superb, evocative post. Reminds me of when we went with Pip when he was about 16 months. After 3 days of torrential rain we then had the most amazing weather, the photos of Porthcurno beach look like the Med. I agree, it's amazing in that area of the country. Love st. Michael's Mount, and Mousehole. I want to go back!!!

    Glad you're feeling cheerful too. x

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    1. Thank you. The thing about Cornwall is that there is so much to see or do there. Its just a really stunning part of the country. Takes a long time to drive there though! Yes, feeling a lot more upbeat. X.

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  8. Wonderful. Were there too, but waaay back at the start of July, in Mousehole. It is a heavenly place.

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    1. It was! I remember viewing your photos from your holiday - they were great - from a few months ago. It is heavenly!

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  9. Absolutely fantastic, and what stunning photographs! Thanks for sharing x

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    1. We had a wonderful time - thank you!

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  10. Looks wonderful, love Cornwall and Devon. Even though I live by a beach I would still love a move over that way. Maybe the run down hotel needs a loving new owner (not me, my doing up days are o v e r!):)) x

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    1. It was fabulous MLM! It must be so lovely living by the beach! It would be great if the hotel was renovated - its practically on the beach! X

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  11. Utterly blissful... I love that part of the world. Makes we want to book our next year's holiday RIGHT NOW!

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    1. It is very beautiful. We will definitely go back there.

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  12. Never been there. And now I wish I could go now! Soon! The pictures are absolutely beautiful and from what ou saying it is my kind of place.
    Maybe sometime before I will leave London I will be able to take myself and family to Cornwall.

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    1. I can highly recommend it! Its a great place to get away as a family!

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  13. Lovely to reflect back on a fabulous holiday now that the Autumn is drawing near. And what a great holiday it was too! I love Cornwll, these pictures warm my heart, even if the cold air doesn't!

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    1. It was a great holiday! Glad you liked the pictures - the weather has taken a turn hasn't it?

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  14. Lovely pics. We were in St Ives ourselves in July. Such a photogenic harbour!

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    1. Thank you! Its a very pretty part of the country. St Ives is very photogenic!

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  15. Love this post and the photos. Makes me feel like I've been. And a little bit homesick for the UK too :-(

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    1. Thank you! Cornwall is lovely but I'll bet there are some really stunning places in Switzerland - I love the mountains!

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  16. Oh that's some beautiful writing, and some lovely photos.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment !

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  17. Oh, beautiful thoughts and beautiful photos. Looks like a truly beautiful place and I think the thoughts of this trip will get you through the chilly Autumn! It really is getting chilly, isn't it?

    xx Jazzy

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    1. Thank you! It is a lovely place to go on holiday - totally away from the grind. Defo, getting a lot colder!

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  18. Love your photos! We had a holiday in Cornwall many, many years ago and the weather was pretty appalling, but I like it very much all the same.
    Would be nice to go back.

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    1. Thank you. I don't think anywhere is too great when it rains! Still the day it did rain, we managed to do something. Cornwall is lovely.

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  19. I am going to read this post anytime I need cheering up with the reminders of wonderful Cornwall holidays. It is so well written I could actually smell the sea and feel the sand. And the photographs should be made into postcards, brilliant.xxx

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    1. Thank you Lynsey! It was a great holiday - we should have gone for two weeks really - the beaches are wonderful. We'll be going back - Little A loved it! X.

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    2. I love Cornwall, I love your photos and I love your beautiful words. Wish I was there. Thank you for sharing.

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    3. Thank you Gemma! Cornwall really is a breath of fresh air. I want to go back! Now!

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  20. I have only just found this in my inbox! So sorry. Was wondering why I'd not heard anything about your holiday. So glad it was GOOOOD. the pictures are exquisite and the writing wonderful - as normal X

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    1. Ha ha - that made me laugh! No need to apologise - honoured you took the time to read and comment. It was a fab holiday. I was rather pleased with these photos! X.

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