More Sun than Shivers


Rainy day
Heading away
Patch of blue
Half way through
Arrive at the coast
Prosecco toast
Beautiful view
Before Barbecue
A day on the beach
Tasty Cornish pasty
Bucket and spade
Castles made
Splashing in the surf
Sun kissed
And wind tousled
Uphill hike
Chilli spike
Before a greyer day
To harbour throng
Ferry wait
Great escape
Walk in the dunes
Steep hill conquered
Happy son
New sword won
And the day is done
Bright again
Beach beckons
Serious boy splashing
Brave girl surfing
She manages standing
Despite hard landings
My job’s to potter
From one to the other
Wiling away
Another sunny day
The next is duller
Overcast overhead
Family fun and games
On steam trains
Boating and putting
A fair few laughs
Despite it being naff
Final day
Clifftop ramble
Among pretty brambles
Perilous steps
Precipitous edge
Stunning view
Sea more black than blue
Footling around
Stomach grumbling
Waiting for orders
Late lunch outdoors
Sword fight
With small knight
Fish on the beach
End is in reach
Sun sinks
A sky of all pinks
No more drinks
Pack up the car
Final hurrah
More sun than shivers
Cornwall delivers.

Mixed Bag

On holiday in Cornwall, trudging down a hill with heavy shopping from the ubiquitous Tesco’s over my shoulder, I reflect on the mixed bag which is this part of the world.

Tesco’s here is rather dispiriting. Tight car park (hence the trudge), narrow aisles, ponderous clientele, a lot of frozen food, only one aisle of fresh. Nice friendly staff though. Tesco’s know their demographic like no other retailer. I got what I needed but there was very little I wanted. I did feel obliged to bag an unmissable ‘two for one’ on dishwasher tablets though. Sucker…

Each Tesco (or the lack of one) reflects only two things – local planning constraints and near perfect knowledge of what local customers will buy. In Dorset the other week in a small rural Tesco’s I gave us zero chance of finding an inflatable airbed.

But there on an upper shelf it was – and with 30% off too. Naive and perhaps a little narcissistic of me to think I was the only camper with a flat airbed in that part of Dorset. Tesco’s knows better.

Today it’s a grey and rainy start in our bit of Cornwall. The same as yesterday. But it will pass. You get a bit of everything weatherwise most days here. I feel a bit grey too. Slightly jaded. Recovering from a trip down memory lane with a slightly higher octane of food and drink consumed than my engine thrives on these days.

Cornwall has rural poverty, less affluent holidaymakers and the well heeled too. Here the very well heeled are over the other side of the bay with their dinghies and catamarans. The plainer fatter folk on this side tuck into fish, chips and Cornish pasties. The slab-sided city boys of wealth and privilege visit to buy their pasties too. Dressed in yachting garb, they are also large, but in a more beefy way – as bespeaks a higher quality of calorie.

Last year we stayed the other side of the bay and I bumped into David Cameron, the nation’s Prime Minister, on the beach. He passed less than five yards from me (I’m sure he’d think in Imperial yards, eschewing le Eurometre). I looked twice to check. And then spotted his close protection officers perched on a rock poorly camouflaged in chinos. It was indeed he.

Cornwall is a funny mix. Pasties, clotted cream and clotting arteries. Richer and poorer all crowding onto the same beaches and seafronts. Sun, wind and showers blowing through – a bit of everything all mixed up together. There’s something for everyone here from PM to comparative pauper. And a world away from last week’s riots.

Not a bad place for a holiday all told – but four days in I’m giving up the Cornish pasties. They sit heavily on the stomach, whatever your demographic.