I returned on Saturday from our holiday to Cornwall, now I didn't just decide to go there because let me tell you from the "Toon" on any form of transport it is at least 9hrs+ however this isn't the first time I've been to Cornwall in fact despite being able to get to Dubai quicker I've lost count how many times I have been on holiday here and let me tell you why.
It all started when my Granny and Grandpa took their 5 small children in 1968 to Cornwall on holiday, specifically a gorgeous place called Praa Sands just outside of Penzance, they stayed for 2 weeks in a beach house and loved it. It was so popular that the next year my Granny (Josephine) invited her Sister (Anthea) along with her husband and their 5 children. They continued to go to Cornwall each summer as the children grew into teens, got married and eventually the next generation came along. Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Friends and Pets have come and gone in fact I would go as far as to say that at some point everyone has brought "an outsider" along at least once the more the merrier and this same two weeks in August, now a tradition is in its 45th year.
I remember the first year I went to Cornwall as a little girl, after such a long train journey and to see palm trees it didn't feel like Britain at all but some exotic land, I kept asking "Are we still in England though?!". Over the years there are some other traditions/rules that are now standard to the annual trip too though:
1. Everyone must stub their toe or at least get a knee scrape or get a bruise. It happens without fail to everyone.
2. There must be one drama every year, from Fainting to Glandular Fever its all happened here.
3.It will rain at least one day if not all week if your unlucky.
4.If you have taken your A levels or GCSEs you will always get your results in Cornwall, thankfully it has upgraded from a letter 5 days after they were released, to walking to the Phone box to have them read to you (me) to now they are on line at precisely 6.03am!
5. Someone *Not always but usually under 10* will have an enormous tantrum for no reason now know as a "Beach Bolsh"...of course Archie got this years prize!
6. You will buy a wet suit, you start off thinking the sea wont be that cold but then you buy one.
7. Recently a competition will evolve on who has less phone signal...honestly don't know how Cornish people live?!
Its all part of the fun though and it cant be that bad either because as I said its the 45th year and this year I counted 52 of us, 4 dogs over 7 houses, 1 tent and 1 chalet! There is defiantly a North vs. South divide on Cornwall though being that everyone from Newcastle I have mentioned where we are off to, said "I would love to go there but its so far away" and everyone I know from the South has been to the "British Riviera" several times and are well versed in "Changeover day", "Weaver Fish" and "Cornish Weather". Its a great place to holiday though and if you can bare the journey then its worth it, Over the years we have visited other areas like Newquay, Padstow, St Ives, Lands End etc and its all just as nice; Cream Teas, Fantastic Beach's, Cornish Heritage, Amazing Seafood what's not to like?
This year I left it a bit late to get a house rental (I do this every year because of Chris's work and then beg to bunk in with someone but now we have the boys we definitely need a place of our own) so we booked a Chalet, then obviously with the husband selfishly moving to Texas he couldn't go after all that. Despite being disappointed I was just going to cancel as there is no way I could do the drive on my own, but the brother got some leave at the last minute and agreed to come along as my "Au Pair" of sorts. Once again I am so pleased that someone else has witness's my little darlings in full swing to see I'm not making it up, after just 3hrs into the journey and we hadn't even hit the M5 Phil announced "I cant do this!"...I nearly laughed my back off, they weren't even being that bad. Still I think he has realised that despite Oscars angelic looks he is maybe possessed, it didn't help that when we stopped over on the way down near Devon, in the middle of the night Phil woke me up to say that Oscar wasn't asleep, which I thought was strange because he wasn't crying but when I looked at his travel cot he was indeed just sitting bolt upright staring at Phil and rattling the car keys which we both still don't even know where he got them from...maybe he does this every night after a little walk on the ceiling, who knows.
It has been really nice to spend some time catching up with family, making new friends and the boys have loved playing with their cousins and all the attention received. We hit really lucky with the weather this year, honestly it could have been the Caribbean which is only fair as the husband was actually working in Trinidad...oh and Gerrard Butler was in his hotel...justice?!. Meanwhile we went to a great Pirate Raft race which is for charity, with a beer tent, food stand and a live band which Archie just LOVED there was a scary moment when in front of hundreds of people he pulled out his tiddler and peed all over the bottom of the stage...but I just pretended he wasn't mine #sorted. He has now started a band though, he's on lead spade "Titar" with his cousin George on Drums also known as a rock and sticks, they have made up two catchy tunes called "Cornflys" and "Ma Baby", just repeat those words constantly and you now know all the lyrics should they get famous. We also had a great beach BBQ with an ingenious sand beer pit that Oscar wouldn't stay away from, I also thoroughly enjoyed a night off at My Aunt and Uncles for a Lobster supper although I may have had too much wine or I dreamed some of the conversation...my lips are sealed! Amongst lots of beach time it was a great but tiring holiday my "Au Pair" did his best but on two occasions he disappeared for 18hrs so we decided to demote him to "Fun Uncle" P45 in the post, he has also confirmed that he "will NOT be having children of his own".....this is probably for the best anyway ha ha.
I cant complain too much though because he without doubt saved our lives on the return journey with his epic driving skills, after the journey started quite normally it just decided to pour with rain the whole way home. Now I don't just mean rain, I'm from Newcastle and I have been to Florida in Monsoon, this was literally like the car was being stotted with Eggs and we were driving through a paddling pool. The particularly hairy moment was when everyone slowed down but two lorry's decided to block us each side causing a tidal way to go over the car, it was so bad that the car lights in front just vanished even though we knew it was still there, I don't know how he kept his cool but we got home safe and I have never been so happy to see my house.
In exchange for not getting into a fatal car crash the universe decided to then give me the day from hell in a trade off...in truth its only fair... but I didn't really appreciate falling down the stairs holding Oscar, or splitting my nail so short its bleeding. I also forgot to open the dishwasher door while away so it was covered/infested with black mould so I put a cleaner thing in and it went AKA leaking bubbles all over the kitchen floor?! Then the kitchen skirting randomly fell off on my toe, even though I only went to Cornwall I think my body was fooled with the looong journey and I felt mega jet lagged so I tried to have a nap when Oscar did but the phone rang only twice that entire day but obviously right then naturally with 15min intervals. The house was also really nice when we got back in the morning but thanks to the kids within 3 hrs. it looked like a bad day in Bosnia, I then went to the shop for some essentials as had less in than Old Mother Hubbard and.... I forgot my purse *awesome*. I was just starting to feel broken so was really looking forward to a lie in the next day, but my babysitter cancelled...luckily I just had a holiday though he he.
"Changeover day" This word puts dread into anyone who has experienced it. Basically every Friday and Saturday of the summer where all the holiday homes kick out their residents and get new ones, it means every road both ways into Cornwall is rammed with a sea of roof racks!
"Weaver Fish" a creepy little fish that burrows into the sand and has a spike on its back just poised for a bare foot to stand on and apparently cause agonizing pain.
"Cornish Weather" Now they don't have palm trees because its very snowy so at times its hotter than some places in Europe but it changes its mind quickly with the wettest frizz inducing rain ever known...sometimes for two weeks on end, I look like a Supreme the whole time.
Its all smiles until the Percy pigs run out!
Service Station attire.
As soon as you hit Cornwall.
Too much fun/beer for Uncle Pip.
Don't let Archie loose on First Aid Kit.
New Best Buds.
Blondie's Biscuit Time.
Not even all 52!