Time for a holiday
For ourselves, last year ended with 'Jool's Hootennay' and the new year
began on the midnight strokes of Big Ben. We uncorked a bottle of 'fizz',
opened the doors onto the garden to watch the fireworks from the beach, in
the rain. The festive season is celebrated with lights shimmering and sparkling
around the harbour and as the illuminated display of 2011 rolled over to
2012, water dripped into the electrics: splutter, fizzle...oops! The entire
village had a power cut!
Added to this, turkey dripping and other gunk,
clogged up our sewage system pump, and New Year's Day was a 'joyful' occasion
of not being able to use electricity or water! However, thanks to Western
Distribution and an emergency call-out to our pump company at emergency prices,
we were all back to normal after a few hours, but I did begin to wonder if
the Mayan calendar had fast-forwarded itself and we wouldn't reach the end
of January, let alone the next winter's solstice.
Christmas was a family affair. We were
woken at 5.23 by our little granddaughters who were ready for fun and
sent into us by their parents (!) to open their stockings, where we,
the dog and the bed, were sprinkled with fairy dust, unwrapped chocolate
coins and loved every precious second.
Of course, and I'm not making this up...
the highlight, particularly for any woman with a pulse, was the surreal
appearance of Russell Brand at the traditional Christmas morning swim
in the harbour. It was Russell Brand and not
Russell Grant or Jo Brand, unless it was those two, metamorphosed! My
understanding is that we, by we, I mean the inhabitants of the village,
were ahead of the pararazzi, to be aware that Russell and his wife, Katy
Perry, were spending Christmas apart. He was heard shouting a remark
to David Baddiel, who was in the sea in a wet suit. By all accounts,
he was amenable and charming and staying as a guest of the Baddiel family,
who have a house out along the coast path.
Cornwall, apparently, is being 'blessed' with
a surfeit of celebs. They all know, and can afford, a good thing
when they see it. Caroline Quentin has a house nearby, which, regrettably
has led to the TV programme, 'Caroline Quentin's Cornwall'. I appreciate
that as far as she is concerned, it's just a 'job' and those who have
met her, agree that she's a lovely lady. I watched the first episode
and found the slant taken by the programme makers, oddly claustrophobic
as it's not the Cornwall I recognise. There's no honesty in such productions,
not only do they ignore the sickening differentiation between most
who live here and the rich 'second home owners', but gives no reference
to the traditional family holidays, which most visitors, who brave
the A303, want. The result was 30 minutes of promoting products that
the majority can't afford. Champagne, expensive restaurants and stunning
letting properties at £3,600 a week...oh, that's OK as it does include
a concierge service!
I've worked for enough holiday letting agencies over
the years who are trusted and respected, to know that the industry has
moved on from being greeted by a farmer's wife, dusty with flour from
crimping pasties and guests bringing their own bed linen and sharing
bathrooms; of course, there are now delightful home -from-home amenities,
but that kind of programme is loaded to a level that is out of touch.
Does anyone really care that Demi Moore came to stay? No. Visitors want
to know where to find good camp sites and affordable cottages, inexpensive
places to take the kids, and free to all, is the stunning scenery and
So what if the planet is going to the dogs, and
maybe we're in denial, but it's a new year and summer holidays are being
planned. We want the tourist industry to be successful as it generates
around £2 billion of income to the County. Cornwall has got it's act
together with fantastic restaurants to suit all pockets, exceptional
tourist attractions and improved roads. We are the custodians to one
of the most beautiful places imaginable... and we want to share it!
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