So today was officially the start of our holiday. Helen, Stephen, Chloe and Lara flew last night from Cape Town to London. I told them one of them would have to write about the trip. None of them took it up though. Stephen said I can summarize the flight by saying none of them slept. Helen said the seats were uncomfortable. Of course I told them exactly what to do to make the seat comfortable (given I have some experience of flying to London) but as usual no-one listened. So much for using my air miles for business class. Only Lara had an excuse for not sleeping because she was a late addition and I could not organize business class for her. While they were flying to London, I took a train from London down to my parents house in the New Forest.
Helen and co landed on time at 6:10am and managed to get through customs and their bags very quickly and were on the road down to my parents home by 6:50am. They arrived just before 8:30am. While I was up tracking their progress, the rest of the household wasn’t. By the time they all arrived Michael & Daniel (nephew/cousin) were still dreaming. We had breakfast and after breakfast the romantic couples went for a walk to Burley and back. Helen tracked our walk on her cellphone and registered it as just over 4.5 km. The wonders of modern technology. Not bad a start for walking on holiday.
When we got back we had lunch. Over lunch my Dad was preaching on various subjects but particularly the importance of remaining rehydrated after flying. He started saying “You must drink a lot” and Daniel kindly finished his sentence for him by saying “of beer”. The timing was perfect. What I want to know (Meryl & Piers) is what you have been homeschooling your son in?!
After lunch we headed out for Cornwall. We are staying 3 nights in St Ives. Given there were 9 of us in total we had to take two cars. My Dad leading the cavalcade. The GPS predicted us arriving at 6pm. It seemed to take forever to get anywhere. The English roads are really rubbish (as Paul would say). They have no motorways and every person and his dog has a car. And if one person slows down everyone else stops. And the annoying GPS keeps on binging every two minutes warning you about another speed camera. Like I could miss the speed cameras that are painted bright yellow, are signposted and have large, bright white lines painted on the road. Whoever gets caught by them?!
We did have to make a few pit stops on route. The first one was because my Dad was nodding off at the wheel after the lack of sleep on the flight last night. Oh wait … he wasn’t on the flight – he was at home fast asleep. The fact that everyone else in both cars fell asleep (except Mom and Daniel) might have contributed to it. (I can just hear Sharon panicking when she reads this …) Michael was almost sleeping on Daniel’s lap in the back of our car (very cute). At 5pm we figured out that the GPS was actually on SA time and not UK time and that explained why it was only 11 miles away on the signposts and not an hour 15 minutes away that we thought! It definitely made the journey suddenly seem much shorter.
We are staying at Tregenna Castle in St Ives. It is a massive estate (72 acres) and our two cottages are about 36 acres apart. I definitely won’t be able to hear Dad’s snoring tonight. Michael & Daniel are sleeping with my parents in a cottage near the main hotel building. And the rest of us are staying in a cottage at the bottom of the estate. To get to our cottage you can walk 5 minutes or you can drive 5 minutes. That isn’t because my driving has slowed down to the average London driving speed, it is because we actually have to leave the estate and drive around it and come in the side to access our cottage. The accommodation is typical British. Low ceilings (I almost bump my head), ridiculously hot (all the central heating was turned on) and slightly musty. However, it is perfectly adequate. We had dinner this evening in the hotel’s restaurant. They had Guinness on tap. We were reliably informed (by my Dad) that David (my brother) is an expert on Guinness. Apparently he has read the book. Michael asked whether the book was “Guinness Book of Records”?
A blog from England cannot be a blog without a comment or two (or three) on the weather. It started off as overcast, cool and raining this morning. Then it cleared up. And then it was windy. And then it rained (while we were driving) and then it cleared up. This evening was partly cloudy. Of course even though the sun only set about 30 minutes ago (around 10pm), the temperature is around 12 degrees currently and the maximum for today was around 18. The weather is predicted to be the same tomorrow but they will probably be wrong.
As there is no Wifi in the cottage and the cellphone signal is worse than the Masai Mara (is this a 1st world country?), I am not sure whether I will be able to send this tonight. If not you’re getting it tomorrow.
Sleep tight (everyone here is except me – I am watching the English shout for Andy Murray).
P, H, S, M, C, L