Are We Nearly There Yet?
If you can judge a society by its criminals, you can judge a family by its car journeys. The interminable confinement of kinship is never more apparent than when you’re doing life on a trunk road, somewhere between A and B.
At the same time, there’s nothing better than when you get to cut loose and share a smile, weaving along country lanes, the sounds of Summer on the radio, everybody looking forward to a day in the sun. That’s what this video’s all about – living out the day, all the fun you’ll have and the discoveries you’ll make, before you even get there.
We had the best and the worst of car time this summer, spending a week in Cornwall at our old family haunt of Prussia Cove. I posted a while back that we were hoping to return there, twenty-five years on from the last of a series of family holidays at Porth En Alls; a quiet little congregation of coastal cottages nestled halfway between the UK’s westernmost point, Land’s End, and its southernmost, on the tip of the Lizard Peninsula.
Peter Tunstall-Behrens is the sixth generation of his family looking after the estate. A quick look at his 2009 bookings shows that keeping the cottages occupied through the year is less about sales and more about quality control. We were lucky to get a week in the Granary (pictured below), and even luckier to pick up an extra week-end in the Look-out (also pictured below), a little cottage on the very tip of Cudden Point offering breath-taking views (best enjoyed from its outdoor, gas-heated bath, pictured, you guessed it, below).
A great holiday was by no means assured. Our car broke down on the way down there, never to recover. Emma spent the first full day of the holiday on a train headed back to Godalming to pick up my parents’ spare motor (for which only she could be insured), and the morning of the following day motoring all the way back down to ‘Cornwood’, as Lola called it. The weather was pretty indifferent for the first few days, meaning that trips to favourite beaches including Kenneggy Sand and Porthcurno (below) took place through heavy sea mist and under more than the occasional cloud.
Kenneggy and Porthcurno are Light family classics, but the pick of Cornwall’s beaches is surely Chapel Porth. A high tide leaves a yard or two of sand exposed, where a low spring sees the beach extend out along the coast on either side, exposing miles of pristine sand and bountiful mussel beds. By the time we ventured that far north the bad weather had broken, and the skies were blue, giving us the chance to enjoy some proper beach life.
Most of my posts wind up with a point, something beyond the here and now, or then and there. This one doesn’t. No more than that the four of us were together for a while, as a family, and it made us happy. What more do you need?