Thursday, August 09, 2007

A clifftop field with views of north Cornwall's treacherous coastline....it was worth the drive and even a couple of nights of torrential rain when despair seeped into the tent and I wished for enough money to buy myself and the four kids a flight anywhere, regardless of carbon footprint.

But the Eden Project - our wet day outing that turned out fine - cured me of such spoilt brat thoughts. It is a fantastic reminder of how we could be living within our own little patch and beyond.

In fact, the rain affected us badly on one day only, when we were forced to take refuge in a pub and exploited as only tourists can be when the rain's like stairrods and there's no chance of lighting the camping gas for a meal. I could rant for ever about greed, opportunism and absence of morality in certain parts of this country and sectors of the population. There were times in Cornwall when I wondered how much money was clogging up single track lanes in four wheel drives, why suddenly no-one can go in the water without a designer wetsuit on or a surf board under their arm, just how much is reasonable to charge for a portion of chips even if they are fried in Padstow.

But these furious thoughts couldn't stand up to an enormous, clear night sky, moments when when the sea from the coast path shone so bright it was solid silver, when the sea around the rocks was turquoise, when the surf was so exhilarating that being knocked flat by it was as good as a massage. It reminded me why I love these wild places and gave the kids other places to go back to, I hope, one day.

I woke up yesterday, our last morning, realising I hadn't read a thing, even the Neruda I'd packed.