Saturday 10th May
Rose at 4.30 after having dragged all the bags downstairs the night before. Got the car packed and then the 1st crisis struck. John P Doofus couldn’t find is glasses anywhere which was a potential nightmare as I need them to drive. I’m not at my sharpest 1st thing in the morning anyway, but at that time I’m positively catatonic. I searched and re-searched, even to the point of unpacking the car and searching through bags. They were nowhere to be found. At this point T was reinventing the steam engine using her head as the boiler. I was rightly informed that I was a F*&@ing idiot, and had ruined the holiday before it had begun.
It was eventually decided that after 30 minutes of searching we couldn’t wait longer and had to get underway. T would have to drive. Just as I went to lock the front door…Eureeka, I remembered where I had left the glasses. I had taken them off in the bACK GARDEN THE NIGHT BEFORE AND PUT THEM ON TOP OF THE WHEELIE bin whilst I was attaching the spray nozzle to the garden hose.
After an uneventful and easy drive down, we found our caravan, which was just as Mystic T had predicted right near the little park.
Once inside and unpacked we had the beautifully detailed, and dramatically performed “mystery of the missing shoe” which I was really informed yet again, that I had ruined the holiday because life could not go on without said shoe. The shoe was eventually found and had been unpacked by an extremely willing and helpful four year old bell hop. Nothing like getting the bad feeling out of the way on day one.
This was a beach day, we just chilled on the Gannel side of the beach. M collected shells whilst I made a Giant ET in the sand. Simple fun is always the best fun.
Another Beach day, M enjoyed wading in the little pools left on the beach by the retreating tides. I build Dave a small “Bag End” style house. Bodged the day up a bit by going to get fish and chips and when the shop didn’t do hot food, I failed to return with sandwiches instead, the girls moaned a lot at me..back into the kennel I crept.
Went for a walk on my own along the coast path, followed the path alongside the gannell and it lead me right into a small estuary, the sand there was actually alive with sand fleas, little shrimp like creatures. that jump across the sand.
As I walked I saw a fantastic sunset over the houses that overlook the Gannel. in the distance I could see derelict boat, it looked so full of character I had to walk to it and photograph it. it was quite a bit further than it looked and I had visions of the tide coming in and flooding the river bed before I managed to get back. gotta live dangerously though, or you’re not living.
M has enjoyed playing in the little park opposite. Perhaps even a bit too much, at 1 minute intervals we hear, “Can I go in the park,Can I go in the park,Can I go in the park?” It’s enough to drive you mad. We managed to get away to Padstow today though, Padstow is a lovely little village with gorgeous views and quaint buildings. It’s a bit commercial for my personal taste but still very pleasant. After a bit of a wander round looking in the shops and over the harbour wall, we stopped for some fish and chips, which were, by the way, excellent.
We ended the day with a really nice walk on Crantock beach, the tide was out and we waded across the Gannell to look at rock pools and saw shrimp and crabs, anemones and other shore life.
Breakfast started well until M decided to swing her arms around in paddy. As she brought her arm down, it arrived centrally in to her cereal bowl sending coco-pops and milk flying everywhere. It was downhill from there. An already distraught child was reprimanded by bad cop and bad cop, sent to her room, threatened with a reservation at naught girl school, and got a slapped arse into the bargain. After a cooling off period of about an hour, followed by a quick counselling session we were ready to resume normal operations. Normal, in this family? Yeah , that’ll be the day. We went off to dairy land not to be confused with the bloggers theme park Diary Land.
Despite being an extremely bizarre concept for a theme park. Dairy land was actually pretty good, we all enjoyed it. There was a lot of animals to see and pet, loads of old machinery for dad to look at and lots of slides , swings and other things for kids to do. We watched the cows being milked in a rotary parlour..who’d have thought they could have made milking time into entertainment, but they did and it was well done too. There was a gallery area above the milking parlour where visitors could watch the cows come into the milking stalls and receive their ration of cowcake and then see all the milk collecting in individual containers.
We finished up in the bullring, which was really a sort of wacky warehouse, but it had these three excellent slides. First a bumpy slide, where you had sit on a Hessian mat and slot your feet into a little pouch at the bottom. M loved this slide and had about 30 goes on it.
There were 2 almost vertical slides called dropslides.. one blue and one red. The blue one was no big deal for a guy of my age, I whizzed down it and into the cool refreshing blanket of plastic balls at the bottom. It was really exhilarating. I then went to do the red slide, but made the mistake of thinking about it too long. I bottled it until that is, a small Mancunian man went down it on the lower side I decided I couldn’t be beaten, and rode the red slide a couple of times. It has to be said though, that the blue one was much more fun.
Dairyland was expensive to get in, but actually good value because the ticket allowed you to come back all week if you wanted to, and we plan to revisit again next week.
After breakfast we went into Newquay. Finding parking is a bit tricky but it was a Thursday morning, so not actually very busy. I can’t understand for the life of me why it’s not more affluent. We went in a couple of penny arcades to play the tuppenny dropdowns, I still love those after all these years. M is loving them too but seems keen to collect any money we win and pocket it. Hmm, not quite go the point of the game yet but hey ho.
After we got back to the caravan, the girls had a long sleep and I set off for a walk over Pest Pentire. I went as far as the weather would allow me, which as the crow lies was probably about 2 miles but more like 4 up and own the cliffs. I went as far as the next proper beach. Along the way I saw some stunning little coves and awesome cliffs with shallow pools, it was extremely rewarding. I managed to get in just a few minutes before the rain arrived. and boy did it arrive!! It poured down with hardcore thunder and lightening.
Looked out of the window to be greeted by cloud and fog, it was like being back in Stoke. We decided that as it weather was a bit grey we should perhaps go to the park in Newquay, Trenance gardens, last year here were some lovely little peddlos, and a little cafe that sold ice cream. However, our luck was out. The boats were covered and the cafe wasn’t open so after a brief spell feeding the ducks, being bombarded by evil sea gulls and their faceless henchmen the sea pigeons, we headed off back to dairy-land to make use of that week long pass.
Dairy-land served as a gap filler this time though because we only went into the bullpen. M was pretty mardy and grumpy the whole time and seemed to get more out of playing in the cushioned area with the smaller kids. I wasn’t complaining though as I worry that she hangs round with older kids too much, a little simple play is better for them.
After a generally good afternoon we chilled for a couple of hours before heading out to the old Albion in Crantock. This time I was sorry we bothered. The bar was understaffed and I waited a bout 10m minutes just to order a drink, then when the food finally came it was just the usual frozen pap you can get from any old place, the difference was you were paying chef prices. So the whole meal came to £52 quid and we basically had a bland defrosted meal. They didn’t even bother to take the deserts out of the plastic cones. To top the whole experience off M shouted at V in the packed restaurant invoking the stares of a million hypocrites. Needless to say the evening ended in tears, and the night had a bad feeling hanging over it, another grumpy face on the chart.
Woke up to more rain. Decided to go to PerranPorth. It looked like a nice little spot, but sadly again it was spoiled by the rain. It didn’t just rain, but it pissed down. We spent most of the time there in a little smoothie bar, saw some nice clothing shops and I think there’s a killing to be made selling accessories. We managed to shelter under a wide variety of shop mornings before making our way back to the car. Watched all the surfers enjoying the rain. Amazingly despite the cold and rain, M didn’t moan one time. she was good all day from rising to bed. Felt sorry for Cardiff today, I really wanted a non premiership side to win the cup but hey ho.
M woke us up at 5AM shouting that she had a sore arm. A few minutes later she was in our bed saying she had a poorly tummy. At 30 second intervals she let off a terrible sigh, accompanied by..”Oh go away tummy”. I decided to get up. I got dressed and for the first time, after threatening a few times, went for a run on the beach. It was wonderful, there wasn’t a soul around, the sun was coming up, and the tide was going out. I set myself some pegs in the sand and ran circuits in between them, till I could do no more. Then I wandered down the beach and looked at a couple of caves, that I had noticed on my walk across the headland last week. Walked back up at about 8AM having found some nice shells for M, including a cuttlefish and a couple of periwinkles which had thus far eluded us.
Went back to Padstow with the intention of going on a boat trip. However, the large boats didn’t seem to be running so we just had a wander round and enjoyed a bit of grub. We all had an original cornish pasty. Wandered up the hill along the coast path and then down a little track and over some rocks onto the beach. M found a few shells and enjoyed skimming a few stones over the water. We headed back into Padstow and had a lovely ice cream from a little parlour that seemed to stock all manner of weird and wonderful flavours. I had Pistachio, which topped any Pistache I have ever had in France. T had Banoffee and M had a mint choc chip, all three were totally delicious, and unlike most ice cream, actually truly tasted of what they were meant to taste of. M played in the park on the way back up to the car. She found a little playmate as she normally seems to these days, and we all went home happy. Smiley faces on the chart.
Up about 8am and decided to go back to the beach for another run. Why break a new good habit before it’s had time to form. Nothing to report today though. Ran a bit harder than yesterday but found it tough going.
Again did as much as I could and then went walking along the shore to the caves which have a beautiful calm, there are seabirds roosting along the sides of the cove and they glide overhead gracefully. Had a paddle in the waves and came back up, it was 10 am.
We had some breakfast and then went back down to the beach. Anyone with kids, who has taken them to a beach will know that it is a major logistical operation. No longer is it just a case of pull on your trunks, grab a fiver , your shades, a towel and off you go. no no no, now its a case of get sun-blocked up, make a picnic with sandwiches, drinks etc, get windbreak, beach tent, bucket and spade, daddys’ spade, beach matts and towels. Once you have got all that bloody lot you have to lug it all by hand to the beach unless you are lucky enough to be able to drive down to the beach-front.
Once we got down on the beach we chose a great spot right on the tidemark so there was lots of shells, crabs etc to look at. M and I went off into the Gannell to try out her fishing net. We tried for fish but they were seriously fast, we did catch a good number shrimp though.
After that We headed back and M said that she was tired and proceeded to lie under a towel, the river was a bit nippy and the wind was blowing a bit, despite it being sunny. I then proceeded to build a ma-hoosive castle. Couldn’t seem to interest M in it much though so I did most of the work myself. she did decorate it a bit though with a few shells and stones. I added the seaweed, sticks, crabs etc.
As we walked away from the beach I had a chuckle to myself that one of those nasty spiteful little bastards who kick everyone else’s sandcastle in, would have a nasty shock if they started stomping on our castle. Later that night, I wandered down to the beach to walk off my dinner. The tide had come in and had washed right up-to the castle. It had withstood the tide but some little bastard had stomped across the top of it. Hope they enjoyed “castle Surprise”.
Back to Dairyland to use up the last credits on our ticket. Tried to checkout the things we hadn’t had chance to get to on previous visits. T and I were particularly keen to check out the labyrinth, which we had built up in our minds to be a fantastic maze that would take at least an hour to escape from. It turned out to be about an inch high etching in the dirt that you were told to follow until you got to the centre. It had apparently been dowsed and had “mystical stones” placed all around the edge. The animals seemd to all like M but not like me at all, must be bad energy/good energy. we had a fantastic time on the battery operated cars and the trampolines before M plucked up courage and had a ponyride.
On the way round the handler started talking to me which was a surprise, as usually the staff at these places are a morose breed. She clearly had some educational difficulties, but had a nice way about her and clearly enjoyed her job which was good to see. M had to get off the pony half way round so it could have a pee, nice. all in all we had a great time at dairyland, and although the place could do with a lick of paint here and there and a bit more attention paid to the animal pens, all in all its great family value.
Went for a walk on the beach and was surprised to see that our castle had survived 3 high tides and was still there, battered but still there.
We strolled along and then went up over the dunes before back to bed.
Went down to Trenance gardens and then over the road under the viaduct, so M could play in in the park. Came back for an ice cream and then back home. Spent the rest of the time chilling out for a bit but M was whining about going to the park. Eventually I tool her down to the beach with the fishing net. Sadly the tide was coming in though. We decided to add a but of sand to the big castle (i did) and dig a big moat around it. With the tide coming in fast I had to work quick. The tide came in just as we were putting the shells on the top…I was surprised how quickly it came in and
how forcefully it washed away the castle base.
Watched the CL final tonight disappointed that UTD won again. Chelsea had the chances and just didn’t take em. Liverpool have to sort out the board room trouble and spend well if we are going to stop Man UTD from taking our crown.
Read a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories before bed.
Sat around this morning trying to work out what we were going to do, cash is running a bit low now, so anything expensive is off the bill. Decided to go to Bedruthen steps.
A Brilliant Idea by T. I was blown away by the landscape. A b it of a steep climb down for the nipper but she took it all in her stride and really seemed to enjoy the whole experience. The sea comes in really deep on this beach at least 15 foot. There were thousands of mussels all the way up the rocks. The beach is strewn with caves and dramatic rocky outcrops. It’s simply stunning. we saw a lot of fish caught in the rock pools and strange anemones. We wandered all over the beach and M negotiated some really big boulders. We decided to get going as there were a few nasty clouds gathering.. we climbed the steep steps and got to the top of the path just as the heavens opened, so we nipped into the tea room and enjoyed a Cornish Cream Teas..Delicious. A really nice trip out. Popped into the supermarket to get some grub for tea, BOGOF curries, bonus. Last day tomorrow then back to the grind on Wednesday.
Went for a drive out o the east Pentire today. Was nice just to get the girls to see it. They were surprised to see that it overlooked “our beach” we walked all the way to the end that overlooks the goose Rock. After that we went to maccy D’s for lunch . A quiet day packing up and feeling reflective. M woke in the night really scared she could hear the screeching of tires. I think it was some motorsport even called run to the sun, the sound of the cars was carrying o the wind, until the rain set in and that was well into the early morning. I ended up swapping beds with her.