Every once in a while, its important to experience the exhilaration of the outdoor life. We’ve been cooped up for such a long time now that being outdoors in a place that is further than five miles from home has become so exciting it’s bordering on exotic.
True thing! I get the shivers if I go further than the local town...
We have been lucky enough to experience the exotic this weekend. Wee Jimmy Cranky decided on a whim to let people out of Scotland as she realised she could no longer stem the tide of escapees. The roads south were pretty busy as England opened up (I hear) and she forgot that there isn’t in fact a legal border between England and Scotland and so people with half a brain containing an independent thought realised they could just get in a car and go to a non-essential shop or pub in England without her permission.
She is a control demon....
So, we made the most of this and experienced the delights of Cornwall as regular readers of this blog will know, my Eldest Daughter and her Extraordinarily Handsome boyfriend live there in a small Instagram styled cottage near a beautiful beach. They do indeed fulfil every modern stereotype of a young, beautiful couple who surf, swim, work for good causes, believe in equality and have none of the jaded, cynical opinions that us women of a certain age have collected through bitter experience. It’s rather sweet.
It is rather lovely....yet I find myself smiling slightly condescendingly at young beautiful people and wondering how the fuck they will manage when they are old, wrinkly, baggy, grumpy and sick to death of young beautiful things being young and beautiful...or maybe I’m just hungover?
As we pottered aimlessly about, contemplating our next cream tea and Cornish pasty - it’s literally impossible to live in Cornwall if you’re one of those silly people who are on the Keto diet. Whoever decided that eating large quantities of protein without much else needs their head feeling. Cornwall is one big carbohydrate.
I noticed, a couple doing some serious pottering about with their small dog. Again, you cannot come to Cornwall or live here unless you adore dogs. Nearly everyone has one and they’re allowed in all the shops, which cheered Eddie up no end as he’d never been inside a dress shop before and found it most enlightening.
Oh my god the thought of Dude in a shop of any description is terrifying....
This couple were forty something and were both wearing matching grey jogging bottoms. It really ought to be a crime to wear grey jogging bottoms in public if you’re not actually jogging. Then I noticed they were both wearing the same style and colour of trainers. This was proving too much for my sensibilities as I sipped on my luke warm artisan cappuccino (the more artisan the coffee, the smaller the cup and the more luke warm it is). I nudged Ever Patient Husband and pointed this fashion disaster out. He nodded, still feeling slightly disgruntled at his miniature coffee.
Matching clothing of any sort is a hard no from me...it denotes a lack of both fashion sense and individuality that brings me out in hives.....
He has already made comments this morning about getting a ‘man sized’ coffee from somewhere decent ‘like Greggs’. No luck, this is Cornwall, where terribly trendy Londoners visit when they can’t get to The Maldives and therefore no Greggs.
Back to the couple. Their tops were matching too. These were fleeces in an interesting shade of blue/grey. Why? Just why would you wear the same clothes as your love one? If I were Prime Minister, I would immediately make a law against it.
It’s not the done thing these days to judge others. Young people are very tolerant of all kinds of things that during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s we were all free to judge. In fact, we all spent our formative years doing nothing but judging others and I find myself saying things in my head like ‘you can see her knickers her skirt is so short’ and ‘purple hair? Really?’ I’d had a whole day of not judging anyone about anything and the couple with matching clothing proved too much. Eldest Daughter scolded me and told Youngest Daughter not to listen to my judgy attitudes.
Its because they are all woke and buy into the cancel culture....
The young people decided we would pick some fresh mussels from the beach and cook them with our BBQ. Yes, Ever Patient Husband had insisted we have a BBQ so he bought a giant disposable one with us. Ridiculously Handsome Boyfriend is quite athletic and so he pretty much runs everywhere. The tide was out and we route marched across a vast expanse of sand to find special mussels which apparently could only be found on a very dangerous bit of rock that stuck out into the crashing waves even during low tide.
Both Daughters waded gleefully into the foaming torrent of waves after Ludicrously Handsome Boyfriend who knows no danger all were fully clothed. I caught up eventually, slightly panicked that being swept out to sea was not a price worth paying even for the most special mussels.
Eddie and I clambered up some slippery rocks to see if we could keep an eye on the young people, both of us whimpering slightly. Ever Patient Husband very manfully scrambled to the edge of the precipice to keep an eye on them and raise the alarm should it be required. I scanned the sheer cliff face behind us, trying to work out where the helicopter might land.
The tide was coming in and I realised that my worst nightmares were about to come to fruition. The mussel gathering continued oblivious to my blind panic. I was busy plotting the route to safety and realised there wasn’t one behind us and that should we get cut off by the tide, we would have to wait it out in a sheltered cove with about a millimetre of rock to cling onto. I had sensibly poured my hot tea into my metal water bottle earlier and knew that with hot tea and Eddie by my side I could wait it out if necessary.
The Tesco bag for life was finally filled with the special mussels and the intrepid youths waded out of the ocean to the safety of the beach, all of them beaming from ear to ear. My heart rate returned to something close to normal and I gingerly descended from the rocks.
As we route marched back, I was informed that it took six hours for the tide to come back in and that we were in no danger. Eddie and I looked at each other and begged to differ.
On the upside, the mussels were delicious as EPH made a splendid cream and white wine sauce to go with them.
These are the moments during which you realise that the main part of being a parent is panicking but pretending not to and developing escape/rescue stratagems that you hope never to have to deploy.
Our few days away have been bliss. Visiting non-essential shops, trying clothes on, purchasing vintage Wrangler denim jackets from trendy vintage clothing emporiums and floaty dresses from beach-side boutiques has been fun. So has eating and drinking outdoors in the Cornish sunshine.
This new found freedom is truly epic and all the more delicious with family. Let’s make the most of it while we can.
I am as I type plotting my next visit up North!