The one thing this Covid pandemic has taught us is to appreciate life’s small pleasures.
Meeting with a few friends for drinks outdoors, an al fresco meal (wearing several layers!), heading off for a road trip to somewhere different. Our increased appreciation of these little but important aspects of life is one of the good things to come out of a crisis.
Heading off in our Motor Home for the first time this year felt great. We weren’t going far – just a short trip away to the Lizard Peninsula in south Cornwall – but the chance to get a change of scene was a reward in itself.
We chose a site called ‘Henry’s Camp’ because of its closeness to Lizard village, which has a couple of pubs, cafes and local shops. To call the entrance to the site ‘quirky’ barely does it justice – lots of hand made painted signs, an old school hinged gate, ducks wandering around, little outside seating areas with well used casual sofas and chairs scattered about, a shop selling essentials including Rosie’s Cider (!), a raised area for live music. Think casual with a large ‘C’ and well…unconventional.
The drive down to the pitches was narrow in places but we were given a huge area with a sea view and our own picnic bench. The site wasn’t packed out at this time of year (late April) and it was one of the best pitches we’ve had in this country – incredibly peaceful with no background traffic noise.
Our dog Bonnie didn’t quite know what to make of the ducks roaming around but it just added to the laid back charm of the place.
After a stroll down to Lizard point and a drink at a National Trust run cafe overlooking the beach. we had a look around the village and checked out the options for an evening meal. The Witch Ball – the most southerly pub in England – was our only real choice as it was serving food through the evening and we didn’t want to have to eat too early.
The food was the standard pub-type fare and served up in takeaway style boxes. Not my favourite way to eat but hey – we were dining out for the first time in months! We chose a covered area to sit but with no outside heating, it started to get uncomortably cold. As one of my friends often says, “it isn’t too cold you just need a warmer coat!”. Yeah right.
The next day we walked to the stunning Kynance Cove. You need decent walking boots and good balance on the rocky path down but the reward is a view to die for. It reminded me of the year we spent living in Bermuda, the sea showing off different shades of torquoise and incredibly clear water. While the temperature wasn’t up to Bermuda standards, the sun was shining and what was I saying about those small things? Bliss.
The evening was spent outside the Motor Home with favourite tipples, chatting to some people on an adjoining pitch and then the quintessential locally bought Cornish pasty – but eaten indoors this time! Not as good as our usual ones but not bad either.
On our last morning of the trip we had another walk down to Church Cove which was magical, greener scenery with smatterings of jaunty spring flowers, and then coffee and cake at ‘Coast’ cafe before heading back home to Marazion.
Only a short first break of the year but after a busy few months of projects and deadlines, it was good to have an escape. We’re already thinking about the next one and let’s face it – after months of not being able to plan anything, putting things on the calendar is another treat. Yeah!
My book of choice this time is ‘Just a Boy’ by Richard McCann. His mum, Wilma, was killed in 1975 when Richard was coming up to his 6th birthday and she is the first known victim of the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe. I interviewed him recently for a magazine feature and his story is one of strength and resilience in the face of terrible childhood trauma. I read ‘Just a Boy’ some 16 years ago when it became a best seller and re-read it as part of my research for the feature. The book helped change his life – he is now a family man with three children (something he once believed that he didn’t ‘deserve’ due to his troubled past) and runs iCan Academy, a successful business built on his expertise as an inspirational and keynote speaker.
While the book deals with the long term effects of childhood trauma on both Richard and his three siblings, it is still full of humanity and hope – well written too. In the course of my work as a social affairs journalist and TV producer, I have covered a lot of stories about the enduring legacy of child abuse and neglect. Richard’s book still stands out for his honesty, compassion and survival against some of the worst odds imaginable. An inspiratonal read along with the follow-up publication ‘Just a Man’. (www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084TGQSJP)
That’s it for now – until the next MoHo trip which won’t be too long!