I’m not supposed to be blogging today. Actually, what I’m supposed to be doing is working on my next book, then drawing up a list of questions for tonight’s family quiz, while keeping an ear out for the supermarket delivery. Scrap that. What I really should have been doing today is lugging my suitcase to the car and setting off, with some of my family members, on the long drive to a holiday cottage in Cornwall.
Yes, today should have been the start of my Cornish holiday. It’s been three years since we were last there. We stayed in an old cottage in Boscastle and it was blowing a gale most of the time, but we had some sunny days, too, and a lot of fun. After all, we were in Cornwall. How could we not?
We all love Cornwall. I don’t think I know anyone who’s ever been to that county and not fallen in love with it. There’s something very different and special about it, somehow. And all I know is, when our car sweeps down that road and we catch our first glimpse of Looe Harbour, my heart just soars and I think, “I’m in my happy place”. And I speak as a Yorkshire lass, who loves my home county passionately.
Maybe it’s because I’ve had such happy times there. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been in Cornwall in the company of people I love and have fun with. Maybe it’s the beautiful scenery, the laid back way of life, the smell of the sea, the screech of the gulls, the wild flowers and lush, green fields. Maybe it’s the whitewashed cottages and narrow passageways, and busy harbours and quirky shops. Maybe it’s the Cornish pasties and the cream teas (always jam first, with a big dollop of Cornish cream on top).
Maybe it’s the thrill of visiting Jamaica Inn, and remembering the exciting stories of Daphne Du Maurier, or strolling round Port Isaac in search of Doc Martin’s house, or catching sight of Poldark posters and mugs in just about every shop window and knowing Aidan Turner filmed in these ‘ere parts. Maybe it’s the myth and legend – Tintagel and King Arthur. Cornish piskies. Or cider. Or the car ferry from Bodinnick to Fowey. Or a boat trip from Polperro. Or a wander around spooky Bodmin Jail. Or eating ice creams with the grandchildren on a beach at St Ives.
Whatever the reason, Cornwall is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Britain, and no wonder. I love it so much I got married there. And I was sooo looking forward to heading back. But, as we expected, our holiday cottage company informed us that this year’s long-awaited trip to Cornwall was cancelled, and our return visit would have to wait.
So here I am. Blogging. And I really must sort out some questions for the quiz tonight. And I have work to do on the book. And I must make sure I listen out for the supermarket delivery driver knocking on the door.
But, do you know what? I’m so grateful. I’m grateful because I’m here, healthy and alive. I’m grateful because my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my mother and siblings and nieces and in-laws are all healthy and alive. I’m grateful because I’m working, when so many have lost their jobs or face an uncertain future. I’m grateful because I managed to get a supermarket delivery, and have had no trouble doing so ever since lockdown began, and miracle of miracles they actually have some antibacterial wipes in stock for the first time in months!
So yes, I’m sad I won’t be visiting Cornwall this year. But Cornwall will still be there next year when this is (God willing) all over – or at least more manageable. One day I’ll go back to Cornwall with my family, and be thankful that we could. One day walking around the busy, narrow streets of Cornish fishing villages and sitting in a cafe eating a Cornish cream tea will be safe again. One day I’ll be able to do a supermarket shop without worrying, jump on a train or in the car to visit friends and family, drink in pubs, eat in restaurants, head to the beach … One day, we all will.
Until then, Cornwall – and all those other things we once took for granted – can wait. And so can I. Because right now, it’s all about being patient, staying safe, and making sure we don’t endanger other people. And being grateful for all the things we do have, and can do. Have a great week, whatever you’re doing.