OK - so we're off tomorrow on our annual camping holiday in not so sunny Cornwall. It is going to be a welcome break for the Collinge's at the close of an eventful week - some of which we could have really done without, but I won't go there. This year we've decided to try May instead of the last week of August as usual with the vain hope that the weather will be kind to us, and the rain will hold off. It's our seventh year running at the same destination with one of my dearest friends, Judith, and her husband and kiddies. Also we're without friends Jane and Chris - they're off to sunnier climes with other old friends of ours - hmmmm looking at the forecast I'm beginning to wonder if they're the sensible ones.
To say that our holidays in Polzeath are uneventful would be a blatant lie. Every year one of our party, normally from the Collinge family, end up in hospital somewhere along the way. The first year it was Caroline - with a serious break to her ankle. Caroline and Andy haven't been camping since, but at least they are still talking to us - just about!!! The second year it was Antonia, with a double fracture in her arm........ and so on....... If we don't end up in hospital, its because our tent has sunk in the quagmire instead and we have returned home with a good dose of trench foot, as happened in our third, or was it our fourth, year?
I missed out altogether on the annual pilgrimage to Polzeath last year and Tim gallantly braved the elements and looking after our troublesome two on his own. On their return home I was informed it had been a piece of cake - or so he would have me believe. I had reluctantly elected to stay at home as I was recovering from one major operation, closely followed by another major emergency operation plus numerous pints of blood back in. To say that the second op was a tad too close to coming to terms with the fact that I am not immortal is an understatement and I had actually resigned myself to meeting my maker somewhat sooner than planned. I was so low before the second op as I was haemorrhaging like fury, I even rang Judith to say good-bye and ask that she keep a close eye on Tim and be there for our girls at a time when teenage girls really need their Mum around. She is the one person in my life whom I trust implicitly - besides my husband of course! Caroline (of the broken ankle) and Andy, bless them, paid me a visit a day later. I still have the puzzle book they bought - not quite finished!
So, what is it about Polzeath that makes us trek back there every year, in spite of what the Gods throw at us? I really don't know, except that this holiday is a special time when our girls get to spend a week with their god-mother in a part of the UK that we all absolutely love. In spite of what the elements throw at us, we come home revived, refreshed and spiritually cleansed by the sea air. And on top of that, Polzeath is a really funky place with a magic of its own.
But that said, I did have a fabulous time at home totally alone last year, in spite of being somewhat miffed that I couldn't go to Polzeath. I had received several offers for company and turned them all down. Yes, its true that I missed Tim and our girls very much, but I also relished the peace and quiet. I totally disregarded the clock and went to bed when I wanted and ate what I liked when I liked - fabulous! That was, until Elise informed me on one of her evening phone calls home that she had been surfing next to David Cameron! Flippin' heck - that was it - I nearly packed my bag ready to catch the next train to Cornwall. But I didn't. Even politicians, including the Prime Minister, need their privacy and time out to relax and enjoy family life, new born babes notwithstanding. I did try to persuade one of our party to speak to Mr. Cameron or rather one of his party and politely request a meeting when life was back to business as usual, so that I could raise concerns I have regarding the long term care of PwP's (People with Parkinson's) in the UK. Needless to say, my family and friends, without exception, refused. Can't say I blame them really - my concerns are mine, not theirs.
So, we're off tomorrow at the not quite so crack of dawn, this time only for 5 days, which we may prolong if the weather is kind to us. I hate to say it, I'm not holding my breath! Summer was during the Easter break which I spent trekking from one end of the Kennet and Avon canal to the other. I have so little faith this year I've even packed our thermals that we bought for our Sweden adventure back in February. Also, every year we plan to get up at the crack of dawn to get to Polzeath early, but knowing my tribe, there'll be delays after delays. My prediction is that whilst we plan to leave at 7:00 am, we eventually get going about 9:30.... Judith and her crew, meanwhile, will be on the beach about the time we're just waking up....
But the big question is, if I spot David Cameron on Polzeath beach this year, what do I do? Answers on a postcard please!
Addendum - I'm now beginning to blame our misfortunes when it comes to Polzeath on my Oirish Grandmother..... the luck of that is. It's now 11:00 am and we're still at home as the car has broken down, dead, just won't go. I've tried to contact our friends who have texted to say they are on the beach and where are we, but as usual the signal in Polzeath is non-existent and I can't get hold of them.