Tuesday, 17 August 2004

Wash Out

Awful Day. Started off Ok, we decided to go into St. Ives only a couple of miles away. There's a public bus service from the holiday village, so we thought this would be better that trying to find somewhere to park (which we found impossible the other day). So we took the bus and arrived in St Ives. Thereon the day went downhill. There were so many people it was unbelievable. Then the heavens opened (and it is still pouring with rain seven hours later). For all it was raining it was still quite warm, so we carried on walking around. But the amount of people...

I'd looked up a couple of restaurants in the Michelin guide, in the hope of having a decent lunch, but when we found one of these it was full. We resolved that the best thing we could do was to get out of there. However, we'd made one important mistake - I knew the buses ran every hour, but we hadn't checked the timetable to work out when! In the end the answer was presented to us five minutes later when we saw the bus heading for the holiday village go past.

We found a little coffee shop and had a light lunch, and I promised Alice that we'd go down to the beach. However by now the heavens had well and truly opened, and when we ventured outside we rapidly became getting soaked. Fortunately Jacqueline saw a little "beachy" shop and got a couple of banana-coloured ponchos to keep the rain off (Grandma already had a kagoul and we'd brought Alice's raincoat with us). We then made our way back to find the return bus stop, although this was very well hidden and I was afraid we'd miss the thing since the next bus was now five minutes overdue. Plus, my mother and Alice were dithering. If Alice were just with us we'd have dragged her along, but of course her Grandma has to do everything that much slower...

Anyway, I walked up the road and we did eventually see the bus stop, and only a couple of minutes after getting there the bus came. And went. Without stopping. It was a tiny minibus and even though we were at only the second stop on the route, the bus was already full. You can imagine my mood by this time. Anyway, Jacqueline had seen a taxi rank, which I readily agreed to (the only other alternative being an hour's wait for the next bus). Even there, we had to join the end of a rather long queue, and were standing - still in the pouring rain - for at least another half hour waiting for a taxi. Anyway, eventually our turn came and we got back to the chalet. Travel costs for the day were £6 for the bus tickets (the return portions of course going unused), plus £10 for the taxi. Altogether a rather expensive alternative to a couple of litres of petrol and a couple of pounds parking. And a soaking to boot.

We consoled ourselves by drying off and immediately heading off - sans Grandma, who again had decided not to join in - back to the hotel in Carbis Bay (I think it is called, rather surprisingly the Carbis Bay Hotel) for afternoon tea. Finally, an enjoyable part to the day. The hotel has a lovely conservatory overlooking the sea, and it is a very relaxing experience. We found the place on Sunday and it really has been the most enjoyable part of the holiday thus far.

We even got a slight improvement in the weather, so much so that we (Alice and I - Jacqueline had the sense to stay in the car) walked down to the nearby beach for a paddle. No sooner did we get there than the rain started up again, but Alice of course didn't mind so we stayed in the beach for about fifteen minutes, until it was simply too wet to continue. We eventually made it back to the chalet - me without any footwear and Alice stark naked!

This entry is probably a very boring read. However there is a reason for this detail. Basically, if ever we're mad enough to consider coming to Cornwall again, we'll just need to read this to restore some sanity. Actually that's not true - I'd happily come to a nice hotel sometime like January, or something. But the place should definitely be avoided anytime "in season". As things stand I'm watching torrential rain fall, and it's mid-August. We've already decided that we'll go to France again next year - far more civilised. Also the holiday village continues to be unimpressive - I don't think this was a particularly cheap holiday and is certainly poor value for money. It would have been far better to pay the extra and go to CenterParcs.

On other things, have received a couple of hassling emails from the agency my company is currently working through. I think I might have outstayed my welcome with them, but then if some new business comes along I'll be able to take the opportunity to blow them into touch too. On the plus side, the accountant reckons we may be able to barter with Customs and Excise in order to get this fine reduced.

I've just about had enough of running my business. If anyone reads this and is looking to take on a good technical architect with almost fifteen years' commercial experience, drop me an email to pete@hurford.me.uk. It's just too much like hard work any more.

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