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Behind the Scenes

Your Roving Reporters in the West Country

Holiday cottages in Cornwall – there’s hardly any limit to the lengths one will go to undertake market research. We were enticed by a delightful invitation from Ruthie and Nick, our English young – which  sadly because of the distance could not include the Autralian contingent-  to celebrate our recent significant but unmentionable  birthdays in a holiday cottage they had selected for the purpose, in Cornwall.

Well, we did enjoy being guests, both of our offspring and of the holiday cottage. The Cornish property sleeps six, and is in Polperro, an old-fashioned,  quite charming little harbour town on the south coast, which in the past was an important smugglers’ headquarters.

The differences between this cottage and our two barns could hardly be more marked – our Cornish retreat is all white painted wood and seaside-y, with a little courtyard terrace behind and the sound of the River Pol and the sea in front; seagulls cry mournfully overhead (when they are  not snatching ice cream cones or chips out of poor unsuspecting holiday makers’ hand). ..

We were promised parking for one, which we naively assumed beforehand would be beside the cottage. No such luck! The parking spot was in the town car park, a brisk ten minutes walk away, and our luggage had to be transported by a buggy and trailer down the narrow and twisting alleyways. Actually, it was rather delightful after we had got over the shock.

In terms of market research it would not be fair to compare our cottage with Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Our Cornish one was was for six on a seaside holiday;  it was run by an agent, so “little extras” there were none, not even a teabag; fortunately, we had prepared ourselves for such an eventuality.

There is Sky TV (but only three logs for our use on the logburner – and no suggestions where on earth one might buy more – but fortunately the weather was so warm we didn’t even need one log…!). The kitchen however was  extremely well equipped and in every other way everything was perfect for our needs.

Also,  a few yards from the door are innumerable little eating places, so we even had a bacon buttie for breakfast one morning, and of course an obligatory Cornish pasty – and a cream tea.

After all this indlugence I must add we did a 6 and 3/4 mile stint of the the South West Coastal Path, from Polperro to Polruan. The entire  ‘walk’ was toiling up rough, at times quite slithery, vertical slopes, and then plunging all the way down again only to have immediately to start once more on the uward trail.

We felt exhausted but tremendous when we finally reached Polruan – even the superfit young reckoned it to be quite a triumph generally  but I couldn’t resist marvelling that six months go I was hobbling along on crutches with a broken fibula so I gave a quiet thanks to the French doctor in the Alps and the NHS who obviously did all the right things.

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