Well now it has been over a week since I last posted anything, and there’s a reason for that. I went on holiday. The first actual “going away from home for longer than a weekend” type holiday in almost twenty years. Gah, saying it like that makes me sound like some crazy hermit that only stays at home. I’m not by the way.
By now, you’re probably backing away from this post slowly and to be fair, I can’t really blame you. I’m still on that holiday buzz which will probably end with a crash when my alarm goes off in the morning to get my sorry ass back to work.
For my actual holiday, I disappeared off to Cornwall. Tintagel specifically. There were a few reasons why I chose that particular spot.
- My dad grew up in Cornwall
- Tintagel was mums favourite area
- I might have the chance to meet some other vaping friends
The last one in that list, whilst a bonus (and did actually happen) was not the main reason for the timing or location. My old man grew up in Cornwall after being evacuated from London in 1939, admittedly he did most of his early years on the southern coast, St Austell. Don’t get me wrong, St Austell is a nice place just wasn’t what I was looking for. Being that he grew up, and eventually spent a lot of time driving around Cornwall, my dad knew the majority of the best places to go for a bit of heritage and some spectacular views.
Oh, when I say “driving around Cornwall”, I mean that. He drove stretch limousines. Big, wide and long. For those of you that haven’t been to Cornwall, you might think that’s all fine and dandy.
Those roads either side of the waterway? They get narrower than that. A lot narrower. Sat Nav is pretty much useless as it doesn’t take into account the size of the roads. There’s a whole host of pictures littering the internet where drivers got, shall we say stuck in narrow roads by following their SatNav. It’s amusing for sure, but it is also a sobering reality of life in Cornwall. Don’t get me wrong, my dad could drive. In fact that is pretty much all he ever did for work the entirety of his working life on this earth, he taught me a few things too. Even so, knowing I can drive and drive fairly confidently is one thing. Doing that in unfamiliar territory, on roads that are only just wider than the car I’m driving, it’s a whole different experience.
Lorien covered this delightfully in her recent blog post and I will admit to being a bit “touristy” the first couple of days, but I soon sorted my head out enough to get about and no the tractors didn’t bother me, unless I was behind one in which case I was impatiently trying to find a place to get past it.
So the old man grew up in Cornwall and spent a lot of his working life down there driving around those insane roads (which on my side of the country would probably be referred to as “country lanes”), it would also have been his birthday on April 27th. I thought it somewhat fitting that I spend some time where he grew up, albeit a little belatedly than the original plan of being in Cornwall for his birthday. Which brings me to mum. Of all the places we’d visit as a family across the UK, we spent the majority of our family holidays in Cornwall, and most of those were on the northern coast.
I found out, much later why that was. Like my dad, mum loved the area. The scenery, the views, but she specifically loved Tintagel. She never really told me why, but there is definitely something about that village that captures the imagination, even more so when you are standing on the top of where the castle used to be.
It did feel a little strange going back to Cornwall after such a long time away, and the memory sure as hell plays tricks on you. Every vista took my breath away before memories came flooding in of me and the folks out for a stroll. I revisited some of the places we had gone to in the past. Tintagel Castle, Boscastle Harbour, Restormel Castle, even went back to the Old Post Office. I also paid a visit to St Nectans Glen, which I would highly recommend. Sitting at the bottom of that waterfall and thinking on the past holidays, and all the other stuff that has happened over the last decade did more to settle and clear my head then anything else.
It was more than worth the drive down though, as I also had the opportunity to meet some fellow vaping advocates which is a first for me. I got to meet the brilliant Neal and his lovely wife Shirley, along with their adorable collie, Storm, who isn’t exactly afraid of getting wet. Nor is he afraid of trying to get everyone else wet too!
To top it all off, I also managed to sneak a few minutes with the superstar advocate Lorien, along with the rest of her family on the last day (they too are awesome :-) ). I’ll admit, I was definitely nervous about meeting her (I’m not exactly sure why), but I needn’t have been at all. Lorien is, quite simply as awesome in person as she is on her blog and twitter, although I didn’t try to pronounce her twitter name as I would probably get it totally wrong ;-)
All in all, the trip was a definite experience on many levels. It helped clear my head, organise some of my memories, and allowed me a unique chance to meet some fellow vaping advocates and their respective families, dogs (and cat) included.
To Lorien, Neal, Shirley, Mr Sea and the Monkeys, Storm, Ash and Raistlin – thank you, you made my trip even more awesome :-)
Now I’m back, refreshed, recharged and ready to kick ass.