30th July 2020


14th July – Tuesday

Again, this morning, the weather doesn’t look too promising, but Paul has promised that he’ll take Molly surfing today, “no matter what”. 



That’s how we end up in Hayle, a safe place to teach her, having stopped at the surf shop so the she could buy a good surf board with some money she had saved from her birthday. To say she was exited would be a huge understatement. In a shop a few doors down, we find a “play” surf board for Raphie. Jo let’s him  “choose” one for himself, picking out two she thinks suitable, one with sharks the other with dolphins, “Raphie,” she enthuses, “this one or that one”. Proudly, determinedly, he makes his choice. 
Hayle is just across from St Ives, with the estuary to the River Hayle  (Cornish: Heyl, meaning estuary)  in between. 
We meet Paul’s parents and his sister in the car park, have a quick coffee – we can do that with the camper – and head off to the beach. 
We find a protected spot, between the cliff and a sand dune, away from the wind and lucky for us the sun does shine. 
Peter and I bring nothing with us, no chairs – left them at the campsite in the awning – no rucksack with food and water and swim things. Oh well. I sit on Jo’s blanket, aware it’s going to be an uncomfortable few hours. 

As the children are covered in sunscreen adults bring out lunch and snacks. I look around. Paul’s mum offers me some soup, homemade. I notice the cool breeze touch my face and think, that would be nice.
“No thanks,” I say, “we’ve not long had breakfast,”  which is true and anyone who knows me will be aware of my weird obsession about not eating lunch  if I’ve had breakfast and on the other hand if I’ve had no breakfast I’m up for lunch  pretty early.
 

Hayle is just across from St Ives, with the estuary to the River Hayle  (Cornish: Heyl, meaning estuary) in between. 
Clouds start to come our way from out at sea, but looking across to St Ives I can see it sits majestically in the sunshine, the water a beautiful blue turquoise colour reminding me of the mediterranean.
Years ago we were eager to visit such a distinguished place, a small fishing village renowned now for its famous artists and art galleries. Peter, being an artist himself,  had been looking forward to it for months. Maybe we went at the wrong time. All I remember is that it rained and the children, our oldest two, were miserable. So, we were not impressed. I’d quite like to go back one day, get the real vibe,  see what all the fuss is about. And we’ll have plenty of opportunity when Jo and Paul move down to Cornwall next year.



Paul’s mum, being organised has prepared some pasta and combined it with the leftover salmon from the evening of the BBQ. She offers it around. And although I feel guilty for not having brought anything to share myself,  the thought of the salmon is a temptation I can’t/ don’t want to resist so I have some. Delicious.

Sitting proves painful and as the children are in at the waters edge, Molly trying out her new surf board with Granny, I take a stroll over. On the way my eye catches some small shells, pretty and delicate. Ten minutes later Peter and I have collected a pocket full to bring home for Mary who uses them for her artwork. 

I think, although It hasn’t been warm, my lips are burnt. Darn it. That means I’ll probably get some cold sores and they’ll be around for at least a week. I have been trying to protect them, but being out all the time in all weathers and not being able to use sunscreen – i have an allergy – it’s inevitable, I suppose. 
In the evening, back at the campsite, I reheat the chilli that I brought from home, cook up a bit of rice and we take it, with a bottle of red,  across the lane to share dinner with Jo and Paul. The previous night I’d taken the mushroom and potato curry . This is what’s lovely about camping. Sitting together, enjoying a meal,  good wine (  my tastes are defined by alcohol percentage and cost, obviously) and the brilliant company, while watching the sun go down.