In our case, "Post" Covid means that Shan and I both had it and were released from quarantine yesterday. Does this signal a huge sigh of relief?
Well, maybe, but, before I go into a short catalog of what "maybe" means, I'd like to make my first observation:
There are some fabulously lovely people out there. They range from long standing friends and family to quite recently acquired neighbours. In other words, we have had support, both moral and practical from points around the globe and from people living right there, just next-door. When it is sane and responsible to properly thank the neighbours it will be easy. We will have a monster bash, a post-Covid-19 party to remember.
We sincerely wish we could do the same for our remote benefactors, too. Indeed, when we travel again, we will do so with renewing hugs and acquaintances as a primary objective.
Why do I think that a huge sigh of relief may not yet be due?
From our perspective, we have not seen one shred of incontrovertible proof that anyone knows where all this will be heading. Even those who think they know where it is going are unable to furnish solid evidence that leads to that conclusion.
Here are a few headlines to ponder:
1. Antibodies - It does not appear that there is any clear evidence yet to indicate that, having tested positive for Covid-19, everyone is left with residual antibodies. Also, there is some speculation that, if there are antibodies in one's system, they may not last more than a few months.
2. Can you get it again? - Well, can you?
3. Vaccine - There have been some optimistic headlines but nothing yet as to whether it is sufficiently reliable and when it will be available for worldwide use
4. Herd immunity - That old chestnut. Can someone please explain to me how it will be successful without positive answers to 1, 2 and 3 above.
5. Foundation statistics - In the UK, NHS Test and Trace has been singularly unsuccessful in gathering these. How widespread is the pandemic, actually? We hear stories of minuscule probabilities of contracting it. Well, in anecdotis extremis, here's a personal example. In our spouse and sibling group spread over three continents, there are 8 adults and 7 direct progeny, i.e. 15 people in all. Of those, 5 tested positive for Covid-19, there was one highly probable false negative and one who almost definitely had it but was quarantined by association so didn't need a test. Just short of 50%. Accepting a huge "bad luck" factor, that is hardly a minuscule probability!
6. Failure to follow success to the end - When we seem to be getting somewhere, governments relax, potentially too early. Exponents of the "R" number reckon it being good news when it drops below one. Forgive me if I'm being naïve but doesn't that just mean the pandemic will continue at the same rate. Above that we see a growing number of people contracting the virus. Below that, the number should gradually drop off. How long would that take before everyone is safe? It's been below one before and now it's racing along above the magic threshold.
7. Circuit breaker (a.k.a. fire break) - Could have legs but would require incredible discipline across the populace who fear that the damage to businesses would be catastrophic and irreversible.
But what if we put a circuit breaker on cash flow at the same time. A forced vacation on EVERYTHING. Businesses shut their doors for a given period and all rent, mortgages, council tax etc. stops until they open again. There have been mortgage or insurance premium "holidays" but these come with a day of reckoning.
The only exception would need to be where actual goods change hands but, in the days of electronic payments, these are stats that can be paused, too.
8. Duration of a bout - Everything from an ephemeral day or so to several months if the anecdotal evidence (what else have we got) is to be believed.
9. A positive side-effect - I am told that in South Africa where they had one of the strictest lockdowns it was accompanied by not only qualified Covid-19 success but also a dramatic drop on the annual seasonal flu cases.
Conclusion: We're in this together, guys. It needs universal discipline to reverse the worldwide growth of the pandemic. If we can't do this ourselves, some body is going to have to do it for us by diktat.
Let's hope the virus won't be that body.
I finally feel qualified to write about my personal brushes with Covid-19. No opinions. Just my observations from the beginning of 2020 in which I offer no judgement.
It is now official. I have Covid-19. I’m a little better today but the last 7 days have been my weirdest and scariest experience since I was waiting to be trepanned to relieve a dual subdural haematoma in a French hospital 5 years ago.
Apart from our commitment to the wellbeing of our community, Shan and I had a few personal reasons to embrace any efforts that might ensure the virus could be brought under control as speedily as possible.
With this in mind we put ourselves forward as "guinea pigs" where it made sense and we were early adopters of physical barriers to the spread of Covid-19. We never thought we'd actually get the sickness but we hoped to mitigate the small risk for ourselves and the population of the UK at large. We downloaded the ZOE app and have been 2 of the more than 4M contributors reporting symptoms daily (well, almost; we do forget occasionally) for the duration of the epidemic.
When we were exhorted to download the latest Test and Trace app (unrelated to ZOE), I did so almost immediately. I am not a person who generally does this sort of thing without questioning it but it seemed a sensible measure to help contain the spread.
I am assuming the name, Test and Trace, describes what it sets out to do. It probably starts with the Trace component, in which businesses display a bar code to be scanned into the app, much like paying a bill with one's phone. From then on the resultant information can track positive cases and warn members of the public at large if they may have come into contact with Covid-19. I had been using it for more than 3 weeks before I tested positive. I was fairly diligent about checking in during those weeks. The last time I did it was 3 days before the symptoms started.
It was actual ZOE that invited me to go for a test but both systems end up sending you to the same GOV.UK site to book.
I was able to get a test almost immediately, although I was informed that tests were in high demand and I needed to get to my appointment on time to avoid missing out!
I live in Oxfordshire. There were more than 400 drive-in slots remaining at my closest test facility that day.
I arrived about half an hour early, expecting to sit in a queue. Instead, a succession of most pleasant people ushered me through to Lane 8. Lanes 1 to 7 were closed. There was not another car in sight. At the end of Lane 8 was a tent and I was told to keep my windows closed, pull up and wait for further instructions. I was wearing a mask, as requested.
A person emerged from a side tent, motioning for me to open the car window. She was friendly and sympathetic. I was given a tissue and instructed to blow my nose. She showed me the swab, which resembled an elongated earbud and explained that she needed to access the back of my throat.
"Please open wide and stick your tongue out," she said, "I need to see the dangly bit (my uvula).
"Nope, can't get there
"Can you put your finger on your tongue?"
I tried but there is a lot of saliva involved and the tongue doesn't behave that easily.
"Sorry, I can't get a sample," she concluded.
"But I've come all this way," I protested, trying to look appealing through the window.
She relented and went to ask another person. He went through the same process, equally unsuccessfully.
"We can't get a sample," he announced, "Sorry."
"What does that mean?" I inquired querulously.
"We can't do a test on you today."
That seemed to be it. The only alternative would have been to go home and try to get a test posted to me.
"This happens often," the two testers nodded.
"Is there no-one else here that could have one last go?" I pleaded. "If it hurts a bit, It hurts."
They called another person. They conferred and she relented. More commands to put my slimy finger on my slimy tongue. Eventually she pulled the swab out and eyed it doubtfully.
"I'll need to swab your nose for 10 seconds," she said. That was the easy bit. I managed to hold back the sneeze for 10.5 seconds.
"We'll send this sample to the testing centre," they agreed, "but it'll probably come back inconclusive.
"You'll be texted the result, whatever it is."
At this stage I noticed one more car in the facility.
I left feeling a bit woozy.
As I was driving out of the huge car park it occurred to me that at no time had they used a tongue depressor. I remembered the wooden sticks from my youth.
When I arrived home I related my experiences to Shan. She was feeling upset because her nephew, Andrew, had just tested positive. I asked her about the tongue depressors. It seems they are still in use and, indeed issued by some UK counties in the test packs.
I received my result after 2 and a half days.
I had tested positive for Covid-19.
By that stage it was almost a relief. I had begun to feel seriously peculiar. Apart from the persistent cough that had kicked the whole process into motion, I had been having every other symptom apart from the telltale loss of taste and smell. The temperature came and went. Muscles ached. I had serious hallucinations and was continually exhausted. Still feel tired but am fairly confident I'm on the mend.
In the mean time I've had two lengthy phone calls from NHS Test And Trace asking me for all the information that I had thought the app collected automatically. The individuals making the calls were charming and sympathetic and I didn't have the heart to challenge them personally, even when asked for details of my ethnicity, which GOV.UK seemed to define differently and more pointedly than the generally accepted definition of the words I had been used to: "state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition" and nothing to do with where you were born. We'd already covered race.
Yesterday I was surprised to see this tweet from my county council.
I promised no opinions but, if there is an irony to this, it has to be that while I was told to self-isolate for ten days from the first apparent symptoms, my wife Shan has to do so for 14 days.
I'm pretty sure she has it and only time will tell which of us will have suffered the most. We're both agreed on one thing though: there is very little point in her going for a test.
I'm not sure how many people would make the similar decision, nor whether the significant number of "false negatives" being talked about is real.
Coming soon: My "normal" flow of blogs has been interrupted through this period. Some of you may have felt relief but I will shortly be resuming Scottish Serendipity and Unreliable Tasting Notes.
England is overcrowded and the overcrowding is spread across the country almost perfectly. This is because tourists (local and otherwise) are almost perfectly informed by the media. This means there are no hidden gems, whatever it is you're seeking.
It used to be that one had a choice ... a trade off between warmer weather with jam-packed coastal towns on the one hand and riskier weather with a little more breathing space, on the other. Actually, families with progeny didn't really have a choice for approximately 15-20 years - school terms take care of that. The parents may have looked wistfully at relaxed out of season getaways but reality always won out when the summer holidays loomed. Depending on the age and spread of the progeny it could be one of three options: get out the bucket and spade and head to the beach; head to the beach with leaflets on contraception and the evils of wacky-backy carefully secreted in the luggage; both.
Cynical youths might suggest that parents had finally been hoisted by their own petard. School holidays were timed for harvest time so that help was at hand to bring in the crops. Cynical parents would counter that the days of Cider with Rosie had a) their compensations and b) disappeared before the Spanish Civil War when Laurie Lee went off to participate in the Iberian peninsula, leaving the Woolpack in Slad to become a gastropub.
My friend, Richard, and I had a premonition of things to come. This was a few years ago when we were walking along the Cotswold Way in preparation for an expedition he was about to undertake in the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa. Our training trek had to be gruelling and involve him lugging half a motorhome up and down some VERY STEEP TERRAIN. Not unlike the places Shan and I have recently traversed in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.
The registration on the car behind Richard, depicted above, was a polite version of our exclamation when we had trudged up hill and down dale from Painswick to the seemingly empty Woolpack.
"Have you got a booking?" the person on the door at the Woolpack demanded.
"Afraid not," we admitted shamefacedly, "but you appear empty at the moment? Just a sandwich?"
The outdoor terrace was deserted.
"We pride ourselves on our food and serving our clientele who've booked," he countered, rather more aggressively than was necessary. We suspected that our walking gear was the problem rather than the lack of a slice of ham or a few of bread. The Chelsea tractors were beginning to arrive and this unfriendly chap was becoming increasingly edgy.
"R**ATS" we exclaimed as we turned and commenced the hungry trek into Stroud, where we ended up in a Wetherspoons. Happily neither of us had heard of Tim Martin at that stage, so we gorged on chips and beer and telephoned for an airlift. Shan and Kate to the rescue. My next expedition with Richard was in a desert.
That's enough of Laurie Lee! Get on with it, Ed.
Apologies if the chain gets a bit confusing with the intervening tangent, humanely interrupted by Ed. What I was leading up to was this. Covid-19 changed all that in 2020. If the state interventions into Covid-19 haven't been confusing the Hell out of you, you're a much more together person than I am.
OK so school holidays dominate the summer, which often means that those who can holiday at a quieter time of the year go for that option, taking the weather risk on the chin. Besides, this year Shan and I were on the fringe of the Coronavirus risk group so the breathing space would be appreciated and we had Campy's girth to satisfy.
We should have been alerted by the difficulty in obtaining campy space in advance. It is never wise to make impromptu trips in a motorhome in England. There's an oxymoron in there somewhere, I suppose? It needn't be that way. But even if it has to be, why are we so marginalised when we get there, all booked and paid for? Stuck several miles from any attraction or source of fun, food and/or drink. If it's the traffic that's the problem, why is every seaside town choked with white vans and fawbeefaws? Answer me that. There is an alternative.
Padstow could be so beautiful. Instead, it was choked with motor vehicles, many of them travelling too fast, and people who would generally have gone back to learning by that time. Covid-19 was merely the catalyst for overcrowding that was waiting to happen.
Sure, the two of us are fit enough to walk or cycle a couple of miles into town. But the journey could be made so much more inviting. There's plenty of room away from cheating death on the busy A389 to create an attractive path.
As soon as we got into the town it was obvious that most visitors and a number of shops and hostelries didn't give a flying fig (I'm being polite) about social distancing. I lost it when three large male 20-somethings were coming at me walking abreast on the pavement. Normal people in that situation would form a temporary single file, intuitively on the left. Shan and I did that. They didn't and I was deliberately shouldered out of the way. Where did that contempt come from?
"Rick Stein's ruined this place," I spluttered to Shan.
"Do you think so," she countered sagely.
"Some people would welcome the economic activity he's generated," my wife pointed out, not unreasonably. "Think about Faz (our name for our home town, Faringdon, in Oxfordshire). We could do with this kind of regeneration."
Of course she was completely on the button but allowed me recognition that there could be some checks and balances to mitigate the impact if it were properly thought out. She knows I like that kind of intellectual conundrum.
"Get rid of all unnecessary motorised traffic for a start," I murmured after a few minutes reflection.
I'm not proposing to go into long and boring detail of how this might be achieved but Padstow lends itself to a number of options including a funicular (Linton/Lynmouth has one) from the Pay and Display on the A389 and perhaps something like the solution below to gather visitors from their accommodations and deposit them at their chosen attractions:
After all this is what seaside trams used to to do in places like Swanage. Maybe a little less twee? A modernised electric version without some of the ultra-touristic trappings. Perhaps lose the choo-choo in favour of Porsche, Lambo. and MacLaren replicas?
Actually, Shan got a bit enthusiastic at this point and introduced Tom Kerridge and his input to revitalising Marlow. As an aside to Mike BinTwo, the Hand and Flowers does a fine line in Orange wine but not quite up to your standard, Mike. I reckon the Pet Nat could be something his sommeliers there, and in the Coach, could/should be interested in exploring. I WISH I'd had a chance to share that bottle of El Bandito that was in Campy all throughout our western adventure.
The other missed opportunity for us in the Camel Valley was a self-propelled Camel Wine Trail. Lovely and flat for cyclists but HTF do you get there. Sure you can hire a bike, which is what we did on a previous visit. Hire a bike in Wadebridge and Bob's your Auntie. We had our own bikes but were told that the only alternatives for accessing the Camel Trail from the Padstow Touring Park were either a death-defying stint on the precipitous A389 to Padstow (and back again) or drive to Wadebridge. It could be so much more inviting.
What could Faz do better than Marlow and Padstow. OK, I need more practice with Photoshop but this cartoon created a a bit of excitement in our community. Only thing, we need Tom or Rick ... maybe even Heston could be persuaded? Or a coalition? There are a few adventurous landlords but it takes mega self-belief to embark on a Brayston Padstein, Bring it on. The "tram" could feed our attractive Georgian Market Place, three major supermarket chains, a Travelodge and LOADS of parking. The rest would follow ...
Coming some time: a list of annoying items ... there are some but I'm having too much fun for prolonged curmudgeonliness
 Editor ... allegedly a typical interjection when an editor decides the author is waffling beyond the readership's will to live. Immortalised in Private Eye
 Not to be confused with Branston Pickle. We did note that England does love a double-barreled name for its towns and villages and, perhaps especially, hamlets. Sadly, I think someone's already written that book.
Broomfield denouement averted in St Ives (Cornwall). The answer’s one, BTW. Saucy seagull wins my affection. My beautiful hometown needs a makeover a la Padstow or Marlow but can we learn by their mistakes?
But first my TLHDaTDW quest from Part 1/2
Why plan go to Padstow in the last week in mid-autumn? Nights drawing in and all that stuff. There are two parts to this question: 1. Padstow? 2. Time of year (beyond Summer)?
Padstow because BinTwo is there, set in a potentially idyllic landscape, and the establishment's wine purveyor/maker/bon-vivant seemed like the sort of decent cove we would very much enjoy meeting. Besides my website has always been about travel with a twist and BinTwo sets out its stall as a wine merchant with a twist. Evidenced in the first picture below taken from a bottle of BinTwo product consumed in early summer. Its partner, 148, was burning a hole in our wine rack.
Beyond Summer because our intended holiday had fallen victim to Covid-19 lockdown. It had been cancelled. We would have set off to Cornwall as soon as we received this news but (me particularly) being ancient we wanted to avoid exposing ourselves to croaking from overexposure. Shan-lea (The Leader) insisted, when challenged on this, that it was I that was most likely to croak. Reference to my decrepitude and weak chest as a child were never far from my Leader's lips when explaining social distancing to sceptics. She was considerate enough to avoid continually reminding me of the refrain from the sub-40 cohort that its members should be allowed to revel sans frontières while anyone besting 60 should be locked away in a care home under extreme isolation. As The Leader fits in the undefinable gap between, it seemed churlish to challenge her logic.
In between deciding when to go and actually getting down to Gormenghast, another bit of excitement raised its head. On a visit to Dalwood Vineyard, another Mike had produced the bottle in the second picture above for Shan and me to share with the first Mike. This sparked off a twonvo in which acolytes of the two Mikes, including Lee Isaacs, begged to be at the party, which was to have included FBB 148, too.
We arrived at the "holiday park" on the outskirts of Padstow on the last Sunday in September. Decided to venture into the town the next day when it would be quieter. A recce of the route provided three options. Drive a 50 cubic metre motorhome into the centre ✘, cycle down the middle of the local version of the A1 ✘ or walk along the public footpath shown on our Ordnance Survey map ✔︎.
I was keen to forge a repeatable path between Campy and the watering holes of peaceful Padstow for our weekday perambulations. As we were about to make the first of many journeys, the single bottle of Dalwood went into my small rucksack for the journey. This decision was vindicated by the next door farmer's attempts to turn our route into a Grockle-free right of way. Walking was difficult enough as the path was ploughed up (third pic above) during our first excursion to the town. Cycling was completely impossible thanks to a few death-defying stiles (4th pic above). It was so narrow that social-distancing was well-nigh impossible, too, but this proved to be completely academic when we reached the town centre.
It was heaving on a Monday morning in the rain. Mostly by the sub-40 cohort, making absolutely no effort at social distancing. Cars were queuing everywhere and every eatery we could find was bulging.
The only place in town that seemed to be making a huge effort to keep its customers safe was BinTwo. Of course this meant that, after three attempts at finding a binnacle, we decided to offload the Dalwood, buy some Chardonnay for Shan and try again the next day. It had been a good decision to hold back the Fizzy Bum Bum from our first excursion.
That evening, fired up by a positive forecast for sunshine, I checked if Mike would be around at BinTwo 'morra. Sadly he'd been called up by the NHS and was having to desert Cornwall for a few days.
But Tuesday dawned fine and we scuttled back down the hill as fast as we could slide in the mud from Monday's rain. We expected bigger crowds, and weren't to be disappointed. There was even the obligatory yoof showing off his/his parents' McLaren (supercar, not pushchair) outside one of the many Rick Stein establishments. But all this seemed less intrusive in the sunshine.
First picture is of an altogether more optimistic outlook from the footpath at the top of the hill and then there's Rock (possibly where the McLaren emanated from) across the estuary from the Camel trail, the bridge across the river looking down towards the mouth and, last, a more romantic outlook of the inner harbour and the town itself.
This romantic outlook set the scene for being propositioned by Sexy Sadie Seagull. Maybe this remarkably unaggressive gal was seduced by my unkempt ancient mariner/Captain Birdseye look, cultivated during a bohemian sojourn in Lockdown.
"Hello sailor," Sadie seems to be saying with this winsome look. Definitely turned the tide on our Padstow luck.
Our next call was another try at BinTwo. Success!
We were ushered to our little haven for the next hour or so, protected from the ghastly virus by the cunning design devised by Mike, Mary and the lovely staff. There was even a staff photographer to capture the Divine Leader looking a bit more glamorous than her hairy husband. Lovin' the doek Shan ❤️.
As I've mentioned, Mike describes this place as a wine merchant with a twist (read attitude). We encountered a delicious selection of substantial snacks including squid marinading in their own ink in a tin reminiscent of midnight feasts ... something delightful neither of us had experienced before. I've had squid in more ways than most. Fried (in batter and tempura), in curry, chilli sauce, paella, pasta, bouillabaisse ... can't get enough of this stuff so long as it's not rubbery or με σκελετό that budgies might sharpen their beaks on when it's completely dried out.
The Leader doesn't do well drinking at lunchtime but loved the ginger beer iced tea. I also had some biltong so I could have a second glass, this time red. I didn't eat all of it and that does not mean we didn't clean the bowl.
Lugged a few Kgs back up the hill to Campy. Some outré stuff I'll tell y'all about when I've discovered a way to share it with Lee, who sent me to BinTwo in the first place. And can someone please tell me a bit more about Jas Swan. The label on the Sif bottle is a teensy weensy bit enigmatic ... and I'm used to Pieter Walser! Lekker to find something low alcohol this tasty.
I won’t deny that I was disappointed not to meet Mike BinTwo but he does great stuff for the NHS, which must, of course, take priority over my ambitions to become as big a pisscat as I imagined him to be (a self-portrait he has created for his Twitter personality)
Wednesday brought another all-day deluge. Time to enjoy being cosily indoors in Campy and catching up with writing and stuff.
The rain hadn't really let up the next day but that was OK as we were off to St Ives with our first actual restaurant (the one lit up in blue above) reservation since the lockdown regime started in March.
"This is a special moment," Shan enthused. "When we check in to our Hellesveor, St Ives site, please can we book taxis there and back." The Leader had cottoned on that 99.9% of places in England where one can park a motorhome involve a challenging walk to any of the local attractions. Especially with Storm Alex brewing. Covid didn't help either. Taxi was the best decision we'd made. Apart from anything else, taxi drivers can be mines of information. On the ride in we were told that St Ives had never been busier at this time of the year. This came as no surprise to us, having encountered the phenomenon everywhere else. It was as if Covid-19 had suddenly become an aphrodisiac. Shades of Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet dealing with the consequences of the iceberg.
We arrived early for our slot at the restaurant and meandered around a bit. We'd been to St Ives before. Fourteen years earlier on a daylight excursion from Marazion. Our daughter, Kate, was giving us an art appreciation tour of the West Country, having just completed her GCSEs.
Bit of of 2006 nostalgia, starting with the view from Marazion, followed by a few in St Ives (including the Tate) and ending with a little reflection on the trip at the Minack Theatre near Porthcurno.
Back to Ben Prior and our booking at the Porthminster Kitchen:
I was treating myself to a Soho wine extravaganza in September last year. It was arranged by wine merchant, Swig, and was presenting the most comprehensive gathering of New Wave South African (SA) winemakers I'd witnessed in the UK. So many people I'd read about, and whose wines I had sampled, were gathered in one space. In fact, it was a little overwhelming. I think some of the winemakers found that, too. I asked one of the winemakers I wanted to "interview" if we could meet later in the week and the response was:
"Would love to but we're all headed to Marazion."
For someone who knew where Marazion was, this was baffling. Especially as the place was not exactly Rome, Paris or even Birmingham. Why would a bunch of SA winemakers be heading off to this relatively obscure place?
"What's happening in Mara-a-a-a," I tailed off as my interlocutor was herded away.
I subsequently found out that they were off to see Ben in his acclaimed restaurant. Why not an acclaimed London restaurant? The answer was in the wine list. Ever since then, I've been scheming on how to get to Marazion again. Before I could, Ben had moved to St Ives and I'd acquired some fab wines from him, including The Leader's favourite Chardonnay: Die Kat se Snor.
Now we were there with time for a quick stroll before our rendezvous with the maestro
First of all, I have to say that both BinTwo and the Porthminster Kitchen were the two places we observed that had done the most to make their guests feel safe in their environments. My conclusion: if you love making your guests happy with food and wine, it follows that you care about their safety, too.
You won't have to guess which wine Shan chose after Ben had presented us with an aperitif of bubbly. She felt like the cat's whiskers while I had a Dirty Little Secret to confess to. We took the remains back to Campy, aided and abetted by another friendly taxi driver.
All of our food was superb. Nibbles of olives and mackerel pate. Tempura squid starter for me (I would, wouldn't I) followed by seafood linguine and line fish with clotted cream mash for Shan and me respectively. I couldn't resist necking a Caffè Affogato as I was edging towards the door to comply with lockdown. So much more we wanted to say to Ben. Each plate was superb but a few stood out most: stuffed olives, the mackerel pate and "the best linguine I've ever had," Shan exclaimed to the serving staff and Ben. She does love her linguine so that's going to be a hard act to follow.
Perhaps the beautiful moon was a harbinger for the worst of Storm Alex. We had hoped to spend some time the next day making the most of St Ives in daylight but relentless rain and wind gusting to 60 mph meant another cosy day in Campy with half bottles of Kat se Snor and Dirty Little Secret.
We were to have moved on another site near Truro the following day and meander slowly home over 6 days but there're only so many cosy days indoors one can spend in a confined space within a high-sided vehicle exposed to buffeting gales. We escaped back to Oxfordshire to watch the foul weather through our picture window. We do have a great bucolic view,
Coming later: What can we learn from the likes of Rick Stein in revitalising our own Faringdon in Oxfordshire? Looking at The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of touring English resorts in late September. Covid was a wild card but ...
 As I was going to St. Ives,: I met a man with seven wives,: Actually, there is another question: was the nursery rhyme talking about St Ives in Cornwall or Cambridgeshire?
 Did I just make that up? Tweet Conv[o]ersation?
 We all have one of those ... should we call it a Twinality?
 200 miles away ... more than six hours by road and 12 by train.