I was making plans with a friend who’s coming over to Europe recently and told her of our plans to be in the Alps this autumn and that she should join us. I cautiously added that our plans have a tendency to change without notice and beyond all recognition, usually within a couple of weeks of having made them. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later our plans saw us staying in the UK for 9 months, which has more recently threatened to become a year! Our recent shift in priorities to slower travel and making A Tasty Pixel a viable business has turned our “slow travel” into “molasses-like ooze” travel.
Our decision to remain stationary until Mike’s new app is up and running and out in the big wide world led us to the intriguing prospect of finding the cheapest CL in the UK in a region with strong internet coverage. What fun! We had no idea where we would end up for the next few months – just lots of little dots on a map – it was like a lottery!
Mike spent a while trawling through the Caravan Club site, looking in ever-expanding circles for a suitable place to relocate to. They were all rather expensive for our liking, so he embarked on a massive project to write some software to drag the entire several-thousand-site CL database from the Club’s website, and make it easily searchable for price (which isn’t searchable on their site). Several days later, he had a spreadsheet of the sites across the UK that were within our price range, and proceeded to call through the list to confirm the prices, which are invariably inaccurate.
After a rather silly number of hours of work, he’d narrowed our choice down to 4 sites around England’s south-west. The winning CL turned out to be Langarth Farm just outside of Truro in Cornwall. Looks like we’re going to spend a few months in Cornwall then! At first I was a bit under-whelmed at the prospect, despite having wanted to tour Cornwall for quite some time. Before we changed our plans we were going to travel up the east coast of the UK to Scotland and then go back down the west coast. I’ve been pining for Scotland for months now and it looked like I’d have to wait a few more months yet. As the aforementioned friend pointed out, there is something rather funny about feeling let down at the prospect of spending a few months in Cornwall!
During our trundle over to Cornwall we picked up our new (to us) vintage bikes that we’d bought on eBay! Mike’s is a surprisingly shiny blue beast circa 1960s called “Apollo” and mine, also blue, circa 1970s named “Way” short for “Wayfarer”. We’d been looking for these bad boys for a long time and we’re absolutely thrilled with our new purchases.
Mine was in Plymouth which, from our brief drive through looked like a lovely little city.
We made our way to Langarth Farm down ever-narrowing roads, pleased with the promisingly scenic drive on the approach. As we drove we thought about cycling along these very roads with anticipation. Langarth Farm turned out to have many other features of benefit to an extended stay that we hadn’t even thought to check for – grocery store and fish and chip shop in walking distance, small city with everything we could ever need – namely Indian and Thai food – in cycling distance; there’s even an honesty stall down the road selling eggs, potatoes and leeks!
Our days leading up to meeting up with friends in Bath were spent quietly working away, Mike on his new iPhone app and me in my new marketing role as well as my own projects, albeit to a lesser extent as previously. I’m hoping the next app will do well enough so we can hire someone to do the marketing next time and I can get back to my art and creative biz. In the meantime, I don’t mind the work and I’m learning a lot which I’ll be able to put to good use in my own online biz when the time comes.
We also spent our days going for bicycle rides on our new vintage steeds and marvelling at our friends doing this across continents! The hills (and slight inclines indiscernible to the human eye) of Cornwall defeat me every time and I end up taking my bike for a walk half the time, which Mike kindly documented.
The scenery we cycle through is quintessentially English – gnarled trees, bright purple flowers growing along the side of the road, and of course everything is very, very green. This is an achingly pretty country. It reminds us of Mike’s pretty hometown but on steroids. On one of our rides I commented to Mike how I used to think it very funny that the English settlers in Australia found the landscape depressingly barren and wholly uninviting and that they would try to re-create English gardens around their outback homes – how silly, I thought! Looking at this beautifully lush landscape now I completely understand why they pined for the beauty of their abundant colourful flowers and gentle leafy green woods. The area I grew up in in Australia is characterised by dry scrub, the plants are hardy, tough looking things and the trees are tall, straight and skinny with sparse leaves – and forget about flowers. I can see how this may have proven a slightly depressing state of affairs to our English ancestors.
We missed the lambs at Wootton, and the antics of the local pheasant, Monsieur Squark-and-Flap, but the void was somewhat filled by a rather enthusiastic rooster who I realised sounds just like someone over-excitedly yelling “WOOOOO-HOOOO!”. So, we dubbed him Party Rooster. Every day’s a party for that guy – he loves a good time.
Punctuating the uneventfulness of our quiet days spent in Cornwall, the only other things of note are that our boiler miraculously fixed itself and we now have a functioning shower again – reaffirming our “If it aint broke don’t fix it; if it is broke, don’t fix it – it’ll fix itself” policy; Mike sent his passport and Australian drivers license off to the DVLA with baited breath hoping they send us back a British license and preferably don’t lose his passport in the process as we hear they are prone to do, and we finally got around to “spring” cleaning Nettle. Huh. I didn’t know our skylight was white. And what happened to our windowsill terrarium?