Tales from the Teith…Cornish Christmas

moira douglas main shotI am one of these miserable people who hate the commercialism of Christmas. I would delight at the whole of December being cancelled and I think everyone should only get a lump of coal in their stocking. A decorated float dared to drive past my house last week complete with Father Christmas and some dressed up Elves.  Jingle Bells played loudly in time to the flashing lights.   I actually willed the tractor pulling the float to get a puncture in all four of its wheels and lose its electricity supply.

You will be pleased to hear that Action Man loves Christmas, it is his favourite time of the year.  His happiness, enthusiasm and goodwill to all men is absolutely unbearable. You have never seen such goodness in a single human being. We had a twenty minute discussion about the unimportance/importance of sending Christmas cards. I won but Action Man would just not admit it and spent about £30 on stamps at the post office. I dread to think how many Satsumas I could have bought with that money.

This Christmas I have crossed the Scottish border into England.  It is not easy for me leaving my lovely mountains behind but I have arrived in a place where there are dramatic clifftops, palm trees, crashing waves and very welcoming inlaws, one of whom is a trained cordon bleu cook who does not buy frozen roast potatoes and makes bread sauce from scratch. The other one is Scottish.  He can on the whole understand what I am saying; as long as I speak slowly and have not had more than two glasses of sherry.

The 8 hour journey down to Cornwall went far too smoothly with minimal signs of the reported floods. I can confirm that the Daily Mail online exaggerates.  We did not, as I predicted drown by driving in the darkness into a very deep Ford. There were no arguments during the car packing. This was mainly due to the fact he could not find me. I was hiding in the garden. I knew Action Man would get mad when he saw the amount of plastic bags I had included in the items to be packed at the front door. He has a plastic bag phobia you see. Tesco bags seem to have the worst effect, especially ones full of toiletries with the lids not on properly.

Within two hours of our arrival my 7 year old English nephew began asking anxiously if I was going to ‘boil his heid’.  Children have good memories and Action Man has been under threat with his head many a time.  My nephew also made me giggle uncontrollably at the carol concert we went to last night.  I nearly had to be taken outside.  The whole pew was shaking with my sniggering. The collection money got dropped, lost, refound and then lost again about 5 times during the singing of Away in a Manger.  Hymn sheets were rustling, paper flew around everywhere.  My children pretended they had no idea who I was.

Horses on Caerhays BeachHorses on Caerhays Beach

We spent this afternoon on the beach watching a brave surfer in the very rough sea. The minute I saw the waves I was convinced the children would get dragged into the sea and end up clinging to the cliffs. I worried about how cold it would be if I had to go in and save them. Then two horses galloped past us. I am quite scared of horses.  It is their massive teeth. I always wonder if they will suddenly go mad at the sight of me, start kicking me and just generally freak out sensing my fear. Funnily enough, as Action Man, who is a horse lover has reassured me time and time again, this will never happen. I did go and sit in the car, just to be on the safe side.

Mevagissey Harbour

Mevagissey Harbour

So plans for the rest of our Cornish stay included a jump into Mevagissey harbour on Boxing Day.  Wetsuits at the ready.  I didn’t really like the thought of fishy smells in my hair and seagulls flying into me. My worry was that they would be full of leftover fish and chips. I decided it would be safer to take photos and settle for a cheese and onion pasty sitting on the harbour wall.

After Christmas it was back up to the hills for Hogmanay and plenty of dancing…

Moira Douglas

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