Saturday, 2 August 2008


At the beginning of July I took it upon myself to book a campsite. Myself and my family were desperate to get away from it all, even if it was just for four days, it has been a bit of a roller coaster around here these last few months with one thing and another.
I have been reading the memoirs of Daphne du Marier's daughter and the setting of Fowey in Cornwall inspired me to take action.
Penhale farm campsite was truly spectacular, as you can see in the pic, with views out to sea. This being only the second camping experdition undertaken with the children I did my damndest to make it special, we took our lovely welsh blankets to ward off the cold night air, we bought a snazzy cooker with grill and some comfy folding chairs. much to Andy's amusement, there was a table complete with table cloth and our trusty teapot complete with cosy. I felt I had done my best to make it work.

Fowey was, indeed enchanting, the lovely narrow streets, the harbour with the little boats bobbing about, reading the book and it's place in history, it was, in theory the perfect choice.....

Monday night, our first under canvas,was noisy and very wet. There had been severe weather warnings. Morning, we thought, that wasn't too bad.

Tuesday we had a lovely day,firstly going to Truro for a look round,got some good things from the charity shops and a nice lunch, but the best part of the day was driving to The Lizard, the most southerly point of Britain, a wild, exciting place, we celebrated with a cornish cream tea, cor!

Nature is truly a wonderful thing and I am often in awe of it, but oh my God! Tuesday night, in that tent, exposed to all that nature could throw at us, it frightened me. Apparently, there had been further severe weather warnings. The noise was incredible, and myself and Andy soon realised we were in trouble, looking out of the bedroom pod, we could see the tent had risen about six inches and everything was soaking.All the pegs had come loose and the tent was virtually flat on top of the children in the other pod.

To cut a long(night)story short, we were awake all night, soaked, the tent was wrecked and we packed the car all through the night. We new our Fowey holiday was over.

George was awake and alarmed by the whole situation. Poppy! well, she slept through the whole ordeal,AMAZING......

The week before had been glorious, it seems so unfair, four days thats all we wanted.....

Before heading home, I went round some of the lovely shops in Fowey and consoled myself with a few treats to take back to Gloucestershire with me.

It was sad our cornish break ended so disasterously, but a few good things came out of it. Both myself and Andy were of the opinion that camping is not for us, strictly cottage hire from now on,WHOOPIE!

The last few days were spent in Hay-on-Wye, I love this place, with all it's book shops and individual gift and antique shops, and pottering around here. Atleast we were dry,warm and stress free. We did get about a bit didn't we?!! (she writes, laughing hysterically)

Please let me know some good holiday weather stories, restore my faith, PLEASE X


Country Cottage Chic said...

Sorry to hear about your camping disaster! I'm afraid I'm not a camper - I like to sleep in a proper bed with a roof over my head!


funkymonkey said...

I'm off to Cornwall next week. I really hope that the weather is better. At least we are in a cottage. The weather will really have to be something to blow that away. It's a gorgeous part of the world though isn't it? We can't visit Hay too often - too many books and not enough space left at home!

Sal said...

We've had a rotten summer, here in Devon!
Hay is on my list too..all those bookshops ;-)

Ragged Roses said...

So sorry to hear of your holiday disaster, Fowey is so lovely but even Fowey can't make that experience any better for you! It sounds awful and feels me with trepidation as we're off camping next week for a couple of days (I don't do camping!) and the forecast is rain - hey ho. Shame we won;t be near Hay. I'd love to go there ...

Things Hand Made said...

I love Fowey, a distant relative owns a b and B there and we escaped the water cut off from last years floods there and had amazing weather.

lavenderhouse said...

Thanks you have just saved me a load of money buying a tent that I really cant stand using! I had begun to kid myself it would be nice to go camping with the kids somewhere - NO IT WOULDNT!!!!!! I am going to stick to my cottage hire too! Every time I stay in a tent now I get insomnia (get it anyway) but the noise of the tent always keeps me awake and I just feel wrecked. Plus in the old days when I did camp it was always next to somebody who snored or farted all night!!!! Going to read the rest of your blog when I get chance - love Emma x You made me smile!

Cowboys and Custard said...

Oh Annie.. so sorry to hear about your soggy saga!
My last camping adventure was 30 years ago and I was too full of Guinness to feel the cold in those crazy youthful days!

Fowey is a lovely place and hopefully it made up for your damb squib of a holiday.

There really is no place like home!.

Michele xx

Christy said...

Oh dear! Sorry to hear that. Camping can be fun, dare I say that? I've been camping since I was a child.

I do have a memorable experience in the vain of your ordeal.

My husband and I used to camp out of a Nissan Stanza hatchback, I thik they called it a Bluebird in Britain. Pre our boy, in a two person tent.

We had spent a lovely week on PEI, Prince Edward Island, it was our last night on the island and we were camped at Northumberland Cove.

A storm came up, it blew all night, the flag on the flag pole never dropped. The tent walls were sucking in and out, the noise was amazing. We tried to put the car between us and the wind to block it, to no avail. We tried sleeping in the car, but that didn't work. About 5:30 am Bo said I've had enough. So we started packing up the tent. During this process when all the contents were out, the wind caught it, the tent flew across the campsite like a kite and became hung up on some bramble bushes. fortunatley the wind was blowing off the water inland, or it would have been across the sound.

Bo said I'm not bothering with that now, and we both went off and took hot showers.

We caught the ferry and had a good hot breakfast on our crossing. Now there's a bridge.

It was an unforgettable night.

But I've been camping since then.

Do love Cornwall, lots of happy memories.

ruth said...

Camping sounds like such a good idea. I have friends and a sister who do it so I feel even more pathetic. I last spent a night under canvas (or poly whatever) about 5 years ago. Please note that I didn't say "slept under canvas". The problem was I couldn't GET TO SLEEP not that I couldn't sleep.
I used to spend all my childhood holidays in a field (in a caravan) on a farm right next door to Menabilly where Daphne du M used to live, although by that time she had moved up the road a way but not quite to Penhale Farm which if I remember correctly is in between Par and Fowey.
Hope you have a great holiday next year and I'm sure the children will remember this one as the holiday when we got wet. My sisters and I still talk about a walk along the coast from Polruan towards Polperro where we soaked to the bone, not just to the skin. It was one of the happiest times of our lives.