Our holiday this summer was in Bodmin, Cornwall, at a very pleasant cottage named Clerkenwater Vean.

holiday1 aug09

It’s a semi-detached cottage and we were in the right hand side. Very very quiet and peaceful place, down in the valley bottom. Those who know me well are aware of my aversion to flood risks but, even though there was some heavy rain and Clerkenwater Leat runs past the cottage just a few feet to the right of the car, the water stayed securely within the banks so I felt safe.

holiday2 aug09

We would stroll along the lane with Sparky and turn onto a green lane alongside the leat. The air was always cool and moist, and there was moss and ferns everywhere.

holiday3 aug09

It was very soothing watching the water burble over the rocks.

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A little way along the track there was a ford, with a footbridge.  The light was dim from the overhanging trees and, this being Cornwall, there are no street lights. Not like West Yorkshire where street lights illuminate just about every road where there could possibly be night time traffic, even out in the countryside. Peace, perfect peace.

Just three slight snags with all this peace, quiet and tranquility. One, I came back home, ventured out to the shopping centre, and was absolutely overwhelmed by humanity and advertising. Note to self: leave any shopping for at least a week after returning from a relaxing holiday.

Second point: when holidaying a long way down a quiet country lane draw back your bedroom curtains after you’ve turned the lights out. I forgot on our first night in Cornwall, and when I woke up in the middle of the night I thought I had gone blind. There was no light, shade or anything I could get my bearings by. None whatsoever. After a minute or two I remembered where I was and groped my way across the bed to the window and pulled the curtains back. Even then there wasn’t much light, seeing as we were deep in the valley and surrounded by trees. I never drew my curtains growing up, seeing as my bedroom looked out over fields, but even then there was plenty of night time light as we were on top of a hill and you could usually see the street lights on Whitley Road a mile across the valley.

Third: Even though you are deep in the countryside, pull your curtains after dark if you have the lights on and the window open. Because, if you surrounded by trees, your house will soon be full of Very Big Moths.

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