A few years ago, my parents bought a house in Cornwall. For the whole of my life we would go down to Padstow to visit my grandparents during half term. It was always cold and windy and we’d wrap up in big coats for long walks on the beach then go to the pub for Cokes and Cornish pasties. And every year my parents would say they were going to move there. Then finally – twenty years later! – they did. And suddenly we have this beautiful house to go and stay at all the time. A holiday at our fingertips. While I love a cold walk along a Cornish beach, we now go in the summer as well and that’s been eye-opening – the flowers, the secluded little beach nooks, the body-boarding, the sea swimming and simply the coming together of our family for long hot weekends and holidays, the time to exist together without the hectic planning and arrangements of a ‘proper holiday’, to cut the grass and have a barbeque or walk on the beach and stop for a cream tea or impromptu pint. Of course there are downs as well as ups with so much extended family in one space, but overall it’s a pleasure. In this book I wanted to bring a family – more estranged than mine – back together under their childhood roof and see what happened, and what they were hiding, when the pressure ramped up. A bit unfair really!
Yoga! I took up yoga having always been sceptical about its mumbo-jumbo potential. Now I’m all ‘Namaste’ and expounding the merits of Eat, Pray, Love to everyone I meet.
Swiping right and left. I wanted to write about someone who you wouldn’t fall for on first sight - and would never swipe yes to on Tinder – but then make it hard not to love him.
Moira, the mum in this book, once bought an Emma Bridgewater mug on a whim and now everyone buys them for her for birthdays and Christmas. I’ll be with my family and they’ll point something out similar to something I bought years ago and say, ‘That’s very you, Jenny!’ I love that the definitions of who you are differ according to who holds them.
My old local swimming pool. I’ve recently started taking my son swimming to the pool where I learnt to swim and the memories are overwhelming. It smells the same, the tiles are the same, the viewing gallery, the lights… There’s a flashy new reception desk but underneath it’s still all exactly as it was. When we were little the L had fallen off the word Pool on the sign, so you can imagine the hilarity!
I hope this book gives you the same pleasure it gave me writing it. I’d love to hear your thoughts and the memories it evokes for you.
Tagged in Cornwall