Thursday 5 September 2013

Life's full of ups and downs

We remain parked up in the Pennance Mill campsite as we're booked in for 4 nights.  This is the longest we've stayed on any site - before it was 2 nights.  But we're quite enjoying putting down roots for a few days and leaving things around the van, rather than having to pack up each morning.

I was up at 0630 this morning as it was a work day for me. Four of us are attending the Agile On the Beach conference at the Tremough Campus in Penryn, over 2 days. Working for a company called On the Beach, I felt we had to attend! Luckily the campsite showers were nice and hot even at that time of the morning.  It was a bit misty first thing, but as the sun rose this soon burnt off.  I made us both a brew and had some breakfast, then packed my rucksack, left Cathy for the day and unhitched the bike from the back of the van.  Heading out of the site and turning right, I immediately hit a 12% climb - not a good way to start my day! Google maps told me it was a 4.5 mile ride to the campus.  What it omitted was the roller coaster ride of steep downs and even steeper ups.  Having lived in Cornwall in the past I should have expected this, but forgot! On small country roads I had to stop a few times to check the map, but eventually made it to the campus breathless, thighs shaking and very sweaty! It was a good job I had a granny gear on my hybrid bike.  After cooling down and a couple of strong, black coffees to steady my nerves (I'd had to cross the very busy A39), I enjoyed the first day of the conference.

In the meantime, Cathy enjoyed her breakfast of bacon, eggs and peppers before spending the day on a sunny and sheltered Maenporth beach.  Unfortunately, a 'blow out' in the bikini department meant she couldn't enjoy a swim, but she relaxed on the sand with her kindle.  As the cloud cover increased she returned to the van for lunch and a chilled out day reading.

The conference finished at 1700 and I emerged to a cool, strong breeze & mizzle.  The ride back was interesting on damp, slippery roads; Chuck passed me at one point and asked if I needed a lift as he was worried I was all over the road, but I reassured him I was fine and just avoiding the many potholes and gravel patches.  Returning to the van, I had time for a quick brew and shower before heading back up the hill to head for Gyllyngvase beach, via Swanpool beach, for the party.  Forty minutes later we headed into the marquee to get our free pint of Tribute.  A few chats later, and having been 'papped' by the official photographer, we queued up and grabbed our share of the very tasty hog roast.  Cathy told the young chef she had walked 2 miles for this so gained an extra ration!  We caught up with the other OTB guys for a chat and a couple of beers before heading back.  The beach party was good fun, with live music and an excellent location - I love Cornwall! The walk back was 'interesting' to say the least - very dark, small lanes with what seemed an endless stream of cars - had we stumbled on the Cornish equivalent of the M25!? After several stops to clamber up the bank and wave our torch at the oncoming cars, we eventually made it back to the van.  Cathy headed off to bed, glad to still be in one piece after a traumatic walk back, while I enjoyed a glass of red wine while writing up this blog - it' a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Tomorrow is another conference day for me - looking forward to it.  Cathy will plan her day depending on the weather.  The bike commute is tough, but if I did this every day I'd soon be fit.  All four of us want to go back and persuade our CEO to relocate On the Beach to - well - on the beach.....Cornwall style! There is something refreshing, invigorating and exciting about being in the south west.  Or maybe I just miss living by the sea.

Come tomorrow night, I can relax for a night and day to enjoy the local beaches and seafood.  I'm really looking forward to it and hope to return to work refreshed and reinvigorated, ready for new agile challenges.  Still loving the motorhoming life.
She's enjoying her 'free' pint of Tribute at the Beach Party
The On the Beach Dev Team - at the Agile On the Beach Party - on the beach!