I gave it a go in high school after watching Blue Crush. Dad said it was a phase. It lasted about seven months. It was an epic seven months. By the end of it, I was actually making semi-impressive moves on the waves. Well, in my imagination anyway. But alas, the next time I got on a surfboard was in Cape Town ten years later. So yes, perhaps it was a phase. Albeit a very cool one. Anyhow, I got the chance to surf again a few year later, this time in the UK, in Devon to be exact.
I joined three friends and we drove the 5 hours to Woolacombe beach, where we met another couple. We hired surfboards and wetsuits and got in the water. It was a lovely day. We were hot in our wetsuits out of the water and once in the water, it was just right. In fact, the water temperature was great. How amazing it was, just to perch on top of our boards, moved gently by the swells underneath us, and soak up our beautiful surroundings.
We took a break for lunch and then returned to the water, finally finishing off with ice cream and coffee. That night, we stayed in a hotel in Ilfracombe, our limbs tired and our skin warm after a full day in the water, under the sun.
It will probably be another year before I get on a board again although I do have one waiting for me at our holiday home in South Africa. Dad was very happy to get rid of my old surfboard at his first opportunity after I left school but has been kind enough to let this one rent a space in our garage! After all, surely it’s not a phase if you return to it once a year?!
Yes, two days. It sounded like a good plan. And I am truly grateful to have visited Cornwall. But now I understand why two days is a slightly ridiculously length of time in Cornwall.
Gaynor and I took the sleeper train from London to Penzance. We arrived early the next morning, enjoyed an enormous breakfast at a local cafe across the station and were then picked up by a local tour guide in his hippy-style van. With his surfboard tucked in the back, his cousin and her boyfriend randomly joining in on the trip and one of his initial questions being ‘Where would you like to go? You choose’, we knew we were in for a properly local and chilled tour of the area. After driving through the various, little villages, stopping off at historical or popular sights along the way, having tea and scones and later picking up a Cornish pasty, we got dropped off at the door of our accommodation at Carbis Bay. It was a wonderful tour during which we learnt great local myths and tales and got a real feel for the area. Our favourite village was Mousehole; a quaint, pretty hamlet which we would love to visit again some day. That evening, we wandered down into St Ives for dinner, and then again the following day. While a beautiful spot (with plenty of Cornish fudge, ice cream and other treats!), there were noticeably more people and cars in the village which we were told by our tour guide really reaches maximum in the summer. And even if it wasn’t that busy, I’d still prefer to stay in one of the quieter, less crowded villages nearby.
Cornwall is definitely one of my favourite spots in the UK and hopefully I will return there for a stay soon – and definitely for longer than two days this time!
I celebrated my two-year anniversary living in London with a two-week holiday in South Africa.
The flight to Johannesburg was pretty standard (and by standard, I mean I was glued to the movies, TV series, music and games for the entire trip – flying is a novelty to me). However, I encountered my first holiday hiccup at my stopover in Johannesburg. In trying to work out where to board my plane to Cape Town, a man, almost immediately noticing the familiar signs of confusion, approached me and kindly offered to help me find my departure gate. How nice, I thought, when he took a hold of my suitcase and told me to follow him. After walking a few meters to the appropriate place and feeling rather silly for not having worked it out myself, he promptly asked for his payment. Oh. Right. I just got scammed.
Once the old street smarts were knocked back into the system, I proceeded on to beautiful, wondrous Cape Town. I spent four days there, treating myself to two nights at a guest house on Kalk Bay Main Road, before heading on to my family home in East London. I also enjoyed two nights at our family holiday home in Birha. It was a real treat being back at the beach and, being February, I enjoyed lovely, hot weather. This of course means I also enjoyed a lovely, red sunburn. I think my skin had forgotten just how potent the African sun is and therefore needed the rest of my holiday to recover fully. Having my camera with me, I was able to capture photographs of cultures and scenes I had grown up around which was lovely.
It was a wonderful trip home and I’m very thankful for it. Here are some of my favourite pictures.
I just went to Paris for the weekend.
I can’t help but smile when I say that sentence. Who wouldn’t?! Although, as glamorous as it may sound, as easily as it rolls off the tongue, as romantic as the images ‘a weekend in Paris’ brings to mind; this is not entirely fitting with my weekend in Paris.
Instead of The Ritz, think of a hostel. Swap shopping in Prada on Avenue des Champs-Élysées with picking up a belated birthday present at the train station on the return to London. Rid the thought of hours spent intelligently pondering over famous art in the Louvre and replace it with 10-minute stops at world-renowned attractions while getting around the city using my two most reliable sources of transport – my left and right feet (it’s not coincidence that they are also the cheapest form of transport). These 10-minute stops were, of course, immediately followed by a tick of our imaginary ‘important sights to see in Paris’ box. And if we couldn’t make heads or tails of what we were looking at; no problem. As long as we got that tick. But it was still a weekend in Paris – and an incredible weekend in Paris at that. Read more…
My little housemate, Rosie, and I decided we needed to get out of London. As much as I love London (more on this soon), it was high time we took a little wander south into the country. The word, “country” here was key. Before we made any bookings, I made it clear that I had but one request – to the country we must go!
And so we went tooooooooooooooooooooo…………………………………………………. (play below clip please)
Yes, Rosie assured me that this was indeed the country. And perhaps to a born and bred Londoner, it is. But once there, I shared more of my expectations of the English countryside. No traffic (or even better no cars), low numbers of people, crisp English air, limited retail entertainment, dogs on the street and in pubs and an abundance of leaves. Read more…
I finally ventured north into the United Kingdom this month, specifically Tywyn in north Wales, where I worked at a camp; Christian Camp in Wales (why aren’t all names this straightforward?). We were blessed with great weather, something which I was told more than once was very rare.
When we weren’t at our campsite in meetings or enjoying our free time in this beautiful part of the world, we were canoeing, gully bashing (a Google search might be needed here), exploring Tywyn’s one street, buying chips on Tywyn’s one street, eating delicious and seemingly famous honey ice-cream from Halo Factory Shop (a Welsh local herself declared this to be the best ice cream in Wales, no, the United Kingdom), exploring and hunting fellow officers in Barmouth, pitch and putting (again, go wild and Google this, fellow South Africans) and other activities.
It was a truly wonderful week in Wales and the mountains, lush surroundings and beaches reminded me of home. I look forward to spending more time in Wales in the future, even if the next time I’m there, it’s “chucking it down” (I just love my new English slang, especially when it makes no sense grammatically).
Duck, wine, castles, caves, rivers, thousand year-old history and panoramic views. Granted the adjectives I have used could describe most countries in Europe, the particular region I was looking for was…. the Périgord or Dordogne region in South West France! This was the setting for the second annual Knight family holiday, the first of which took place in Umbria, Italy in 2011.
Things the first annual Knight family holiday taught us:
- Staying in a villa in the countryside is an awesome idea
- Renting a 5-seater car for 6 people is not such an awesome idea
- Driving over three hours from the airport to the villa in said squashed car is really not an awesome idea