After work on Tuesday we set off on the long journey from Oslo to Cornwall for the wedding of my brother in-law. Things didn’t get off to a good start when, on stopping to fill up our Norwegian hire car with petrol before returning it, I inserted my credit card in the first slot I came to, only milliseconds later to realise that it was where the receipt come out. About twenty minutes later, having tried everything from a coffee stirrer to a pair of cooking tongs to extract the card, the cashier eventually found the right key to unlock the compartment and free my card.
Arriving late at the airport I therefore wasn’t in the best mood to be told by the check-in assistant that, as SAS rules say you can’t take the pushchair through security and to the gate, I would have to pay NOK50 for a plastic bag in which to check-in the pushchair. This was despite the fact that a) SAS at Heathrow, Bristol and Manchester have all let us take a buggy to the gate and b) Christine had been given a free bag at Oslo just two weeks earlier. Rules is rules though and arguing wasn’t getting me anywhere.
We were flying to Bristol as this kn ocks a couple of hours off the driving time at the other end. The flight itself was fairly uneventful. Emma made a mess of eating the dinner she was meant to have had at the airport but was otherwise well behaved. The flight landed on time and the hire car pickup was straightforward. Fortunately we didn’t have far to travel that evening – just down the road the nearby Premier Inn. This is tacked on the back of a very nice looking pub which has, rather unfortunately, been given the Brewers Fare makeover inside.
We had a leisurely breakfast the following morning and enjoyed the beautiful green vista across the surrounding countryside. From there we drove on to Exeter for a bit of last minute shopping. We’d realised on the flight over that, not for the first time, we’d left for a wedding without the suit carrier. This time a mad-sprint back down the M3 wasn’t going to help us though. The first shop we went in to was Nicklebys where I was pounced upon by an over-eager assistant who proceeded to give me my measurements by eye and promised to have me an outfit in under 20 minutes. Unfortunately when it came to paying, the price seemed to have gone up from what I had been given to understand earlier. At this point Christine’s brother phoned and suggested that I try his old suit. There was then a rather unpleasant scene where the assistant made a point of getting his colleague to come over and sign the voided receipt he had written out and, as we left the shop, he had the cheek to tell us where we could find Primark!
The journey on down to Cornwall was pretty smooth with just one minor hold-up. The sat-nav had all sorts of fun on the A30 where the new dual carriageway swings from one side of the old route to the other. The wedding is based around the Porth-en-Alls estate at Prussia Cove, just east of Penzance. As the country lanes narrow on the approach I was starting to regret having book a large Vauxhall Vectra!
We were due to stay in the lodge, just over the road from the main house. This was decidedly rustic inside and not particularly child friendly with a narrow set of steps leading to the bedrooms upstairs (where a large bath sits proudly on the landing!) and all manner of electric sockets, radiators and open fires. After one night we have therefore transferred to the main house which, although still basic (in a grandiose kind of way), was at least a little more comfortable.