Boarding @ Home: Day 45/84: National Tourist Appreciation Day ... staycations beckon?
The good and the not so good of a staycation. Cornwall has been in malversation during the lockdown, acting wrongly towards its tourist market and second homers. Not alas tourist appreciation. Yet they have been the palmary reason, the chief and best reason, for the prosperity of the Duchy over the last 50 years. Not tin or even fish. Sylvia who used to drive there regularly to visit her father and mother said it always rained! Truth to tell the main explanation at this moment was a brave attempt to limit the arrival of extra Covid19 carriers howsoever; but very bad PR. For me the great miss this year has been the primrose hedgerows of which Avril and I saw just as few on our last mystery tour out from Weymouth. They, the mystery tours, have become a feature of our occasional visits there to Somerset House, seeking out odd spots as Mathew and family have done these past 8 years there. They found the wineries and tank museum! We 'found' Sherborne on the border and the RNAS museum at Yeovilton. Duncan and Bridget commended Le Petit Canard, a fine restaurant just north of Dorchester at Maiden Newton, two years ago that we've accidently passed three times now, always closed and still never make that reservation. Looks good for Sunday lunches but need to book.
Allison Pearson in today's Daily Telegraph ponders the delights of chezcances. I'd suggested a new word in homecation but Avril disapproved; so chezcance it's become [pronounced in French of course with just a clumsy Gaelic equivalent as dachaigh-saor-laithean ..] made ever more appealing by May's apricity, the unalloyed celebration of lengthening days. Since hindsight is very much the order of coronadays on shallow reflection I should not have dubbed my blogs here as Boarding @ Home and la monica nouvelle francais would have reminded me all the while of our car journeys via Wimereux, Brittany/ Saint Marc and Saumur to Menton/ Feuillade.
Allison's concern is that not going to work is for many, if you keep the furlough, not unattractive, echoing Rod Liddle as recently as last Sunday [Day 42/84]. For me Rod was jesting but Allison envisions mass lipoxenies, with absquatulating absconding workers leaving their alfeared former hosts with unsurmountable debts and a supervacaneous, long departed customer base.
What's to appreciate about tourists then. And that's apart from the economic benefits they bring. If the weather's good they bring joie de vivre. They bring a determination to have a good time whatever the circumstance be it lumpy beds or unusual/ inedible food. Only teenagers en famille are ready to have a miserable time. As visitors we were either recidivists at spots like Main Beach Queensland, the pool at The Shangri La in KL, Tea at The Peninsular IN HK, Gin Slings [and cockroaches] at Raffles, Ocean Apartments in Leith and Somerset House in Melcombe Regis;
… or newbies and absolutely in need of an immediate reconnaissance which when young we'd always gets the boys to do whilst we unpacked such as Agios Nikolaos on Crete or Iririki Island at Port Vila in Vanuatu. Whichever segment we might have been we were looking for the new as well as the familiar. [Easy to recall the Beach of Endless Passionate Love in Malaysia's Kelantan when sister Anne was with us and her bathroom was invaded by ants; as was our's in Madeira I recall. And strikes led by the Minister of Tourism's Trade Union when staying at/ ejected from The Rock Hotel in Gibraltar for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.]
So who throws all those peanut shells on the floor? Can't be the way to behave. But tourists love doing it and taking a gin sling in The Long Bar at Raffles, a symbol of empire if ever there was made internationally famous by Somerset Maugham who much enjoyed its Palm Court as records relate. We did that but only the once … since its air conditioned restoration it's never been the same as it was for Avril with her cockroached bedroom. For the record … it's a public holiday celebrated for Versak tomorrow in Singapore. It represents the death of Budda and the Nirvana, Enlightenment.
How will tourism resurrect itself after this pandemic? With so much chaos amongst airlines and airports not to mention hotels and resorts across the world how can the marketplace regenerate. Will we rediscover our wanderlust and our belief that a change is as good as a rest. Oh yes, we will. There's so much to seek and find and no number of tv travel programmes or virtual tours will replace the experience of dreaming, of planning, of travelling, of arriving, of enjoying, of coming back home again … and then as you grow old of remembering it all as you browse through photograph albums as we do here at The Lodge. And distance adds enchantment as they say … what a magnificent life we've already had as tourists; and yes, there's some more to come.
Published Date: May 6th 2020