Cornish Pastiche 3

Day Three – Settling In

One of the certainties of booking accomodation from brochures is that, even when you know that nothing is ever as it appears in the publicity material, one always hopes that this place will be the one to vindicate your blind faith in the process. It would seem that this year is not the year for such vindication. Allow me to briefly deconstruct just a couple of the myriad descriptions for you. Firstly, the phrase ‘located on a working farm’ means that your chosen holiday home is just one of many income-generating sidelines that the farmer has to supplement the EU subsidies he receives for ploughing barren land and ripping out 600 year old hedgerows. Other activities include something furtive in a barn at the back of the farm and any landscaping or gardening that can be done from a sitting position inside a JCB digger. The second piece of hyperbole, namely that the house ‘has a distinct Olde Worlde ambience’, is holiday-let code for ‘This property is riddled with rising damp, dry root and has been decorated in a half-hearted and slapdash fashion’. The first two give rise to a highly persistent musty odour was has not been entirely eradicated by the third, leading one to suspect that problem areas are simply painted over rather than dealt with. This impression is hardly confounded by the letting company, who have carefully inserted small ‘get out of jail’ caveats throughout the brochure, warning that Cornish properties are often frequented by spiders and insects and will ‘seem’ damp due to ‘the prevailing climatic conditions’ in the area.

with Palm T3 and SE T610

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