Friday, July 06, 2007

Valkyeries on Holiday

Just back from a week's holiday in Mawgan Porth in Cornwall. I wish I could say it was lovely sunny weather, but it rained a lot and on the days when it didn't, it was windy and grey. My fella likes cliff-top walks for some reason that I can't fathom. However, he has a history of falling off cliffs when walking alone so I now have to accompany him. I try and act like I am enjoying it, but on the last walk it was such an ordeal that I felt all we were missing was a magic ring and a crack of doom. He got up at 5 in this morning to outwit me and went on a walk on his own. Fortunately, he didn't fall into any cracks of doom.

The highlight of the holiday was a trip to the Jamie Oliver restaurant for a 6 course meal. Cornwall has gone a bit upmarket since the last time we were there two years ago. The jolly little 1960s style cafe that used to serve egg and chips (that I had really been looking forward to visiting) in our bay, had been converted into a trendy restaurant (oil and ciabatta and posh girls serving). Oh well. There was some excitement during the week, when a lifeguard decided to take a female companion on a "tour of some caves" around the bay and then they both went missing for 11 hours. It made the national papers but luckily they ended up OK. I hope those "caves" were worth it.

We were staying with my fella's extended family, including two of his sisters, his parents, his grown-up neice and his baby niece. Collectively I have named the female members of his family "The Valkyeries" as they are all powerful Liverpudlian women who Shouldn't Be Messed With (the grand matriarch is called Val). The baby niece is not yet 1 year old but is already shaping up to be a Valkyerie - when she wants something she points her index finger at you and looks right at you defying you to disobey. The Valkyeries are all very merry and hardy and they like to talk to you at the same time, so it can be a bit of an exhausting experience. A lot of their conversations involve relaying tales of how they encountered and dealt with conflict, usually with a work colleague or shopkeeper. These stories usually involve the Valkyerie in question triumphing and getting her own way. What is quite scary though, is that when they tell the stories, they get so involved, that it is like they are reliving the experience with YOU as the person they are arguing with. Still, after 15 years of studying them, I have some tricks for dealing with them, and I usually keep them all in line by inventing little games and amusements so their competitive personalities can be safely channelled. We spent most of last night with me running a very long quiz for them all. Unfortunately, they kept making me drink bottles of beer (I am normally teetotal due to my kidneys not being very good at processing alcohol) and I ended up a bit drunk. I haven't been drunk in 10 years. It was quite a nice feeling - a sensation of losing control. But I wouldn't like it to be a regular thing.


Caress said...

Haha - i might have known a bunch of Liverpudlian women could get you drinking! Hope you had fun


Fin De Fichier said...

I love this post. You are a wonderful storyteller. The BBC should create a reality show about "all powerful Liverpudlian women."

Tom SF said...

How exactly does somebody have a history of falling off cliffs? I'd have thought that it is like losing one's virginity, it is a one-time thing and not something that can be repeated.

Fin De Fichier said...

Haha tom sf...very funny. I wondered the same myself. It struck me as a sublimely English pronouncement.