Opinions, as one wag once said, are like bums, everyone’s got one. But perhaps we have a general tendency to share the details of our opinions more than we do our derriere.
And there are few things that enrage so much as opinion. Of late there have been a paucity of subjects – families are still coming to terms with each other’s voting preferences in the EU referendum (I can feel the swell of annoyance as I write this) and a seemingly innocent image of a blue background and 28 (soon to be 27) gold stars in a circle seems enough to start World War 3 (not literally, I hope).
Politics polarises like few things (with the exception, of course, of who should win Strictly), but in Cornwall there is only one thing more likely to get the locals more easily riled than exchanging points of view on one of the busiest summers the Duchy has ever seen as it swelled to accommodate millions of visitors.
There were screaming national headlines of traffic jams, standing room only on beaches and cars abandoned and blocking roads by people desperate to grab a selfie in a Poldark hotspot.
As always there are winners and losers in this debate – businesses and workers relying on tourism and its many associated trades have had a bumper year: second home owners have had to give up access to their luxury pad entirely to the queues of paying customers, poor things. And there are the rests of us sitting somewhere in the middle. We work in industries that benefit from tourism, and are happy to share the glut of gorgeous coastal views and beaches, gardens and eateries – we’re even up for a spot of queuing in high season, but keep a few secrets (usually related to parking and road shortcuts).
Withdrawal from the EU and a busy summer in Cornwall may be related; more than one Cornwalldweller has opined that this will be the way it is now, either with a troubled sigh and a shake of the head, or a gleeful rubbing together of hand; but they share the theory that UK holidaymakers will inevitably stay closer to home – either because of a poor exchange rate or a fear that mainland Europe has somehow become a much less friendlier place. We shall see in 2019.
I am, by the way, aware of the irony in positing the lack of sharing opinions, by giving one. But like they say, we’ve all got one…
‘Cars were abandoned on roads by people desperate to grab a selfie in a Poldark hotspot’
Gylly Beach in Falmouth is a firm favourite