Cornwall Life - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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