So here we are in rural Cornwall, and rural it certainly is. That means that the mobile signal is non-existent. I was under the impression that coverage was pretty much 99.9% these days, guess we must be in that 0.1%. And the signal is zero, everywhere in this caravan park. But it doesn't matter because it is absolutely beautiful here. We are at Sea Acres by the village of Kuggar, near Lizard Point. From our caravan we have stunning panoramic sea views. We are in caravan No. 1, the first one at the front of the park, right next to the pool, play area, restaurant. In fact, everything is within about 30 seconds walk.
This is not the caravan we booked either, we have been upgraded for no obvious reason into one of the top of the range 3 bedroom caravans that sleep 8. It costs hundreds more per week than the one I booked. I am not complaining, obviously. I have lived in houses smaller than this.
We have been doing a lot of travelling around. In fact I have driven over 100 miles today alone. This is surprising when you consider that I hate driving and avoid it all costs. That is largely due to all those endless wasted hours driving up and down the motorways to client meetings in my past life. But round these little Cornish roads, exploring, it's become a rediscovered pleasure.
First off today we visited Port Isaac, a lovely little fishing village I have always wanted to visit, even more so since it became famous as the. idyllic setting for the comedy drama Doc Martin. We had a wander round looking at the locations, including the Doc's house itself. There were a few people having their pictures taken outside. One woman commented, "Oh the people who live here must get really pissed off with people looking at this house". Well maybe, but I am sure ITV have bunged them a fair few quid for the privilige and it'll no doubt add a few grand to its value so I can't say I am that sympathetic.
Bert's restaurant is just someone's house and the exterior of the school is not actually a school at all. It was until 1979 but then a new modern one was built elsewhere. It still looks like a school though, and is now a hotel. We had lunch there in one of the old school rooms, still recognisable as such. It is a lovely old building in fact, and the lunch was lovely. Rather than be boring and have ham or cheese I decided to have crab. Delicious.
In the afternoon we drove down to one of my favourite places to go on holiday, St Ives. I have been there six times since 1991. It is the home equivalent of Fuerteventura for me. It is simply beautiful and if you are a fellow devotee you will know how easy it is to fall in love with the place. We spent about four hours there today, including an hour on Porthminster Beach. I could not believe how warm the sea was, surely the warmest I can ever remember in the UK. I can only think it must be down to the amazingly sunny summer we have had.
For our tea we went to the Balancing Eel fish and chip shop, and six years after my last visit, I can confirm it is still the best chippy in Britain. Well, the best I have been to anyway. I would like to pretend that I have been to them all, but in reality, I have probably been to less than half. Ok, probably about 1% in total. Let's just say it is very good.
After tea we wandered around the town, passing by many familiar pubs where I used to spend my holidays getting pissed in days gone by. In my new responsible persona, we did in fact have ice creams instead. I went for a salted caramel, which once again led me to use the word, delicious, for at least the 3rd time today.
Apart from a wifi hotspot at lunch, mobile reception and internet access was lacking almost everywhere we went today, but I am beginning to think this is a good thing. It is quite nice to be cut off from it all. We do have a hot spot in the bar here but it literally is a spot with a radius of about 10 yards. So later tonight before I go to bed I will pop down there and post this. It seems there is not a great deal of good news whenever I log on. Book sales are trickling along hut there was another bad review on Fortysomething Father today. Now I can live with bad reviews, everyone gets 1* reviews it is a fact of life. I don't even mind this latest reviewer saying they "loathed me". But I do wonder how much they actually read, since the reviewer actually said something about me not giving up my day job, and since it is hammered home frequently throughout the book that I have not had a day job since 2007, I do wonder. Reminds me of that review criticising my grammar, which then had a double comma at the end of the sentence. Funnily enough, that big and unexplained sales surge I had when I sold 100 books in a week came just after that review appeared, so who knows, maybe bad reviews are not as bad as they seem as people reading them are curious and take a look at the book because of it.
Amazon actually gives you the option to comment on other people's reviews and I have seen some authors actually respond to bad reviews but I think it is a bad idea. It looks like they have got to you. Though if any of you, my loyal blog fans wants to jump in and defend me, well I am not going to stop you.
To be honest, I was expecting far worse, what with all these internet trolls about. To have got to 3 months, hundreds of sales and 15 reviews before getting my first 1* review is not bad going. Perhaps I will get totally slated in the next one and have to eat these words, we shall see. I still live I hope of getting some more good reviews, but some don't even appear. I know of at least one that never showed up, it was a 5* one and not by a relative or anything, by a blog reader that I have never met so hardly a case of nepotism, but this happens a lot apparently. Some reviews appear instantly, others are reviewed and rejected seemingly at random. There is nothing that can be done about it.
I really could do with a couple more decent reviews, but I guess most who would review already have. Austerity Dad has no reviews at all yet, but it has only been out 2 weeks so I guess I just need to be patient and give those that have bought it time to finish it and hope they like it and review it.
In the meantime the holiday continues and it really is action packed. We were out for 9 hours today, and there is much more to come, and hopefully more blogs if I can squeeze them in.