The next few days we spent exploring, walking along cliff tops, eating chips along the seafront in the evenings. Watching the sun rise and set out to sea. We found hidden beaches and coves.
I vaguely remember walking around Newquay, looking in all the little trinket shops, Ryan buying a wetsuit because it was ‘ too cheap not to’ and me pointing out various bits I liked, Ryan offering to buy me whatever I wanted. I said no, but I appreciated it. I felt spoiled. We both felt happy.
It felt like nothing could go wrong here.
It wasn’t long before we found ourselves in Torpoint, near Ryans relatives house, his Uncle and Aunt – Val and Lou.
We’d stayed there the previous Christmas, our first time in Cornwall, and had a perfect time.
I hadn’t realised it at the time, but it had been the first of many Christmases I’d spend without any of my family.
The Christmas before last, I’d been shouted at – first in the morning by my Dad, and then later on by my ex boyfriend – who once drunk, had fallen asleep amongst his presents and left me on my own.
I remember sneaking off next door, to my best friends house. And the merriness had literally spilled out from the front door. The scene inside was like something from a Christmas card, one of those old fashioned ones with all the family, and food and gifts littering the place.
It had been a stark comparison to my own house, which was dark and cold, and without a decoration in sight.
We didn’t even have a Christmas tree.
I thought back to that year, and then the decision to spend the next Christmas away from that. And we’d found ourselves here in Cornwall, about the knock on the same door.
‘ Just a cup of tea ‘ Ryan said. ‘ then we’ll find somewhere else to camp.’