Monday, 7 June 2010

A Scilly Story ;o)

I think I will take a little breather here, I feel like I have run a marathon around Cornwall. Anyone new finding the blog will wonder why I have got all those money saving tips on the side, and here I am spending willy nilly on a holiday. Those that know me will understand, so you can skip this bit.

For years I worked hard and didn't have a holiday, all my money went into the house. I was never extravagant but I was just ticking along nicely, then I got fed up of work. My priorities changed, time for myself was becoming more important than earning money. I found ways of cutting down on my spending. I don't need a show house to live in, one that is simple and comfortable is enough. I don't need to go out and show off my new outfit, my charity shop clothes, old clothes from the back of the wardrobe, and ones that are given to me, are fine.

I dont go around with a long face because I am looking at every penny I spend. I can go to town, just do the jobs I went to do, even browse shops, and still have a smile on my face having spent not a penny extra. It's a good feeling knowing that I am in control.

I have been receiving the state pension for just over a year now, and I am managing quite well on it. I reminds me of the days when I was a teenager in my first year at work. The excitement of dividing my small wage up into different pots. Half of it for mum for my board and lodgings, five shillings for my club book. Do you remember those catalogues? Buy a dress or a pair of shoes, pay half of it off over several weeks, then scour through for something else and add it on, then pay that off. You have to be carefull not to get carried away and order more than you can afford.

Then a pound or two for going out to disco's and youth club, and five shillings for a magazine and sweets. If you wanted something big you had to save up for it. I saw a bike in a second hand shop and put a deposit on it and went in weekly to pay for it.

So this is what I am doing now, saving up for bigger things like holidays. This holiday has made a dent in my bank balance, but not one that is irreparable. If I pull in the reigns now it will be back to normal in about five weeks. The secret is not to let it drop below danger level, always keep a bit by for emergencies.

Anyway, lets get back to the job in hand.

Today is the day I fly. Here is my cute little aeroplane waiting for me. Just eight seats and the pilot, I am so excited. Ever since watching the series 'An Island Parish', I have wanted to go and see the Isles of Scilly for myself. This is what the whole trip is about. Because it is a long way from home it would be daft to drive hundreds of miles, fly over, then drive back again. Why not make it into a longer trip and visit other places.

At check in I naively asked if I could have a window seat, how silly of me, geddit ha ha, groan. Every seat is a window seat, doh! The lady in uniform said it is loaded by weight and you didn't have a choice. When it was time to board I was disappointed that I couldn't sit up front, but as she called out the names I could see why I was at the back, me being like a wet lettuce leaf at just over eight stone :0)

Wow, it was so noisy, I had to switch my hearing aid off to make it comfortable, no point in trying to make conversation with my fellow passengers. Half way across the pilots attention was taken by another aircraft which was flying parallel to us, they are buzzing around like flies here. As well as these little airbuses from Lands End and Plymouth, there's also the helicopters to contend with as well. Twenty eight miles and fifteen minutes later we were landing, you can see the runway on the right hand side of this picture.

Almost down, the rocky coastline looms.

Big grin on my face, it's lovely to be here.

The time now is 9am, it doesn't take long to unload the baggage, a couple of holiday makers with big cases, business men with briefcases, me and a young lady with ruck sacks. Three minutes and we're on our way.

I don't need to check in at the hotel till later, so with my os map that I printed off the computer I went for a walkabout. My hotel is in the middle of the island so I set off towards Old Town, then joined the coastal path around the bay, Porthcressa Beach, around the Garrison, to Hugh Town the capitol, and towards Telegraph Hill to the Hotel. There was no rush, a steady stroll to take in all the scenery.

A little bit of rock climbing here, they looked like they could topple off at any moment.

What struck me was the amount of flowers, both in private gardens and out in the wild. I think I have picked the right time to come. Here are just a few of them, so beautiful.

I checked in at the hotel at 3.30pm, very nice I must say, it should be for the price, £45.00 a night, good God, I must have had a seizure or something, am I mad? Didn't have much choice actually. I made several phone calls and they were all booked up, that's the problem with being a single traveller, not many single rooms. It was either pay up or drag my camping gear with me. Carrying extra weight would have meant paying for it on the flight, getting a taxi to the campsite, and getting all my own food, something which I have been doing while at the hostels. I think this justifies the cost of the hotel. At least I get an en suite bathroom, a tele in my room, and a massive breakfast as much as I can eat, and boy did I stuff my face :0)
I declined the evening meal however, not even daring to ask how much it cost. The Co op shop did a very nice salad in a plastic box for two pounds, with a few nibbles, a spud in the microwave (there was a small kitchen we could use), and a can of cider, I was perfectly happy with my meal in front of the TV.

When I checked in I was surprised to recognise the man on reception, of course, it was Alastair the photographer, he was engaged to Heike the vet. He seemed such a nice guy on the programme, but the cad turned out to be a bad 'un, he dumped Heike shortly before they were due to be wed. I restrained myself from telling him what I thought of him. He was all smiles, the rotter. Mind you, you never know what to believe with docu soaps. I wonder if I will meet Heike?


  1. I just love the Isles of Scilly. When I was in my late teens I was lucky enough to have an Aunt who was the matron at the cottage hospital on St Mary's.
    I stayed with my Aunt in the summer hols for 5 glorious years in a row and totaly fell in love with the islands. I'm so glad that you got to visit as it is my most fav place on the planet and I'm sure you will have been smitten as well:-)
    Take care,

  2. I too watched An Island Parish with fascination and a wish to visit... one day... so great to get your perspective on it... the flowers look amazing. And after all your scrimping of course you deserve the holiday... its not a question of spending too much its more a question of saving for what you want and then spending what you can afford. Well done you!

  3. here here, you've worked hard for years, you're so careful and you deserve a's to many more

  4. Hear Hear ! I know exactly how you feel and having worked hard all your life you thoroughly deserve the holiday AND the hotel - enjoy!

  5. Those flowers are beautiful. I've never been to the Isle of Scilly. It really does look lovely.

    Everyone deserves a holiday sometime and yours was a long time coming :o) So glad you enjoyed it.

    I actually preger to be at home rather that going away, but I am going on holiday for a week this year in August to the Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides!

  6. Surely part of being frugal is saving money so that you are able to spend on the things that really matter to you. Have been following your trip with interest.

  7. Looks like you had a fantastic time! I`m so glad for you to have had this holiday. You will have fabulous memories till the next excursion. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. It`s lovely to see where you`ve been.

  8. I'm frugal too, but I love to travel and see different places. Our kids remember our family vacations so fondly even though we did them on a shoestring! I'm so glad we took those trips and look forward to more. Enjoy your trips--you deserve it!
    Your photos are gorgeous by the way.