Posted by: Admin | February 27, 2011

I wish I was a surfer chick…

with knees that bend and buns of steel, with sun-bleached hair that I could flick, and a life that “keeps it real”.

I was back in Newquay, Cornwall last week so that Daughter No. 2 could attend a hospital appointment. It’s a 10 hour round trip from home, so we had to stay overnight. Funds are low, so when she suggested we stay in a hostel, I agreed – with some trepidation. I’m nearly 50 for goodness sake: sleeping on a bunk bed in a mixed dorm above a bar isn’t something I would normally do. To be honest, I never did it when I was 20 either, so it was always going to be a new experience.

It’s low season, so in the event we got a four bed, female only room to ourselves, complete with loo and the tiniest shower I’ve ever seen. I was propped on a bar stool, plied with soft drinks and treated like a local. I met all her friends, who were lovely, and once I realised that they weren’t going to feel awkward that Beth had her mum with her, I decided I wouldn’t feel awkward either and relaxed. I even went to Walkabout to the open mic night (and no, I didn’t go so far as to embarrass her by getting up to sing!)

I did have to cup my hands round my ears to hear the conversation, and had the p ripped out of me royally, which made me feel at home! I didn’t make it past 1.30, but I had a great time. “There’s no ageism here, Mum,” Beth told me as she escorted me back to the hostel. I wanted to tell her that, in my experience, there rarely is in company where tattoos, dreadlocks and guitars feature prominently, but I was pooped. I opened the window so that I could hear the sea, curled up in my remarkably comfortable bunk bed and slept like a teenager.

I don’t know how I would have coped with a stranger sleeping on the bunk above me, but there you go. A challenge for another time, maybe? I’ve always had a secret hankering to travel light and be the kind of person who slots in easily anywhere they go.  Someone like my lovely girl, in fact, who fills me with such pride when I see the woman she has become.

It was back to being a responsible mum again in the morning, but it was so good to chill out with my daughter, in her environment, with her friends. It also means I won’t worry so much about her when she goes back permanently as I know she has good people around her.

Thanks for making me so welcome, guys. Next time, I’ll bring a hearing trumpet.



  1. Its amazing where you can sleep if you’re tired and broke enough! I shared hostels with people alot older than you Jo, but in that situation everyones in the same boat and just out for a laugh. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Jenny! We all tend to get a bit stuck in our ways as we get older, but it really helps when younger people don’t automatically treat us as irrelevant!

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