For anyone who has missed my posts since last Thursday - apologies, but I have had a glorious unplugged weekend. We had a short break in our favourite rental holiday cottage, which amongst its best features includes no mobile phone reception and no internet. When we first went to it about 17 years ago it also had no TV aerial. There was a TV, but you could only watch DVDs - but now it's all hi-tech and TV is available.
Does this mean it offers lots of activities instead? Yes and no. If by activities you mean going for a walk or... going for a walk, then, yes it does. Oh, and Saturday and Sunday you can have a cream tea, should you desire it, in the cafe which is handily but not obtrusively attached to the cottage. Anything else you would have to drive to get to, and we didn't use our car all long weekend.
This might sound like hell in our zappy, connected world - but it really isn't. It is glorious. We did watch a bit of TV and read a newspaper (at the cost of a mile walk to the nearest shop), but mostly it really was a case that being detached from the world for a few days was brilliant. Seeing 'No Service' on the phone was not an irritation, it was a joy.
I admit this would only work with the right location - but there's a reason this is our favourite holiday cottage. This is the view from our bedroom window in the morning.
I usually have mixed feelings about liking houses based on the view. We currently have no view, where our last house had superb vistas. And I really don't care. Once you've looked at the view and gone 'Wow!' for the first 30 seconds, the excitement wears off and you hardly ever look at it. But the thing about looking out on the sea is that something is always happening. It's a view with action, whether it's the sea itself, or the boats or the beach activity - mostly dog walkers and mad surfers at this time of year. It's great.
With a view like this, only the words quoted so often by Wellington in that great cartoon strip, the Perishers can suffice: 'What is life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?'