So, the summer holiday is over, and it's back to work.
This year we decided to go to Cornwall, somewhere I had never been.
All too easy to jump on a plane to Spain or further afield - hadn't got the money anyway - when there are many parts of the UK you've never actually visited.
Still never been to Kent, the Western Isles of Scotland, the isles of Man and Wight, South Wales other than Cardiff for rugby internationals, much of the West Country, the Peak District...the list goes on. Shameful really. However I was particularly impressed by Cornwall.
Lovely beaches, beautiful countryside, relatively unspoilt and not too many people.
It does have one downside it shares with the West Midlands - congestion.
To all intents and purposes there is just one road in and out - the A30. The M5 to Exeter and then dual carriageway to near Bodmin. Much of the A30 from there remains single carriageway. It is a disgrace and should have been sorted years ago.
And if that was the worst of Cornwall, what then was the best? I think attitude.
The people are simply very proud of all things Cornish. And they make a big effort to support Cornish goods and products.
Some shops proudly boast that they only stock Cornish goods. As a consequence the fish is wonderful, you can taste the difference in the potatoes and you can buy local beers - St Austel's Brewery and Skinner's lager - which are just so much better than the mass produced rubbish you get elsewhere across the UK these days. You also get value for money; no rip-off prices.
So, for example, the quality of the craft goods on offer was mostly excellent and also affordable.
Boscastle, destroyed by floods and still being rebuilt, is being true to its roots. So much so that I have now done m ost of my Christmas shopping!
Similarly, the tourist attractions were in the main reasonably priced.
On top of all that the locals proved friendly which made the holiday so much more pleasant than parts of the country where they are happy to take the tourist shilling whilst despising the tourist.
Cornwall's marketing and promotion offer was fair to good, I felt. Could be better, but they were making an impact.
In contrast, the West Midlands has friendly people, value for money is not bader, that's about it.
You couldn't call our marketing and promotion good; indifferent in the extreme.
Out with the Black Country, there is very little loyalty to local produce; there is very little pride in being part of the West Midlands.
Cornish towns and villages are pretty clean. Birmingham is filthy; it is accepted practice to drop litter in the street and stamp chewing gum into the pavement.
Neither region is well off economically, but Cornwall has an identity which the West Midlands does not. And perhaps that is the key.
In all this talk of city regions and hype about elected mayors, it is all pretty pointless unless you create something which people can feel a part.