Saturday, 22 July 2017

family holidays

We have been back from our family holiday of just over a week now and I am enjoying the last day of my own personal holiday, with only Sam in the house.

Let me tell you about our holiday in Cornwall. It is far far away from Glasgow and you may wonder why we do not spend our holidays closer to home. Yes, there are beautiful spots in Scotland, some of the most beautiful I have ever seen and yes, it would be lovely to explore more of them - one day. But we just love Cornwall. Richard also has wonderful childhood memories of holidays with his own family in Cornwall, which makes it even more special for him. Besides, Scottish summers are unpredictable and unreliable and almost never happen during the school holidays. Even the most hardy Scot craves a bit of warmth now and then. It is noticeably warmer in Cornwall and even the rain feels warmer. Yes, there is plenty of that in Cornwall, too. We are not very adventurous, preferring the same part of Cornwall every time. The Roseland peninsula is pretty and wild at the same time. It is also relatively quiet and visitors do not outnumber the locals, which is nice.

This year, Sam didn't join us. Instead we invited Alice, Annie's best friend, along. She is a delightful young woman and fitted right in. I am glad Alice came. Annie is navigating a particularly rocky patch of adolescence and having a trusted friend to complain about the worst parents ever is useful. Without Alice, this holiday might have been Annie's worst holiday ever and it would have been not so good for the rest of us either, particularly James and I. James and I are unable to keep our cool when challenged by a teenager and we are favourite targets. I cope (not always well) by reminding myself that it is not about me but about Annie being at the cusp of adulthood, hormones all over the places and thoughts even more so. At the end of the day, a smile and a hug are worth it all.

It is interesting how the dynamics of family holidays change over time and how what seemed the best thing ever before is now just ok and something else takes the best thing ever spot. I noticed with interest that I have taken more photos of the dog than I have of the children. They have become very good at dodging the camera and if I do capture them, they either scowl or adopt an otherwise daft expression. Only Alistair is always happy to be captured on film (this sounds so much better than rendered in pixels). I was a bit lazy actually, not using my camera as much as I usually do.

We did the usual things and some new things, too. Sitting around reading books or stitching (I took Annie's quilt to work on). The little boys were riding their bikes around the campsite, the big boy went further afield on his bike, always very early in the morning. The girls spent a lot of time giggling in their room, which they decorated with fairy lights and all. We went for cream teas and visited a garden or two. We went to the beach, where I watched the kids jump of the rocks or play in the sand. The four children spent a lot of time playing card games and monopoly, or they played on the empty field, rounders mostly but sometimes other games, too. We went to the Eden project and did some crazy stunts (sky wire and gravity swing over the Eden Project). We met up a few times with our Glaswegian friends and fellow Cornwall lovers. We celebrated James' 10th Birthday with a fabulous four tier chocolate cake made by Annie and Alice, followed by dinner at the pub. We explored Truro (where I spent almost all my time in the fabric shop). And of course we took Jack for many many walks. He would have liked catching a rabbit or two but he is just not subtle enough.

It was a good holiday on the whole, sprinkled with some teenage grumpyness and a couple of rainy days. The kids are now halfway through their summer holiday. I have six days of annual leave left to take before Christmas, which doesn't sound nearly enough. The remaining weeks are going to be a juggling act of flexible working hours and child entertainment. But we'll cope, as we always do.

It is a rainy day today and I plan to do very little. Jack and I had a long walk already, it is nice to be inside now. What are your plans for the weekend? For many of you, the summer holidays are only just starting. I hope you have something nice planned.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. x