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







19 comments:

  1. It's interesting how family holidays develop over time. I remember those cringe worthy holidays with adolescents, always bitter sweet. Somehow we seem to have come out the other side unscathed and they still like to come away with us:). Cornwall is the perfect destination as your lovely photos show. Bet you've got lots of fun memories. Love Truro too, all sorts of fabulous shops. Rainy here too today. I'm about to hunker down and finish the kitchen curtains. Have a good weekend. B x

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  2. It sounds like a good time, all in all. Our family mostly takes shorter trips or day trips so far, but I would like to spend more time away, eventually, when our kids are a little older. We didn't take any vacations at all when I was growing up, so I don't really even know what a real vacation is like, but I hope to find out. I'm glad you were able to have a nice time in spite of the weather and the company, though it sounds like you're doing the right things with Annie. I'm sure it's just her age and it will get better as she matures and passes through the difficult stage she's in right now. It was very nice of you to take her friend with you, I hope she's thankful for that. Thanks for sharing your photos. I loved them all, especially the hydrangeas! How beautiful. And Jack is just so sweet. I hope you're having a good weekend.

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  3. Sounds like you had a good time, we like Cornwall a lot too. When our daughter was a teenager we would at times take one of her friends with us on vacation, it gave her someone to talk to besides us and she often got tired of talking to us.

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  4. It sounds like a good holiday overall with happy memories for you. You always sound like an amazing Mum and I have no doubt Annie will appreciate that in the fullness of time.

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  5. I always wonder who those families are on Facebook and in commercials off on a family holiday with everyone happy and getting along, that was far from the truth at my house. Still we always managed to have really good moments and funny those are the ones you remember, not the hormones or tantrums just the simplest of fun times. Glad yo are home and had a relatively good time.

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  6. It sounds like a great time you all had.. I would have loved to see Truro.. and the shop. In fact that whole area is like a dream place to me having read books set in those locales. What breed is Jack? He's just a darling dog! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  7. Glad you had a good holiday :) The summer holidays have just started for me - not that it's going to be much of a holiday between Wildplay and renovating a house, hehe!

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  8. Sounds like a great holiday but what a long journey you must have had, but worth it I am sure; we went to Cornwall when my children were young. Enjoy the rest of your time off..love the quilting.

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  9. Looks like you had a lovely time, despite the odd storm. The cake is a humdinger, well done girls. I hope James had a good birthday. Love the dog pictures, and the hydrangeas as well, lovely to see the variety all together. Nothing special planned this weekend. I am hoping to curl up with a book at some stage. Have a great Sunday Christine. CJ xx

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  10. Good to hear your holiday went well and how fortunate to have such a photogenic pooch! (love the picture of him and, I'm assuming, your mister on the water). The cake looks fab and I'm sure went down a treat with the birthday boy. Enjoy what's left of the weekend.

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  11. Your holiday sounds wonderful! I love the photo of Jack with his eyes closed. How sweet! I am a Londoner and have traveled to some exotic destinations in my life but would love to visit Scotland one day particularly the Islands! I hope you manage to fit in some more fun things before you return to work. My summer holiday has just started. I have nothing planned and will just take each day as it comes! :)

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  12. Aah....teenage angst, I remember those days very well. Chin up, they do travel through that fog of teenage insanity, through to the other side, eventually. Cornwall sounds like a glorious part of the world to enjoy a holiday. The birthday cake sounds delicious and the fact there was a fabric nearby.....well that sounds perfect! Love all those beautiful Hydrangeas. It makes me wish for Summer days even more down here at the bottom of the world.

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  13. Glad you had a wonderful time and that Annie and her friend enjoyed it a lot too. I love cornwall so I can totally see why you wanted to travel that far. Love all of your hydrangea photos!

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  14. Looks like a lovely break. I also tend to take more photos of the dogs these days as they don't avoid the camera. I love Cornwall too but we are off to Somerset this time. Try not t let the teen grumpiness bother you too much (easier said than done I know)my oldest has come out the other side and is lovely and sociable with us now, just got the youngest going through it at the moment. xx

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  15. Enjoyed seeing the photo collages and reading about your hokidays, Christina. We know folks living in Derby UK who have to,d us about visiting Cornwall. Yes, we have also heard of Scottish summers,and my husband was told that one day in July, around his birthday, it's warm. Our weekend was spent celebrating a birthday as you saw on today's post and thanks for the visit. This morning may be my last full day of Internet connecticity as we're in a hotel in RI and and shortly leaving for a week or so in VA. My blog visits will be sporadic at best until we return to NH by early August. James' birthday cake looked wonderful and what a nice treat from Annie and Alice!

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  16. Its amazing how time flies and they will be adults and you will have lots of lovely memories of fun and laughter and the sulks and moods will long be forgotten. Sounds like a great break away. We are going down to England help our daughter with the childcare, the perfect chance to spoilt the Grandkids.

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  17. so many wonderful pictures.. looks like you all had a great time and made some amazing memories..

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  18. Oh, I loved reading about your holiday in Cornwall, I will miss it this year but we've got some new places to explore instead. I know what you mean about family holiday dynamics changing, I thought it was going to be very strange this year, our first holiday on our own for many years, but Eleanor's decided that she'll come with us again. She's such good company so I'm really pleased. I enjoyed seeing the photos of Jack having a good time on holiday too, Archie loves the beach so I'm looking forward to seeing him play in the waves (we go away on Saturday). It sounds like you packed so much into your holiday and James' chocolate birthday cake looks delicious, well done Annie and Alice.

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  19. oh I'd love to go to Cornwall again, haven't been for about 25years.....
    we're taking my daughter's friend with us this year on holiday, I'm glad it worked for you, fingers crossed it will for us too x

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