Category Archives: Holidays

Four things I learnt on our family holiday

Number 1: Rain doesn’t matter – as long as you’re prepared.
Since I was the only person in the family who went on holiday without a raincoat this is a top tip for me. In my defense I made sure everyone else had theirs and after a quick divert to some shops, I got one too.

The point is that we had a smattering of rain (heavy at points) throughout our holiday but it truly didn’t matter – we had coats and what is best described as a steely determination not to let a little thing like rain affect us. In fact sitting in the hot tub at the place we stayed, whilst it was raining, is one of my highlights from the holiday.

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(I can’t explain my daughters socks in the picture – something to do with tucking your trousers in being a sensible thing to do in rain apparently? To be clear – She didn’t get that from me.)

Number 2: Make sure you know what the day trip is.
My husband did a great job of planning activities and visits around the area we were staying – truly some wonderful places including the beautiful Chirk Castle, N’s favourite Crocky trail, the lovely town of Chester and the fantastic Hawkstone Park Follies to name but a few.

One thing we didn’t do though was take any information with us about what each involved so by the time the day came for a visit we couldn’t really remember. The result was that we were on several occasions a little caught out, such as our trip to a VERY hands on farm park during which Ellie was wearing her beautiful, new, long, WHITE dress.

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Number 3: Laughing is the best part of the holiday.
Listening to the children in fits of laughter on numerous occasions during the holiday was simply brilliant and I remember on several occasions wishing I could bottle it. On other occasions I was too busy laughing myself to think about it.

One of the most memorable ‘funnies’ of the holiday was courtesy of my step son who when walking out of the Thomas event at the Langollen Steam Railway asked how much we had paid to get in. Having explained it was £44 for our family he suddenly announced in a loud voice that he would call this episode of Thomas the tank engine ‘Thomas and the 44 pound disappointment’. (We actually had a fab day at Langollen with the steam trains, the lovely town and the horse drawn boat but he’s 9, so forgive him not enjoying Thomas the tank engine.)

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Number 4: Managing without wifi for a week is horrible.
Combined with no signal on your phone at all – it was truly shocking. I’m aware how pathetic that must sound but trust me, every single member of our family missed having wifi during the holiday and however sad it sounds, it’s something I shall look for in our next break away.

Wow…time flies

So this might be a sign of my getting old, but there’s no denying that as we hit the half way point in our second week of the school holiday, time is simply flying.

If I’m brutally honest I was wondering as the holiday approached, how long it would be before I was wishing school was back on. I’m aware that might sound really sad, but it’s the truth. Of course that moment might still come but – with a week and a half down already and two weeks where Ellie will be away with her Dad fast approaching – I’m now thinking the holiday will just not be long enough!

More than time flying though – I’m shocked at how I’m already forgetting what we’ve done so far in the holiday! How pathetic does that sound?!

We’re having such fun and I want to make sure I not only enjoy every minute of it, but I remember every minute of it too. So here’s some pictures that represent our first week of the summer holiday…

A home made box for the loom bands has been created and the loom bands sorted!
loom bands

We went to Rosliston Forestry Centre to enjoy the fresh air, open space and bouncy castle.
rosliston forestry centre

We enjoyed yet another day out with the National Trust, visiting Wightwick Manor.
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Believe it or not we have actually had some time to relax, which in Ellie’s case seems to mean constant snacking.
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I guess that’s a pretty good summary of our first week of the summer holiday – so let’s hope this post aids my failing memory; and reminds me that the days haven’t just disappeared in that ‘getting old time warp’ but have really been enjoyed.

A treat for the grown ups

So it’s not very often that I blog about anything which isn’t directly about our children, our family or being a mum, however this post is absolutely nothing to do with any of that. Last week, whilst both children were away with their respective other parents, we took the opportunity to have a very grown up mini break.

We went away for a one night stay in Suffolk. I used to live in the area and it was a chance to share this part of my past with my other half; and to spend some time together. The plan was simple – relax and unwind.

First we went to one of my all time favourite beaches – Aldeburgh

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Then we went to Snape Maltings which is not only set in beautiful surroundings, but offers a series of super shops, a cafe and a pub – all perfect for browsing around.

Snape maltings

Finally at the end of the day we headed to our hotel – Seckford Hall. We had specifically looked for somewhere that would feel like a proper grown up treat and we were not disappointed. Helpful staff, beautiful grounds and beautiful rooms – perfect for romance and relaxation.

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I also simply have to share this picture – It doesn’t get more romantic than this.

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The next day after a fantastic cooked breakfast at Seckford Hall we took a drive around some of my key memorable places in the area. Finally we went to visit to one of my closest friends – the perfect way to end our mini break.

I know it’s not easy for most parents to take time out for themselves and even as someone who has every other weekend without my daughter – I rarely take the opportunity to relax but instead rush around doing things. On this occasion though, I feel no guilt at all in saying that I really, truly enjoyed every second of our break. It took my mind off missing Ellie, it felt like a lovely treat and it was great for us, as a couple. We walked, we laughed, we held hands and we shared a wonderful couple of days.

So whilst I would absolutely recommend all of the above to anyone who wanted a get away in Suffolk – my main hope is that this post reminds me that we absolutely can and should find time to relax together.

A step back in time

When I was a little girl we would go to the seaside for two weeks every year as a family. We would have day trips to local sights, spend days on the beach and generally enjoy time together. This is me back then!

Last week we took our two children to spend a few days as a family in Cornwall. We’re lucky enough to have relatives who live in Cornwall, so we were not only seeing family but also having what is best described as a good old fashioned British seaside holiday.

We went on the beach every day (even when it was raining), we ate fish and chips, we built sandcastles and we relaxed as a family. In an age where we sometimes wonder how a child could possibly manage without their computer games, endless toys and of course the soft play places, it was quite simply mesmerizing to watch our children having such simple fun – as I once had.

As I sat watching them digging holes and building castles (and periodically joined in!), I couldn’t help but enjoy the smiles on their faces and be reminded of my own childhood holidays to the seaside. My memories of beach holidays with my parents and siblings are some of the happiest memories of my childhood and, as I sat there watching our children play in the sand, my silent wish was that our children might treasure with fondness the memories we made as a family this holiday.