Category Archives: Holidays

Guest post: Holiday thoughts from home

Holiday thoughtsAfter a lovely family holiday where I actually managed to read a book (an actual book!) my dad sent through some of his thoughts. Here’s a Granddad-eye-view on our extended family holiday.

I am very lucky – or at least I think I am – as my family seem to want to spend some holiday time with my wife and me, and not just in Cornwall. Whether Scrip’s and D’s Dad feels the same I don’t know, but I think he does, or at least he is a very good actor!

We have all just returned from a holiday in France having made our respective ways there at different times by land, sea and air. No doubt growing older decreases tolerance and distance lends enchantment to our view of the past, but it did seem that nowadays a significant number of children on our ferry were left to their own rather annoying and noisy devices, whilst parents – especially fathers – sat glued to their iPads or iPhones. Fortunately, we could escape to the luxury of a daytime cabin, something my family were keen to point out that had never figured when we all travelled together.

Looking after children is a tiring and stressful job and I admire the way that Scrip’s and D’s parents have coped – albeit, as I am sure they would admit, with help and support from their aunts. There is no more important job than bringing up the next generation and I am full of sympathy for parents today who have so many pressures on them. Life was much simpler for my generation, although I shudder to look back at some of the things we did – driving in an open-top sports car with the baby tucked up in a carry cot behind our seats or travelling through France with three unbelted children playing school in the luggage space of an estate car.

Of course we had had concerns in those far off days but personal computers were still a thing of the future, so there was no online ‘information’ immediately available to worry you or to make you compare your children to the apparently perfect family; phones were fixed, and not hearing from family members, often for weeks on end, wasn’t a reason for concern.

This holiday meant we were able to see how Scrip was coming to terms with a new baby and this was fascinating. Clearly having been the centre of attention for 3 years, adjustment was bound to be necessary. Her physical expressions of sisterly love sometimes bordered on the over-enthusiastic and D’s feeding times coincided with extra attention-seeking but she was able to vocalise and play out her feelings both about D, as well as her recent entry to a nursery, with help from a French supermarket acquired ‘Sofia the First’ doll – once I’d learnt to say the name right! Sofia was obviously able and did to say things that might have been taboo for Scrip.

As always the speed of change in the children came as a surprise, both in the case of baby D, who looks increasingly as if he will play in the second row, and Scrip. Her co-ordination and ball skills, helped no doubt by attending Playball regularly, and her increasing command of the subtleties of language lulled me into subconsciously regarding her as older than she is and made the few occasions where tiredness and frustration led to tears seem deliberately contrived when, on reflection, it was clear that they were not and it was my understanding that was at fault.

Still who can blame me when in the middle of ‘playing’ table tennis pre-lunch Scrip paused, look thoughtful and said ‘Hang on, there is something in the sky that shouldn’t be there’. Indeed there was, a full pale moon – try explaining to a 3 year old why despite being always the moon can only be seen sometimes. No wonder I am tired.

A very pleasing feature of the holiday was the way in which Scrip took to French food both at home and in restaurants. Frites of course, pain chocolate and croissants, and crepes, both sweet and savoury, were polished off with gusto, albeit at different times! Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, when she comes to Cornwall we have to buy in extra olives. D meanwhile stayed on his diet of mother’s milk provided with scarce a disapproving glance from the French.

The best part of the holiday was the privilege of seeing things – not just the moon – through the un-jaundiced eyes of a child and thus being able to rediscover the wonders that surround us daily, especially deep in the French countryside.

Six tips for sharing a family room in harmony

Family RoomWe’ve just come back from what could be our last ever break as a three. It almost didn’t happen. Despite talking about it for a few weeks beforehand, we couldn’t find anywhere suitable that ticked all the (many) boxes. But then we realised we were being a bit fussy and when I got a Late Rooms offer through for a Mother’s Day stay in a country hotel and spa in the Cotswolds, I clicked through straight away (we didn’t end up getting exactly the deal that I thought I’d applied for, but that’s another story).

With Sunday sorted we decided to stay in a budget room on Saturday so we could make the Continue reading

Guest post: Out of the mouths…

Evening beach walk with moonWe’re in Cornwall for a week and our walk on the beach just before bedtime inspired another post from Scrip’s Granddad aka Grandy. Here are his thoughts on the logic of children.

I am sure that the following is no surprise to those with children about them all the time but Scrip’s recent but all too infrequent visit to the now not so sunny Cornwall set me thinking about how, as children develop language skills, their actions and thought can make perfect sense in the context of their experience whilst not necessarily Continue reading

A mini-break to Arras with a toddler in tow

Vimy Memorial Toddler StandingWe did something we haven’t done before last weekend – we went on a mini-break as a family. As we were warned by others who’ve trod the path before us, these aren’t like the mini-breaks of old with lazy breakfasts, sight seeing all day and a bottle of local wine each night. This was a trip punctuated by playground stops, sandcastles Continue reading

Guest Post from Grandy: bear-hunts, bamboo thickets and Giant Bolster

Scrip and Grandy cuddleMy dad, AKA Grandy, (who was undoubtedly the hit of the holiday for Scrip) wrote a few words after our recent stay in Cornwall. They made me cry (in a good way). Thank you Grandy and you are always welcome to come and see us in the Big Smoke, chickens allowing.

Just for the record now they have all gone back: IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO SEE MY FAMILY.

In the far west one gets used to isolation; that and age have combined to produce post-visit exhaustion syndrome. My mind doesn’t recognise my body’s insistence that I’m a 70 plus OAP. For that I’m glad, otherwise I would not have  been catching Scrip time after time to stop her falling into the pond as she Continue reading

Tea and cake at Trevoole Farm

Trevoole Farm CollageAlthough we arrived after 3pm when most of the homemade cakes were gone, leaving just crumbs and tantalising descriptions (like dark chocolate and Guinness), we still had a lovely time at Trevoole Farm at Praze-An-Beeble, just outside Camborne.

A couple of people had mentioned Trevoole to me, saying what a magical Continue reading

Murad: travelling light but beautifully

Murad Discovery KitsSo, Cannes was an experience. Not wholly a bad one (the 30 degree temperatures wear you down after a while) but leaving Scrip and my husband for a week was very tough. I can honestly say I’ve never been so excited to leave a beautiful, sunny country behind me and head home. And the first cuddles at Heathrow were lovely.

I’m pleased to say the weather here hasn’t disappointed and we’ve had a lovely few days as a backdrop to my welcome home. That also means that I’ve kept my suncream with me, rolled out all the sundresses and also Continue reading