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The Holidays…

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Wow, what a roller-coaster of a holiday 2019 has been! I can’t believe the summer holidays are over and it’s back to school and back to some kind of normality!

Summer 2019 has been pretty mental what with moving house, working, enjoying brilliant days out, catching up with family and friends plus celebrating Betsy’s second birthday. Despite the drama, I feel pretty dam lucky to have spent the past six weeks with both my gorgeous non-stop talking Alfie and my diva queen Betsy!

Going on holiday is the one opportunity each year we have to get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life and for us four this year’s summer holidays was all about getting away from it all…

With both Alfie and Betsy being the age they are at the moment it definitely wasn’t an opportunity for Darren and myself to recharge our batteries or get the chance to catch up on some well-earned sleep!

In fact, I wouldn’t be alone in saying that sometimes going on holiday with little ones leaves you feeling like you need another holiday to recover when you get back!

However, what I love about family holidays is the chance to break free from those on-going routines and the chance to absorb what makes us happy – i.e. family time…

So this year we returned to Rutland-on-water. We visited Rutland for the first time last year and realised that it was perfect place for us and the kids to vacate too as there is so much to do without having to go too far away.

This year Betsy wanted to do everything and anything Alfie was doing from swimming every day, staying up late, sleeping in a ‘proper bed’ and generally just being a full-on toddler!

Although I said, I like getting away from a routine, Alfie on the other hand thrives on knowing what he’s doing each day. As soon as we finish one activity, he readily asks ‘what are we doing now?’. Ideally, he would like an itinerary planned out for him each day.

He must get this from Grandad Anscombe, as I’m fairly laid back and will play each day by ear and although Darren enjoys having a plan of action for most days, he doesn’t feel the need to plan out every little detail.

Whereas Dad (Grandad Anscombe), likes his holiday routines from going for his daily swim/sauna at 4ish, enjoying a G&T at 6pm and going out for a meal at 7pm sharp! As a child I remember it being ice-cream o’clock around 3pm, before going for a swim in the sea. Despite being very scared of swimming in the sea I still joined my dad for his daily ritual of swimming out to the ball buoy each day – especially in Lanzarote!

We really loved Rutland and enjoyed our visits to the Rutland falconry and owl centre, Rutland Farm Park and Barnsdale Gardens. All well worth visiting if you ever go on holiday there. We also enjoyed staying at Barnsdale Hall, a fab location with its peaceful setting alongside Rutland Water.

Going on holiday definitely gets you thinking about your summer holidays as a kid. I was a very lucky child growing up, going on lots of holidays with Mum, Dad and my two sisters Louise and Kirstie.

We enjoyed many a summer holiday all together and they all have special memories to me. Carnac in France for its ice cream parlour, Mijas in Spain for sunbathing and donkey rides along the beach, waking up by the sea in Grandmas and Grandad’s chalet in High Cliff, Playa Blanca in Lanzorote for ‘Snoopy’s Café, gamba sandwiches and not forgetting those Papagayo beaches and Florida in America for breakfast with Winnie the Pooh, Dunkin’ Donuts and Key lime pie.

But when I reminisce about childhood holidays I think of the many post-cards I sent, all stating: I’m having fun in the sun, swimming in the pool and eating lots of ice cream!

What is it about holidays and swimming? My sister Kirstie will cringe if she reads this, in the full knowledge that she knows what’s coming next! I even learnt to swim on holiday, didn’t I Kirstie? We were in Spain on holiday when I fell into the villas pool and not having my arm bands plus being relatively new at swimming I was a little scared – Kirstie being my only saviour simply told me to keep calm and keep paddling, whilst she went to get her goggles because she just couldn’t swim without them! Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale and my sister still boasts that she’s responsible for teaching me to be a star swimmer…

As soon as we tell Alfie that we are going on holiday he gets so excited about the thought of going swimming each day and when we are actually on holiday his first thought of the day is – when are we going swimming?

A holiday just simply isn’t a holiday without a pool. Equally important is the need to have all the ice cream you can eat each day. Sampling ice cream is one of those hobbies that you just have to have when you travel and it’s also one that you never grow out of with age.

I remember my Grandparents giving me loose change throughout the year to save up in my piggy bank for that all important ice cream fund.  And yes this same ritual has been passed onto both Alfie and Betsy! Although in our house we don’t need a holiday as an excuse to eat ice cream…

It’s true that going on holiday is good for the soul. It gives us the chance to forget everything going on at home and at work and helps to both de-stress and relax you.

So that’s a wrap! Summer 2019 is over and it’s back to reality. The alarms are set each morning, the uniforms are labelled and laid out each night and if I’m really organised the packed lunches are even chilling in the fridge!

What can I say? Other than good luck to both Alfie’s and Betsy’s school and nursery teachers! They’re going to need it to unpick all the damage the last six weeks of non-routine, late nights and lots of ice cream has caused!

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