I don’t know about you but I am finding the older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. Time hop this morning reminded me that this time six years ago I was pregnant with Cheeky Chap. As the memories of the pregnancy came back, the pain, the boredom from being house bound and not working, the heartburn and nausea, the discomfort throughout and moving about a month before giving birth, I reflected on how quickly time has passed and yet, at the same time, it only feels like yesterday.
I, like many fellow bloggers, began this blog as a way to record memories. And while I would love to grow it, earn a reasonable income and work with some brands, this space remains my way to record memories.
I went through some photos recently. Back from 10 years ago when we had to print photos to see the results because digital cameras were reserved for professionals or higher income earners. It hit me how we no longer really record memories as such. We write status updates on social media, upload hundreds of photos from a single day out onto our computers, add a few to online albums and some to blog posts. We might print off a handful of pictures to put into displays or hand out to the grandparents, although if you’re anything like me you have all of the intentions but just never get round to it. In my defence, there isn’t a way to print more than one picture at a time from the MacBook Air (if you know a way, let me know please!).
When people reflect on their childhoods, often I hear them talk of family holidays. During half term last week (and this week for many others) my timelines filled with pictures of people on ski-ing holidays. From Easter all the way through until the October half term, there are frequent updates from sunny resorts; sun-kissed skin, salty sea water hair, carefree children, parents relaxing at the pool bar while children enjoy kids club and making friends all interceded with the occasional trip out of the resort for culture and sightseeing. Evenings are spent watching cheesy entertainment in the bar or the sunset from the balcony or the beach.
I didn’t have any foreign holidays growing up. My early years were split between Abu Dhabi and Northern Ireland but I don’t particularly have memories of that time; my earliest memory is of the storm in Kent in 1987. My first memory of abroad is of a French Exchange that I wasn’t keen on. I, as usual, didn’t fit in, something that seems to have carried through to my 30s despite wanting to feel as though I belong somewhere. My next trip abroad was in 2007, when I got married in Cyprus. And that was my last trip abroad too. The memories are beginning to fade and I look to Facebook to be reminded of the utter bliss of two weeks by a pool, in the sunshine and a few trips out to the local area.
As a family we get away for a weekend maybe three or four times a year now that we have a car, before that we weren’t able to. While I am incredibly grateful that I have family who enable us to do that by letting us use their flat in Hope Cove for free or the guest suite in the sheltered housing they live in, we have only had one family holiday. In 2012 to Cornwall.
Now don’t get me wrong, Cornwall is a beautiful place to visit, I’m sure. If you have a car and if you don’t you end up spending the entire week on-site and while there were on-site activities there were not enough to keep a two and a half year old entertained the whole time. We did manage to walk to Coombe Mill and have a look around but sadly the owner and fellow blogger Fiona was away! Perhaps it is also my love for laying by a pool to read, occasionally dipping in to cool down combined with my interest in exploring the local area. As much as I would love the ease and convenience of resort holiday, I also love to experience the culture and sights of the area that I visit and have my camera to hand at all times.
Holidays and weekend breaks for my little family are about relaxation. They’re all about making things as stress-free as possible; no cooking, no cleaning, no tantrums through boredom (and that’s just me!). They’re about visits the beach so Cheeky Chap can build sandcastles and splash in the sea and doesn’t need to ask for a bath to pretend he is at the beach (true story, that was why he wanted a bath just last night!).
They’re about spending quality time together as a family, having fun, not just sitting in a room together doing our own thing, barely being aware of each other’s presence. They’re about creating memories for Cheeky Chap, memories of a childhood better than the ones myself and the husband experienced growing up. Memories to keep in our heads but also memories to record here, on this blog. They’re about taking lots of photos and struggling to decide which ones to get rid of and which ones to share. Memories of special places and valuable times with my perfect little family. Memories to look back on with fondness and to replace the ones that aren’t so good.
Cheeky Chap loves nothing more than spending his days outside, in the sunshine and playing freely. Add in a water source and he is as happy as can be.
I will leave the final word with Cheeky Chap, who came up with this rather novel idea himself. I hope you like it!
This is our entry to Mark Warner Holidays Family Ambassador Programme.