We’ve returned from our “family” holiday with the kids. Er… kids? They are both adults now, one no longer a “youth” in the old “youth” definition in the justice system (i.e. 25 or over now). Somehow the kids have gone from 2 to 4 as well as we seem to have co-opted in some others on a permanent basis too in recent years. Meaning that there were six of us, four starting out in Kent for the trek (it is hardly that really but the M25, M3, M27 and A31 can make it feel like that on weekends at this time of year) to Dorset. The other two travelled in luxury on the train from the Midlands. My son and his partner live close to Birmingham city centre and frankly he often appears like Michael Portillo on their journeys around the country by various train routes – he luckily doesn’t have Mr Portillo’s fashion acumen I have to say – or a battered copy of Bradshaw’s to keep him company. Anyway I laid the seats down in my car turning it into a van so I could even take all the old beach paraphernalia – fishing nets, deckchairs, windbreaks! Mrs F had an empty little run about that panted at times up hills to keep up and was filled to the roof with shopping at a strategically planned Co-Op stop. So we all rolled up at the “cottage”, well semi-detached two bathroom house really on Saturday afternoon and soon were having tea and hobnobs.
To backtrack slightly however the “family” holiday started at Christmas as a discussion about whether Mrs F and I would renew our vows and Dorset was suggested as we have a friend who is a vicar who now lives there – would have been a bit more convenient if she hadn’t moved last year! I think if she’d been local to us we may have ended up doing just that as I partly wanted to go back to our local church where we got married to do it. However since then when we were members of the congregation that bout of religion waned and we’ve been very irregular attenders since then, esp since the kids grew past scouts and brownie parades etc. When the idea of visiting our friend in Dorset for the vow renewal there we started wading through memories of many holidays with the kids when they really were kids and two where both of them were present inside Mrs F! No wonder it is their holiday home. In fact Mrs F and I went to Purbeck in 1982 for our first ever holiday together. We went back more times and as the family grew with her parents and my Mum, with my brother and his family and my sister and her family also holidayed near there too. I remember one day with the whole host of us outside the beach hut we used to rent for our two weeks there.
Soon this became a “family” holiday trip. We went back to the same village, walked the same walks, visited the same beaches and museums, eat in the restaurants etc. My wife even found a picture of my son around 1 year old in exactly the same place in one as a new picture taken at age 25.
I seem every so often to make the comment that “this will be the last holiday we have all together as a family”. My last protestation to that effect being three years ago when we all went to the Cotswolds. But here we are again all on holiday again together and having a great time and many laughs and fun. I am incredibly grateful I have such a great family. Who knows in another year of so I can still see me saying “this will be the last holiday we have all together as a family”… maybe I should stop predicting that!
Some random photos of the holiday… including me on the beach looking a total twit!