I thought this morning that it might be the time and might do myself some good, to write something a little positive. 

We have been on holiday, a whole week away during the school holidays. This is a first. Not a first holiday together as such, but all of the times that we have had away until this break have all been a Friday to Monday, a cheap break, term time. This was different and it was wonderful.

Family holidays were always to Wales with Martin, it was all we could ever afford. He had a friend with a caravan at Borth, so that is where we would go. To begin with as a family of four, myself, Martin and his two girls. Then when Isla came along she joined us and we squeezed into the caravan as a family of five. When Martha came along we grabbed short breaks when his older girls were on holiday themselves with their Mum or at school still. Occasionally we braved a holiday the six of us, but it wasn’t the most relaxing - too many different personalities and not enough space. We no longer had the luxury of mates rates, so would grab a bargain when we could, term time usually. We always went to Borth. The children loved it, the whole evening entertainment was perfect for them and a holiday to them meant time at ‘Sparky’s Krew Club’. They were so happy, so excited at the thought of a holiday there. It really was lovely and we could afford it. Martin fell in love with Wales, he loved Borth, the quiet, the scenery, all of it. I think he would have happily retired and lived in Borth.

For a few years after his death we returned to Borth for our holidays. I was unsure to begin with, but my girls wanted nothing more than to revisit. After all, holiday to them meant Borth. It wasn’t easy, the first visit. But it got easier, the happiness the girls radiated made it all the more enjoyable for myself. We went with Jon too, we went as a family of four and when Emmy came along she joined us and we squeezed into a caravan as a family of five. 

Something changed, Isla changed. Isla grew up and Borth seemed to lose its magic for her. It was sad to witness. She had outgrown Sparky and co. The evening entertainment. Even the arcades weren’t as big and as exciting as they had once been. We decided that it would be the last time that we would go. We decided that the future was for holidays where we could make new memories, in places that could belong to us as a family and only us. No ghosts, just us.

So our first holiday somewhere new was to be this summer holiday the day before my birthday, for a whole seven days. I was as excited as the children were. I chose Pembrokeshire, beautiful Pembrokeshire. A log cabin just outside of Broad Haven, a place I had driven through many years ago. The log cabin was situated in a remote area next to some woodland. It was a stunning location. We opted for this type of holiday, although there were other cabins, there was nothing there for entertainment other than the natural beauty that surrounded us. Even the phone signal was ropey and we didn’t pay for wi-fi. The children were put out with the lack of tech, but not for long. They soon became accustomed to our remote dwelling and enjoyed every minute of the holiday. It was wonderful. We walked through the woods to the beach in the evening. We had beach days and days in the sea riding the waves on our body boards. We had a barbecue on the decking of our cabin, we visited towns and explored the coastline, stumbling upon some truly magnificent sights. We visited a zoo/farm where I witnessed all three of the children enjoying themselves, laughing and talking to each other excitedly as they discovered another animal to observe. They loved it. We went to a water park where they even met up with some of their friends and they had their hair braided at the seaside. They played, together and they laughed together. They found enjoyment in the smallest of things and they benefited greatly from being outside and breathing in the sea air. They were happy, so very happy. So were we. We relaxed, we let all of life’s stresses and worries take a backseat and we lived in the moment. We all needed that holiday.

I would like to think that we will find new places to visit, that we will discover other special places to call our own and we have years ahead of us to do that. But next year, next year we are returning to our little log cabin next to the woods, where we can hear the badgers call at night and the waves of the sea crashing against distant rocks. We found ourselves a small piece of heaven and we want to hang on to that for a little longer.


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