Wednesday, 22 July 2009

We're all going on a summer holiday

The reason I never have two pennies to rub together is because the moment money hits my pocket (or indeed sometimes before it does) I am planning ways to spend it. My main expenditure has always been holidays. Before I had my boys we would plan exotic jaunts to powder white beaches, diving beneath azure blue waves to chase multicoloured fishes, or chic city breaks where I could flex my credit card on foreign fashion and killer cocktails. Since having children my sights have been lowered, but sadly the costs have not fallen in line with the quality of holiday.

For the past few years we have decamped for a family trip to Florida, taking in the tacky delights of Disneyworld and making sandcastles on the vast, empty beaches. The weather was warm, the food was cheap, the characters fluffy and the shopping abundant - everyone was a winner.

But this year we, like so many others, have been credit crunched, and rather than our usual long haul trip we are going to Wales. Oh how the mighty are fallen. I recall childhood holidays with my Welsh aunt, lurking in her gloomy living room as rain lashed on the windows and the TV refused to speak English or shivering as my toes turned blue while I paddled in the icey sea. These are not happy memories, so why am I taking my children back to the scene of the crime?

Blame a combination of nostalgia, which served to rose tint my recollections, wiping out those sand filled sandwiches and windswept route marches along the clifftops, replacing them with frolics in sun drenched meadows and ice cream slurped in a race against the sun's warmth, and a recent delightful return to the land of my fathers, where we basked in luxury on a press freebie to Bluestone in Pembrokeshire and glorious, unseasonal sunshine.

This heady mix meant that when my mother found a cottage she could just about afford to rent for us all I jumped at the chance of a free holiday, failing entirely to look this gift horse in the mouth. Now as I am about to pack up mummy, daddy, two small boys and the twins, plus all the necessary kit in preparation for our five hour drive to a cold, rainy outpost of the British Isles, I am beginning to spot the cavities and halitosis that I had so blithely ignored in said horse's mouth.

The idyllic fantasy of an old style family holiday is fast morphing into a terrifying trial whereby we have to invent entertainment for all the children without the aid of modern technology - please God let the television have learnt English - whilst attempting to remain civil as we are forced to share close quarters with the aged grandp's.

The plan is to go into what my mother calls 'holiday mode', which if memory serves means seeing the funny side of flea infested hotel beds, salmonella infested restaurants and sibling infested vehicles. It never worked back then, but my fingers are firmly crossed that it's an adult skill that I must have acquired somewhere along the way.

So I shall pack our cases, pray for sunny weather and tempraments, and console myself with the thought that at least I won't have to queue up to have my photo taken with a larger than life sized mouse this year.


  1. I have very happy memories of family camping holidays on the Gower peninsula.

    Sorry sorry sorry, by the way, because my email address wasn't on my blog. I must have removed it at some point, for who knows what reason. Sorry to waste your time looking for it, time that could otherwise have been spent, I know, sipping cocktails and reading an improving book, while taking a solo bath.

    Will email you (look in your spam, for email from "an aspiring mummy blogger"). Have a nice holiday.

  2. Hope the weather holds out for you. I remember Wales in the sunshine as being idyllic. I'm going to skip over the concept of a wet Wales week. Hope the Grands are up for some childcare to give you some relaxing bath time and maybe a night out?

  3. I hope you have a lovely sunny time and that your children come away with fond memories.
    Fingers crossed you don't see any big mice!

  4. Fingers crossed for good weather and fun times. When I was little I lived in Cornwall and every year we went on camping holidays in....Cornwall. Yep, my parents didn't even want to leave the county with us, let alone the foreign wonders of another country - Wales indeed!

  5. we're just back from wales ourselves - it rained a lot, but there was still plenty of mountains, streams, open space, big skies and ice cream to keep all four children happy. Fingers crossed you have as good a time!