We have just enjoyed an incredibly fun and very sunny week down in Cornwall with Nathan’s side of the family and whilst 4 days later I am still feeling wrecked from all of the driving and being go go go, I am also pleased to report I am a little sun-kissed and it was pretty much everything we hoped for – family fun, banter, lush weather, beach trips and comfortable surroundings. I guess I did hope for more rest and relaxation, but who was I kidding?? I am already beginning to see that that rarely exists on a family holiday now…especially with a new-born! This busy holiday lifestyle is life now for a few years!
It all began with a 6am start and a drive of 350 miles down to Cornwall for our “Summer Holiday” with 3 kids in tow and with one being only a few weeks old, we had anticipated lots of stops for feeds, but in the end it took 10hrs for us to arrive at our destination and the place we would call home for the next 7 days!!!
I really love Cornwall, the 1st time I went was 2 years ago (again with Naths family) when I was about 35 weeks pregnant with Poppy, and whilst excited to be back and greatly looking forward to a break, family fun and time together, I couldn’t help but find myself reflecting once again on our baby girl, the hope we had and all we lost with her passing. I guess I realised that this holiday, whilst being a lot of fun, was also going to be a little emotional at times too because when I look at our family 2 years on, there are so many big things that have happened since we were last there..births, marriages and unfortunately deaths too. I suddenly began to see more and more truth in what my mother in law always says, that in life our joys and sorrows are all mixed up together.
There was certainly many things to smile about, laugh about and a sense of excitement to be had daily. But the heartache of the reminders of being there before, and then of course the joy of our new baby girl mixed in with the sadness I felt in seeing what could have been equalled a holiday of mixed emotions!
Whilst I refer to it a lot, I seem to not yet have learnt this… but when I look back, it would be obvious that being back somewhere again for the 1st time after a loss is bound to rustle up emotions and reflections that are sad, and there were a couple of times this happened and it felt odd to have feelings of sadness and that heavy heart again when we were having so much fun, but this is life now and I guess with time it will become normal to feel that when I visit places that remind me.
The main one was in Padstow at the beginning of the week. I fell in love with this place last time we were there; Whilst the family biked the camel trail from Wadebridge to Padstow, Naths Dad and I went ahead to meet them for lunch and a ferry ride. This time though I was very aware he isn’t here and not just that but the baby we chatted about there isn’t here either. I desperately hoped Id feel fit enough to bike it with them all, and almost did just to avoid what I knew would be felt if I didn’t, but at only 4 weeks postnatal it wasn’t going to happen. I went ahead on my own with Alice and had a little cry in the car on the way over to meet them and wandering those streets pushing my pram felt so weird, so different and somehow just not as beautiful as it was to me previously!
Aside from these emotions when we first returned to where we were staying, when I sat on a night feeding and at the odd time I wasn’t able to join in with the various activities and remembered last time being pregnant, the holiday was mostly lush. Its hard to put into words that something as simple as returning to the same ice cream shop or driving down the same road, church in the same place, can all hit your senses and trigger reflections, sadness and grief be it for a brief moment or several hours/a day, so yes is was a real mix for me of highs and lows but the highs of the holiday really stand out. Aside from sunshine, actually being on a holiday, Poldark girls night every night, daily Lidl trips, our lovely room, only cooking once (yes it was for 26 but still), it also included;
Local delicacies: Cornish ice cream, fish and chips and a Cornish pasty! It was all delish and there is something about eating locally that makes holidays that little bit more special.
The numerous trips to the beach with AMAZING sunshine – Of course you always take a risk with UK breaks, but this one was perfect. We had several amazing days of hot sunshine and spent them on the beach. The beach is definitely my happy place and more so seeing my kids loving all it has to offer too.
Swimming in the Sea – I was grateful for the day we found ourselves at Constantine bay…what an absolutely gorgeous spot and I couldn’t resist joining my sister in-laws for a dip in the clear blue waters!! I love, absolutely love swimming in the sea and it was amazing.
Seeing the kids with their cousins – Nearly all of my Summer Holidays saw a 2 week break spent with my cousins. We made clubs, sand castles, trouble, laughs and bonds to stretch for years to come. I loved to sit and watch my children doing all of this with the people they call their best friends. It was lovely to see them playing, being busy bees on the beach building empires, wandering from lodge to lodge together, eating their meals and chatting together and making plans for swimming, Dvd’s and when they would next be getting together again!
Seeing Nathan with his Siblings – Having a new baby meant I spent a lot of time sat back (and feeding) and so had more of an opportunity to see Nathan with his siblings. It was lovely to see them jumping off harbour walls, go Karting, surfing, playing beach volleyball and generally laughing and sharing stories and memories. Whilst I wish I could have done some of the afore-mentioned activities I always love to see him with his family as its so important and I always count my blessings that when I married him, I married into an amazing family too. It’s such a happy sight!
I think I said it in a recent post, but the older I get and with what we have gone through, life is certainly a real mix bag these days of highs and lows. We lead a rollercoaster life for sure, but despite the days or just moments my heart feels heavy or something reminds me of how desperately I wish our family pics and experiences looked differently, I am so blessed to have the family I do. Call it rarity or luck that we all get on so well and are able to share in so much fun together but it is what makes life full in addition to the adventures we experience as an individual unit.
I am really loving England at the moment and having time to explore more of its beauties together. I love Cornwall, I really love holidays both here and afar, love family and actually really loved this 1st holiday with our new addition even though it was at times hard work. I know that its only natural to think of those no longer with us, because yes the truth is that life 2 years on does look different, very different to what any of us could have thought or hoped, and that is a heavy thought, but there are joys that have graced us to maintain some highs too aside from our relationships, and because of those I feel that I can still see the joy and heartiness in life and bask in it…we can enjoy holidays even in places that remind us of our loss and we can appreciate our beautiful land.