Sunday, 4 September 2011


As I opened my rucksack at work this morning momentarily I could not place the scent that issued from within, then I hunkered further into the scarf wrapped around my neck, now I can place it ... bonfires, I like to smell of a good bonfire!

A reminder of our simple, happy holiday. Me, my babies, their Daddy and I. Through the drudgery of today I can still smell free spirit – even over the synthetic smell of air con and computers that never sleep and I can’t help but wonder that if life is what you make it and I create all my own situations (right?) then in theory I could have the life I dream of …

I've been daydreaming all day - of simplicity, community, old ways and country air. Why? It can only be the inspiration of a little holiday away from the city and the concrete jungle to a place where I can't even be bothered to find my phone so that I can tell the time. A place where if the sun starts going down then it must be bedtime, when it rises, we do too. It doesn't matter if it's midday or not - if we're hungry we'll eat. And my children taught me that it doesn't matter how cold or overcast it is the Beach MUST be enjoyed at every opportunity!

The North Norfolk coast is beautiful, I guess you could say it's one of our sacred places, much visited, many memories.   It is so close that it doesn't make sense to go further on a shoe string of time and money.

The great British summer saw us off to a soggy start - it rained terrentially just as we got the fly sheet up and the kids reluctantly bundled inside whilst the perfectionist in me stayed outside re adjusting pegs and lines until I was looking like a drowned rat.  Its a good job though as we took a battering but it's nothing that could dampen spirits.

Inside our dry bubble was that cosyness that comes from being tucked up inside as the rain pelts down outside.  

My sister loves the winter for this reason, I don't quite share the same enthusiasm but I understand what she means; I used to get the same feeling on long, dark, rainy car journeys as a child - warm, dry safe and with the most important people in my life. I am thankful that I have those things and now it is my turn to nurture that same cosy security for my little ones.


The thunderous sound of the waves crashing this beach of large pebbles was disconcerting for my bears so we kept our distance and intead little excavators set to work making castles at the base of sandstone cliffs and caves.

I love this one of Cliff

I am utterly in love with this shot.
And this ...

And a warm fire to warm cockles and hearts and to reaffirm friendships ...

So, THINGS THAT WARMED MY HOLIDAY HEART (and in no particular order, just a montage of thoughts exactly as they came) ...

Non-time (always!)
My boys Cheshire Cat grin and giggles of obvious joy at getting onto the wet gloopy sand for the first time

Seeing my two babies snuggled up in their blanketted becushioned, paddling pool nest (innovative mama!)
More campfires...

My man taking up his place in his poncho by the fire, book in hand stopping to wrestle the children when their incesant scrambling and clambering eliminates any chance of a peaceful read!
My boy eventually finding natural rhythm in the evenings, just chillin' and chattin, oh and lots of giggling ...

Dreamy ...

My boy’s imagination, how I saw a rotting tree stump but he immediately saw a pixie castle.
Staying on a working farm ~ feeding the pigs spying 'naughty chickens escaped his farm' (said Gaia)

Old people who tell me how wonderful my children are
Amaretto coffees by night.
Seeing my boy care for younger children and utterly love them
Not knowing what the time is, not even caring.
Waking up with Cliff’s arm around me
Realising that snuggling up close to Cliff was the answer to getting a good nights sleep
Delving deeper into Celtic & Pagan history – getting a feeling in my heart this is my heritage.
Finding that camping rhythm
Buying the tastiest pastries and cakes from the cutest bake shop by the sea
Holding my boys hand and giving him the confidence to make friends with kids he’s never met before and the way he came to me and said ‘Mummy that little girl is so so beautiful’
My Spider-Girl
Beach combing and rock pooling; as we carefully rolled and heaved rocks aside crabs scuttled and transulcent barely visible  tiddlers tiddled away, sea snails seemed reluctant to great us.

Our pockets always weighing heavy full of stones and shells on the way back from the beach, our socks full of sand, our bodies full of positive ions.

In the days since we arrived home I've gradually emptied these pockets and those bags and to my great joy keep on finding perfect reminders of our time away together...
...including the heart shaped stones my boy continues to bring me.

my girls fascination with the rainbow of beach huts standing sentinels on the beach

Zander has wanted a foam sword for ... ever! Much to his relief and joy I finally bought him one, one
for Gaia too so now they can duel each other - and thanking the Menfolk for their patient sparing a gracious loosing!

Some things, my Dad used to say, are specially to be cherished as memories and are worth more than a photo. So every time I curse myself for forgetting to pick the camera up before a day trip I remind myself of these wise words.
He is right, there is something special about a memory and something you can't refer back to anywhere other than in your head with your own specific imagination. I'm still gutted I forgot to grab it before our ride on a steam train on the Poppy Line.

A thing of beauty! Just like the Hogwarts Express and we hung our heads out of the little pull down window to catch the breeze andwhat a joy to see everyone else doing the same, I could have been a Railway Child for just a second there!

The smell of burning coal, the noise as the wheels turned with a clickety clack and the children revelled in the luxury of having our own compartment with a slidng door - more space and comfort than British rail affords it's passengers these days I might addd!

My heart breaks a little each time I think about it. Yes, there are new things for him to discover and share with me, there are new rhythms for us all to sink into – making packed lunches, washing P.E kits, I have 50 iron on name labels to get through and my house to clean before his teacher does a home visit on wednesday!

As new adventures and stages begin I can't help but reflect inwards as a mother, this is my journey too and this is a rite of passage for me as much as him ... I am so sad that he won't be around so much during the day, my heart is heavy because babyhood and toddlerdom seemed to last forever at the time, then he turned four and I gasped and wondered where the time went. He will not be small forever, I think I thought he might.

Now I must find new ways to affirm our bond in the shorter time we will have together, that time will be ever more precious if that is possible!

I love him more than ever, I adore him, am besotted with him and stupidly I have already spilled big tears and I still have a week to go till he starts! I will be armed with tissues and good things to say to him and my baby girl on my hip for comfort as he dissapears into his classroom for the first time.

Life seems always to be hectic and this is why I yearn so much for a simpler, more earthy life.  But we've learnt to accept this perpetual chaos we seem to be wading through and admidst it all we ahve done some lovely things this summer.

It was important to me that I should, although predictably I am now sitting here thinking we should have done this, gone there, seen that film, made those badges. But as I am fond of telling the children ~ I am not a magician and I can't bend time ... yet ... if will power alone can bring things into being then I'm working on it.

Sweet dreams X


  1. That looks like a wonderful time away, full of so many memories. I just love that look on Gaia's face on the beach hut steps!!

    Best of luck to both you and Zander, as you step forth together into a new chapter of your lives. I am sure, with the background you have already given him, he will be absolutely fine. xx

  2. Hugs to you both on that next step, Rose. Your holiday looks wonderful - timeless and dreamy. You will all relive those moments for the rest of your lives. xxx

  3. Lovely holiday memories x

    Yes, all best wishes for first day at school, new memories to make and moments to treasure xxx

  4. Thank you all, school isn't half as scary as I thought it would be, it's made me a very happy Mama in the end. It was me with the separation anxiety all along! X