I’d be quite confident to name the weekend gone by the best of 2015 so far.
It must have been, I took over 500 photographs and filmed enough footage to create a documentary on our dull, but lovely, family life.
Instead I have settled for several posts and three vlogs (which you can see on my YouTube channel).
We were invited to stay in Wales for a long weekend, thanks to Park Resorts. We chose the Ty Mawr resort as we didn’t want to travel too far and it reminded me of being a little girl and staying at my auntie’s caravan in Anglesey. We have some good memories as a family of four, so I wanted to start my own with the family I have since grown for myself.
I have to admit, and this is probably more for another post, but I have been having a bit of a quarter-life crisis recently. Not that I’m unhappy, but I don’t know quite who I am sometimes. I haven’t had a tough life by any means, with a full belly and a warm place to sleep, but I think that, sometimes, life has been hard. I fully believe that the past goes some way to shape your future and my obsession to get things ‘right’ had left me missing out the middle – today.
This weekend I switched off. Completely. Sure I snapped photographs, filmed videos and updated my Instagram. But I wasn’t fussed about Twitter, Facebook, emails, questions, answers.
I walked away from it all.
In fact. We all did.
There was something about caravan life that felt right for those few days. Simple. Uncluttered. Just enough space for what you needed. And, in any case, you didn’t need to pack the kitchen sink because there was one.
The view was different. Level. Almost flat. No tower blocks to peer up at, like Manchester. No two storey houses. Or cars driving past. Like home.
You saw just one level. And the rest was green if you looked down. And pure blue if you looked up.
Yes, the weather treated us very well. I felt like it knew in a way. It knew we needed free air and sun-warm skin. And just a chance to get away, without being cooped up outdoors.
There were times where I left the house without a scrap of makeup on. I didn’t care what people may think. And my skin loved the sunshine.
But then there were times where I dressed up. I took things from my wardrobe that I’d never been confident to wear. And they went into a suitcase and then straight onto me. This dress above isn’t my usual style. I normally go for more fitted things, with the option to layer. And while I wished I’d not forgotten the slim tan waist belt, I loved wearing it. I walked out of our bedroom and Mark said to me: “You look beautiful.” And Bill piped up: “Yeah! You look sooo pretty Mama!”
And I felt it. For once, which was quite lovely.
And yes, it’s safe to say I feel a little over-indulged. I ate cooked breakfasts, cake, ice cream, pies, Ploughman’s, fish and chips, sugar-dusted doughnuts. And we drank a little bit in the evenings too.
One thing I took from the weekend was that, hey, actually, we are a real family. You might look at the above and see a boy and his dad and in some ways, you are right. I am done explaining and apologising for the way I live my life. Mark and Bill have a bond. Yes I used that word. But it’s true. When Bill is scared, he wants Mark. When he wants to play, Mark is the person who can get giggles like I’ve never heard out of our boy. He’s our boy. He’s every bit our boy as he is his father’s boy. And it is something I have to not only accept, but champion.
See what I mean about the sky? It felt like we were fully surrounded, and we always are, of course, except it was different here.
I won points for cooking this myself and saving us a few pennies by not visiting the restaurant for breakfast. That was the beauty of a caravan. We were living somewhere else. Not just visiting. The pace was as slow or as fast as we wanted it to be. We could be as public or as private as we liked.
This looks like a lovely shot doesn’t it? Oh what are they looking at out of the window? A sunny day? A passing seagull? No. Seagull poo on the window. Boys for you.
I wonder if I’m the only person who like snaps of small details like this. I have a thing for the little things in life. One day this packaging might be ‘vintage’. Or maybe it will give me a flashback every time I see it on a supermarket shelf.
Or maybe I just like pickle too much.
The nicest thing about the caravan for me (and I’ll do a devoted post nearer the time), was the open-plan living, which we are replicating in our own house come September. It had an open kitchen, dining and living room area. So I never felt alone, as I busied myself in the kitchen, as I would normally do.
We’ll still have a separate living room at home, but I can’t wait to knock down walls and open up our space so I’ll always have that company. I’ll always have a little boy dragging over a stool, or in this case, a dining chair, to help me. Even if his help adds time on to my jobs, I’m happy, because I love sharing my time with him.
We always eat round a table. Always. I used to do that with my family. And Mark did with his. And I want it to last a long time – when I’ll be shouting grumpy teenagers down, with bribes of cake for afters.
Literally a flan case, squirty cream, berries and a ready-made mango coulis. You’d think it would have taken me hours right?
The best part of my weekend, without a shadow of a doubt, was Sunday. We were there from Friday until Monday, but Sunday was the sort of day where I had to consistently blink back happy tears. Because I was reminded of what I live for and it was delivered in the smack of a salty breeze in my face, and sunshine heating my shoulders.
We took to Llandudno. I learnt how to say it properly.
I learnt that I love sunny days more than most things in the world.
And that I never want to be without these two.
I have reams of photographs to share. So I’ll do that in a separate post, because I dread to think they would be lost here. And it means I get to indulge. Again!
Just look at them.
The next time I wonder who I am. Or what I am doing with my life.
I’ll remind myself.
You have love.
It is, by all means, enough.