Time out

SandcastlesIt’s been quiet on the blog recently – my apologies. We’ve been on holiday so the week before was frantic with work and packing, and when we got back we threw E a family birthday party and my mum was staying with us. In among all that, I also finished the final 15,000 words of the first draft of my novel. So not much time for blogging then!

Holiday was to the South Devon coast. When I want to go away but can’t be bothered to think of anywhere, the West Country is usually my default destination. It’s lovely, there’s lots to see and the beaches are good. At some point during the week, it also usually makes me question my life choices. When you look around at the large windowed house the owners of your cottage live in, with their garage full of surf gear (not that I can surf but that’s not the point), land in the countryside and a short drive to the sea, you do wonder why you live in a two-bed terrace in the most landlocked city in England. When we spent an afternoon wandering round Totnes, with its three haberdasheries, bookshops, a lovely deli and a Fatface (it only needs a Caffe Nero to make my shopping requirements compete) I did contemplate moving. Of course, one brief look in the estate agent’s window at a house the same size as ours but twice the price reminded me why we live where we do.

P1040627 E enjoyed her holiday last year but this year she’s much more ‘into’ things so has more of an opinion on them. This year, we were able to suggest more things she might like to try – things I feel I have a duty to show her on a childhood holiday. So we bought a bucket (one of those castle shaped ones) and a spade and taught her how to make sandcastles, we took her to a crazy golf course and got her trying that out (badly), and I took her paddling in the sea. She was wary of the sea at first but once in, it was hard to get her out. At one point, she turned towards the open water and started walking.

Three seaside trips later, two lots of fish and chips, an aquarium trip, seven sandcastles, some rock pooling and two ice creams later, I feel confident she loves the seaside. We also went to Paignton zoo for her birthday where she made friends with a baby Colobus monkey, went on a steam train and there were two National Trust visits – one cream tea, two dressing up sessions (see above) and a big swing on an oak tree, plus several games of hide and seek. All old fashioned holiday stuff, if you like, but it suited us and was a lovely week.

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