It’s now just under four weeks until our holiday in Brittany, and we are getting very excited. We are going for three weeks and are investing a ridiculous amount of expectation into the holiday, in terms of how relaxed we are going to feel afterwards, how much we are going to reconnect with our lost or forgotten selves, the new and exciting things we are going to see, how much our french will improve. You get the picture.
We have started making mental lists of everything we need to pack, the best route and timetable to Plymouth, how many stops on an eight hour drive with a toddler we need to make, how we can avoid being stung by the extortionate motorway services. Do we take a laptop and spend some time in an internet cafe halfway through to post pictures to facebook, blogs, etc, or do we disconnect completely from our normal lives? How many novels can I write in those three weeks? How many days can we spend on the beach? Because obviously it will be nothing but clear blue skies and warm sunshine the whole time.
The picture above was taken on the first day of last year’s holiday. We had travelled Dover to Calais (instead of Plymouth to Roscoff, which is much closer to where we are staying) and drove down the west of France to Brittany. We forgot about the restricted lunch times, and drove through packed, touristy Honfleur and a couple of other villages before realising that if we didn’t stop soon it would be four o clock before we could eat – not an option with a one year old! We found this bar and sat drinking locally brewed Normandy cider out of bolées with our food. The weather was exactly as we had hoped, the quiet village was idyllic, and we still had the whole of our holiday ahead of us. If we get a day like that this year, I will be a happy girl.
Incidentally, shortly after leaving the bar and resuming our journey, we got completely lost, ended up very stressed and upset, and arrived at our gite about three hours later than we’d hoped.
So it may be foolish to invest so much in the first day, but I’m willing to risk it.
It’s coming up to the time of year again where I look back and wonder where on earth the time has gone. My son’s birthday is next week, and I have barely adjusted to the idea that I have a son.
There is hardly a day that goes by without him inspiring the strongest,most overwhelming feelings in me. Yes, some of those feelings are frustration and annoyance – “why won’t he go to sleep? Why won’t he eat his dinner? Why won’t he let me go to the toilet in peace?” – but mostly I am amazed everyday at his miraculous development.
Every day he learns a new word, says an old word a little clearer, copies something new that we do, learns a new skill. He is the world’s best builder, a Brit-winning singer, the next Picasso/Shakespeare/Shaw. He can kick a ball better than David Beckham, he is funnier than Peter Kay. All this, and he’s not even two yet.
I look back at the first picture here, taken when he was minutes old. He is battered and bruised from a brutal forceps delivery, his skin is still blue from the cord being around his neck, he is only just calming down from the trauma of being born. I love that he is, even then, looking at me as if to say “You just wait and see what I’ve got in store, Mummy!” And then I look at the next picture, taken on my mobile on his first birthday. He is full of cheek and joy and life. The last picture was taken a couple of months ago at a friend’s birthday party, and I can see all the mischief he promised as a newborn in that smile. I wonder what the difference will be in a year’s time.
It’s been an exhausting, emotional two years. But I cannot imagine life any other way.
Happy birthday, Daniel x x x
…just to say that dishwashers really are a mummy’s best friend.
We had poached salmon, new potatoes and steamed veg for tea last night. At the end of the meal there were loads of dishes, pans, mess. Five minute job and you’re done.
Nice clean room, and I can sit down and pretend to write. Fab.
There is only one thing that, in my humble opinion, beats a dishwasher. A multicooker. Ours is the Cookshop Gourmet Multicooker, and I cannot now imagine life without it. We occasionally, as last night, have a meal that has not been partially or totally cooked in the multicooker, but it is pretty rare now. This machine is wonderful, you can prepare almost any food, you use NO OIL (Yes! Even for bacon and eggs!), and it literally takes five minutes to clean. You heat it up a tiny bit, wipe it with a bit of kitchen roll or a clean dry cloth, and that’s it. I cannot recommend this enough, especially to other mummies!