Firstly I would like to take this moment to apologise, it seems bad planning ensured that we went on holiday the exact same time as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the media obviously had to decide whether to follow the holiday wardrobe of myself or Kate. They chose Kate, more fool them, so now none of you know what I wore daily. I’m sure you’ll survive.
Anyway, we embarked on the joy of a family holiday. It’s such a jolly good idea isn’t it? Rory will have a week off work, we’ll head to somewhere beautiful in the South of France. It’ll be carefully selected so that there is something to cater for everyone’s needs (washing machine for me, huzzah). We’ll spend a week in absolute harmony, thoroughly enjoying each others company, never wanting it to end. The children will appreciate and enjoy all the activities we plan whilst soaking up sun, culture and a bit of red wine (It is actual law in France that every household in France should have at least one bottle of wine in it).
Saturday – We had a 3am start after about 2 hrs sleep due to stress and Aoife’s random night time shouting. An overpriced breakfast at the airport had Aoife announce that she didn’t like the sausage, or the egg, or the bread. Yay. The flights I was dreading were fine and, despite our 50 minute transfer time being drastically reduced due to delays, the sprint through Schipol (including bum change for Seth) all went to plan. We were starting this holiday as winners. It was going to be a success! This would be the holiday that everyone else has!
On Sunday we arose bright and early. Well, early. Aoife put on her sunglasses telling me she’s showing France “this is how I roll”. We headed to a quaint little Provencal market in a village in the hills (incidentally, this is where Aoife had her very first public meltdown a few years ago). This year Seth decided that whilst Rory and I were buying veg (and an 8 Euro melon – it wasn’t even a nice melon, it tasted more like a cucumber. As I am from Yorkshire and we’re a frugal folk (and Rory was horrified at the cost) I took one for the team and ate as much as I could muster for breakfast one day. I managed about €6 worth. Winner!) would be the optimum time to try and do a runner. He wears reins (much to the dismay of the French) but they were dropped for a nanosecond. I caught him pretty quick but my heart was in my mouth. I succeeded in not having a public meltdown and looking like a mad foreigner. He is definitely a future winger. After lunch we went for a strut around the lake. Wonderful family time. Alas, Aoife and I have a tradition whereby on the first full day of any holiday we fall out. Proper fall out. This year was because she’s not allowed to run down roads as they’re dangerous and I didn’t want her run over. I’m one of those awful Mummies who wants to protect their children. Shocking. We finally get the children to bed and Aoife decided this place had perfect acoustics for a big old shout.
I drank wine.
On Monday I woke up hearing Seth shout ‘HELLO. HELLO. HELLO’ to Aoife . Aoife responds like a teenager “Hello Seth, SHHH I’m trying to sleep”. I smile smugly. A little taste of your own medicine lady! Then I realised we were all awake and I had no cause to be smug. We headed to the beach where Aoife took off her sandles “in case they get sandy” and then buried them. In the sand.
Am I the only one who sees this makes no sense? After the bedtime farce of last night Aoife suggested that if she had a clock in her room she wouldn’t need to keep waking everyone up as she’d be able to see the time and the alarm would let her know when she could get up. By 7.28pm she was demanding the clock be removed as it ticked too loud. Apparently we can have it in our room and once the alarm had gone off we can go and wake her. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH No. I drank wine.
On Tuesday we went to Cannes, this was a risky little game. Despite holidaying in the same region every year, Cannes is a place we tend to avoid for it gives the women in our family tantrums. We unite in our dislike of the town.
This year I realised why! The coast of the South of France is accessed by pretty much, one straight road from St Tropez to Italy. It’s lovely and scenic but towns are long.We arrived at about 11.30am. The minute we passed the ‘Welcome to Cannes’ sign (it may not quite say that) Rory spotted a parking space next to the beach, he thought this would be a rarity and parked there so we can walk to the port bit. Alas the reason there are parking spaces a plenty is because the town is actually another 6km away. We park. Seth (who has read the Little Mermaid too much and thinks himself part merperson) spotted the beach and went nuts. We had to go to the beach so he could eat some sand and dig a hole and then we got on our merry way. Seth cried a lot of the way as it’s ALL along the beach and we weren’t letting him play. It’s also nearly lunchtime so he’s hungry and tired. We picked up a quick sandwich then set about walking the 6km back. All this in shoes designed for strolling and sitting not hiking. THIS is why we fucking hate Cannes. The icing on the cake was us ‘grown ups’ getting sunburn (my fault, I forgot our sun cream and refuse to wear the kids as it smells of ice cream and I’m worried wasps will be attracted. I’ve never seen a wasp here but I’m not willing to risk it. I’ll risk the kids, they can run faster than me) anyway, we’re there getting sunburn whilst the actual locals are wearing jumpers and coats. Seriously, it’s like 22 degrees! We’re so British. I drank wine.
On Wednesday we visited St Maxime, where Seth spotted builders sand and insisted on sitting in it for a play despite the actual beach being less than 100 metres away. Aoife was leaping and inevitably fell over alerting the WHOLE of France to her plight (I worry when she cries like that, that people will think it’s something REALLY serious like I stole her rather than a booboo on her knee). A go on the merry go round and an ice cream fixed it though. Simple things. We had another night of Aoife refusing to settle, funnily enough (like at home) it coincides with Rory going for a run. Conclusive proof that exercise is bad. I drank wine.
Thursday was Seth’s birthday! My baby boy is 2, I officially have no babies now just children *sob*
He insisted on going outside at 7.30 am to play in the gravel. I think he thinks it’s a beach. We opted for a day at the seaside as that seems to be his favourite thing (though a day on the drive would probably suffice) and moules for lunch again wouldn’t be entirely terrible. Before we leave the house I check that everyone has everything they need. Me – “Are your sunglasses in the car?” Aoife – “Yes” We get in car. Rory – “Do you have my sunglasses in there?” Aoife – “Do you have mine too?” Me – ” REALLY? I just asked you in the house if they were in the car!” Just like being at home. Proof, if it were needed,that we could move anywhere in this whole wide world. Our life could be picked up and dropped anywhere! Aoife wanted to buy Seth a minion birthday cake. €16!!! I love my boy I really do but I’m not spending almost £16 (thank you ‘brexit’ people for the crappy exchange rate) on a Minions cake! We chose a chocolate and pear cake instead. He demolished it so I don’t think we chose badly. I drank beer then wine and wanted to cry a little.
Then came Friday. The last day of our holiday, Boooooo. We spend another morning at the beach then the afternoon outside at the villa whilst trying to gather every thing together and get packing. I hate this day I really do. I feel sad because we’ve had a brilliant time and I don’t want it to end. I love having my family all together all the time. I don’t want Aoife to go back to school next week (She said we can move to France and I can teach her!). I love having my wonderful, funny, argumentative, super clever little girl with me all the time. I don’t want Seth to be bored of me once we’re home again and without sand or gravel. I don’t want it to be 3 degrees, grey and sleeting. I don’t want to step on the scales and see what a week of cheese, bread and wine has done (I can feel it). Life is always more wonderful in the sunshine and when we’re all together. The attitude to life here is better too. It’s not about stuff and things, it’s about appreciating good food, good weather & good company. And wine? Most importantly the main aim of the people here is to enjoy life and be happy. This is the life for us.
I know that this is pretty much just a self indulgent holiday diary and probably is pretty boring to most but you read all the way to here so more fool you. *Winky, smiley, humour, face*