Friday, 10 August 2012

Space for self

We've just returned from a week in Corfu, a much appreciated chance to rest and relax. A week didn't seem long enough, we did manage a boat ride around some caves and beautiful coastline and a visit to the island of Paxos, but did not manage much else in terms of seeing the island. What we did do was to spend a lot of time swimming and soaking up the sunshine, something we felt quite deprived of given the UK weather this year.  Holidays are also a chance to read. I averaged a book every day or two this holiday and particularly recommend Patrick Gale's A Perfectly Good Man and Chris Cleave's The Other Hand.

Swimming around the caves
Another unexpected boon this holiday was the chance to spend time with our younger son. There is a bit of a history to this as he wasn't overly keen on the idea of coming with us. Our decision to only go for a week was partly based on consideration for the boredom factor for him and the having-to-deal-with-a- bored-teenager factor for us. He was, however, surprisingly good company, full of chat and laughter and we had several interesting conversations with him (yes, really!) It was a contrast to last year when he was polite enough but fairly uncommunicative.I thought to myself that he really must be growing up and also how good it would be to have a positive memory of what may be our last holiday as a "family" rather than a couple.

We really didn't want to return, but it was a bonus to come back to find some sunshine in the UK. I've been resisting the impulse to get on with the pile of ironing that holidays alway produce and am spending time walking the dog, reading, and pottering in  the garden while the summer lasts! Sunshine doesn't last forever, nor do holidays, or children, or  the peace and space just to be. It is important that we savour gifts like that while we can.


  1. Sounds like you had a lovely time, nice to see some pics and some sunshine, (we've had freezing weather all this week) ...and I do agree nothing lasts forever, we really do have to be grateful for what we have all the way along.

  2. Your holiday sounds really lovely, Sue! I hear you about the boys. Ours are very different (as you described yours a couple of posts ago), too. This year, one of them decided not to come with us on our "family vacation" to the beach. So then the other decided not to come, either. In the end, my husband and I had a really lovely time just the two of us. In fact, it was couple time that was sorely needed! But, we were bothered that the boys didn't want to join us. I guess our last family holiday has already passed, and we didn't mark it.

  3. Thanks to both of you. I must visit your blogs (I am having a lazy summer!) Perhaps you will have a family holiday again in the future, Penelope? It is kind of sad/ glad that life moves on and changes.

  4. COL 3:17 and all that!

    Glad you had a good time. Given the age of your sons, I suppose it is highly likely that family holidays are coming to an end (I never went on holiday with my parents after the age 13! I always plumped for holidays with the school from then on! With my parents I'd got sick of being dumped outside working men's clubs in places like Rhyll with a bottle of coke and packet of crisps while they whiled away the afternoon with bingo and propping up the bar!) so it is good to savour the time. And just having a break is wonderful!

    Because I am working as locum while I write up my thesis (AHRC funding came to an end in January) I've kind of got out of the habit of having time off, as I don't get paid holidays and it was with some regret I realised this week that I have only had one week off this year! I start a new job next week in a community palliative care team in central London and I really think it would have been sensible to have a week's break between jobs, but 'being able to start immediately' always wins you favour when being interviewed for a locum post! P & I are off to the Lakes in September - two nights in a boutique hotel with Michelin starred restaurant! Then two or three nights staying in the guest flat of the sheltered housing complex where my parents live! Oh the heady delights of Greater Manchester - Corfu seems dross by comparison!


  5. Thanks! Hope you enjoy your holiday in the Lakes when it does arrive. I just love the Lake District during Autumn; we're planning a two night break there at half term.

  6. Corfu is beautiful but Paxos its Paradise.