Fond Farewell

We got back home at midnight last night so it was a long day; we were 8.5 hours in the car, door to door which was a trial for all of us. I had my sunrise beach walk with the dogs as I did everyday this holiday, which is the perfect way to start the day. When I got back at 7.30, Joshua and my husband were both awake so we had breakfast. Joshua watched his Show  while we were engaged in packing, laundry and tidying up. We left the bedding on the washing line to dry, while we went for a final  beach walk en famille. It was a glorious day, with clear blue skies – no sign of the thick fog from the day before – and so the beach and prom were crowded with families and dog walkers.

We got onto the sand and it was like a Summer’s day: Joshua threw stones happily into the sea for Ruby, our cocker spaniel , to fetch, which amused them both until he needed to sit on the sea wall to rest. My husband went for a paddle and threw a stick for Max, our elderly but courageous dog, who had a spring swim in the sea. Even our puppy , Kevin, had a sea swim, though he was more reluctant. We had a very happy time on the sand and Joshua did not even complain when the tide came in and caught him, soaking one of his feet and his trouser leg, even though the sea must have been cold. We walked back along the prom and it was even warm enough to sit outside a cafe and enjoy our lunch, taking a last look at the turquoise sea and bright, blue sky.

After that treat, it was back to hoovering and dusting, while my husband loaded the car. Joshua was determined to help out, he followed me around, trying to grab at the vacuum cleaner and when that failed, he found a broom and began sweeping the hall for me. He made hoovering the stairs much harder, by hovering on the step behind me. But eventually we got straight and said our goodbyes to the cottage and headed for the ferry home. There was a delay and Joshua is not a very patient waiter, so he began to kick the car in frustration as we waited in the queue to board. Once on board, he climbed over 60 steps to get to the designated dog-deck, where he was not keen to stand still on the open deck, waving goodbye to our holiday island. He broke free and found a door to the lounge, which was crowded, but a kind couple invited us to sit at their table and tried to engage in conversation with grumpy Joshua. But he sat well for the hour long crossing, watching films on his iPad and eating snacks. We found a lift to get us back to the car deck, which was much easier, as the stairs were very steep.

I fell asleep once back in the car, nicely passing over an hour of the journey, but Joshua did not shut his eyes once and we did not get home until long after his bedtime. We had to stop to re-fuel and Joshua spotted his beloved Donalds, so he kept trying to escape and get there while we were at the adjoining garage. When we did move the car next door, he ran into the fast food restaurant and grinned widely as he waited for his food – it seems he has more patience for waiting when there is Chicken Selects and fries at the end of the wait! He devoured everything and went back in the car more meekly, now that he had a full stomach. Our journey was made 30 minutes longer by the motorway being closed pretty close to home and we were diverted through endless villages, which did not help us to feel that we had been a very long way away.

When we did get home, Joshua was delighted to get out of the car and explore, but I had him tucked up in bed almost straight away and we were not very far behind. Glad that that journey is behind us, we can chill out today and get organised ready for our return to work and school.

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