Fifteen years ago, our family’s life changed when we moved into a holiday home that we had bought, so it is that anniversary today. We were previously always going to the same rural area on holiday n our caravan and latterly, our motorhome. These camping trips were fun but as Joshua got bigger, he was harder to contain in such a compact and fragile space. So we began searching for a second home that we could afford, that would fit us all in, ideally had a view, a private garden and a real fire – that was our check list. We spent many weekends searching and having viewings, but when we looked around this cottage, it was love at first sight. It had everything that we were looking for and we were all agreed. We first saw it on a very wet. grey day and even then the view from the lounge was breathtaking. 5 year old Joshua spoke more then, it was before his seizures had taken real hold, and as we drove to the cottage he said from the back seat , ‘waterfall’. He loved to watch running water then and he had been promised a visit to the local landmark waterfall after our viewings, so we pacified him saying ‘yes, we will see the waterfall later’ but he was insistent.
As we were chatting to the owners, Joshua was still wittering about the waterfall and they heard him and explained that the village had its own waterfall and we had passed it, but only Joshua must have seen it. So that sealed the deal, it was the location for us. We usually walk with the dogs to the waterfall most visits, as it is the perfect distance for Joshua to walk and there is a bench to rest on when we arrive. He sits there and throws stones into the water for the dogs to fetch for him. He loves it there and today there is a Good Friday service at the waterfall which I plan to attend.
A second home suits us all well, but particularly Joshua. He is immediately at home, he knows where his bedroom is and all of his familiar things surround him, so it is not as daunting as renting someone else’s cottage or staying in a hotel. We are not constantly on edge that he will break someone else’s property and we have total flexibility to come and go as we like. During lockdown we were kept away by the rules, but, once visiting second homes was authorised, we loved the change of scene that it gave us after so many months cooped up at home. Joshua gets excited as we approach and he knows where he is coming to. It is 2.5 hours drive away from home, but the surrounding countryside is totally different to the flat coastal landscape that we enjoy at home.
I know how fortunate we are to have this rural idyll and today we celebrate 15 years of this good fortune.