Some people like to go to somewhere different on holiday every time, they need the excitement of a new destination to explore. We as a family are the opposite to that, we really enjoy returning to the same haunts time and time again, never tiring of the familiar places. I have been staying here, in this house, in this town, all of my life at least once a year and yet I still get butterflies of excitement as we arrive. I love that first walk down the high street to the supermarket, to stock up and to check out what has changed since our last stay – which shops have opened, which cafes have closed down etc. As we were here in February this year, not much has altered but there were still one or two changes.
On my dog walk yesterday morning, I met an elderly lady walking along the prom with her sandals in her hands and her trousers rolled up to her knees. She looked really contented so I asked her if the water was cold? She replied that it was perfect and it was her last paddle of her holiday as she was heading home later in the day. She asked me if we lived here and rather than explaining that we had a holiday home, it was simpler to say that I did. And her reply warmed my heart: ‘Oh, you lucky girl!’ and she was not wrong, apart from the girl part as I am 55 years old, but compared to this lady I must have seemed young! I was already pleased to be here when I set off on my walk, but she made me walk even more with a spring in my step and together with the dogs, we walked over 5 miles from 6am.
Joshua appreciates the familiarity too, he knows where he is coming once he boards the ferry and thankfully it is just a short drive to our accommodation from the ferry terminal, so he does not have long to wait. he acclimatises by wandering around each room, checking how things are since he was there last. He knows which is his bedroom and he asks for a ‘Puppy’ toy that he has been playing with since my 3rd best friend gave to him when she visited us when he was 3 years old! It is synonymous with this place now, after 18 years of hearing it say ‘Find a puppy that says…’ He knows that if we turn left out of the gate, we are heading downhill to the beach and he knows that if we turn right out of the gate, we are going down the town to the shops. So far he has only turned left twice and yesterday we went out in the car in the afternoon too.
When we go somewhere new, we have to spend a few days getting our bearings, finding out where the shops and eateries are. It is a less relaxing experience than coming here and this place has the added bonus for me as being filled with memories of many happy family holidays with my parents, so I feel much closer to them here than at home. We do jobs that I can recall them doing when I was a child, although we are less green fingered than they were, we still try hard to keep the garden how they would have liked it. We sit, sometimes, at the same dining room table that my sister and I sat underneath, eating chocolate bought with my winnings from playing on the one armed bandits in the amusement arcades. The walk we made up to the swings when we arrived, has not changed since I was little, weighing my sister down on the seesaw and making myself feel dizzy then sick on the roundabout. It is a very nostalgic place for me to holiday and I am so pleased that my husband and Joshua now have their own holiday memories here too and I am lucky that they seem to love it as much as I do now.
It is unfortunate that it is a full day’s travelling away from home to get here, but that is why it is so different to our home town, so much warmer in the south. I spent some of the morning yesterday sitting in a deckchair in the garden in the sun, listening to the noises of this place – seagulls, lawnmowers, light aircraft and the waves from the sea. Joshua was indoors enjoying ‘Finding Nemo’ which is his current favourite film, so we were all happy. I hope to have more mornings like that one during our holiday, but even if the sun does not keep shining, we will still have fun here, enjoying family memories while making new ones for this family too.