Gallery: Holidays

This week’s prompt from Tara at Sticky Fingers was holidays. And I’ve been thinking about holidays a lot lately, not least because I booked our summer holiday last week (we’re going to Northumberland – can’t wait).

Also because I read this article this morning. Okay, when I say “read”, I mean that I saw the headline and then went off, ranting. I always remember my mum complaining that holidays weren’t holidays for her. And that was true. My dad did nothing. He relaxed, drank, made friends. My mum did the cooking and the washing-up and the washing. But that was also 25+ years ago. It’s not like that for me and David. He does it all while I do nothing. Boom boom. Actually, David would say that’s the case, but only because he does do the cooking. What I mean is, we share the “work”, same as we do at home.

I also, this morning, listened to the Guardian Family podcast in which they discussed whether it was possible to have a relaxing family holiday with children. No, said pretty much everyone. The basic gist was We want to relax, while the kids want to do stuff. And even if we want to do stuff, it’s not the same stuff they want to do. There was only dissenting voice and that was a dad who said, “I actually see spending time with my kids as part of the holiday.” Well, duh. And, yes, I appreciate that his partner may not say the same thing, but isn’t it reasonable to alter your expectations of what a holiday will be once you’ve had kids? If I was expecting to go and lie on a beach for a fortnight, I’d be disappointed. But what I want is to spend a week having fun with my boys. And we’ll relax* in the evening, when they’re in bed. (*not a euphemism)

Back to the Gallery. I think this was taken on our first ever holiday abroad, to Malta in 1976/77 and every aspect of it just makes me think of family holidays when I was a kid:

The hats! The cool bag! The beach towels! My mum’s bikini (which had a matching headsquare!) I can almost smell the Ambre Solaire. The only thing missing is the stripy windbreak. I also imagine that was the first time I ever drank Coke from a bottle. Marvellous.

I love this photo, which is of Harry on our first holiday abroad post-baby. He just looks so unimpressed with everything. He hated the sun, hence the hat and the towel over the top of the pram. We spent most days on the balcony of our hotel room, while Harry slept. We pretty much only went out for breakfast and then a late-afternoon swim, when it was cool enough for Harry to tolerate. We still had a great time though.

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19 thoughts on “Gallery: Holidays

  1. Ah, you Child Of The Seventies, You : )

    We to had a stripy windbreak too(didn’t everybody?)- union jack /Golden Jubilee colours no less. And do you remember that hot hot hot summer of ’76 ? – God,you’ve set me off now ….your post is Holiday Nostalgia Heaven : )

  2. I think you’re absolutely right, a holiday with children is never going to like a holiday as just adults but surely that’s part of the enjoyment of being a family? I can’t imagine that if I become a parent I’d expect my holidays to be anything other than child-centric.

    Lovely pics too!

  3. I totally agree, once you have children, you don’t expect to have a holiday that will centre around peace, quiet and snoozing in the sun.

    Having said that, I can also relate to parts of *that* article as there has been many a time that I have torn my hair out whilst packing for myself and three children. DH will do his own.

    But surely, as a Parent, you just have to plan in advance to minimise the stress? I’ve learnt this through trial and error. This year, I have days blanked out in my diary for holiday planning for the week before we go.

    Great post, Keris.

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. I still haven’t read all of the article, but I have scanned it and, yes, I’m sure it’s irritating if you have the more traditional male/female relationship, but we don’t. David’s just as likely to pack for the kids as I am. In fact, sometimes we’ve found that we’ve both packed bags for Joe! Although, to be fair, that does wind me up… I’m never happy, am I? 🙂

    1. Oh wow! I hardly ever find anyone who remembers them. It was the maddest thing I’ve ever seen. We thought the prom wall had been painted red, but it was just COVERED in ladybirds! I wish I could find photos.

  4. I also agree. Holidays with kids, especially small ones, can’t be expected to be the same as before. But quality time together as a family is so precious and what they are all about. I can’t wait until we can go away together!

  5. Oh Boy the lady bird of ’76 i remember it well. It was my job to get up in the morning and beat them off the awning of the caravan. I love your pic. Holidays are so nostalgic

  6. Ah what a superb picture. I must invest in a scanner and too some nostalgia posts myself. In my childhood it was Blackpool every year for us, so Malta is tres exotique!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I pinched a load of pics from my dad and have been scanning them in. Have tons of slides too, so need to invest in a slide scanner at some point.

  7. I don’t ever remember having a holiday where we did just what me and my sister wanted to do. Sure our wishes were taken into account, but if my mother wanted to go see a particular castle/market/underground complex of bunkers where villagers lived during WWII then off we went. These rules were set from he beginning, and since she made the places interesting I can’t ever remember hating any of them (except when I was a teenager, but then I hated everything).
    A lot of the “we want a holiday for us, not the kids” people seem to come across as the kind who stick the kids in childcare asap and then fill any time that they’re out of it with activities and lessons. Spend some time with your kids for heavens sake!

    /rant

    Oh, and since I’d been reading via Google Reader for a while, I hadn’t noticed that my favourite FAVOURITE Della bit is your header! SQUUUEEEEE!

    1. Yep, we got dragged around “monuments” too, Kate. And I don’t understand the kids club people either. I actually WANT to spend time with my kids! That’s why I had them!

      Re the header: yes! That made me laugh. A Twitter-friend took a twitpic of it to show me her fave bit 🙂

  8. When the boys were younger, we only booked hotels that had kids club! And we used to count down the hours until the next session! It’s so much easier now they’re older coz they don’t want to spend time with us either!

    1. Ha! Don’t you like them? 😉 But that’s cos you and Steve like to spend your entire holiday just lying in the sun. I can’t think of anything more boring.

      (Leanne’s my sister, in case anyone thinks I’m being especially rude to a commenter.)

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