Friday, 22 July 2016

My Summer Holiday Snapshot

I’m sitting here surrounded by suitcases with their contents spilling out all over the floor. A pile of post and parcels in the corner plus a collection of take away menus all over the placemat. Yes that’s right I’m back from holiday, in fact I have been back a few days and it will be a couple more days before the house returns to normal. 

I’m not one of those people who unpacks as soon as they get home. I know I *should* put the washing on and clear the backlog, but I just want to stretch that holiday feeling out a little bit longer.

A photo posted by Kate Kirk (@essexkate) on

I’ve had lots of messages since we got back saying “I hope you had a relaxing break” or “We hope you had a rest”. I can only assume these people don’t know or have forgotten what it’s like to go on holiday with young children. When M was a baby I didn’t think there was any point going on holiday because you just end up doing the same routine in a new location without all the comforts of home. Going on holiday with a nearly 6 month old Little it definitely felt that way at times (I spent a huge amount of the time trying to get her to sleep), but it was nice to have good weather, see family and spend more time with my partner. 

We arrived to a temperature in the mid 20s, but it creeped up each day to a high of 40 degrees celsius. Staying at my Mum’s house in France most days were spent playing in the swimming pool and messing about in the garden. We spotted a lot of wildlife and most of the photographs I took which aren’t of my girls are of butterflies, dragonflies and the occasional amphibian (including a toad which came to visit me in the kitchen one morning).

M had a great time. The first year we went out there she was only 1 and she was scared of the swimming pool. Each year she has got a bit more confident and this year she went straight in the pool, she was fairly relaxed getting water in her face and even attempted a little bit of swimming without armbands.
A nearly 5 year old splashing in a swimming pool in a pink swimming costume and arm bands
Splish splash
It’s funny how on holiday it’s so easy to lose touch with the outside world. I occasionally connected to the internet to check emails and social media, but generally I had no idea what was going on beyond the sleepy hamlet in Southern France. On Monday night we ate at a night market. Many villages host these events in the summer where they put out tables and benches and a number of local vendors come to sell food and drink. At the beginning of the evening they announced they would hold a minutes silence for Nice. My partner and I said “Huh?” and once we had made my Mum appreciate we had no clue what they were talking about we were quickly filled in. I then had to explain to my nearly 5 year old why there was going to be a minutes silence while still processing the shock. It was hard to stand there with tears in my eyes surrounded by French people who had recently lost more of their countrymen (women and children) in a heartless attack and listen to them sing La Marseillaise (the French national anthem/ call to arms).

The news has been bleak recently with so much hate and fear. Having a break from it all was a relief, but it seems it’s not possible to shut it all out. I will do my best to make the world a better place by challenging hate and showing my girls as much love as possible. Focusing on my family, having fun and making happy memories in our own quiet little way.
A nearly 5 year old girl and a nearly 6 month old girl sitting on the floor in front of a stone wall. They both wearing white and blue striped dresses and the bigger girl holds a blue flower on the baby's head
M & Little

A swallowtail butterfly on a buddleia bush with a stone court yard in the background
I'm reliably informed this is a Southern Swallow Tail Butterfly


A dad holds a baby dressed in pink in a swimming pool, her big sister splashes in the background
Little cools off in the pool

A photo posted by Kate Kirk (@essexkate) on





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