In partnership with On the Beach
A few years ago I was chatting to Bee about something or other, I can’t remember what. I think perhaps I was feeling a bit overworked at the time because I started going into this daydream.
‘Wouldn’t it be lovely,’ I said to Bee, gazing into the distance, ‘to be somewhere really warm right not, where you didn’t have to do anything?’
She looked at me.
‘There would probably be relaxing noises in the background,’ I continued, ‘maybe the noise of the sea? And someone would bring me a cocktail.’
She looked at me again, like I was actually quite stupid.
‘That’s a beach holiday mum,’ she said.
‘A beach holiday?’ I asked.
‘Yes,’ she said, ‘it’s what everyone in the world wants. You’ve not just invented it.’
‘Oh,’ I said, disappointed. I imagined I’d just created a personal paradise that no one had thought of before. Since then ‘beach holidays’ has become a bit of a family saying that we use if someone is stating the obvious. Like if Bee is complaining about work, telling me how what she’d really like is a flexible job that’s well paid, but also creative and worthwhile and good for the environment and what not.
‘Dur,’ I’ll say, ‘beach holidays.’
When On the Beach got in touch then, to ask me if I wanted to write something about our family beach holidays, this was the first thing I thought about. THEN I started picturing all of those happy times we’ve spent on the beach together, enjoying the sand and the sea, relaxing in each other’s company.
On the Beach is the UK’s leading independent beach holiday specialist, so if you’re a fan of the beach and love a bargain then you really need to check them out. You can search by holiday type or by destination and pay in instalments with low deposits. They are fully ATOL protected and have won a string of awards, including the FEEFO Gold Trusted Service Award this year.
Although I’m keeping the tropical island beach paradise alive in my fantasies, family beach holidays so far have tended to be more of the sandcastle building variety. (I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to encourage a toddler to have a nice lie down on a sun lounger but they aren’t always keen.)
What’s lovely about a beach holiday with children though is that it doesn’t really matter where you go or what you do – as long as you have a bit of sand and sunshine you have everything you need. They don’t mind about the cocktails or the palm trees, they just want to be able to get the spade out.
(This one is Bee, when she was seven years old and I was heavily pregnant with Belle. I asked her what she remembered about it as I wondered if she was actually having fun – I have a photo of her playing with a ball when she was about 18 months old and she claims she can remember thinking to herself ‘how long do I have to stay outside with this boring ball?’ She was reassuring. ‘I liked that sand actually,’ she said, ‘but you were being really boring just lolling around with a big tummy.’)
When I was looking back through the photo albums for beach holiday photos I was quite surprised by just how many of our holidays when the girls were younger WERE at the seaside. Even if we aren’t on the beach in all of the photos, we are near the sea in a lot of them, like the whole collection I have of different dogs on on seaside promenade – I think we were daring each other to take pictures of dogs, which just shows what a super exciting family we are.
Or there was the summer holiday when we were away for Belle’s third birthday. We did actually spend quite a lot of that on the beach, and I have a photo of the three of us all in my bed one morning, looking rather pink cheeked from the day before. Belle made friends with the neighbouring children in the resort we were staying in, and we invited them round for birthday cake. I think it might also have been the holiday where Bee got stung on the bottom by a wasp, which was VERY dramatic for all concerned.
Whether it’s being happily sat in a sandy hole of your own digging, or lying on the sofa with your wasp bite in the air, my point is that holidays create those memories that stick in your mind. You just have to look at one photo and you start to remember everything that happened around it.
What are your favourite beach holiday memories?
As a little bit of holiday related fun, On the Beach asked me and Belle to try a bit of holiday word association.
Have a watch now: