Friday, May 4


Hallelujah! I have bitten the bullet and booked a flight to go on holiday.  I am shamefully ignoring all carbon footprints and flying to Exeter, as the prospect of 7 hours on a train with a toddler on my own plus buggy plus suitcase sent chills up and down my spine. But an hour and half in a whizzy aeroplane suits us fine, so we exchanged our pennies for a flimsy looking ticket on a budget airline which turned out to be slightly less budget after adding luggage, a seat, and a rather cheekily not-declared-at-first-infant-fare. However, it is done now and so for the first week of August, Wriggles and myself are intrepidly exploring East Devon to stay with my parents and godparents in Sidmouth and probably get rained on horrendously by the beach. 

I cannot wait (no sarcasm intended).

Sidmouth remains a special place in my heart and I am hoping it lives up to expectations to show to Wriggles and pass on some seaside magic. Every year since I was little (really little, as in an actual baby) my family would bundle into the car and drive all the way across the far south east to the far south west for a week in August. My father discovered the folk festival as a be-sweatered and long haired student at university years ago and after he met my mother, eagerly took her with him. It was the moment of truth: would she accept his eccentric hobbies? Luckily for him, she was a touch on the mad side too and has an obsession with the coast so instating it as an annual holiday suited her down to the ground. And then, in the fateful summer of 1987 came an event I would rather not think of. Sadly, it has been brought to my attention regularly by my family who think it is hilarious. As we would drive past a field on the outskirts of the town, one or both of my parents would gesticulate towards a tree. "There! That's where you were conceived! Hahaha!"
Not what you want to hear as a teenager.
While my parents immersed themselves in ill-advised morris or sticking-and-cutting-arts-and-sticky-crafts activities, I grew up over the years for one week in August in Devon from a small shy child to a curious teenager then young adult. With friends I saw annually I went on adventures, learnt why some if not all cider should be avoided, got propositioned by dodgy straw hatted students, fell in love for the first time (not with a dodgy straw hatted student) and slept under the stars. I have so many happy fond memories as well as acutely remembered grumpily sitting in my friend's van in a cagoul, wellingtons, six fleeces with a camping mug of coffee, watching the rain pound the tents. Likewise, I recall my friend hissing "Psssssssst, your tent is about to slide down the hill, quick!!" whilst I was blissfully not-sleeping and having to de-camp rather quickly in the very early and dark hours of the morning, jump into the van and help manoeuvre out of the quagmire that used to be a campsite. Although afterwards it seemed an adventure. Once I had wrung all my clothes out and drowned out the sounds of sodding morris bells.

I hope this year will be substantially drier and warmer. I haven't been back for several years; at least four if not five. I'm sure it will have changed and surprise me and maybe be completely different to how it is in my head. Still, it will be a holiday, a break, a new place. There will be donkeys, cream teas and buckets and spades. Oh, and beardy men jangling around with hankies. Damn, I'd forgotten about them.

We are going to go to the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary


  1. It would be criminal to go to sidmouth and not attend the donkey sanctuary! :-D

  2. oooh how exciting! enjoy enjoy!

  3. Sounds lovely, have fun! Love your parents conception!