Monday, 30 July 2007
A postcard from...
I have just been away with my son for our first summer holiday in three years.
It's all thanks to the rain holding off, my mum's excellent driving, and some careful forward planning.
We stayed in a cottage on a farm in Shropshire for three days. Now, to be plonked in a cottage in the hills without my mum or a car would have left us somewhat stranded.
But knowing I was as good as I was going to be healthwise, and that the forecast wasn't too bad, we decided to go for it. I was so desperate to achieve my aim of a few days away with my son, but dared not write about it until now, firstly because I didn't know if I'd be well enough to go, and secondly because the weather really did threaten the whole expedition.
In the end the floods receded and we were able to enjoy Shropshire at its best, which is truly a joy considering it's been so long. Summer can be a particularly hard time of year for people coping with ill health. My anguish in past years at missing out on seeing my son enjoy summer made it worse. So this break was very special.
Planning is pretty important when you go on holiday with either children or a chronic illness, and I somehow managed to pick out a couple of excursions that kept everyone happy.
A vintage train ride. It rained on the way but the sun and all the local wildlife came out for the return trip. Kestrels, buzzards, hares, rabbits, pheasants...none of which I could photograph as I only have a compact and you need proper lenses for wildlife. But it meant I just watched my son enjoy himself.
A trip to a castle. I phoned ahead, organised disabled access at an easier entrance (the gardens are terraced, which no amount of legislation can really help) sat in a cafe and managed to get around the gardens at the lower level. The staff were very helpful and for a fairly inaccessible castle (which, come to think of it, is how they were designed to be) we all had a very good afternoon out.
My son loved the farm. He wants us to get some chickens. I want to live in Shropshire on a farm with chickens, but it's a bit too hilly to be entirely practical.
Since returning on Saturday my head has been filled with beautiful scenery. Tired but very, very happy. It's just what we all needed after a difficult few months.