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.


Cusp said...

I'm really really pleased you had such a lovely time. Just being somewhere different can recharge the batteries --- mentally if not physically.

As you say it can be very difficult to manage a holiday when you are trying to factor in the needs of children and a chronic illness but it can be done and you can all enjoy it if it's tailored to what is possible rather than what is expected.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays with your son [oh and if you want any chickens we've got about ten bantam chicks who'll need homes very soon :-) ]

The Goldfish said...

This is lovely. Fantastic to read about, beautiful pictures and very well deserved. :-)

Better not let your son learn about the Eglu. ;-)

fluttertongue said...

Well done! This is my third summer since ME and I'm probably the only person in England to be thankful for the bad weather. I think the key to a good holiday is to be in control of what is going on: being with other people causes all sorts of strife when you all have to do stuff "together". Please put some more of your beautiful pictures up: food for my soul.

seahorse said...

Fluttertongue: owing to very bad brain fog, I was planning on posting more pix (and less words) over the next few days. And you and Cusp are spot on re holidays - it's all in the planning and of course what is feasible when you are actually there.

Goldfish and Cusp: I have suddenly come over all broody...

Sally said...

But chickens shit, its called chicken shit and somebody has to clean it up !

Which is why I don't have chickens.

But maybe your son would do it ?

So glad you got away, and after the floods but before the heatwave that is bound to arrive very soon, sending us all rushing back indoors.

seahorse said...

Sally, hmmm. Yes, the cleaning out had crossed my mind. Do they produce a lot of waste matter? And how is it cleaned up? And how often? Sigh. I'm so urban and clueless. But no, my son won't do it because I wouldn't expect him to. As for heatwaves, I actually don't think we are going to have one. I predict mild 20s throughout August. If I am right, I may consider doing consultancy work for the Met Office.

Cusp said...

Well if you want to know the intimate details of keeping fowl: you clean out the bedding in the coop as you would for rabbits, guinea pigs etc. etc. and (we) burn it in an incinerator.

The poo that goes on the ground in the run generally gets trodden in and eventually brings forth the bestest earth for growing your veg. Everything recycled.

P.S. Our kids help to clean out the chickens. It's only poo and quite natural (as long as you wash your hands afterwards)

I don't know .... you townies !

marmiteboy said...

Fab photo's. i love the one of the cloudy sky with the sun shining through.

seahorse said...

Cusp: I'm still tempted, and have coped with poo and other effluence from children and pets over the years...I did have relatives who kept three goats in their London garden. Plus rabbits galore. Very happy they all were too.

Marmiteboy: Yes, me too. It was a lovely evening and we stopped the car to get the shot. Thanks