This half term I decided to sit on the M1 along with half the known population of the developed world…
But, to be honest by the time I’d made it onto the motorway I was strangely delusional from all the packing and sat, in a zombie like state, ‘happy’ just to have made it that far. Maybe it was all the fumes of the stationary cars, or maybe it was that my car was so heavily packed, that it even my children’s voices endlessly asking ‘are we there yet?’ seemed weirdly distant. This year we have been learning what it is like to go on holiday in school breaks and my conclusion so far is that it’s… crowded.
After hours of travelling, the cars finally began to thin out and the roads began to shrink. The number of people decreased and the number of sheep significantly increased. I’d given up counting the number of hours we’d been on the road and was beginning to consider starting the count in days. But then, with at least 50% of the car asleep, when all hope appeared lost, we turned down a lane barely big enough to consider itself a lane and there it was – our holiday cottage set on top of a mountain in North Wales, and there they were – my parents, my brother and family and… a dog. It seems they made it to our holiday venue significantly quicker than me but I put ideas of an upgrade quickly to one side and looked out across the perfect Welsh Peninsular.
Sleepiness soon turned to excitement and in the slowly fading light with one boy on my back and another running between all my family members we headed to the top of the nearest hill and edge of the Peninsular. Three generations of my family stood looking out to sea and memories of the crowded motorways, crazy work stresses and general routine madness began to melt away. Half term or not holidays make sense.
Sometimes it’s hard to get my boys motivated to go to the park but mountains, seas and beaches carry an incomparable excitement. Over the week we walked miles and miles – sometimes knowing where we were going – other times not so much. But, the enthusiasm of the boys was unquenchable. The beautiful peace was constantly broken by consistent questions and general ‘chit chat’ from my boys sometimes they were talking to me… other times just talking to the wind. Either way it was beautiful to hear. We climbed rocks, dug holes in the sand to see how deep we could go and even braved the impossibly cold sea.
The week went far too quickly but we’ve returned to the real world determined not to get sucked in by its seriousness. We may not live near a peninsular or even have many local mountains to climb but I don’t want my boys questions to stop so the pressure is on to continue to find adventure beyound the M1.