We pull up outside what appears to be apartment blocks. “I think the sat nav’s got this wrong,” I say to my husband Chris.
Five minutes later, after driving around, we end up back in the same location. This can’t be right; we’ve booked a beautiful idyllic cottage with a garden right on top of the beach haven’t we?
Well apparently we’ve not, what we’ve booked is a tiny apartment with no garden, and yes it does overlook the beach and the block of flats in front of us!
My heart sinks as we open the front door and I see there isn’t enough room to swing a cat let alone a family of three with two gigantic dogs! In fact both our dogs are bigger than the kitchen and suddenly I’m feeling a tad claustrophobic.
Chris turns to me and says: “I think we’ve made a bit of a mistake here.” It’s too late though, we have arrived in Wales and this is us for the next week.
It’s our first holiday in the UK as a family in fact Chris and I have never had a UK holiday since we met.
My pregnancy and the money we are spending on The Edwardian – a money pit of a house, old and decrepit a bit like how I’m feeling at the moment, helped us decide to stay in the UK. Day one consisted of our dogs Apollo and Zeus not being able to settle at all.
No need to unpack because there isn’t enough room for any wardrobes and if more than one of us is standing in a room at the same time it feels like an over crowded lift! In my head I’m telling myself “stay calm, this will be lovely, just quality family time” but my heart is telling me to get in the car and drive back home. I do find some relief in the bathroom though as the door has a lock on – two minutes’ peace guaranteed. I can still hear everyone but at least I feel like I’ve found some space that isn’t being invaded.
The beach is beautiful but of course we are officially the nosiest family on the beach with the dogs constantly barking for the ball to be thrown and our daughter trying her best to convince me to paddle in the freezing sea. Despite me closing my eyes and wishing we were all in Tenerife we have had lots of lovely moments together as a family.
There are the simple moments, that aren’t about money like walking on the beach, eating fish and chips, and building sandcastles together. It’s about having that quality time together that in ordinary life families don’t get because life is busy, life is hectic. Often I forget that love, affection and laughter are the simplest of things but the most important.
Yesterday I sat on a freezing pier watching Chris and Ava-Lilly try to catch crabs. They caught four, admittedly it took quite while, but they loved every moment of it.
Every evening when the beach is quiet my husband pulls the kite out from the car and off he goes with our daughter.
The first night they flew it I did a video and took lots of pictures, they were both so chuffed they’d got this kite off the ground and flying.
One of the reasons I love my husband so much is his positivity – no matter what, he never moans, he finds a solution and a way to make things better. Despite the chaos of the past couple of days and the fact that it’s not being relaxing for any of us, he has been positive and upbeat about everything.
I only wish I was the same, I’m a bad wife and this morning when I woke up I felt terribly guilty for being such a whinger. I have all I need - my family and it doesn’t mater where we are. So today I’ve told myself: “No more moaning. Be grateful and enjoy this time.” We had a big early morning walk earlier with breathtaking views and that was relaxing. That said, I confess to having looked on the internet at holidays for next year and I’d be lying if I said any of them were in this country!