As I begin to get ready for my return to Leeds to begin my second year at University I finish my scrap-book that holds this summer’s memories. It has been a busy one and despite moving out of my childhood home into university accommodation last September I have not spent large amounts of time at home during my (almost) 4 months off study.
Handing in my final essay in May meant I had the whole summer ahead of me but it wasn’t until the 1st of July – the day I moved out of my flat and into my rented student house – that I officially moved back home, with bags of clothes in tow. However, the ready-made plans including a weekend in London, a three-week tour of Europe, a week in Sheffield and a camping trip with my newly acquired boyfriend (still a novelty for my family) meant I was actually looking forward to the family trip to Edinburgh. Every trip to Scotland to visit my Aunt and her husband leaves us all full from fabulous food (a fry-up every morning does me in!) and very light in our pockets, but they are some of the best weekends we have as a family. Safely in the care of other family members my parents relax, not having to cook, clean and host, resulting in no one being the least bit mardy. This, however, was not the case with the camping trip that followed.
Now camping, for those of you who haven’t done it, is an extremely stressful experience when done with the whole family. It starts at home, even before the holiday has begun, as everyone has packed too much stuff and mum feels the need to take everything from the kitchen with her and we all begin to see that it will NOT fit into the car, no matter how good our Tetris skills are. Once me and my brother have been packed into the spaces in the back of the car the stress reduces as we begin the journey, that is until the Sat Nav doesn’t send you the route your Dad thought you were going to take. I can only thank God for the person who invented iPods as that little invention means I am almost oblivious to what is happening in the front of the car. The stress does not stop until the tent has been pitched and tea is cooking on portable stoves, and that isn’t even mentioning trying to pack up to get home. A very good friend of mine told me he used to make his family partake in family hugs whenever they got mardy whilst camping; wouldn’t that be a great idea?!
Stress aside and I still had my list of things to do on a holiday in the UK. It is as follows:
- Have fish and chips by the sea (they always taste better!)
- Buy sweets from a traditional sweet shop
- Visit an ice cream parlour
- Take a picnic on a day out
- Find heart-shaped rocks on the beach and skim stones
And I went home a happy girl having completed everything off my list! It’s funny how you have an idea of how a holiday should be based on your childhood experiences, so much so that I wouldn’t have felt like I’d been on holiday without completing the majority of things off my list.
Reflecting on my summer I realise how quickly time is going and I find myself feeling nostalgic for family holidays of years go by – I didn’t even get a chance to complete my Harry Potter marathon with my brother! No one knows what the future holds, but maybe next year I’ll make more of an effort to spend time at home.