We started our summer holiday today. For many years now we have traveled
to the same beachside holiday location where we hire a house for two weeks
starting Boxing Day. I’ve been coming to this location nearly every summer
since 1971 and Judy first joined me in 1973. We had a break for about three
years then started again. The first two years of this latest stint, we spent
a week down here and since then two weeks. The house we are in this year is
the same one we had the first time we spent two weeks here. We had that house
three years running then the last two years we were in different houses. We
were really happy to come back here.

This house has many associations.
The fist time we came here, my Dad had just been diagnosed with lung cancer.
I phoned him from here most days. I remember the conversations with me standing
on the balcony. He died about a month after we got back.

The second time we came here
was soon after Judy’s mum had died suddenly. Judy’s mum had not been well
for many years but none of us thought her illness was life threatening.

The third time we came here,
my mum had a heart attack while we were away and was quite ill for some a
couple of weeks.

Also in the first year, Rachel,
our eldest daughter had just finished her first year as an adult after high
school. She had found it hard. We had made a big mistake in pushing her to
enrol at uni. She didn’t even sit the final exams. December/January that year
was really hard for her. We had lent her the money for her first car but that
was the only highlight of the season for her. I remember her sitting on the
porch at this house crying her hear out.

This year for the first time
in this house, Judy and I will be down here for a week by our selves. Rachel
is working in Penshurst and the other girls have part time work this week.
This is a new experience for us. After 25 years of holidays centred around
our children, we have time to ourselves. In one way it is really nice. On
the other hand it is sad. As I was driving down, I thought a lot about the
past 25 years. I’ll write about that tomorrow.

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