Could our approaching family holiday be the last with all of us together? In particular, Pascoe’s PhD does not offer the long summer vacations of his rosy undergraduate days, so choosing to spend a holiday with us might mean turning down more interesting possibilities.
However, this year we have agreed to holiday together and holiday we shall.
We tend to have the kind of trip that leaves us not only with a sun-tan, but also some scratches, bruises and stings. We like hiking and swimming and are prepared to set off with only the cheery verbal directions of locals or, on one occasion, a map so vague that, when I showed it to my friends later, it made them fall silent in mute contemplation of our recklessness.
When we first started out, it was Nigel and I carrying the twins (and everything else) in back-packs and Pascoe marching along on sturdy little legs. Now the kids carry my bag for me and coax me to go a little further with biscuits. When wading into the water in a rocky cove, they hold my hand so I don’t slip on the rocks, and convince me that the water isn’t as cold as I think it is. If only I can lose some weight, they’ll probably carry me when I get tired.
Better make the most of it then.