He stared incredulously; horrified at what lay before him.
Motionless, with eyes wide and transfixed, he mumbled “Is…erm…is ALL of that going in there?…are you…are you serious?”
*Oh, yes!” I replied, as I threw my head back and cackled a laugh so determined and wicked that all the dogs in the neighbourhood howled in unison.
Shaking his head, he squashed the items down into the adult sized suitcase and, with the dexterity of a sumo wrestler, threw his whole body weight down whilst skilfully and swiftly fastening the zip.
The deed was done.
There was no turning back now.
Then, with the posture of a broken man, he dutifully trudged to the car to deposit the excessively heavy bag into the boot…alongside his own small overnight bag.
He had to remind himself to breathe….that this happened annually. One day, just one day, he would perhaps get used to this.
“Right” I said joyfully, skipping up the stairs. “That’s Hannah’s suitcase packed. I’ll go and do mine now. Back in a bit”.
He slumped in his armchair…head in hands…
I hope you’re all ok.
It’s been quite a while since I last posted hasn’t it?
As you may have gathered from the intro, we’ve been away on holiday and I simply cannot begin to tell you how much I/we needed it.
We really needed to get away and recharge our batteries, so to speak.
As for the excessive luggage, well, a girl (i.e. my child) can never have too many clothes. It simply makes sense to pack for warm weather, cold weather, rain, snow, hurricanes (well, maybe not snow or hurricanes in June, in the UK, but hey, you never know!), clothes to go to the beach in, clothes to go out to dinner in….oh, the list is endless. Anyway, it would be rude NOT to pack so resourcefully…I was a girl guide after all.
We did only go for a week though!
Our last family vacation had to be cancelled as just hours before our departure Hannah became unwell and a mad dash to the children’s ward in our local hospital was required. Thankfully, we weren’t in there too long, however, Hannah was far too poorly to travel so the holiday had to be cancelled. *sad mummy face*. It wasn’t the first time and I guess it won’t be the last.
But we made it THIS time….and it was utterly Heavenly.
We went to Cornwall and, for me, it feels like going home.
For those of you unsure of its location, it’s in the south west of the UK, and if you haven’t yet visited then I suggest you consider it sometime for the future. In my opinion, Cornwall (or Kernow) is one of, if not THE most beautiful and unique places in the UK (my/our little piece of Heaven) and, whilst I’ve visited many places all over the world, I wouldn’t now wish to go anywhere else.
Whilst on holiday I’d made some preparatory notes for a blog post on all the adventures Hannah experienced and more. Here’s roughly what I was going to tell you about:
How well Hannah looked
The fun she had
How relaxed she appeared
The places we travelled to
Our amazing accommodation
The 6 hour (plus) drive down to Cornwall
How Hannah adapted to her new travel bed (I’d highly recommend The Shrunks toddler bed – very bouncy for giddy kippers too!)
The beautiful weather
The fresh salty air
The surfers…Mmmm, the lovely, lovely surfers! *stares dreamily into space* Ahem, sorry, I digress…
The fact that Cornwall is steeped in history, culture, folklore and tradition – from Daphne du Maurier’s novel Jamaica Inn at Bodmin Moor to the knights of the round table and Merlin the sorcerer and King Arthur in Tintagel, from The Tate St Ives to the breath-taking open air Minack theatre with the Atlantic ocean as a backdrop.
The miles upon miles of beautiful coastal walkways and beaches
The AMAZING fresh local produce…Oh! and the steak and blue pasties from The Chough Bakery in Padstow – my goodness, utterly yummy beyond belief.
The unique Cornish culture and language
But obviously I’ve just touched on all that here already, so for this post I wanted to share something that happened there. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it God moving in mysterious ways, whatever we/you wish to term it, what I’m about to tell you was just simply meant to be.
Let me give you a preamble…
Summer 2013, Padstow, Cornwall: Hannah, my husband and I were sat on a bench eating lunch in the sunshine and watching the world go by. We just happened to meet a married couple who came to sit near us and we started chatting about everything and anything. They asked us where we were staying and we told them about the fantastic restaurant nearby and that it was well worth a visit. Ironically, they lived less than an hour’s drive away from our home and had come down to Cornwall to spend time with their son and his family who happened to live a short drive away from where we were staying.
Time flew by and we really enjoyed their company, but it then became time to go our separate ways. The couple were off to treat themselves to drinks at a nearby hotel. As we were saying our goodbyes the lady told us that on her return home she would be having major surgery…that she had cancer…that she was worried (understandably!)…and, in that split second, she took my breath away (and my husbands). I’d never met this woman before but something (I can’t really articulate how I felt) hit a nerve. We’d made a connection through meeting and chatting and I’d warmed to her straight away.
This bothered me.
And at the time of her surgery I thought about her, and over the course of the year I thought about her from time to time and wondered how she was. And I even said prayers for her – something I haven’t done for a long time (but that’s another long story).
I really hoped she was ok but we never thought to swap contact details at the time, so I had no means of getting in touch with her.
So, lets fast forward to Summer, Padstow, Cornwall 2014. It was our last day in Cornwall before returning home.
“I wonder how that lady is” I said.
My husband knew exactly who I meant without me having to elaborate.
Fast forward to that evening; we decided to treat ourselves to a meal in the restaurant near our accommodation. It was a perfect end to THE most perfect holiday.
As we were leaving I felt a pat on my shoulder.
“Excuse me….were you in Pad…”
I spun round. I’d remembered her voice.
It was her, the lady.
I recognised her immediately despite her hair being darker and quite short.
And then, quite spontaneously (not like me)…I flung my arms around her and burst into tears. I was SO glad to see her.
She must have thought I was completely bonkers.
I wouldn’t blame her!
She and her husband were down in Cornwall again to visit her son and his family. That day she’d suggested they all visit the restaurant to see what it was like as she remembered our conversation from the previous year about trying it out.
It was obvious she’d been through a tough time, had radical surgery and a lot of chemo (and subsequently lost her hair) but she felt healthy and I was SO pleased to hear her news. We spent a short time together with her family but their meal then arrived so we felt it only right to leave them, but I gave her my contact details this time!
Destiny? Fate? God moving in mysterious ways? Who knows.
All I know is that whatever it was, it was a wonderful end to a perfect holiday.
I think my prayers were answered this time.
Right lovely people, you’ll be pleased to know that’s all for this post.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed.
If you’ve had any similar experiences, I’d love to hear from you. Well, i’d love to hear from you even if you haven’t had any similar experiences.
Until next time…
This post is dedicated to “The Lady” – I promise that next time we meet I won’t burst into tears – honest!
To everyone out there living with cancer and their loved ones.
To the people of Kernow who’ve finally received ethnic minority status by the UK Government – Kernow now being recognised as one of the Celtic nations.
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