24 days. That’s how long it’s been since breast cancer stomped into our lives, changing everything forever. That’s all. In many ways it feels way longer than that. So much has happened and so much has changed. On the inside at least. On the outside everything just carries on as normal. Everything and everyone looks the same, sounds the same – but things just don’t feel the same. It’s a well warn cliche, but life goes on. And we owe it to ourselves to make the most of every single minute of it.
So this weekend, in an attempt at doing something vaguely normal, we decided to have a family weekend away. And we really needed the break after the tough few weeks we’ve had.
We decided on visiting the Gower, an area of South Wales that Ad and I both love. We have many happy “pre kids” memories there. It was all a bit last minute, and when discussing accommodation I was quick to play the cancer card and veto taking our touring caravan. The pod carries a lifetime veto even before having the cancer excuse, so that’s not an option either! A quick search on AirBnB resulted in a couple of homes that looked ok. Now I must admit to taking my eye off the ball a little here. Before cancer I would have researched the area and property to the nth degree, and have a full itinary mapped out for the whole weekend. In our new life, I’m already a lot more relaxed about such things. So we very quickly settled on a place that had good reviews, enough space for the 4 of us and close enough to the Gower for us to be able to explore. I even left it to Ad to book!
On arrival my first thought was “big mistake”. We had booked an unremarkable terraced house (nothing too wrong with that), but without off-road parking. Whoops. The street and all neighbouring streets were jammed with cars. I started to panic a bit. I am not a light packer and the boot was full of “stuff”. There was nothing for it but to abandon the car, load up and walk. Great start!
After struggling with the keysafe outside the house for a few minutes in the blackness (it was 8pm, no street lights and Ab is rubbish at shining her phone torch in the right place. Oh and my eyesight is pretty awful!) we, and all the “necessities” I’d bought from home, tumbled inside. Fortunately the house was warm and welcoming, modern, bright and clean with everything we needed to hand. Phew. We had pulled it off! I relaxed a bit then and began to look forward to the weekend.
The weather forecast for the whole weekend was pretty dire and we were expecting rain from dawn to dusk on both days. But Saturday morning brought sunshine and a biting wind – but no rain. We headed to the Mumbles for breakfast. The last time we visited the Mumbles, the kids were much smaller and we had to endure the pain of crazy golf. This time we find a cafe, load up on bacon and sausage sandwiches before taking a walk along the promenade. There’s much hilarity when we spot a boat called “Itchy Pussy” (Really? Who on earth thought that was a good idea???) and I’m slightly surprised the kids get the reference. But who am I kidding? At 15 and 11 of course they understand. But on the plus side there’s no mention of crazy golf!
Next stop Rhossili – the beach is renowned for being one of the best in the world. And I’m not even exaggerating! Back in 2014, Trip advisor named it the UK’s best beach and rated it 9th in the world and it’s been highly ranked ever since.
The walk out to the tidal island, Worm’s Head, is stunning. We didn’t quite venture all the way across the causeway. It looked spectacularly rocky underfoot and gets cut off from the mainland at high tide. Given the level of luck 2017 had brought us, we felt the risk of needing a helicopter rescue was simply too high!
The good weather held all day for us. Well, until the moment we went for a walk to the local fish and chip shop – then the heavens opened. But it turns out soggy fish and chips aren’t so bad after all! Especially when washed down with prosecco!
Sunday brought the rain. Relentless, cold, torrential rain. But we came prepared for exactly this weather, so, kitted out in full waterproofs, we headed off to the gorgeous Three Cliffs Bay. It’s quite a trek to get there but worth every step. Even when the British weather is against us.
I’ve had a great weekend with my lovely little family, doing the things we did before the cancer bomb dropped on us. To those of you that read, commented and shared my last blog, Know Your Lemons – thank you. So far it has been read almost 1200 times in 23 different countries. Hopefully, somewhere in the world, we’ve made a difference.