It’s strange that I grew up in a family where it was considered utterly beyond the pale to go back to a holiday destination for a second time. My mum said she always worried that it wouldn’t be so good on the return. Mind you, family holidays when I was growing up were normally illustrated by one particular re-enactment, the Thursday row, where one or other parent would stomp off in a huff along Westward Ho! pier or Guernsey beach. Admittedly Max and I did our own version of this in Devon last year (who knew the Kingsbridge toilet block could be so emotive!?!?!) so I can hardly complain too much Anyway, the point is, we like going back to the same places, the same cottage and the same area – but even though we do that, each holiday manages to be very different.
Our first trip to Lower Hookner was full of brave, sad emotion; it always takes me a day or two to shake off the memories and I don’t think I’m the only one but I don’t mind it. In some ways it’s great to be able to touch base with the grief. It does also mean that no visit there since has ever felt quite so heady as that one did. Over the following 4 visits, it has normalised as a place in my head and I’m so glad we go back. I can manage the farm just fine; oddly, one particular walk we did that first time has all my Freddie emotion wrapped up in it; I’m not sure I could ever do that one again.
Since then, we add a few things to our repertoire each time, so much so that this time we couldn’t do all our favourites even in 2 weeks worth of holiday, though wetish weather and baby did slow us down. This week Fran has been scrapbooking and going through our Flickr account – we’ve realised there are an awful lot of pictures through the years of us on top of Haytor and at Postbridge.