Wednesday, 28 July 2010
We had an unexpectedly gorgeous day (I'm talking about the weather here) on Sunday and took a trip down to Gunwalloe Cove on the Lizard, one of my favourite places and also a dog friendly beach. Cornwall really looked at its best, and that night I had a phone call to say that my oldest brother and his family are coming down next month and could we meet up? Of course the answer was yes – I can't wait.
We haven't seen him and his family for two years now, owing to their hectic lives. My nieces are now grown up girls – one's in her second year at university and the other is about to leave school, and my nephew is in his early teens. A lot can happen in two years. I think back to when I was their age and life was so different – I am showing my age here – but I'm sad that we've missed out on so much of them growing up. This will probably be the last family holiday they have, so the chances of seeing them after this are even smaller.
I miss my brother and his wife too. When the kids were younger we saw each other a lot more and had some wonderful times. I remember crying with laughter over various things; a tickling match just before I got married; a sunny barbecue one evening; sitting in their kitchen while my sister in law made plans to Get Me Hitched; putting the girls to bed when they were little. Happy memories.
Out of school activities can be a great opportunity for children and I'm all in favour of trying things out – at any age. I never knew I had much creative talents until – well, until my 30s. I spent most of my teens and 20s in a creative black spot and it wasn't until I left London that I realised I could write. Realising I could sing came later, and I did wonder the other day what I might have done with my life had I realised all this stuff earlier.
So what I'm saying is – yes, let's give children the best chances we can. But don't forget your family.