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Thursday, 19 July 2018

It's the summer holidays [almost]

Where are you going this year? Spain? Cyprus? Greece? Or are you holidaying at home? A staycation, as it's been coined. 

A few years ago a staycation would have been a poor choice. But this year? This year it seems like an excellent alternative to the charms of anywhere abroad. 

In fact, sitting looking out at my garden right now, and the dried up, shrivelled brown grass of what used to be my lawn, reminds me more of a holiday in Lanzarote than anywhere else. 

I'm not a great believer in the idea that the weather has to be blisteringly hot in order to have fun, but that said, sitting on the beach in a raincoat with its hood up against either driving rain, or gale-force winds, isn't going to appeal to many [if indeed anyone]. 

So I'm hoping for fair weather when I go to the beach to scatter my dad's ashes in the next few days. I want him to be lifted and carried by the wind, taken far out to sea and made at one with its great vastness, it's eternal swell and ebb. 

My dad had a particular fondness for the sea. As wild and untamed as he himself was, it brought out the very best in him. Again and again, like a lover, he would return to the same spot, the easy familiarity of known stretches of sand; the indomitable rocks which had been there since the beginning of time...

We sat on those rock and ate fish and chips; played beach tennis on the sand. 

Now, after the sprinkling of ashes, this place will hold other memories for me. And also for my children.  

It's true what they say about one life touching many. 

And in this time of bereavement, I can't help but wonder at the beauty of life in the midst of all its cruelty. 

So whatever you're doing today, remember one thing: Take nothing for granted. It will stand you in good stead. 

Happy reading. x


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