It’s a time of homecomings for several members of my family and I’ve been thinking of them as they head home by air, sea and motor. Safe journeys, I whisper.
The Rascally Trio have spent the last three weeks in the South of France, enjoying an idyllic holiday composed of sea, sand and sunshine. Most days I have been the fortunate recipient of photos or videos showing my sun-kissed
Rascals building (and, of course, demolishing) sandcastles, paddling in the sea or swimming in the pool at their holiday villa, dancing with abandon on the sandy beach. Their parents, the Middle of the Darling Daughters and her fella “Rules is Rules”
look tanned and relaxed. Considering the M of the DDs nearly didn’t get away at all, having been hospitalised with an inexplicably swollen knee, it is marvellous to see her looking so happy and care-Free. Or, at least, as care-free as any mother can
be with a Trio of Rampaging Rascals in tow. But let’s face it, if you have to rampage anywhere, what better place than a wide, sandy beach especially at the weekend when you have the glorious stretch of Pure Pleasure all to yourselves.
As I write, they are waiting at Calais for the ferry home. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters has stocked their fridge with gallons of milk and they are looking forward
to being home. Ahead, for the Twins, lies their first day at school - a whole new Life Experience. They can’t wait to join the ranks of Ladybird Class at Hook Infants School while their brother is just as keen to reconnect with all his friends in Flamingo
Class. Holidays are wonderful, indeed, but being back home with so much going on - well, life moves on, doesn’t it? When you are four, like the Twins, or six like Faris the Rascal, life is one merry go round. With the emphasis on “merry.”
Meanwhile, Hazel Bagel, third Eldest of the Tremendous Ten grandchildren is on her way back from a holiday of a lifetime in Australia and Bali, in the company of The Boyfriend,
Zac. They have had, she tells me, the “best time of her life” despite a recent argument with a surfboard which left her with a swollen nose and a touch of concussion. The travellers have been away for three long, fun-filled months during which
my granddaughter celebrated her birthday in style - in a camper van. I am told that Zac came up trumps in ensuring that she didn’t miss out in any of the excitements which would have come her way had she been at home.
Her mother, Youngest of the Darling Daughters, has spent today turning Hazel’s bedroom into a homely haven to welcome her back. I have played a (very) small part in this but I can’t explain
because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. (No, don’t expect too much, it’s only me, remember.) Like the Twins, Hazel has a New Life to look forward to as she starts her degree course at Arts Educational School in Chiswick. A new course,
a new home from home, new flatmates. Fortunately she knows all the coffee shops in Chiswick from her previous sojourn there - many is the letter she wrote me (always on coloured paper, using multi-coloured pens) from her favourite coffee shop.
In the days when My Foursome were littl’uns, I remember returning from seaside holidays full of Good Intentions. Turning over a new leaf seemed so much easier while still wrapped
up in the warm glow of a happy holiday.
Mr B always liked to leave for home just as early as possible; I liked to leave it as late as possible. This wasn’t
actually because I wanted to linger but because I never wanted to arrive home with time still left in the day to start on the mountain of washing spilling from every suitcase. The mere sight of the washing machine signalled “Holiday Over!” to me
so if I could just put it off until the next day..
Back to the here and now, the travellers return and I can’t wait to hear all about their adventures. Travel
can be life-changing, a happy holiday is life-enhancing. But at the end of the day - there really is No Place Like Home.