Friday, July 21, 2017

a postcard from the beach






Dear (insert your name here),

How are you?

We've been having a lovely time at the beach. Even though we're only here for five full days, the break from the cold and from our everyday routine has been worth every travel mile.

Every other year we've come here we've spent big chunks of time away from the house; exploring, shopping and wandering, but this year we've hardly left. The girls have spent hours sitting up at the kitchen table doing homework and painting in their journals, farmer Bren has been playing guitar and I've just turned the heel of a pair of socks I cast on four days ago, I'm sure that's a personal record.

Before we came here I thought I might be done with knitting socks. The last few pairs I knitted didn't fit their intended recipient properly and I lost confidence. There's nothing worse than a few weeks' worth of 4ply knitting on 2mm needles sagging at the ankles.

But the night before we left home I packed three skeins of sock yarn and didn't look back. Socks are the best traveling project and I just had to give them another go. Initially I thought I'd knit grey and blue stripes, but once I'd wound the yarn into balls I changed my mind. I'm always looking for plain grey socks to wear with clogs and these purled cabled ones will be perfect.

And knitting those toes felt just like coming home. I am still well and truly a sock knitter. 

I've also fallen in love with watching tv in bed. I know!!!! Lying back against a mountain of pillows, flicking through the stations and getting sucked into the lives of tattoo artists, brides, airline stewardesses and cooks feels so indulgent and like nothing I'd ever do in my real life. It's probably lucky that we don't have a tv at home so I won't be tempted.

We've walked all the way to the end of the beach and back a few times. We've swum and enjoyed the sunshine on our skin. We've read books and listened to music. We've tried to convince the girls to stay another week and miss some school. But they won't. Bum!

And I've thought a lot about what it was like when we were here at the same time last year and how far we've come since then. 

Last year on one of the first days of our holiday I closed myself in my bedroom and wrote down the story of my daughter's bullying from my perspective. After months of watching the story unfold, of witnessing my daughter crumple, of finally taking matters into our own hands and exposing it to everyone who was involved and everyone who would listen, and completely losing myself in distress, I wrote down my feelings and reactions and fears. And then I posted them to my blog. It was a terrible time.

A year on and things couldn't be much more different. Our girl is blossoming. She's strong and independent, she has a bunch of great friends and she can make me laugh like no one else can.

I think we all see the world a bit differently in the after, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think we're all more aware and careful, I think we're more compassionate and I think that after hearing so many other people's stories, we're always ready to listen and support and defend.

I'm astounded by how widespread bullying is and has been for a very long time. It kills me. I can only hope that all the cliches about time passing and difficult situations making better and stronger people are true. 

I'm so terribly sad and sorry for those of us who have been treated badly and especially for those of us who have had to watch it happen to someone we adore. It's the worst. I'm sending love and strength and courage out to all.

And sunshine.

We're heading home tomorrow to the depths of the dark Daylesford winter and I'll be holding onto the memory of this bright, sunshiney week for as long as I can.

I hope you've had a wonderful week wherever you are.
Are you reading a good book? Traveling somewhere interesting? Planning something exciting?
I'd love to know all about it.

See you in a week.

Love Kate

xx


24 comments:

  1. Your holiday sounds beautiful. I love the lose-track-of-time feeling when you take a break. So much growing/evolving in a year. I'm sorry you went through such a terrible time. And I'm so glad you're past it. The looking back can be healing I think. I hope you can bring some sunshine home with you. The winter sunshine has been beautiful here xx

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    1. Thank you Elisa, it's so true, those five days felt like weeks and yet the five we've been back have gone in a second. I love how time can be stretchy like that. x

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  2. What a joyous gift the distance of time can be.
    Im so happy for you that you have had a sun filled week to break up the grey of winter.
    Do you rent a house or is it a family shack?
    Cheers Kate

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    1. Thank you dear Kate.
      Bren's parents have a house up there. It's such a blessing to have a home away from home.
      I hope you're having a lovely week.
      xx

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  3. Lovely to spend a few hours with you and your lovely family around the pool. Not looking forward to the cold we face tomorrow. Good luck and see you on the other side!

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    1. Those few hours were gorgeous. It always amuses me that sometimes we have to go so far away from home to spend time with our neighbours. I hope you four have a lovely and easier term four.
      xx

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  4. My darling daughter was bullied at school, to the extent that we had to report an incident to the police. I worried that this extremely shy girl would be forever scarred by this, but she now lives a happy life on the other side of the world (sadly for me!)and is a great mother to her little daughter. I am sure your daughters will all grow up to be happy, independent, confident girls like mine did! I always love reading your blog, so thank you, Kate.

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    1. Oh Liz that sounds like a nightmare. I'm so sorry your family had to go through that ordeal. And of course I'm thrilled to hear that she's left it far behind her now living a full and wonderful life. I hope you're having a lovely week. xx

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  5. TV in bed is so "holiday". I love all the henna, especially holding the needles and keeping on with the socks. x

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    1. You know a tiny part of me was a little worried that I'd be tempted to look up my TV friends when we got home and check in on them but thankfully it's not a real life thing. Big love to you honey bunch. xx

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  6. The beach sounds wonderful! It's been so long since we've been, I'm hoping after gardening season (canning/freezing/dehydrating) is done we'll find one as well. Our trials and tribulations do make us stronger, and hopefully a better person. Just finished my ninth pair of socks for the year, my needle time is my Zen place. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Just thinking of you in the midst of the crazy gardening season warms me up. And I just counted and I'm knitting my sixth pair of socks for the year, better hurry up and catch up I think. x

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  7. Such a lovely, happy blog with sunshine included who could ask for more. Love the pebble legs, a great photo. Who did the henna prints they are fab? Not too long before the sun is back at Daylesford. I'm reading at the moment Sleepers Castle by Barbara Erskine and enjoying it immensely not read one of hers for quite a while. On the needles is a vintage style sweater and I've promised to finish an Aran sweater for my sister as she started it 3 years ago and it's still not done. Have a safe journey home, see you next week.

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    1. A friend of ours called Alana Grainger did the henna. She is beyond amazing. Thanks for the book recommendation, I'll look it up. And I love the thought of finishing your sister's sweater after all these years. I'm sure it'll be incredible. Who gets to keep it once you're done? x

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    2. My sister does, as I promised I'd finish it for her. She's going walking in Aysgarth in North Yorkshire in December so she'll need a warm sweater. She runs her cafe all summer season at the seaside so only gets a break in the winter.

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  8. I am glad you are having such a good time on the beach. Watching telly in bed is a good thing - as long as it does not become a habbit that's stopping you from doing other things.
    Bullying was and is everywhere. It is a weird thing in social dynamics of groups, sometimes even kids who would not bully get sucked into it because it feels okay to do. We see it at school all the time. It is very important that parents and schools work together so everything gets exposed and sorted out and changes get made to help it stop. I never thought of it much from the eprspective of a parent, but it must be hard and I am glad that it is over for you. x Have a lovely rest of your stay. Hugs.

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    1. I completely agree that parents and schools need to work together to expose the bullying and eradicate it in the future. It interests me when some parents refuse to believe their children are capable rather than facing the problems. Love to you honey x

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  9. Replies
    1. it was a gorgeous break jane, i'm still wondering if next year we might come to you xx

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  10. It makes me happy knowing you've all had such a wonderful time together. xx

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    1. It makes me happy that it makes you happy. xx

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  11. Dear Kate, it is summer here in Europe. I left Sweden, where I live, for some weeks in a warm Majorca. It is always a pleasure to read your blog. Have a nice week. Read you next :-)!

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    1. I think a few weeks in warm Majorca sounds like just about the most awesome thing to do in the world. I hope you're having a wonderful time. xx

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  12. Love this post! My biggest plans at the moment is painting our house. I am one of those that does the laundry everyday and I love getting lost in a good book, under a tree or on my porch swing.

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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