Monday, September 13, 2021



There’s some kind of conifer growing outside my kitchen window, one can almost imagine being on the edge of a forest (there is no forest) and, standing at the kitchen sink this morning, it triggered thoughts of childhood holidays.

My childhood holidays, visits to grandparents in the southeast of England aside, were spent in Scottish villages, in the homes or bolt holes of friends of my parents. Port William, on the southwest coast; Corpach, just outside Fort William in the west Highlands; and Brora, on the far northeast coast.

I don’t remember how many times we stayed in each place. I can recall one memory from each. Finding a dead dog fish washed up on the beach at Port William. Tadpoles in the bath at Corpach, the peaty-brown water fed directly from a burn (stream) that ran through the property. Buying an Airfix model of a WWII vehicle in the village shop at Brora and constructing it. That’s it. That’s your lot.

As we emerge from the travel restrictions of the past year and a half, holiday destinations and agents will put pressure on parents to make ‘priceless’ holiday memories for their children. I recognise that I am not neurotypical, but nonetheless I suspect that for the most part such memories are not stored in destinations we revisit.

The purpose of a holiday is not to make memories (though that may be an added bonus) but to spend time together in the present moment. It doesn’t really matter where you do that, or what your budget is.


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