This was going to be one of those brief here’s where I was last week posts, then I realised that brevity is not my strong point.
I also realised that when you tell people you’re holidaying in this beautiful country of ours, we seem to preface it with the word ‘just’, as if somehow belittling it. I do it; “Oh, where are you going?” “
Just down to Dorset for the week”. The fact is that holidaying in the UK can be stunning, despite trips to Florida as a child my favourite holiday will always be a week at a Haven caravan site on the east coast where we won family of the year (not to brag). I feel like we take our own country for granted, because you “might not get the weather here” so we’d rather jet off for a week. Which is fine, it’s more than fine – I wholeheartedly support seeing the world (I’d love to be on the wrong side of sensible some time, and travel for a while and have an excuse to use the hashtag Wanderlust) but I don’t know if laying horizontal for a week queuing for an all inclusive buffet is really counted as “seeing the world”, although it’s a nice break if that’s what you’re after. So I decided to show you how fun a staycation can be, then it all got a bit lengthy so I’ll bring you it (unusually for me) in a few parts.
Our autumn holiday (the itinerary was even entitled “Our Autumn Adventure“) – yes we have an itinerary, carefully planned first by hand then neatly typed and scanned to my own emails for easy reference back with ‘relax time’ included for the avoidance of any doubt. I love an itinerary because it lets me know where we need [want] to be when and avoids wasting an hour each morning trying to decide what to do before trying to decide something suitable to wear then finally getting going having to stop for lunch on the way and only embarking on the actual day at 1 o’clock when it’s halfway spent already. It just works. And with a plan in mind I can get to grips with actual relaxing, something that historically I have a hard time doing. Who would have guessed that relaxation can actually cause more stress for people like me? You’ll know what I mean if the moment you allow your mind to stop racing it starts racing thinking you’ve forgotten something or worrying about why you’re not worrying.
So, our Autumn Holiday this year is a UK break to Christchurch, Dorset. I’ve been once before and My Love came many a time as a child (it’s still one of her parents’ favourites and they’ve been something like 33 consecutive years). We’re caravanning and don’t care too much about the weather. If it rains, we have hoods and UGGs. If it’s sunny we’re also equipped. And yes, it’s October in Britain but the cool nights just mean more excuse (not that we need one as newlyweds) to snuggle up.
The drive down (about 4.5 to 5 hours without traffic from Leeds) with only a slight detour to Herbie’s new cattery (which is totally fancy and recommended – review upcoming!) went smoothly accompanied by Roald Dahl audiobooks The Twits and Fantastic Mr Fox (two I’ve never read before shockingly, being a bad bitch as a youngster who preferred Judy Blume books which I think we can all agree were a bit racier) and a whisking in of Graham Norton’s Saturday Radio 2 show which we always enjoy. We stopped for Burger King and hydration (I realised my skin was bad just in time for the holiday and linked this to the fact that having been on courses for work the two days prior I’d ‘rehydrated’ only with tea and neglected to drink my usual 8 glasses of water. The results were horrific – not that I’m one to exaggerate- and there were no first day of holiday selfies to be had oweing to that).
Some photographs don’t belong to me, but permission has been sought and you can follow Sam on instagram here.
We arrived and went for a wander around Christchurch, a small town near to coastal Bournemouth only 5 minutes from the site we were staying. Laid-back, peaceful and one of those places which is just safe-feeling (if that makes sense). We had a drink in cafe-bar the Arcado Lounge (‘a latte and a banana milkshake please‘ I said; as we were on holiday we were hitting the hard stuff. My rehydration could wait.) then mooched back to the caravan at Meadowbank Holidays on the bank of the River Stour (which is great for fishing) and near to the New Forest and watched a film with a curry followed up with a laidback evening of snuggling makeup-less in pyjamas.
When I woke on Sunday I already felt like I could get the hang of relaxation this week.