Well, if you ask me, it COULD be summed up by this photo. The children messing around on the giant wild Crantock beach in Cornwall, last week.
If you ask the amusing writer Tim Lott however you will get a different answer. The above photograph might be categorised by him as ‘childcare’. It will probably not be deemed by him as the perfect family hols. As Tim and I discussed energetically on Woman’s Hour last week, he enjoys travel on his own.
Rather than goof around on the beach, Tim likes knowing he will be sleeping in peace and quiet on crisp white sheets, getting up late, swimming, lying on a sunlounger reading, writing and having dinner on his own.
Whereas I quite like messing around on the beach with the kids. It’s the one time they can be sure I won’t be distracted by the Blackberry. And its something which won’t last. Family holidays are transient – all too soon, I’m sure, my children would rather be poked in the eye with the proverbial stick than come on holiday with Mum and Dad. But at the moment, we’re all in it together. Even when it rained, which it always does in Cornwall. So when the weather wasn’t really up to much, we got our coats on and tried our hand at this..
This is us on a very windy cold day, mackerel fishing off Newquay. The most exciting thing? Landing the fish and watching them dying in a bucket. And having a seal pop up and say hi.
You don’t have to go very far with your children in order to have an adventure, but if you get off that sunlounger, you might find you have memories far longer than just a great dinner will leave you. However delicious.