Where to start? How to capture a person, a relationship , a life in an icon story? That’s the beauty of the brand: there are so many stories I can tell about my life; as it is now as well as the milestones I want to celebrate. My London life can be told through the TFL logos; all the places I have lived, worked, played …
I could capture my favourite cities, the most memorable holidays, the UK cities that tell the story of my family.
And what about my passions: the much loved and read books, the favourite films. I could celebrate my active life – skiing, swimming, cycling , body pump ; or my inactive life – reading , writing , art house films , art & photography and fashion ( shopping! ) .
And let’s not forget the large part of my adult life spent at work (some of it endured , rather than enjoyed) that makes up my career.
After all, it’s about me!!
Well here goes – let’s start with my most memorable holidays.
Florida-My first holiday outside Europe and the most longed for by the children. It was a big deal and we packed in a lot during our 2 week Easter break in April 2000: Orlando and Disneyland the first week; travelling around the Everglades, Naples and St Petersburg in the second week. To be honest, Hubby and I were assuming we would have to “endure” the Disney week for the kids and reward ourselves with the second week. As it turned out, once we just embraced the whole Disney experience, we absolutely loved it!!
French Gites – When we were cash poor, raising 2 or 3 children on not much salary, we still wanted to travel abroad for our summer hols so that meant self-catering Gite holidays in Northern France – and one year we blew the budget on an overnight ferry to Santander for 2 weeks in Cantabria. It still amazes me how much we fitted in to one medium sized car: self catering stuff, clothing for all weathers, a buggy and 3 bikes on that trip to Spain. The kids say they have been scarred for life and will never impose the trauma of similar holidays on their own kids, but really, we all had a fab time on a shoestring. Well maybe not the last one in Brittany when they were 15, 13 and 8 and it did not stop raining for the first week.
Cuba – Our first guided tour group travel adventure. Myrta, our wonderful Cuban tour guide took us to so much more of this beautiful country than if we had tried to do it ourselves. It was a great combination of roughing it, living like ( with ) the locals in Casa Particulars , making do with limited food and drink at the all inclusive overnight stay at a Cuban resort hotel , the old fashioned and faded glamour of old Havana and a luxury 5 day stay on the Caribbean coast for some very welcome r & r . It was lush!
The Algarve – Our honeymoon – which was so long ago and we were so young (and poor) we couldn’t afford the now obligatory exotic fortnight in some island paradise the other side of the world. So we hit the Algarve in October. We had a car and spent the second week chasing the sun as far west as we could go – from Faro to Sagres. We also ventured inland to mountain towns, taking in horse riding , Roman ruins and even ventured eastwards over the border for an overnight stay in Seville . We missed the infamous hurricane of 1987, but we caught the tail end of it when torrential rain delayed our flight back home and spent a very damp day at the hotel- apart complex with very little ( effective) cover from the downpour
New York – The weekend break with our now grown up kids. Now we are no longer public enemy no.1 and they have all evolved into very nice adult human beings, we have discovered we actually enjoy each other’s company. So we headed to New York to an air bnb on the Lower East Side- very gritty and authentic (or like Shoreditch 10 years ago) . We bickered, and probably annoyed the hell out of even Americans when we were at full volume en masse, but we had a blast!
New Zealand and San Francisco – The first major trip in our new children-all-grown-up world , which we spent over Christmas and New Year , missing 2 of our kids’ birthdays too … it was a very strange experience spending Xmas day 12 hours ahead of everyone back home , on the road and in sunshine ! It was glorious.