Tag Archives: holiday

While we devotin’ Full time to floatin’ Under the sea

When Lulu’s dad first left she was still at nursery so he would often take her out for a day to spend time with her (without the fear of a fine) and on those days he would often take her swimming. She was a real water baby, and still is, hence her love of all things mermaid I think. Ariel is her favourite princess of them all, this may also be to do with   the fact that she also has red hair just like Lulu. Anyway, as she got older it was time for her to have formal lessons. Especially as we holiday by the sea in Suffolk each summer, for both safety reasons and to be able to have a full appreciation of the gorgeous sea that surrounds us. So she started lessons at a local pool last year. As a side issue, as you know I am always hot and sweaty but oh my goodness, how hot are childrens pools? Sitting and watching in shorts and a t shirt in the height of winter still doesn’t keep me cool. I am also most cross that I haven’t lost at least a stone from all the sweating.

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Lulu, like most children her age, is a little obsessed with YouTube, and it was while browsing that she came across the mermaid tail swim suit. It is literally a tail, that fits from the tummy down and covers your feet like a sleeve, and you can swim around in the pool with it. It looks fantastic but Lu isn’t a strong enough swimmer yet to merit one. Instead, at Christmas I gave her a gorgeous mermaid tail blanket which I adore but didn’t quite cut the mustard for her. I often find using her pyjama legs as as tail, by shoving both her legs in to one pj leg, like a very tight tube skirt – remember those? I have therfore had my eye out for a mermaid type tail she can actually try out and use in the sea and so when the lovely Leanne at Simply Swim did a shout out for those with children having swimming lessons to try out some of their range I shoved my arm straight in air and starting shouting ‘pick me, pick me, pick me’. And you know what? She did!!!

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She asked to go me to the website and choose some things with Lulu and there it was the holy grail of swimming, THE most perfect pink mermaid tail by Finis, practical and oh so pretty. Into the basket it went immediately, it also comes in blue. To be perfectly honest beyond the obvious joy of the tail, Leanne appeared at a very fortuitous time as all of Lulu’s swimming class friends have googles but she doesn’t, so into the basket went  a beautiful pink pair by Aqua Sphere (currently on sale!), there were lots of pink ones to choose from. It was a hard choice for Lulu. And she needed a new swim suit – I think she is having a growth spurt. Unsurprisingly all the items Lu chose were pink. A super pair of swim shoes by Speedo (also on sale), so useful for our summer hols as the beach we go to in Walberwick is predominately stones. A good old fashioned kick board by Speedo, so she can practice her kicking, a lovely long foam pole, a Zoodle by Zoggs, which I have my eye on for tucking under my arms and floating on my back in the lovely sea but for Lu it can again help with her kicking, on her back or on her tummy. It’s just like the ones they use at her swimming classes.

The swimsuit has been a big hit, she has taken to wearing it in the bath. It is the prettiest  pink with blue shiny metallic hearts on and bright green edging. It also has some extra straps on the back which Lulu and her friends seem to think is the height of sophistication. Finally, she chose a very very pink water bottle by Funkita which she now insists I carry around in my bag for her at all times. I am secretly hoping to sneak it off her at some point as I am rather fond of it. Did I mention that pink is my favourer colour too?

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All the products were true to size and she loves each and everyone, how on earth am I going to get all of them, plus Barbie’s essentials, and the suitcases into my car for the summer hols I do not know.

PS I have tiny feet so I have tried the mermaid tail on which fits (very Cinderella) and I cannot wait for our holiday, I may be more excited than Lulu.

A massive thank you to Leanne and Simply Swim for letting us have such fun with your lovely products.

All opinions are obviously my own.

Introducing Lulu to Suffolk

When I was little we didn’t actually go on holiday in the modern sense. In the summer we went up to Scotland to stay with my Aunt and my cousins for a couple of weeks and twice we went to Brighton to stay with my Uncle. The other school holidays were spent at home, going to the park or playing out with my friends from the same building as me. Yes, believe it or not small children played hopscotch unsupervised on the streets of Ladbroke Grove! We used to play with the children in the next street too and came home when we could hear our mums shouting our names out the windows. My mum was a cleaner and worked odd hours so then my grandma would look after me. In those days the holiday abroad was rare among the people I knew, we didn’t have much money and a holiday was seen as luxury not a necessity. I still have that mentality today, I love going on holiday but I don’t expect it, if I can save enough then great, if not then the park and swimming it is. My mum took me abroad once when I was seven, to Malaga, it was amazing! the sea, the beach, the food, it felt incredibly exotic.

From the age of eight my mum used to make me go and stay with my father abroad, where he lived, for two weeks in the summer and it was absolutely awful. I didn’t know my father or his family, we didn’t speak the same language – literally – and I hated every minute, they were mean to me, they made fun of me and they ignored me. I missed my mum so much that it hurt and yet every year, for my years, as the summer holidays approached I knew what was going to happen and that sense of foreboding and misery really tainted a lot of my child hood holiday time, I dreaded being sent away.

Apart from Spain the only other ‘proper’ holiday I had was when my mum and my aunt took me and my two cousins to a house that they had rented in Walberswick,Suffolk, from the friend of the woman my mum cleaned for.

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It was the best holiday ever! The house was on the green which had swings, you could walk to the beach and there is a bridge where you go crabbing, having picked up the lines and bait of bacon scraps at the local Spar. There was very little traffic and you could rent bikes from the garage to go whizzing around the country lanes. There was even a chap with a rowing boat who would row you across the estuary to Southward for 10p each, bikes extra. It was like the Famous Five made flesh. Picnic lunches of white bread cheese sandwiches on the beach, making sand castles with one of my cousins who was a year older than me while the other, who was 14, would wander up and down the beach looking wistfully out to sea in the first bloom of teen angst. Her brother and I laughed at her a lot, after all what more do you need to make you happy than an ice cream and a set of swings right in front of your house?

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I have lots of not so good memories from my child hood but that holiday and that place stir memories in me of pure happiness. We never went back after that trip but then I had Lulu and wanted her to experience the same sort of fun as me so I started taking her to Suffolk too. When she was about six months old my ex and I rented a gorgeous house in the midst of the forest in Orford and took our mums with us, a good friend also came to stay for a few days.  Then a short time later we rented a cottage in the middle of an apple orchard near Saxmundham with our god child and her parents. A few months later it was a cottage in Orford and some of Lulu’s godparents came to stay. Then last summer I took Lulu on our first single parent holiday to a cottage in Walberswick, my mum came too and the three of us had a whale of a time.You could see the sea from my bedroom and it was perfect.

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In April this year I rented  larger house in Walberswck and M came along with his two children, as did my mum. We have rented the same house for two weeks at the end of August for us and the children again, and of course my mum! It is magical amazing place, we all go crabbing on the bridge of my childhood memory, we cycle to the Co Op (the Spar is long gone) for papers and milk, we get in the little row boat across to Southwold, we play on the beach, get sand everywhere and then go to the Anchor for dinner and Adnams ale. It is exactly a I remember it as a child and I adore going there. I hope that when Lulu grows up that she has as many fond members of Suffolk as I do and if i’m really lucky I may be able to take my grandchildren there too.