Hello Dear Reader,
It’s incredibly windy here again. We watched, in awe, at the sailors in small racing boats and wind surfers airborne above the waves. Out of the wind has been incredibly warm and we’ve been out an about on our bikes again.
Now some people who’ve followed me on my tiny tour de Carnac, would not want to holiday like this. They would want meals in restaurants, room service, clean towels every day but that is not for me. We don’t eat out at home, we don’t go on mini breaks, we don’t stay in hotels and we don’t do ‘treats’. I set out to live a consciously simpler life, where I have and do less but appreciate more of what I do have.
What I have had the most of this week, and I’ve relished it, is time. I’ve sat on the steps of my caravan and watched a blackbird feed her babies. I’ve laid on my back on the picnic table outside at dusk and watched the bats coming out of their roosts. I’ve pulled over at the side of the road to watch windsurfers. I’ve lingered for ages over coffee, lunch and supper. I’ve sat ever so quietly with my head on DB’s chest and just listened to his heart beat. Life has gone so very slowly this week and I’ve loved it.
I’ve cycled in the wind, rain, heat and sunshine but have taken each journey slowly and gazed at the beauty as I’ve gone by. I’ve got off my bike on more than one occasions to stick my nose into roses, mimosa and got down to ground level to identify flowers.
I’ve walked on windswept and empty beaches, collecting shells and have conversed in clunky rusty French with an old gent who has made his living from oysters for all his life. I’ve shut my eyes and chewed and savoured on food that still had a pulse and the flavour embodied the sea itself. I’ve washed it down with wine so chilled that the condensation ran down my fingers.
I’ve stood and stared and wondered.
I’ve even managed a tiny chat with locals in the launderette – I was chuffed with that! My French improves by tiny steps each time I come here. I’m not worried if I make mistakes……someone will soon correct me!
I’ve bought no souvenirs, no tourist tatt. I’ve spent eight euros in total on one box of rose wine. We ate out on the day we arrived (ten euros between us), ate freshly prepared oysters for eight euros each (£6.40) and we’ve cooked for ourselves for the rest of the time.
We’ve eaten really well and eaten steaks, oysters, scallops, squid, salad, fresh bread and fruit. We changed £150 into 181 euros and we’ll have enough left at the end of our trip to stock up on wine.
Holidays should be rare, saved for, savoured and remembered. They should be special and longed for. They should be annual and once only per year………if they were frequent, then they wouldn’t be special. If we had weekends away, city breaks, restaurant outings nilly willy then what do you do for a treat? What do you look forward to if you do all those things any way? If you do all of those things, what makes a holiday special?
I never went on holiday anywhere until I met Dearly Beloved, it was certainly something I never did with my parents and unfortunately couldn’t afford to so with my own children. I now reflect on how incredibly wealthy I am that I have a week away every year. I reflect on the luxurious food I’ve eaten, that I’ve been warm and dry when the weather wasn’t so good.
I’ve reflected on my incredible loving relationship with DB and how lucky he and I are to have a week to ourselves. It’s amazing just to have hours of silence and just read together. I can cycle for miles, not discussing the route before hand, knowing he’s somewhere behind me.
Our week’s holiday including the ferry, insurance, diesel, mobile home rent and spending money has been just under £1000. That is an enormous amount of money, that in all honesty should have gone to pay off another K of my mortgage capital. We had to save hard for this holiday and if we hadn’t been as careful as we had been, then we would not have been able to afford it at all.
My souvenir of this holiday will be the blog pages I’ve written and the photographs we’ve taken. The greatest part of my week away will be those just before going to sleep conversations where we reminisce about our week in Carnac.
It’s just been a proper old fashioned ‘rent a caravan by the seaside’ kind of holiday but I wouldn’t have it any other way………..other than having my son and daughter with me, but they’ve long grown out of going any where with mum.
I’ve got a lot to thank DB for. Thanks for dismantling pallets so we saved money on kindling, thanks for chopping wood so we didn’t need to run any central heating, thanks for having the fire lit early so I could dry the washing on wet winter days, thanks for taking a flask and sandwiches to work every day, thanks for turning the lights out and taking short showers. Thanks for selling stuff on ebay so we had money for car tax and insurance. Thanks for being my very own money saving expert.
I’ll end with some un-frugal food, but still cheaper than eating out. Arm and a leg Auray strawberries from the market, with egg custard. Big plate of salad with a goat’s cheese pizza.
Every year, I think this is the best holiday ever! Again, this is the best holiday ever. A holiday is important, it’s worth saving for and gives us something to look forward to. There are ways to have a cheap holiday: go in low season, self cater, enjoy the simple pleasures of bike riding and walking, take books to read, craft to do, card games, free wi-fi. You don’t need much when you enjoy what you have, and on any holiday, the most precious thing you have in abundance, is time. This week will top up my ‘lucky to have what I have pot’ for another year. Thanks for sharing it with me.
a l’annee prochaine , merci d’etre avec moi pendant me vacance xxx
Love Froogs xxxx