The Theme Game week 8: Holiday!

Last summer I read a lot of comments by friends on Facebook who had been on amazing holidays and it got me thinking about both the things I am looking forward to about the future with older children and also nostalgia for some of the amazing holidays of my own childhood.


We went to Iceland (to visit Icelandic friends who owned a chocolate factory!), Corfu, Portugal, Spain (to visit my paternal grandparents who lived out there), as well as a couple of staycations to Cornwall (where my dad drew an enormous naked lady in the sand [we looked down on it from the cliffs above]) and Pembrokeshire in Wales. However one of the most memorable and evocative holidays of my childhood was a trip to the South of France when I was 11 for a canal boat meander down the Canal du Midi from Narbonne to Carcassone.

This holiday began at Teddington station in South West London – my hometown. We went on holiday by train! This in and of itself was pretty blooming exciting, particularly because the second leg of the journey involved taking the overnight sleeper train from Calais down to Narbonne. Kudos to my parents (and their friends – another family we holidayed with) for even dreaming up such an awesome adventure for their children!

Memorable parts of this holiday included watching my mum operating the lock gates – particularly the Fonseranne Staircase Lock near Beziers -; falling into the fonserannes staircase lockwater and nearly getting crushed by the boat (whilst wearing my sister’s tracksuit – much to her consternation!); waking up moored up in a beautiful bucolic setting near a small village and going off with the other kids to the nearest boulangerie to order fresh baguettes and pain chocolat (unheard of in England in the early 80s!); and walking the old city walls of magical Carcassonne.

It is my dearest desire to be able to relive this holiday one day with my own children. I’d also like to take them skiing. And to Disneyland. Hmmm… better start saving up now eh?!

Linking up with The Theme Game as organised by Jocelyn at The Reading Residence and Iona at Red Peffer.

The Reading Residence

15 thoughts on “The Theme Game week 8: Holiday!

  1. Wow, that sounds like such a wonderful holiday! I’d love to visit that area and Carcassone. Have you read Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth? It’s set in that area and really makes me want to visit it! I’m really looking forward to lots of more interesting holidays when the kids get older, just not so easy when they are little is it! xx #thethemegame

    • Oh I am really lucky – we had all these fabulous holidays – you don’t appreciate it so much when you’re young but as an adult, knowing how expensive it all is and how much planning goes in I am forever in debt to my parents for giving us all those amazing experiences. X

  2. Oh, I get like this – remembering my family holidays and also places we’ve visited as a couple that I’d like to share with the kids. We have Disneyworld on our list, and like you, best start saving! Thanks for sharing with #TheThemeGame x

  3. Such precious memories! Your parents seem brilliant at organising quirky holidays… and your dad is quite the creative man, isn’t he? Did you take any photos of his artwork? That holiday to France was such a unique experience, no wonder you are thinking of someday doing it again with your own children. x Mel

    • My dad *is* really creative Mel! Did I already write that he was a graphic artist? He drew a caricature of me for my 21st birthday party invitations – all around a cricket theme as the party was in a cricket pavilion! I wish I had kept one – maybe there is one somewhere deep in the loft somewhere… I didn’t realise you were French either (durrr!) – whereabouts in France do you hale from? I love France.

      • Champagne! I wrote a bit about it in my post about old family photographs if you are interested… Graphic artist dad… that explains the art on the sand, haha! x

  4. We live near Teddington!!
    and that holiday sounds amazing, my older two are 7 & 9 and holidays with them are getting much more enjoyable. Although I know it goes fast enough to wait, I look forward to them all being tweens and would love to recreate something like your trip – what an adventure!! xx

    • Unfortunately I don’t live in Teddington any more but my parents still live over in Hampton Wick so we get to visit the area lots! I can thoroughly recommend a canal boat holiday – it was so unique and beautiful and fun! Thanks for commenting – I’ve just visited your site I hadn’t been aware of it before! Looks like you have your hands full with four children!! Lots of fun though. X

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