Sigh. It is with a heavy heart that I type this evening, as the dreaded circled date on the calendar, which I’ve been trying to ignore, is nigh; the last day of my maternity leave. The return to my day job looms large and, like most new mums, I’d quite happily stay in this lovely bubble of sitting in my PJs, eating cake and playing with the little’un, until he’s 18. Sadly, the bank manager seems to have a different opinion, so I’m re-joining the world of work (office based work that is, not Rockpool work – that’s 365 days a year, and definitely not a chore!) and my little pal is off to have wonderful times with his Grannies. Humph.
As a result, I’ve been in a bit of a reflective mood this weekend, and have been thinking of all the wonderful experiences we’ve had since January, made possible in no small part to the fabulous part of the world we live in, and all the brilliant stuff we have right on our doorstep. So here we go – 10 excellent maternity leave experiences in 11 months…
1. Giving birth in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. OK, it was painful, and long, and exhasting and messy. But still overwealmingly brilliant.
2. A slight come down after the last one this one, but a fond memory nonetheless: attending a lovely wedding at Northcote Manor Hotel in North Devon, and having to stop at the Tesco’s in Crediton on the way home because our 4 week old baby needed changing. Urgently. Thank goodness for public changing facilities – my husband took off his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves, and I kicked off my heels – this nappy needed some serious attention…
3. A lovely lunch at Charlies Coffee House in Charlstown, just outside St Austell. This place has cake TO DIE FOR. And when you’ve had no sleep and are feeding round the clock, wedges of cake the size of iron doorstops are not only appreciated, but necessary. Lovely place, lovely people.
4. Little’un’s first beach experience – a rather chilly walk along Port Wrinkle beach in South East Cornwall. (Obviously he didn’t walk – we did. He got carried in a rather snuggly sling). The beach is defintely going to become a big part of his life in the years to come, but unfortuantely he mostly slept through this first trip, being only 8 weeks old. Honestly.
5. A bit of tennis fever in June when we joined some mummy and baby friends to watch Wimbledon on the big screen in Plymouth City Centre. Gorgeous day, gorgeous friends, gorgeous city.
6. Sprog’s second trip too the beach: Bigbury near Kingsbridge, South Devon. At nearly 6 months old, he was a lot more interested in everything the beach has to offer. And obviously every grain of sand needed close scrutiny…
7. Enjoying the sunshine and giving mini-RT a taste of some fresh water swimming, at Plymouth Tinside Lido. A truely stunning view – can’t recommend this enough. (In summer. Wouldn’t recommend it in winter…).
8. A visit to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth – littl’un loved the fishes and seemed completely oblivious to the sharks. What it is to be young and fearless.
9. A day trip to Mount Edgcumbe, East Cornwall for a picnic and walk along the beach with the extended RT family. Bloomin’ freezing, but lovely nonetheless, and fab views back across the Tamar to Plymouth. I was taken there lots when I was a kid, so it was lovely to keep the tradition going.
10. And so we’re up to date: last Friday afternoon, when the whole RT team went for a scrummy lunch at Ruby Burgers in Exeter. An ultra-cool diner experience, with monster milkshakes (see pic) and beautiful burgers. Mini-RT is now big enough to sit in a highchair, grab all the cutlery and throw it on the floor, but no one seemed to mind. We love.
Hey ho – I guess nothing lasts forever and so we’re on to the next phase. We’ll just have to save those wicked Westcountry days for the weekends.