Last week we were in Scilly, our traditional family holiday. What constitutes a tradition? Well, we have been going to St Martin's for twenty years, so I think that does. The very first year we stayed in the Julian's cottages opposite the Post Office General Stores in Higher Town, then had a year break and since then have been most years for a fortnight to St Martin's Campsite in Middle Town. That first year E was in a back pack and wanting to get out and toddle whenever she could, and T was walking, but with a buggy close behind so that those short tired legs could get a break. How big the island seemed, exploring with those restrictions! I don't think we ever made it to either end, and the longest expedition was over to Great Bay on the north east side (about 500 m), somewhere we routinely go for a swim before breakfast now.
Who came this year? Sixteen of us, assorted cousins and friends, two of whom are the current residents of 2CC and two of whom were "Scilly Virgins" as someone dubbed them.
Here we all are on the beach last Wednesday evening:
We don't habitually eat in this formal way on the beach, but on this occasion Little B had organised a celebratory meal,we had brought glad-rags with us, and then scavenged very successfully about the island. The table had once been a barn door, (it still had seven keyholes in), Sam's black suit came from the charity shop, as did the crystal pudding bowls and two of the champagne glasses. Most of the crockery came from the Reading Room, courtesy of Rod the postman and the charming table decorations and statuesque flower arrangements were from the dunes.
So what else did we do? We read (The Chaos Walking series, one of the Hunger Games and Far from the Tree for me) played Ticket to Ride ( and started to get a bit more sophisticated in its strategy), swam, sailed, kayaked (both round the island and to the Eastern Isles and Tresco), swam lots and TALKED.
Birds creating an early morning sculpture from an inadequately hidden loaf.
We often say it is the best holiday place on earth, and this year it wasn't difficult to remember why we think so. Natural beauty, the sea, good food, wonderful company, shell collecting, physical activity of all sorts, and this year SUN, which does improve all the rest. May we return many times.