Saturday, 5 June 2010


On Thursday evening we sat outside the tent, breathing in the smell of citronella candles and distant barbecue, feeling the coolness of sand beneath our toes and watching Chinese lanterns float up into the night sky until they were no longer distinguishable from the early evening stars.

Inside, the baby slept soundly, dreaming of his first glimpse of the ocean, and outside, silence crept over the sand dunes as the last streaks of red disappeared from the sky.

Behind us, the shores of Shell Island rolled into the mountains beyond and before us sand dunes disappeared into the sea, but in this hollow in the dunes, there was only us, our tent and our little family of three.

As James and I cuddled in the dusky darkness outside the tent I felt totally free and grounded, totally responsible and secure, totally happy, totally natural and totally surrounded by love.

If it were left to me, the palaver of packing and the unease of the unknown would probably prevent me from ever going away, and I am forever grateful for a husband who believes in me more than I believe in myself and who drives me to do the things that my heart secretly desires.

John's first camping trip was perfect. There was sun, sand dunes, sea-shells, ice-cream, empty beaches, bustling Barmouth streets, fish and chips, silent stars, salty skin, flip-flops, camp-cooking and soft, warm sand, and although everyone said that John's presence on our adventures would cause untold complications, in actual fact it simply made them complete.

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