Why do you want to get away?


Mark Warner Holidays has launched the search for new #MarkWarnerMums (or Dads) and is asking bloggers to write about why they would like to get away.

In some ways, it’s quite a difficult question. I love where I live but at the same time, I always love to get away, explore somewhere new and try new things.

Mark Warner offers two main kinds of holidays – skiing, and activity holidays in the sun, all with families very much in mind. So as I am forever banging on about how much we all love skiing, I thought that this time I’d write about sailing.

My husband Alex’s father was an avid sailor throughout his life and so Alex spent much of his childhood sailing backwards and forewards between France and around the Isle of Wight. Over the years whenever I have asked him whether he did something during his childhood such as go to Disneyland or something as simple as going to the swimming pool at the weekend he always replies; “No – I was always on the boat, playing with my bucket of seawater.”

But a part of him obviously loved it as now and again he tries to get us all sailing but for some reason, it never seems to go particularly well. In the very early days of our relationship he took me out in a little sailing boat around an estuary, which was all very nice and romantic whlie the sun was out and the breeze was calm. Ten minutes later though, clouds had rolled in, the wind had picked up and he was clearly anxious to get the boat back into the harbour but trying not to show it so as not to alarm me.

Not really being familar with boats at all, I tried to look like I didn’t mind as I flailed around helplessly as he shouted commands at me about mizzens and going leaward and pulling various ropes with names I didn’t understand. A gust of wind caught the sail and the boom cracked me across the head, and because it was our early days, I had to try not to cry and try to be helpful instead of shouting “Why did you bring me out in this **^%”*$£%£^* boat!” etc etc. How we laugh about it now. Kind of.

More recently, after the kids had enjoyed a lovely afternoon sailing in La Clusaz on holiday, once we were back home we decided to go to our local lake to hire a boat. To cut a long story short, the boat was a little catamaran, it was much faster than any of us expected and I don’t think I have ever gripped anything so tightly as its webbing as we zipped around the lake, me being convinced the boat was going to tip and catapult us all into the water at any moment. When I told him I’d had enough and wanted to go back in to land, he steered the boat back over before asking the children: “Are you going to come back out with me for a bit?”

Both of them leapt off the boat and cried: “No – we’re going with Mummy.”

But I know that sailing can be really fun and I’d love to go somewhere warm and calm-watered to give it another go, and I know Alex would love us to be able to enjoy it with him. Alex and I would also both like to try wind surfing again which we both used to do in the dim and distant past, which is much easier to do together when children’s clubs are on tap. We’ve never had an all-inclusive holiday and the idea of not having to worry about cooking cleaning or shopping for an entire week either in the sun or the snow would be heavenly. These are all reasons I’d like to be a Mark Warner Mum.

About catherinecooper

Journalist and author specialising in travel with children. I write for several national publications and am author of Travelling with Children: A Parent's Guide. You can see some of my articles at www.catherinecooper.net
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