Saturday, July 25, 2009

Remembering Augusts

As Silverback and I were waiting on the coach to set off back to Leeds, I noticed a man on the coach next to us.: a bald man with a white beard. From a back and half-side view, he looked astonishingly like the Communist used to look. I couldn't take my eyes off him for several minutes until the coach pulled away. I knew it wasn't him, of course, but actually it was really good to "see" the Communist again. It's over six months since he died, but I can still hear his voice.

Most people move further away from their parents than I did - I moved to Cardiff, came back to Leeds with Stephen, and ended up living next door. It has worked very well for the past ten years.

The Communist could never imagine that the family might go on holiday separately, so for many years we all went together, usually camping in France. For several years we went to a site in Brittany called Domaine de Kerlann which was near several lovely beaches and interesting places to visit.

So, in August, I always feel I should be living in a place like this: - here's how things were ten years ago:

And yes, we got all five of us - my parents, Stephen, Emily (as Olli was then) and me to France in that Polo.

Here are the Communist and my mother playing a ball game on the beach - a beach that can be seen on the Domaine de Kerlann website, I notice. In those days they were bright young things of only seventy-six or so.

Given the choice, Stephen and I would probably have picked somewhere quieter than Domaine de Kerlann, which is large and lively, but my parents loved the evening activities - dances and concerts - and I think Emily enjoyed it all too.

The strange thing is, when I took that photo above - and all the similar ones I've got - I knew, of course, that things would change - - and they did.

But, in spite of knowing it, something inside me thinks that, in August, I should be in a caravan in France, and is finding it hard to get used to the fact that I'm not going to be. By the end of two weeks I'd be thinking that I lived there - - and finding it hard to go home.

However, of course, all those years doing that meant that we missed out on other places. So I'm really looking forward to going to Italy at the end of August.

I'm trying to move forward, remembering the good times of old, and making some new good times happen. As Silverback said in his post yesterday, I'm a glass half full kind of person. But sometimes, in early August, when the sun shines, I feel a great longing to be back there, and this year, with no Communist, those memories will be linked to the loss of him, and to great sadness.

For, to me, a January will never be a proper January without the Communist saying "Daphne, where are we going this summer? We'd better get it booked."


Anonymous Flighty said...

Lovely post! Reading it bought back fond, if somewhat now vague, memories of my dad and summer holidays from a very long time ago. xx

3:50 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

About 3 or 4 years after my mother died (when I was 16), I couldn't remember her voice. Then, one night, in a dream, she was there and we talked and I woke up the enxt morning remembering her voice clearly. It was like a gift.

Now, years later, I seem to have forgotten it again, but I'm not really bothered by that fact any more.

I envy you your summers, whether in France or Italy....

4:42 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Flighty and Bob - many thanks for your comments - interesting and appreciated.

11:18 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

Thank you for sharing.

12:00 am  
Blogger Daphne said...

Debby - - thank you!

3:35 pm  

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