Sunday, 21 July 2013

You can take the Scotsman out of Yorkshire...

You can take the Scotsman out of Yorkshire but you can't take Yorkshire out of my blood.

We've just returned from a week in the Yorkshire village of Hunmanby. Week one of this years two part holiday.

We lived in York from 1995 till 2005 apart from a two year absence when we worked in Tajikistan. I still feel a strong connection with York, our friends there, and Yorkshire itself. Some of my best friends are from or still live in Yorkshire.

After my last post on Scottish identity I've found it interesting reflecting while on holiday that while I still feel I belong in Yorkshire, I now feel that I am settled in Scotland.

We keep going back to York and Yorkshire for holidays as we find it a great place to unwind. This years holiday was, yet again, desperately needed. I've continued my coaching sessions with Frank and the topic of balance keeps cropping up. My life is far from balanced.

While I've been trying over the last year to rectify parts of this, especially spending time with my family, I've a long way to go.

Goal 58 was to do ten fun things with my family. If I can't manage that while on holiday then when can I manage it?

1. Go to the beach

Hunmanby is a few miles South West of Filey and only two miles from the Hunmanby Gap, a narrow road that leads down to a glorious six mile stretch of sand. We visited the beach several times and I managed to let some stress seep away as we walked, played and rested.

2. Build a sandcastle

I don't like swimming but do like building sandcastles. Here's one we made last week:

3. Kick a ball around with my kids

I find kicking a ball (or throwing one) to be a great stress reliever. Why don't I do this more often?
4. Eat ice-cream

We ate a lot of ice-cream last week. As most of the UK enjoys the current heatwave I cry havoc and say let lose the dogs of Global Warming... Bring it on!

5. Visit York's Chocolate Story

If you're looking for a fun way to spend an hour in York I highly recommend York's Chocolate Story! A guided tour of how the Rowntrees, Terry's and others turned York into the Chocolate city and transformed the lives of thousands of people by their ethical business practices.

At each stop on the tour we were given chocolate samples to try including some from the stages of transforming cacao into chocolate. The tour finishes with you making your own chocolate lolly and receiving a demonstration of how to make your own luxury handmade chocolates.

6. Go on an open top bus tour

York is a beautiful city. We had intended to visit York's Chocolate Story earlier in the week but it was booked out. On our way to a museum we saw one of the open top buses and changed our plans.

7. Laugh uncontrollably

Families are strange, weird, odd groups to be part of. At times we just want to get away for some peace and quiet but then when we manage that, we usually miss the chaos. We had no WiFi in the cottage we were renting. The TV had no record, pause, rewind. It was like taking a holiday twenty years ago. It was great (if frustrating at times). Life slowed down. We ate most of our meals together. It gave us a chance to be silly. To make fun of each other. To laugh.

8. Visit the sea life centre

My eldest is planning on a career as a Marine Biologist. We now always visit the nearest Sea Life exhibit when we're on holiday. This time in Scarborough. This seal gave me a wave...

9. Go to the cinema

We didn't manage to go to the cinema while we were away but I took the kids this weekend and highly recommend Monsters University. Much better than Despicable Me 2.

10. Play a game

We took several games with us and found a few waiting for us in the cottage. We spent quite a lot of time playing games. It was too hot to be outside a lot of the time but even so, we enjoy games.

We actually managed a family game of Civilization. (Thank you Sid Meier!) If you are familiar with the game, we took it all the way to the end enduring mass trading and movement sessions. My wife almost wiped me out but I hung on in there ... ;)

We also found an old Go game! I played one game with our youngest who I'm delighted to say beat me by one stone (having had a four stone handicap and some advice). She was playing black.

What fun things can you do with family or friends this summer?

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