I have freckles on my hands. Does this mean I am getting older? Or maybe, rather more optimisitcally, it’s a positive thing that my body has absorbed some sunshine, this past ten days of holiday, and is showing me signs of this. (I never tan, I just slowly go from blue white skin tone, to a creamy colour, with LOTS of freckles and I try and avoid full sun exposure if I can help it because to get said freckles usually I have had to get sunburned, which is painful) Yesterday was so lovely. We went to the town nearest to where we are staying, a place called Sauxillanges, and explored, and soaked up the prettiness of a real French town, formerly the land and property of an Abbey. I took lots of photos and we found a bakery and may have over indulged slightly… We then went to the local swimming pool, an outdoor affair. The first time either of my children had been swimming in an outdoor pool, in proper sunshine and warmth. We all had a slightly rosy tint to our cheeks at bedtime, despite layering on sun cream and making them stay in the shade as much as we could (that didn’t happen, there was a pool, with a slide, and other children to play with, no sitting quietly in the shade, thanks, Mum, not even if you bribe us with ice lollies) It was noisy, full of shouting, happy children, parents and other swimmers chatting, the life guard stalking about telling off the teenagers who kept dive bombing the deep end of the pool, and a few rather glamourous looking ladies trying to top up their already well established tans. But it was also blissfully delightful. My children were running around, in swim suits, in and out of water, in the sunshine, laughing, shouting, playing with their Daddy, whilst I sat in the shade, read, knitted and took LOTS of photos for both sets of grandparents. We have slowly relaxed, and are now in full “we don’t want to go home” mode, as the holiday weeks draw to a close. This holiday has been SO good for us. It took us a week to relax, to find our pace, to get into a holiday routine, to get some sleep, and to switch off from normal life, but we have enjoyed it so much. Just being away from home, with less pressure, and less of a hectic pace, has been good for us. The kids have watched minimal television (although Little Man seems to like French kids tv, despite the language barrier, when we have switched it on, occasionally) and they have explored and played together, mostly happily, and I can see this holiday has done them the power of good too. We have a few more days, of sunshine, exploring the lovely French countryside around and about us, and time to enjoy each other’s company, the really good cheeses we have found (and they make some really good goats cheese round here, too) and to breathe, and relax, before we head back to our real life. Yes, I have freckles on my hands, I think it’s a good sign….