I come from a large family of four children and we have a long standing joke about our ‘happy family holidays’. They usually involve someone loosing it, someone in tears, someone in a grumpy strop, someone falling ill, and if we are very unlucky, an emergency trip to the doctor or local hospital. Our last little family holiday to the French Alps involved all of these and a few more.
Having said that, our holidays have created the most wonderful memories that will last the rest of my lifetime. I count myself very lucky to have seen and swum amongst healthy coral reefs in the 70’s, the likes of which I have never seen again. On our bush holidays we tracked animals large and small on the African plains. I worry that my children, and their children will never see the wildlife that I have, as much of it is disappearing. There are sights, sounds and scents from these days that I will never forget. My father traveled with a huge camera bag holding at least two cameras to record our time together. It is from him that I caught the photography bug. And I now do the same on my family holidays.
On the second day our of late December trip to the French Alps, my son broke out in chicken pox from head to toe. True to form when it comes to our tradition of ‘happy family holidays’. On the third day I slipped on an icy invisible step on the walk back from the pharmacy and shattered my coccyx. It’s not the kind of injury you want whilst heavily pregnant. (At least I got the chickenpox meds.) A darling elderly French couple scooped me up off the icy step, and helped my son who was a bit hysterical by this point. They gave me their walking sticks and ushered me to the nearest medic. I have no idea who they were, but they were angels truly. The medic sent me to the nearest French hospital for the night as they were worried I’d go into early labour. A after few scans, a good rest, and some blood tests I was sent back to the hotel to nurse the poxy one. Actually being quarantined in a hotel room meant I had more time to mess around with my camera. Usually we are rushing all over the place from A to B on holiday, and there isn't much time to stop and photograph, but on this occasion I had acres of time. We watched movies, played a few card games, slept a lot, ate even more, and I managed to capture the few images from our ‘happy family holiday’. It is one we will not forget quickly. xx