Priorities change when you’re a parent

Albufeira, situated in the central Algarve region of Portugal, has beautiful beaches
Albufeira, situated in the central Algarve region of Portugal, has beautiful beaches

Winter has been relatively kind to us this year, up until last week. Apart from a few days of snow, that brought the city to a standstill and Facebook awash with snowmen, it hasn’t been anywhere near as cold as previous years.

That said, I’m still burning away hundreds of blocks (and money!) on our log burner, but not to the rate of last year.

This short cold snap was enough to make me one of many who looked ahead and decided that a bout of summer sun was much needed.

So, I’ve had a word with my other half and after much persuasion, we have booked ourselves eight days in Portugal in June.

This will be the first holiday abroad we have had since our honeymoon almost five years ago.

Bearing in mind that that was the trip of a lifetime, taking in Hong Kong, Bali and Singapore over almost three weeks, this trip couldn’t be further removed.

Instead of five star luxury, numerous flights and eating in top restaurants, we have opted for a relaxed self-catering apartment, with several pools and a half board booking. The idea of over a week of no cooking or laundry makes me very happy, never mind the hot weather.

Funny how becoming a parent changes your priorities.

Yet, I’m as excited to go on this trip as I was my honeymoon.

This time, we will see the joy in our eldest daughter’s eyes when she watches mesmerised as the plane takes off. She has wanted to go on a plane for quite a while now, and this will be her first journey through the air.

Our youngest daughter will be just shy of her second birthday which means we pay less for her plane ticket, but as a result, sacrifice her getting her own seat.

This worries me slightly, as she’s known as a bit of a live wire and I’m wondering how we keep her amused in a confined space for three hours - answers and ideas gratefully received on a postcard or via Twitter please.

But weather, and more importantly, the temperature, plays such a huge part on our psyche as there’s no denying that most people feel better when the sun shines.

I’m also hoping that some time spent abroad will be the perfect way to break up the year, and a remedy to the constant groundhog day feeling that inevitably comes with being a parent!