North Cornwall has to be one of my favourite places to retreat to in the UK. After Teddy died it was the first place we fled to in an effort to rest and recuperate. I think we lasted about ten days at home after returning from hospital before we packed our bags and headed South West. We were well and truly fed up of feeling trapped in the house and just staring at each other’s tired/ crying faces. So we thought we would have a change of scenery, escape from the reality for a few days, and just stare at the sea (Couldn’t escape the tired/ crying faces though, I’m afraid!).
Having grown up near the coast I always find great comfort in sitting on a beach. A quiet beach in the autumn or spring sunshine has to be one of my favourite things. When we lived in Bournemouth it was always the first place I would head to if I needed to clear my mind. I’m not into crowded beaches or heading down to a bustling beach on a hot summer’s day. I would much rather walk along the coastline and find a quiet spot on a day when I know no one else will be around. There is something incredibly grounding about staring at the sea. I felt in those early days after Teddy died that it began the healing process of those open wounds. The sea and its endlessness are a stark reminder of what tiny little specks we all are in the grand scheme of this mighty planet. I like to be reminded of that sometimes; particularly at a time when I felt my entire world had come to an end, it was nice to be reminded that it hadn’t.
The sea air and the stunning coastlines are just a couple of things that I love about Cornwall (Not forgetting the pasties of course; I could quite happily eat a pasty a day for the rest of my life!). I feel like breathing in that fresh air and walking for miles is as cleansing as it is relaxing. I always feel completely renewed when we have been there. Of course Boris loves it too, and I love nothing more than watching him race around on a sandy beach and run through surf as it rolls onto the beautiful beaches.
We love Harlyn Bay and Watergate Bay (both stunning if you’ve never had the pleasure of a visit!); but my absolute favourite has to be Constantine. We loved this spot so much that when Teddy was born we decided to use Constantine as his middle name; it’s such a beautiful place, just like our beautiful boy. Now whenever we go we think of him, and I hope that as we grow older that we (and Teddy’s siblings when they come along) will be able to talk about him and feel close to him when we enjoy our visits there.
We are extremely lucky to now have use of a family home in Trevone Bay, not far from Padstow. My parents-in-law have a beautiful house that has been lovingly renovated, and created as a space for the family to stay in and enjoy the magic of Cornwall. I have no doubt that we will have many happy times as a family in that house and on those nearby beaches as we begin to familiarise ourselves with the area even more. We had five trips to Cornwall last year alone, and are planning many more again this year as we both still feel we have so much more to explore. Of course we love that we can always bring Boris with us too, and that so many places are dog friendly that he can enjoy as much of the holiday as we do (Boris is a regular at Rick Stein’s pub The Cornish Arms and The Watergate Bay Hotel).
I feel so incredibly lucky (See, that tactic again of reminding myself that my life isn’t entirely sh*t) that we have all of this to look forward to as a family, but so incredibly sad at the same time that Teddy isn’t here to share it with us. I just know that he would have loved his Granny and Grandpa’s Cornwall house so much. I was looking forward to us taking him there for his first trips to the beach, and even his first time rock-pooling as a toddler. I think that when you lose a baby you are missing the things that you had planned to do. We didn’t have the opportunity to make many memories with Teddy, and there are none outside of hospitals; so it’s the thought of the memories that we should be making that upset me the most. That said, I have no doubt that we will always feel close to him whenever we are in our favourite place.