I’ve been in Spain for the last week with my friend Kim and her 2 year old twins. We flew out ahead of our respective husbands.
And I can safely say we rock! Flying with children can be a challenge but we smashed it out the park!
It helped that the girls were absolute stars. Megan in particular loves holidays, from the moment we got to the airport her spirits were high, she loves holidays this one.
The girls were brilliant in the airport, despite poor Isabel having a nasty cold.
But if it hadn’t been for the kindness of fellow passengers I don’t think we’d have made it on to the plane.
We were so grateful to all the people that helped us carry our luggage, the double buggy and duty free we bought back at the airport shops (no, I wasn’t being irresponsible and stocking up on booze, I don’t drink anymore. I did however buy a children’s toy cooker, pots and pans and play food. How times have changed over the years, my duty free purchases certainly have! Hahahahaha).
We literally wouldn’t have been able to get to the plane had it not been for our fellow passengers, who lets face it already had their own luggage to carry.
Can’t believe we finally got on, my hernia was so flared I desperately wanted to lay on the floor and attempt to push it back in. Firstly, it’s not the done thing so that had to wait till we got to our villa and secondly, as the man behind Kim was wailing due to his seat being covered in vomit I felt the floor was not as sanitary as I’d prefer it to be.
The girls were as good as gold the entire flight, Isabel slept, she was so zonked out by her cold she just slept, and Meg just chilled the whole time.
I had an unfortunate incident when I opened a small bottle of anti bacterial hand gel and the pressure of the flight made it explode out of the bottle with a huge splat landing all over the man next to me and the man next to him! :o
It wouldn’t have been so bad, or maybe it would have been still been bad not so ironic, but the poor man who I covered in hand gel was the man who instigated all the other helpers that helped us get to the plane, stepping in when the airline staff were most unhelpful.
The poor man, he does a good deed only to be sprayed with slime. I was mortified but he was so sweet saying his trousers needed a wash anyway.
I assure you I sat very still for the rest of the journey.
We arrived in sunny Spain…errrr, no, scrap that we arrived to a very stormy Spain. In fact we arrived just at the beginning of the worst storm in this region’s history.
The British foreign office sent out a weather warning to Brits travelling to Spain about the storms.
But us Brits don’t let the weather get us down or stop us from having fun (by fun I mean doing what we would have done if the sun had been shining, rather than deviating from the original plan).
We were at the beach for about 11 minutes in total, in that time we had to dive on the girls to cover their eyes from sand storms 3 times. These huge gusts of wind carrying half the beach skyward were off the chart, the kids were traumatised.
As soon as we unpacked we packed back up again and made a run for it with two now beach phobic little girls hahahahaha.
After a recuperative afternoon at home we took them back to the seaside, we said shall we go to the beach which made Bel quite distressed saying noooo, nooooo.
You can see their point, I’m still picking sand off my scalp that was embedded in there on day one’s sand storm.
So we told them we were off to the promenade, a slight change of wording and all was well, till we got there and it started pouring down with rain! Hahahahaha
They had fun pushing their prams but both were more than a bit confused as to why they’d been brought out in such awful weather, especially Bel I imagine seeing as she had a rotten cold.
That said, the rain and wind were at least warm.
Poor Bel’s bug got worse and her temperature was sky high so we set off to find a doctor that would see her, third time lucky, after an exhaustive drive around the nearest town we found one.
We were the forward party, Kim and I’s husbands flew in to meet us a few days later. Oh my goodness they flew in and landed in the worst storm this part of Spain has ever seen, the airport closed just after they landed.
The man at the hire car place told them the region was on Red Alert…something we saw repeated in the news. Sadly a red alert comes with no instructions or recommendations as far as we could tell.
They weren’t kidding about the storm, it was fierce. The lightening was like nothing we’ve ever experienced before anywhere.
If it hadn’t been so deadly it would have been beautiful but sadly with the storm came the floods and tragically 7 people in the region died.
It’s pretty tricky to occupy a pair of two year olds in a very small house. We love our little villa, but little is the operative word.
So all 6 of us headed off to a shopping centre in Murcia but that was completely closed due to the flooding in the city and the staff not being able to get in.
Thankfully Ikea was just along the way and they had managed to open its doors with the most skeletal skeleton staff.
We basically had the place to ourselves. The girls had a wonderful time pushing their mini shopping trolleys around without us having to fear them bumping into anyone.
I decided to invest in a play tent for the girls, €15 of great fun and besides our grandson will get use out of it too when he comes here.
Probably one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
Like I said, we’re Brits, we’re used to poor weather, especially rain (with one small caveat - we can’t do snow, it’s completely beyond us, it sends us into spiralling chaos, it just can’t be done hahahahaha) we’re almost experts in rain so we managed to get out and about and still have fun.
The sun eventually came out on Saturday so we went to the beach for the day (we don’t say this word out loud to the girls, they’re still scarred from the last trip).
Dress from Tesco, Bikini from Sainsbury’s.
The weather might not be what we had hoped for but the food is still good so we drowned our sorrows in carbs.
We might be going home a stone heavier than intended but we are at least content, the husband’s were so content in fact they both fell asleep after lunch on this wall. The pair of them snoring away at the same time as the girls, whilst Kim and I watched on.
Sunday brought more sun and just the tail end of the wind, but it was definitely warm enough for a day at the bea…seaside.
We had to go down there and brave the winds just so it felt like we’d had a bit of a holiday.
Above; Bikini from Monsoon (ironic I know, having Just holidayed through one). Top from M&S, Skirt from Roman, Hat from Ale Hop.
I’ve included these gratuitous bikini shots, not as a punishment dear reader, but rather as evidence or even as a little inspiration for anyone who has a colostomy (or a stoma of any kind) that it’s totally ok to bare all (actually although I wouldn’t actually bare all all, my surgeon assured me I’d still be able to wear bikinis etc, he used to have a client, customer, patient call us what you will that only ever went to nudist camps and whenever she went back to him for her check ups the only white part on her was where her bag was. I found that information very comforting, whether I wanted to partake or not).
So hopefully I can pass that comfort on too, if I, as a 46 year old, colostomy using, over weight grandma can boldly bikini on the beach I truly believe anyone can should they choose to do so.
Never let the possible opinions of strangers deter you from doing what you want. Why would I care what a stranger on the beach thinks? I saw a great quote on Instagram the other day that said “never accept criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from” what a perfect motto to live by.
I honestly don’t think anyone is going to notice or care to be honest, we’ve all got enough of our own body hang ups to worry about anyone else’s.
The only issues I’ve had this holiday apart from the hernia flare up has been changing my bag. It’s silly I know as my friends wouldn’t have minded at all if I had changed my bag in the main bathroom but I feel very uncomfortable with this. Stomas don’t smell during use usually but…but at bag change time it can knock your socks off it’s so bad.
Thankfully a few years ago we extended our little villa and had a very small outside utility room and toilet built, what a God send, even during the storm my preference was to change my bag out there,
I have never been ok and relaxed about changing it in company. At my England home it’s fine, I secrete myself in the en-suite, locked away from everyone else. But staying at other people’s houses can be a challenge for me emotionally. I changed my bag in my aunts garden shed when I stayed with her. She was mortified because she thought I thought she’d want me to do it away from her house. She wouldn’t dream of that of course but it’s for my peace of mind.
I simply do what I feel comfortable with, and if that means changing my bag in weird and unusual places then so be it.
I’d rather get on with life and enjoy myself than not go anywhere because I’m too self conscious and uncomfortable.
Living happily with a stoma is about learning to carry on as usual even when it’s the furthest from usual that you’ve ever been.
Also this trip I’ve had some difficulty getting bags to stick on my skin here, hard to believe but yes, we have needed sun cream on occasion. The bag’s adhesive patch does not work well due to sun cream and then the after shower Bio Oil isn’t much help.
I’ve mananged to combat this slightly with some bag removal wipes during my bag change process.
All in all, despite and in-spite of the weather we’ve had a lovely time.
I said to everyone the other day that they’ll have to come again as Chris got round to fixing our shower head, it’s only been broken for 12 years, so I think the Oates family are my good luck charm!
And after a few days in the sun (well 2 out of 7 to be exact) we headed home…