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Welsh Adventure Chapter 1: The Art Of the Family Selfie

I have just about recovered from our wonderful week in Wales to write about it. It was everything I could ask for in a family break and more,  it definitely left me a little ‘seasick’ – it’s the best feeling living 5 minutes walk from the sea and it reminded me of Mr A and I’s amazing two years living on Hove seafront. I spent a good few days idly browsing Rightmove and pondering how much longer I can cope in suburbia. Today I thought I would start by sharing our attempts at a multi family selfie or 10 on the beach.

We stayed in a gorgeous blue fronted Georgian house in Llanon, Ceredigion which is on the coast right in the middle of Cardigan Bay. Everyone keeps asking me where exactly, so I thought a map might help, they helped me! The little yellow stars are places I want to tell you about over the next few posts. Today’s adventure takes place right under that red marker on Llanrhystud beach, just 2 miles from the cottage.

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This was a holiday in three parts. We were joined by friends for the first weekend which was brilliant fun, two sets of parents able to relax so much more because the kids all ran around together. My friend J and I met at Uni, shared a house and have been friends for over 20 years now. We both married bass playing Northern men from our respective home towns, and luckily they get on well too. Our kids are different ages, but I always find kids soon forget about age, especially when you give them a beach to play on.

We came to this beach as we were told it was sandy, but a lone fisherman told us ‘only with the tide out, it’s lovely in summer, and great for driftwood, if you’re into that’. We are very much so.

Just before our friends had to drive home we attempted to get nice photos together, well some of us did, I asked Mr A to hold the selfie stick and phone and he took a set of cheeky selfies that made me giggle.

We tried every combination possible, kids, girls, family units, everyone – as Mr A’s photos demonstrate. It was wild, but he kids enjoyed lobbing stones, collecting driftwood and looking for treasure.

J’s youngest is missing here…one day he will be running around at the same pace as these three! It was lovely for the kids to have time to get to know each other better.

I love this one of father and son looking out at the waves.

Me and J and our bobbly hats. Once upon a time we spent the night with a group of friends on Withernsea beach, near our old Uni in Hull and this doesn’t half remind me of the silly snaps we have of that night. Or the time we ran off to be chambermaids in The Grand Hotel in Brighton for the summer at Uni. When I see friends from Uni I forget 20 years has passed, you always pick up where you left off. Until a child interrupts you, tugs at your arm or needs you and then you are reminded a few years have passed. This was a brilliant break for nurturing a friendship and forging on with new ways to spend time now we are both mums.

And we even managed a few lovely shots of all four of us this holiday, with a slightly grumpy Mr G. And a lone fisherman photobombing us.

7yo G had the best time ever on this holiday, he is absolutely his happiest outdoors with space to run free, find treasure and roam. All he wanted to do was collect driftwood and old nets, I have so many brilliant pictures to share of what we made from it in the cottage garden and once we got home. Our break was bursting with creativity, I really loved that time spent collecting and making stuff together.

There is something so magical about watching your child looking out at the ocean. While G flung rocks and leapt about, L sat or stood quietly taking it all in. I watch them at the seaside and I often find myself thinking, wow that person I created is part of this huge universe and feeling pretty amazed at the world, and at how much they have grown and developed into big, independent people over the years. Our cottage break gave us so much space to reflect.

Spending time with this one was wonderful too, holidays always remind me how much he makes me laugh. I found all these selfies on my phone when we got home, and was giggling for ages.

But now, back to the main event, trying to take photos of all eight of us! No mean feat.

#1 Runaway child!

#2 J’s littlest looking away

#3 Still looking away. Great pose in the background though.

#4 I’m losing the other’s rapidly!

#5 Half faces, but that’s everyone, and bonus points for jazz hands!

Back to the brilliant blue cottage, sad to see our friends go, but ready to chill out and warm up after a blustery morning. You have to have at least one lazy day on a cottage holiday right? You can tour the inside, on my other blog A Residence. More on our adventures in Wales next time….chips on the beach, following in the filming footsteps of Hinterland, foodie heaven, brightly coloured seaside towns, brilliant beaches and driftwood creations. I love Wales!

Now, how many points for a full family selfie, including dog, with everyone smiling?

We were guests of Sykes Cottages, and stayed in Barbara House this lovely property.

Chapter 2, is now live for you to read!



  1. 05/03/2016 / 7:43 pm

    Maximum points for that last one.

    • parentshaped
      07/03/2016 / 10:42 am

      Thank you!

  2. 07/03/2016 / 10:28 am

    It looks like it was rather choppy & chilly but you all had a fab time regardless. Lovely photos! Thanks for sharing!

    • parentshaped
      07/03/2016 / 10:43 am

      Oh yes, I love the coast in Winter and we def got lucky with weather – this was the coolest day.

  3. Jane Taylor
    07/03/2016 / 3:21 pm

    We are off on a Sykes cottage holiday in Wales (Pembrokeshire) at Easter with friends! First time we’ve booked with them but the property looks amazing, as does yours. You’ve got me even more excited about it now. We love Wales and have been back to Harlech in our Touring caravan three times.

    Great article and photos, Penny!

  4. 11/03/2016 / 12:23 pm

    You have done better than me – we managed to miss one child out of every family snap during our half term break…

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