For the last two days we have been travelling from a rainy Kent to a gloriously sunny Coombe Mill.
We are staying in Willow Cottage and it is simply stunning.
Esther and William have been so excited about this holiday and I always worry that we build things up with them and then the actual thing is a bit of an anti climax.
Arriving here though has been amazing.
William is already very taken with Fiona, ‘the green farm lady with the pink boots’! He was a little disappointed that she did not join us for tea and even more so that she will not be coming for breakfast. William has also spotted the farmer and the blue tractor and is going to be beside himself tomorrow if he wakes in time for the feed run. I have their winter snow suits ready to throw over the top of their pyjamas if needs be tomorrow!
It has been a long road getting here and so I am glad that the destination has taken our breath away a little and in just a few hours has let some peace and laughter into our hearts.
From the cottage where we are staying we can see the miniature train track and engine, then the pirate ship play area and the beautiful river beyond. All of which have been bathed in late afternoon sunshine since we arrived.
We are settled into the house, Esther and William are in bed, Matilda’s ashes are in the house, in a room of their own and David and I can begin our evening.
The journey here was hard.
David and I are both very emotional.
David is actually coping marvellously and I am the one that is a wreck.
I feel so angry that we are doing this without Matilda here.
I think that the holiday is the right thing to do I just cannot make any sense of why our baby had to die.
Why we have to make this journey without her.
I was sad when we left the house.
I could not find and still have not found the bracelet that I bought in Tilda’s memory.
I bought one for female family members just before Tilda’s funeral and one for myself.
It is a tiny purple beaded bracelet with a delicate silver star engraved with MM.
It was not expensive but it was precious.
It was for her.
I hope that I will find it again.
I am desperately sad though that I do not have it here.
For her birthday.
For when we set her ashes to sea.
The car journey to Longleat was actually okay
And our day at the safari park was wonderful.
Esther and William had a wonderful time
And there were special moments for us too.
I used up the life of two camera batteries yesterday
And then when I tried to charge them my battery charger died.
I was so cross and sad.
This is not a week that I can be without a camera.
I looked to Twitter for recommendations and then reserved a camera
I could collect in Frome.
Getting that meant that the day was going to have a stressful start.
And that on top of a sleepless night was not a good combination.
We stayed at the Premier Inn where sharing a room with two snuffly toddlers
And sleeping on the softest bed meant that David and I did not get much rest at all.
It was a long uncomfortable night
And I could not stop worrying about Tilda’s ashes
That we had left with our things in the car.
Today’s car journey was not so good
The SAT NAV in my car is rubbish
We drove round Frome quite a few times
Before I was finally able to clutch onto a new camera
This steadied my heart and my nerves a bit
But still I could not quiet the anger inside
I could not stop the tears from flowing
As we drove to our holiday farm
Without our guest of honour
This is the birthday week of our daughter
This was her main present for her first special day
It is so unfair and unjust and cruel
That our tiny tot is not here
Did not make it through her first year
I am not okay with that
I don’t know how to be okay with it
Esther and William are sleeping soundly in their holiday beds
But Matilda Mae is not in the room that could have been hers
Instead there are presents and cards for us not her
Pink and purple balloons and balloons with stars
Pink and purple candles
There is no first birthday banner
No big foil helium filled number one
She would have loved this house
The photos on the Coombe Mill website do not do it justice
It is perfect for toddlers and crawling babies
Perfect for a family of five
Perfect for a special family getaway
A beautiful place to be
So it was not an easy journey
But the getting here is over
Another thing we have done
Now we need to explore the area
And find the perfect place to set her ashes free
We need to make the most of this amazing opportunity
For our tractor and train mad twins
I am not sure any of us are going to want to go home again
Come the end of the week.