What does family mean to you?

Hola! I’ve just returned from a week in the Spanish sunshine.   It was the beautiful much needed relaxation that I had been craving.  When you think of the Costa del Sol, you may well conjure up images of Brits abroad, wag wanna-bes and more recently the cast of TOWIE  who’ve taken to the Marbella nightlife.  It does tend to bring to mind uber high heels, fake tan and eyelashes like spiders legs.  Late night clubbing; touts offering 2-4-1 shots, a full english and lots of sunburnt lads with their tops off.  Not so!

Good old fashioned values and authenticity live on

There is nothing superficial about the beautiful Andalucian town of Torrox Costa.  Here, you can find fresh fish cooked on the beach, market stalls selling brightly painted earthenware and sumptuous local produce.  Beautiful beaches and mountains with pretty white stone houses inhabited by some very real and hearty people.  People to whom family means everything.

From behind my sunglasses I saw something quite special

From my sun lounger, I watched families appreciating each other, spending quality time together and having fun.  It reminded me that perhaps lately, I haven’t done that with mine.

Under the glorious hot summer sun (sorry did I mention that before?  It’s just that it was quite a novelty to have some sun on my freckly face),  generations of families poured onto the beach.  They are all there: grand-parents, cousins, parents, aunties, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, uncles and hoards of kids. They all play so nicely together.  In and out of the sea, ball games, cards.  Buckets and spades, cool boxes full of  food, gazebos and sheets to protect the children from the sun.  Their loud and fast chitter-chatter creates a buzz.  The beach is alive with their sense of family.  Their togetherness.  They stay there until the sun sets.

I don’t know what they are saying, but I watch their body language, their smiling faces and their affection towards one another.  From one group of sun shades to the next, you can see they are happy to be there.

What brings you and your family together?

There is something quite magical about being part of a family.  Shared memories, special bonds, connections that say: “I’m there for you regardless.”  There’s also the disagreements and funny idiosyncrasies that make being part of a family such a unique experience.  Yes I know they drive you mad.  You are not alone!

Ok so maybe you can’t go to the beach every weekend and maybe we are not so blessed with the weather, although I’m sure there must be other things that bring you all together as a family.  Maybe a Sunday roast or more recently the Olympics?

In a world where we you are rushing to cram everything in, do you make time to:

  • Sit together and share a meal?
  • Talk together about what really matters and listen (that means no computers, mobile phones, TV)?
  • More to the point, do you really talk?  Or is it FB, email and text?
  • Do you make plans to do something special together and not because it’s a special occasion?
  • Tell members of your family what they mean to you or thank them for being there?

Last week, on my jolly holidays I saw a beachful of what family really means to me.  What does it mean to you?

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