That's how I think of the last 14 summers - as creating memories for my children.
This year, we decided to take a break from soggy campsites and headed off to Rhodes for 2 weeks of guaranteed sunshine and pampering.
We stayed at the Lisa Hotel, near Ixia on the northwest coast, deliberately choosing somewhere off the beaten track and away from the major tourist centres. With just 35 b&b rooms, the family run hotel is intimate and friendly. Our spotlessly clean rooms overlooked the pool, where the boys spent up to 8 hours a day when we weren't out exploring the island.
I wrote a chapter a day and luxuriated in the opportunity to enter worlds created by other writers.
(Massive respect to Nicola Monaghan for The Killing Jar - by far the best book I've read in a very long time.)
We also hired a car for a couple of days, traveling the length and breadth of the island.
Petaloudes - Valley of the Butterflies
... where we followed this sign ...
... to the last remaining synagogue in Rhodes ...
... all that's left of the once thriving community comprising 5 synagogues, schools, rabbinical training colleges ...
In 1944, the 1600+ Jews of Rhodes and Kos were deported to Auschwitz. 150 survived. The community is now too small to hold regular services but the synagogue and museum are lovingly cared for by those remaining. We met an elderly man who showed us the tattooed number on his forearm - he was 13 in 1944 but was big for his age and strong, so was put to work, avoiding the gas chambers. He gazed at our own 2 boys and asked their names. Little Guy's name is the same as the man's father. He laid his hands on their heads and blessed them.
The next generation.
During those days when we went out exploring, we entered the past. But in the evenings, we engaged with the here and now, gathering with a phenomenal bunch of new friends at the hotel bar...
... run by Michael and his son George.
George boasts that he makes the best cocktails on the island - and he could be right.
I had sex on the beach - I even had sex on the moon. Best of all, I had not one but two screaming orgasms.
They have the power to bring out the extrovert from the driest of stones and I even found myself discovering the attraction of karaoke.
We're home now and attempting to adjust. But if you like what you've seen here, I thoroughly recommend the Lisa. If we go again we'd go self-catering and book direct, which you can do here.
Or just phone 0030 22410 93557 (from the UK) and tell Michael that Debi sent you!