An Emotional Week

It’s been an emotional week. Positive emotions, as well as sad ones.

Last week Martin and I travelled down to Devon and Cornwall to meet family, and friends we’d met on Twitter. Thankfully, none of the latter turned out to be axe murderers.

We had a lovely couple of days with my Mum. During that time, we also met up with two Twitter friends and their dogs on Westward Ho beach. It was blinking freezing, but good fun and wonderful to meet the two lovely ladies and their dogs in person.

Martin is a pet photographer, and got some fabulous photos of the dogs.

The next stop was Mullion, a small village on the Lizard Peninsula for the opening of our Twitter friend’s second-hand bookshop, Churchtown Books. We had met on our previous visit to Cornwall last autumn.  A number of other Twitter friends attended for the opening too. This group of Twitter buddies is amazing: we have a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, and we live in different areas of the country. We have got to know each other through a shared love of dogs (English Springer Spaniels in particular). All hail the magic of social media!

The shop opening went really well, attended by guests of both the two- and four-legged variety. Being a bookworm, I bought a stash of paperbacks, as well as a special antique copy of Jane Eyre.

The bookshop opening: instead of cutting a ribbon, the dogs bit through a row of sausages.

The bookshop opening: instead of cutting a ribbon, the dogs bit through a row of sausages.

Me and Harry the spaniel.

Me and Harry the spaniel.

We stayed in a room in the local pub, which dates from the sixteenth century. We had a gorgeous huge room with lovely views, but being a pub it was inevitably rather noisy on the Friday and Saturday nights.

View from our room in Mullion

View from our room in Mullion

Martin and I were keen to try and see a sunset over the sea. Our friend was kind enough to take us out and shiver with us while we waited. The cold was worth it: the sunset was absolutely spectacular.

The clouds above the setting sun were alive with pinks and reds, at some points looking though they were on fire. Rays peeked through the clouds. As the sun sank further, it became a glorious orange colour and seemed like molten lava melting in to the sea.

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Our friend says he has seen many sunsets during his time in Cornwall, but none quite like that one. Martin and I like to think of Hugo playing beyond the clouds, up among the stars. For that reason, such a beautiful sunset made us both feel emotional with the thought that Hugo had helped put on such a show especially for his Mummy and Daddy who were watching.

Mullion Harbour

Mullion Harbour

Martin and I in Mullion.

Martin and I in Mullion.

After a lovely few days spending time with wonderful people, Martin and I had a couple of quiet days to ourselves. We left Mullion and travelled to Looe.

The view from our room in Looe.

The view from our room in Looe.

The B&B Martin had found, Schooner Point, was beautiful and the best I have stayed in. We had a huge room with such a pretty view of the river estuary. A bonus was the room was decorated in purple! Nothing was too much trouble for the hosts, who served us tea and cake on arrival. The room was equipped with lovely little touches like slippers, robes, and chocolates. They also served the best breakfasts – while Martin had the full English, I thoroughly enjoyed the banana stack – a delicious pancake and fruit concoction.

The delicious banana stack.

The delicious banana stack.

Our arrival in Looe coincided with Mother’s Day. Exploring the town, we discovered the beach which of course was full of families celebrating the day. They all looked so bloody happy and content doing just normal, simple family activities at the seaside. It all felt too much, and I had a cry. Writing about it helped a little, releasing those emotions is good therapy. The messages I received from so many people on social media and by text were also a comfort – remembering that I am a mother still, even though Hugo is not in my arms. A couple of the messages, saying they hope I remember how much Hugo loved me made me especially emotional. While I understand what happened is not my fault, Mummy guilt is still present, so being reassured that Hugo did love me means so much.

A view from the cliffwalk from Looe to Polperro.

A view from the cliffwalk from Looe to Polperro.

The next day Martin and I went on an epic cliffside walk to Polperro. The distance is about 5 1/2 miles, but as it was up and down steep paths was hard work! It is a beautiful path, though, and completely worth the effort. Polperro is stunning. Looe is pretty, but a bit too touristy for my taste, whereas Polperro is more organic with its harbour and quaint winding streets. Before we set off on our walk we thought we might walk back too, but we were so tired we got the bus.

Polperro

Polperro

A sweaty and tired Leigh and Martin arrive at Polperro.

A sweaty and tired Leigh and Martin arrive at Polperro.

Polperro - the name of the boat, and yellow flowers inevitably reminded me of Hugo.

Polperro – the name of the boat, and yellow flowers inevitably reminded me of Hugo.

We faced the epic drive home the following day, broken by lunch with Martin’s dad and stepmum in Devon.

We are now facing the anniversary of the most emotional, joyful, and sorrowful week of our lives. The first anniversary of being told Hugo was unlikely to survive was on Thursday. I cannot help every day but think of what we were doing on this day last year. On this day last year, we were actually full of hope because the steroid treatment appeared to be working for Hugo; after only 36 hours, his pressures and oxygen needs had improved dramatically. Sadly, that improvement was not sustained and a year ago this coming Friday (March 27) Hugo died in my arms.

It’s awful, wrenching, devastating to think about the events of the last week of Hugo’s life, even a year on. Every day brings different emotions.

The Reading Residence

17 thoughts on “An Emotional Week

  1. Mrs H says:

    Oh Leigh darling, I wish I could give you a huge hug. Of course, Hugo loved and loves you. You are an amazing mummy. It is just beyond tragic that you are an empty armed mummy. I wish with all my heart that I could wave a magic wand and you wouldn’t have to experience tomorrow. You and Martin are amazing. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers all day. Lots of love and endless hugs Lucy xxxx

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  2. Ginny Williams says:

    It looks like a lovely break, though I know it was hard. All I can do is send love and hugs and remembrance of Hugo–I feel I know him a little bit through your words about him. I understand why you feel guilty, but Hugo wouldn’t want you to–he always knew you loved him. xx

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  3. Tim says:

    Great photos! Glad you had an enjoyable time away – it all looks very peaceful and free from the holiday crowds. Hoping it’s given you time to centre yourselves for the anniversary to come.

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  4. Hannah Budding Smiles says:

    I’m glad you had some lovely times with friends and family during your trip and what a spectacular sunset Hugo gave you! As you know, I was thinking of you last Sunday and I’m always here if you want a chat at all, Hugo’s anniversary will undoubtedly be an immeasurably difficult (understatement) day for you but I hope that the sun shines and the butterflies appear to celebrate your gorgeous boy xx

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  5. thereadingresidence says:

    Sounds like you had a special break away and I know I’d have loved that book shop opening, too! But what an emotional week you’re now re-living, and with Mother’s Day thrown into the mix, too. I am glad so many people jumped to remind and reassure you you are still a mother, and a loved one, and you’ll be in my thoughts this week. Hugs to you x #WotW

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  6. Tara says:

    That sunset looks really special. I’m a big believer in signs (rainbows for us) and I think Hugo was sending you something beautiful. Much love to you and Martin.

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  7. carla says:

    Lovely photo’s and I hope the next few weeks are not anymore painful than they need be. Lots of love and I’m glad you two were able to enjoy your time
    xxxx

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  8. Casey Bottono says:

    Holding space for you and Martin this week, Leigh.

    Thank you for the first laugh of the last couple of days with the picture of the dogs biting through sausages. Will have to see whether I can make it down to the bookshop at some point (I do love a good bookshop!)

    Glad you enjoyed your ‘break’. Would be marvellous to meet you if you’re down here again in the future.

    Sending love and support to help you through,

    Casey

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    • Leigh Kendall says:

      Aw, glad that made you laugh, Casey! You should definitely pay the bookshop a visit, there’s loads to choose from and the owner is a good friend 🙂 . I shall certainly let you know when we’re next down, I’d love to meet you too. xxx

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