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These are the days of our lives

Sometimes, stressful moments and difficult times also produce our brightest, best-loved memories. Heidi Scrimgeour views her life through a different lens

Trudging along the beautiful cobbled streets of Bruges on the last day of a fraught family holiday, I was lost for words when my temperamental pre-teen whispered: ‘This has been the best trip of my life, I will remember it for ever.’

Let us just say that is not how I was mentally summarising our holiday. Booked to mark my husband’s 40th birthday, we had chosen the beer capital of Europe as our destination because he is the co-founder of a brewery and had just finished a year-long break from drinking alcohol. With three children in tow, we had obviously not expected to drink the city dry, but enjoying everything Bruges has to offer adults while keeping our children happy had proved more challenging than we had anticipated. We had argued ceaselessly about the appropriate use of spending money, spent a small fortune on chips and waffles, and amassed so many begged-for holiday souvenirs that we had to fork out for a new suitcase just to carry them all home. Factor in a flat tyre on the hire car on day one, and travelling via an airport patrolled by machine-gun-wielding military police because it had been the scene of a terrorist attack two months earlier, and you’ll understand why my son’s soulful words came as a surprise.

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Psychologies September 2016 - Find your Serenity