Last week, I had an ‘oh f**k’ moment.
An ‘oh f**k’ moment is what Graham and I call one of those moments where you feel pure happiness, where nothing else matters. It’s all about what is happening right there, right then. It doesn’t matter how skint you are, how fat you are, how much washing there is waiting for you at home. At that moment, it’s just the there and then.
The first ‘oh f**k moment’ that I remember having was in March 2007, a few months after I passed my driving test. It was a warm sunny day, and I had met some friends from uni at Merry Hill shopping centre. We had lunch, had a mooch around the shops and generally arsed about in the way a bunch of uni students do. We then decided to go back to someone’s house. I had offered to drive, and it was the first time I had all my friends in my car. We had the windows down, music blasting out, and I remember thinking ‘oh f**k’. It just felt like a perfect moment, and it’s one I’ve never forgotten.
The main ‘oh f**k’ moments since then were obviously the birth of our kids – no moment will ever come as close as the moment I saw each one of the boys for the first time. Those aside, there have been very few of them in recent years – everything was very boring, very mundane and nothing to be particularly happy about.
Then we moved to Wales.
Since we’ve been here, both Graham and I have had several ‘oh f**k’ moments. The first one was the day after we moved in. We went down to the beach just as the sun was setting, and we sat on the rocks, watching the kids playing. At that moment everything else seemed to melt away, and it was like a little bubble of happiness. We were totally skint after moving, we had tonnes of stuff to still unpack and we had to sort out so much, but for just a few minutes, it was all forgotten.
Another ‘oh f**k’ moment was when we were going out somewhere for the day, and we were driving down the coastal road, a road we use most days. Again, it was a beautiful sunny day, with clear blue skies (oh f**k moments are definitely more likely to happen on sunny days, it seems!) and I was looking over to the sea. The ordinariness of it – knowing that the view I could see was now normal to us, on our way to get some new school shoes or whatever we were doing, just felt magical. Graham has had similar feelings on his way home from work after a night shift. As you come round the bend on the main road, the sea suddenly appears in view, massive in front of you. He would get to that point just as the sun was rising, and knowing that this view was now our home was a huge ‘oh f**k’ moment for him. Driving home from an afternoon shopping and seeing these mountains was another one.
Last week, I had ‘oh f**k’ moment.
It was one of Graham’s days off, and when we woke up, it was beautiful and sunny. We decided that once we picked Alex up from nursery, we’d head out somewhere for a picnic. We had a bit longer than we do most days because Harrison had craft club after school. We put a picnic together and headed for one of our favourite beaches in Llandudno. It was lovely and warm, and for the first time this year, we could take off our coats and shoes and just sit and play on the beach. I sat with my coffee and watched Alex and Benjamin chasing each other on the sand, collecting seashells and exploring the rocks. Apart from Harrison not being there, it was a perfect moment. The fact that we are able to do that on a normal day, after school, makes us realise just how lucky we are. After a lifetime of living two and half hours away from a beach, it’s something I will never allow any of us to take for granted.
This year and every year from now on is about creating as many of those ‘oh f**k’ moments as possible.