My skin, covered in a combination of sunscreen, sweat, sand and coconut oil, sticks to the sun lounger. Sweat drips into my eyes, and my ear buds struggle to find traction inside my ears. Despite this, a combination which would usually cause sensory overload, I am relaxed and happy.

I lie on the lounger, listening to a podcast and sipping on a Shirley Temple. In the background my children play happily in the pool, my eldest is lying on his inflatable crocodile, the other two are practising diving. Life is good.

This was how our summer holiday went. We stayed in Blanes, at the start of the Costa Brava. Perfect temperatures, warm but not cloying, sea breezes. Just over a week of switching between beach and poolside. Dining on buffet food three meals a day. Indulgence. Absolute bliss.

My routine abandoned I wasn’t sure how I’d cope but I needn’t have worried because I was the happiest I have felt away from the familiar in a long time.

One day we take a boat trip, my absolute favourite thing in the world. Sitting at the back of the boat, feet dangling over the edge, sea spray wetting my skin, this is my happy place. I take as many photographs as possible, wanting to capture this feeling. I need to take it with me back to my real life to reference whenever I feel anxious. When I’m on a boat I feel free. There’s something about leaving land and floating on the vast space of the sea which enables me to leave my anxiety ashore.

Another day we visit Blanes botanical gardens. It’s luscious and green, my eldest son, who’s current special interest is botany, tells me facts about everything we see. Turning a corner we gasp as the sea is revealed, from the height we have reached we are treated to a superb view. Tiny boats bob on the sea and the rugged cliffs are beautiful.

We sleep well, tired by our days of dips in the sea, and walks along the promenade. The beds are comfortable and our routine of dinner, drinks at the bar, then bed suits us all. We wake lazily at the very respectable time of 8.30am, then indulge in pastries, fruit, cheese, eggs, pancakes and all manner of continental breakfast foods.

It was a holiday to remember, we had a fantastic time and all that remains is the photos and our memories. So here is are my favourites for you to enjoy too.

Blanes, Spain