Tag Archives: Holiday

Of summers and friends long ago lost

If you watch your TV analytically you may notice that on boxing day the adverts suddenly change. Gone are temptations of chocolate and wiz bang toys, and hello to those long summer nights spent on a beach with golden white sand, and crystal clear waters reflecting the brilliant sun high above.

Yes the excitement of Christmas is over and the cold weather and long dark nights are becoming less romantic as you sit and go slightly mad with cabin fever. Your mind is transported away to that dream of summer holidays. Here in the UK August brings us distant memories of our childhood as we had no school for 6 long weeks. The sun always shone and walks through long grass lasted forever. Your hands were always sticky with juice from the abundance of fruit or ice-cream.

And now decades later as you look over your now trashed living room, the Christmas decorations have been knocked over so many times that the reindeer are missing an antler, Angels heads have been glued on backwards, and the advent calendar now devoid of chocolate looks pathetic. With maybe a sip of whatever wine you have left you close your eyes and try to remember that time when on holiday you remember falling back into the pool and the water was warm, laughter was heard from all around and even though your skin was a little raw from the sun it didn’t matter.

AS a child my parents always made sure we went away for the summer, it was only ever in a tent or later in a caravan as it as the most affordable way to get away.

One memorable year I was in my mid teens ( I think it was the last time away with my parents). We re-visited Cornwall We stayed on the Lizard point. Not far from an estuary, and hours walk through some cool shaded woods led us out onto a beach with no access by road, it was always empty and we were the only ones that could be bothered to make the walk. Games of tennis were played over hundreds of yards, with multiple players swapping sides to help balance out the score as one team went into the scores of triple figures, Sand castles always became taller and larger until we disappeared behind battlements feet thick. As the day wore on fire wood was gathered from the high tide mark or the dead wood within the woods behind us, the fire was lit. My father would retrieve his pipe from the bottom of an over stuffed bag and the smell of Black Cherry tobacco would mingle with the wood smoke and salt air, food would be cooked in the embers scrapped into a pit, as the Sun disappeared over the horizon, the fire would be piled up high and any walker within sight would be drawn to it. Gatherings of 20- 30 people would collect, from somewhere food would be produced, and bottles of drink procured and shared amongst us all. Late night paddles would become more and more boisterous and swimming challenges would ensue. Buoys marking lobster pots would be used as a measure of your prowess in the water.

 

Back on land games of football would be played by all ages, no goals were created just a constant game of passing and tackling degenerating into one game with, many parts as Frisbees and bats were also used. Then as the fire slowly died down all were seated around gazing into the glow of logs, the conversations became more philosophical and stories were shared. Then these once strangers would slowly go their separate ways making their way back to whence they came. Laughter could be heard from retreating families, and every now and then the snippet of a song, carried on the warm breeze.

 

Jamie

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Breaker Breaker Calling Father Christmas, over!

Daily Prompt

Out of your reach.

As I have mentioned in some of my other posts. I grew up on a small holding (hobby farm in Australia).

While my parents doted on us and we grew up knowing we were loved, there were some very hard times. My father worked full-time for the fire brigade and every spare penny went on feeding the animals or paying off the mortgage on the property.

We never lacked anything and Birthdays and Christmases were always filled with laughter and joy (Well through my now misty memory they were).

But I do remember one year, I yearned for a particular item. You know that feeling you have when your stomach aches, every minute your thoughts are consumed by this one feeling. You try to find out as much information about the item you can. This was before the internet, heck this was before Computers. Magazines pages were torn at the edges where you constantly thumbed to the page with the info on it.

For me that year I knew that my parents could not afford it but there was just a faint glimmer of hope in my young mind. Maybe those secretive talks were not about how to pay the electric bill but on how to get me this item. The quickly snatched away pieces of paper were not last demand notices, but in my mind order sheets. Needless to say that on Christmas morning a quick glance under the tree and my hopes were dashed, they plummeted from the sky with instant realisation.

Needles to say I still smiled when I was given my presents and have and will always say thank you and make the right noises. But that year a small hole was in my Christmas cheer.

Now many years later I struggle to remember the colour of the item I wanted. But really what would an eleven year old really do with a ‘Home base CB Radio’? Living in a valley that could only receive radio Luxemburg and only then when the sky was clear of clouds (West Wales remember that phenomenon happens once a few years).

 

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