Holidays


Just managed to post the map of cities I’ve visited and seeing it up there, set me to thinking about the places I have been to and just how lucky I have been. Years ago, we couldn’t afford to go anywhere abroad and spent our holidays in the UK, like a lot of our friends and relations. We enjoyed caravan holidays in Devon and Cornwall, places I had stayed with my parents when I was a child. I love the beaches of Devon and the ruggedness of the Cornish coast.
I remember once, when I was about 10, my parents sister and I, stayed in a house called Anne’s Cottage near West Portholland, overlooking Veryan Bay. It was a magical place for us children. Friends of my parents and their two children came with us and, although it rained quite a lot of the time, we didn’t care. The four of us spent every morning on the beach, which was only a short walk from the cottage. We searched rockpools for crabs and walked along the shoreline looking for shells. We bought nets from the little shop in West Portholland and told our parents we were going fishing. But it wasn’t until we all went on a visit to Mevagissey, that we actually caught anything.
The four of us went out with a local fisherman, looking for mackerel. I caught 7. I remember being absolutely delighted and there is a photo of me somewhere grinning from ear to ear, standing proudly alongside a smiling, gap-toothed fisherman, holding my catch for all to see. My sister is scowling because she hated every minute.
Another year, we went to Devon and stayed in a caravan near Goodrington Sands, heaven for my sister and I. One day after having a picnic on the beach, we returned to the caravan and my mother started washing up the plates and cutlery we had taken with us. A little while afterwards, she let out such a shout, we all came running to see what had happened. She burst into tears and told us that she had lost her wedding ring and as my father tried to calm her down we set about trying to find it. The search stopped when it got dark, with my father reassuring her we would try again the next day. Looking back, as we had no idea where she had lost it, it was a pointless exercise, but we felt we had to do something.
Eventually after two days searching, my father told her that he would buy her a new ring and we would all go into town and look for a jewellers. We finally found one and my sister and I were asked to wait outside. I remember feeling miffed, I wanted to look at the rings too. After what seemed like ages, my sister started dancing about saying she needed to go to the toilet, so into the shop we went. Just as my father was paying for a new wedding ring and my mother was proudly admiring it on her hand, I evidently announced, in a loud voice, “mum can you hurry up as we need to go to the toilet”. We were rushed outside pretty quickly.
I know hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we really did have some fantastic holidays.

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