I woke up thinking about family holidays this morning, don’t ask me why, just one of those strange early morning reminiscences.
Once a year we would pack up the car with duvets and pillow and food and set off to exciting destinations where my parents had rented a holiday cottage for a week. I don’t suppose this was the cheapest way of holidaying, caravans and tents must have beaten that for a family of 5, but the hiring of a holiday cottage in those days was not quite like it is now, where peak season brings peak prices. My sister and I would often share a bed and it would be so exciting swapping scary tails over night, until my mum told us to shut up. I was always put in with my sister because my brother and I had a tendency to fight. After about an hour in the car on the way to these cottages we would begin to get unbearable in the back seat and start fighting and moaning and crying...... Poor parents the world over.
Our most common destination was Wales. As a family we had an interest in trailing around ruined castles and Wales certainly has its quota. My mum, to this day, says that her fear of heights came from having young children running up spiral staircases to the top of tall towers. I still love castles and have very fond memories of Caernarfon and Beaumaris Castle. We did go further afield, once to Seal Island in Scotland and once to Dorking in Surry, although for the life of me I don’t quite know why they chose Dorking of all places. Sounds like a pin in a map sort of destination.
For me, strangely, the exciting thing was to live in another house for a week, most exciting were those old cottages with latched doors, no streetlights and quirky features. These are some of my best and most memorable childhood days, even the awful bits now just make me laugh, like the time I threw up in Chatsworth House (not sure my parents ever quite forgave me for the embarrassment that caused). It is quite possible that I have very rose tinted glasses on for my memories of these days, but that is ok, they are good memories to me.
These days I feel a bit like I am living in one of those holiday cottages, that makes me a very lucky man.
The point of this post? I don’t think there is one, it was just reminiscence.