Every September, English teachers would ask me to christen my new school exercise books with essays entitled: “What I Did On My Summer Holidays.”
This was problematic for me as I have a rubbish memory. I can remember the places I’ve been to but not remember any conversations or events that took place there.
In latter years, I can remember every pub I’ve visited on a pub crawl but not how many drinks I’ve had in each or why I was barred from every one the following day.
So basically, whilst my holidays may have been gloriously memorable to my family, they weren’t for me.
I do remember that dad always went for the cheapest option.
If people holidayed in Great Yarmouth, we’d holiday in neighbouring Hunstanton. If they holidayed in Margate, we’d holiday in less glamourous Ramsgate.
I once got wildly excited when my dad announced we were going to Blackpool. Except, it wasn’t Blackpool, it was at a guest house in nearby Fylde.
We always holidayed next door to the fun.
We once, luckily, holidayed in Dymchurch because the caravan in Dungeness next to the nuclear reactor was already booked. Whilst the nearest we got to a holiday abroad was a chalet on the Isle of Sheppey.
In fairness to my parents, they were taking 5 kids on holiday, so money was tight and wheel-less suitcases without a family car were cumbersome. If our caravans had a working toilet and only two leaks in the roof, we thought we were glamping.
One year I went on an orienteering holiday in Essex with the school which was as dull as it sounds. It was my parent’s polite way of saying “Can you go and get lost?”
After 3 days, I escaped and, by using my new compass and map reading skills, managed to find my way home, via a quarry and Suffolk.
So, what did I do on my summer holiday this year?
I don’t know but I got barred from a few pubs, apparently?