When we were young, very young, we went away on a summer holiday to Norfolk. I expect we caught a coach or a train because we didn’t have a car, and I expect our clothes were packed in suitcases – no backpacks or travel bags then – maybe the odd knapsack, canvas with plenty of metal buckles on leather straps. We went and stayed in a gypsy caravan, a proper gypsy caravan which was parked in a field. The two of us slept in the caravan – how I must have loved it, and our parents slept in a tent. It would have been a tent with a ridge pole, secured by tent-pegs and with a separate groundsheet. I guess the farmer who owned the field and the caravan must have been a friend of my grandparents – they had some sort of connection with people along the coast, but I don’t know how or what! I know the caravan had been for sale and dad had wanted to buy it… but of course we couldn’t afford it.
After that for the next ten or more years our summer holidays were spent at a holiday camp – if you have seen the TV series ‘Hi-de-Hi’ then you will have some idea of what the Constitutional Holiday Camp was like – except in the early year when we went t was much more primitive! We always had a wonderful time though and met a similar family to us with two daughters who always holidayed at the same time.
We didn’t go on family holidays after that – we did go on holidays, but went with our friends and our parents went with theirs. When I went away to do my degree I began to go away in the summer with my college friends and each year we went to the south of France and camped there, near Menton. Later we started going to Greece, and then for a few years summer holidays didn’t really happen in a proper summer holiday way.
However, once we had children then hurrah! We had summer hols again; each year we went to Ireland… but now the children are older, and now we no longer have day jobs, we don’t have those sort of precious holidays as we did. We have been away for a few days her and there this year, but nothing which could be described as ‘a summer holiday’…