Sunday, 1 December 2013

Story telling Sunday - The holiday in the caravans

This Story is brought to you through the invention of Sian at FromHighintheSky. It started three years ago as a lead up to Christmas and then became a monthly thing. I have tried to join in every time because I saw it as a way of recording those family stories that used to be handed down by telling and retelling at family gatherings. The last of my father's siblings passed away in the early part of the year so they won't be around to gather us in and tell the old stories. I am a part of the Older generation now so my stories have to be recorded and passed on.
I told you about the time I went on holiday with Aunty Mary and my cousins here and described the ritual we witnessed before we left. I didn't tell you about the actual holiday.
Me that summer, sulking because I wanted to be somewhere else
This was going to be a posh one. A two week holiday in two caravans in a caravan site two minutes from the beach at Nottage, a small village just outside Porthcawl. So there was Aunty Mary, Uncle Bill, Cousins Eve May and Charlie and of course the Baby. Also joining us would be Aunty V and cousin T  and during the middle weekend Aunty Mu with Aunty K and Uncle R. A pretty normal gathering for a family holiday.
We were told that the caravans were fairly modern and we were lucky to get them so cheaply. Please bear in mind that this was 1960/61 so we didn't expect electric light or shower rooms in the caravans they just were too far out of our price range then.
We arrived at the site Me Eve May and Charlie in the back of the car, squashed into the blankets and sleeping bags and pillows with boxes of food on our laps. It was normally only a two hour journey, but everyone was heading that way because it was miners fortnight so it actually took about five hours to get through Cardiff and then into the traffic jam for Porthcawl.
We stopped at the shed by the gateway and collected the keys to the caravans and the man showed Uncle Bill which ones were ours. The definition of fairly modern had been stretched a bit. They were so obviously pre-war but it was still exciting to be on holiday. Aunty said we girls were to sleep in the smaller caravan with Aunty V, and Cousin T. She said Charlie and The Baby would be in the bigger caravan with Aunty Mu Aunty Mary and Uncle Bill.

We loved it! we discovered that the two minutes from the beach was actually a 25 minute walk as long as you swung your arms and really stepped out. Eve got badly sunburned on her chest - Oh OH I remember she always called them her Lotties! I have no idea why. Anyway because of the shape of her bathing suit she burnt the exposed tops of her "Lotties". We applies calomine lotion but by bedtime she was itching a lot.
She decided that if she slept in my sleeping bag we could zip her into it and she wouldn't be able to move her hands up to her chest to scratch.
Now this sleeping bag had an extra bag attached to the top where a pillow could be put and it wouldn't slide away from you during the night.
We zipped Eve into the bag and she tried and failed to get her hands to a scratching position. We were delighted. Then, just after Aunty V had turned out the gas lights and we were settling down there was a noise outside the caravan. I sat up and peered our under the curtains, Eve was sharing the double bed with me and she too raised herself, with difficulty, not having hands to lean on.

"OH!" I said," look at that behind you"
Eve screamed, threw herself backwards and kicked with all her might. Her feet went through the wall of the caravan with a mighty crack. This made her scream again and bounce frantically up and down on her back. Aunty V is shouting "What's wrong? What's wrong?" Cousin T who was only little was crying, Cousin May who had been asleep was calling for her mother and me, well I am gasping with laughter and trying to stop Eve from killing herself as she tries to get out of the sleeping bag to run from whatever is behind her.
Uncle Bill arrives at the door and gradually every caravan in the site has the door open to see what is happening.

It turns out that while I was pointing to the pillow that had come up behind Eve's head and being amused, she thought I said "Oh look a bat behind you" and thought it was a vampire.
We did eventually get to sleep and Uncle Bill used that sticky paper parcel tape that you had to wet with a sponge to fix the wall in the caravan.

Next time I'll tell you about the last of the Mohicans and how we did the route from the beach to the caravan in minutes because he chased us. I might even tell you what happened when Uncle R asked us if we could run.

17 comments:

Jo said...

Oh your story has really mad me laugh, what a lovely memory x

scrappyjacky said...

What a wonderful memory.

Sian said...

Brilliant story! A wonderful way to top off the year (but of course please tell us the next bit..)

With very many thanks from me to you for all of the stories over the past three years. It's been such a delight to get to know you through your contributions - and I know I'm not the only one who will be saying that! Thank you x

Gail said...

Oh what a delightful story. I can just picture it.

Louise said...

You had me laughing out loud. So many reminders there of our caravan and tent holidays x great story!

Barbara Eads said...

Your stories always give me a chuckle! And by caravan I think you must mean "camper" as we call them! I'll miss your tales! Luckily, since I follow your blog now, I'll still get them now and then.

Jane said...

I love your stories!!

Melissa said...

What a fun memory to record!

Sheena said...

What a really delightful story beautifully told xxx

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Oh, your tale really made me laugh! I have fond memories of a holiday with my cousins, in Cornwall, long ago.

Missus Wookie said...

Tis the details that make me smile... 25 mins if you really stepped out :) I'm glad you are recording the stories!

Amy said...

I am the same and have to agree with Sian, your stories have been utterly fabulous and I've enjoyed each one over the years!

S said...

What delightful holidays you seemed to have, I definitely want to hear more. And I'd never heard of a miners' fortnight - they must not do that over here - or at least I've never heard of it and we're not far from coal country.

Karen said...

Your story is delightful, and so wonderfully told!

alexa said...

Looking forward to the next exciting instalment, once I have recovered from this one :). You tell a great story!

Becky said...

This was wonderful to read, thanks for sharing :-)

Miriam said...

You are such a brilliant story teller. This story reminded me of one of our caravan holidays... Looking forward to the next instalment.