The Theme Game week 8: Holiday!

Last summer I read a lot of comments by friends on Facebook who had been on amazing holidays and it got me thinking about both the things I am looking forward to about the future with older children and also nostalgia for some of the amazing holidays of my own childhood.

Boulangerie

We went to Iceland (to visit Icelandic friends who owned a chocolate factory!), Corfu, Portugal, Spain (to visit my paternal grandparents who lived out there), as well as a couple of staycations to Cornwall (where my dad drew an enormous naked lady in the sand [we looked down on it from the cliffs above]) and Pembrokeshire in Wales. However one of the most memorable and evocative holidays of my childhood was a trip to the South of France when I was 11 for a canal boat meander down the Canal du Midi from Narbonne to Carcassone.

This holiday began at Teddington station in South West London – my hometown. We went on holiday by train! This in and of itself was pretty blooming exciting, particularly because the second leg of the journey involved taking the overnight sleeper train from Calais down to Narbonne. Kudos to my parents (and their friends – another family we holidayed with) for even dreaming up such an awesome adventure for their children!

Memorable parts of this holiday included watching my mum operating the lock gates – particularly the Fonseranne Staircase Lock near Beziers -; falling into the fonserannes staircase lockwater and nearly getting crushed by the boat (whilst wearing my sister’s tracksuit – much to her consternation!); waking up moored up in a beautiful bucolic setting near a small village and going off with the other kids to the nearest boulangerie to order fresh baguettes and pain chocolat (unheard of in England in the early 80s!); and walking the old city walls of magical Carcassonne.

It is my dearest desire to be able to relive this holiday one day with my own children. I’d also like to take them skiing. And to Disneyland. Hmmm… better start saving up now eh?!

Linking up with The Theme Game as organised by Jocelyn at The Reading Residence and Iona at Red Peffer.

The Reading Residence

Down the rabbit hole (and other adventures)…

When I was 7 we took our first family holiday abroad. My mum & dad, sister and I travelled to Corfu with another family of friends.

Image

I have several ‘snapshot’ memories of this holiday including riding pillion on the back of a hired moped behind my dad with my legs dangling and his hat shooting off over my head; fireflies filling the lush garden of the villa we were staying in at night; and walking down a long, empty road one evening to a taverna during an electric storm – with no rain.

Image

The one thing that went down in family history though was the day my sister, our friend Iwan and I took a walk along a dusty road and all I can remember is that one minute I was on that road and the next I was at the bottom of a deep hole. I heard my sister and Iwan suddenly notice my unaccountable absence and begin calling out my name. Eventually they discovered me but, at 8 and 9 years old, were unable to pull me out and had to flag down two burly Greek farmers who hauled me up. Its a good job I was only 7 or it could have been quite embarassing! Mainly it just indicated the beginning of a lifetime of daydreaming and lack of observance of my immediate surroundings!

Image

The other thing our family will never forget from this holiday was the journey home. Everything started well – we checked in at the airport and duly filed through to Departures. However, at some point my mum began frantically searching her bag for our boarding passes, only to discover that they were well and truly lost. It was the kind of day on which a searing heat haze hovered over the trundling aircraft taxiing across the bleached concourse and the stress of the situation, combined with the heat, took my poor mum to the edge of consciousness. I remember her being instructed to sit down with her head between her knees until the moment passed.

Eventually the airline agreed that our story was probably true and that, in fact, we were the least likely illegal immigrants ever and we were ushered straight out onto the concourse in a one-family panic flight to the, barely there, rolling staircase of the awaiting plane. More was the shock when we stepped through the doors only to be greeted by a ghostly absence of fellow passengers. It was the wrong plane!

wrong plane!

In hindsight the following scene plays out as if I were one of the many people sitting on the right plane, watching out of the window as this stressed little family unit wheeled from one plane to the next.

When we finally set foot on our home flight there was a resounding round of applause! (Although our friends later admitted to denying all knowledge of who we were or what on Earth we were playing at!!).

Ah fun times.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Good things come to those who wait…

I’ve been reading a lot of comments lately by friends on Facebook who have been, are on, or are going on amazing holidays this year and its got me thinking about both the things I am looking forward to about the future with older children and also nostalgia for some of the amazing holidays of my own childhood.

Boulangerie

We went to Iceland (to visit Icelandic friends who owned a chocolate factory!), Corfu, Portugal, Spain (to visit my paternal grandparents who lived out there), as well as a couple of staycations to Cornwall (where my dad drew an enormous naked lady in the sand [we looked down on it from the cliffs above]) and Pembrokeshire in Wales. However one of the most memorable and evocative holidays of my childhood was a trip to the South of France when I was 11 for a canal boat meander down the Canal du Midi from Narbonne to Carcassone.

This holiday began at Teddington station in South West London – my hometown. We went on holiday by train! This in and of itself was pretty blooming exciting, particularly because the second leg of the journey involved taking the overnight sleeper train from Calais down to Narbonne. Kudos to my parents (and their friends – another family we holidayed with) for even dreaming up such an awesome adventure for their children!

Memorable parts of this holiday included watching my mum operating the lock gates – particularly the Fonseranne Staircase Lock near Beziers -; falling into the fonserannes staircase lockwater and nearly getting crushed by the boat (whilst wearing my sister’s tracksuit – much to her consternation!); waking up moored up in a beautiful bucolic setting near a small village and going off with the other kids to the nearest boulangerie to order fresh baguettes and pain chocolat (unheard of in England in the early 80s!); and walking the old city walls of magical Carcassonne.

It is my dearest desire to be able to relive this holiday one day with my own children. I’d also like to take them skiing. And to Disneyland. Hmmm… better start saving up now eh?!