Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Summer Holidays

“Were all going on a summer holiday no more worries for a week or two” Cliff Richard get a life son that song does my head in. Now then Holiday Camps or holidays abroad which one do you prefer?

As a kid I never had a holiday abroad until I was 14. We used to travel the country going to holiday parks with the family. Pontins and the now no longer with us Warner Bros where the order of the day. Butlins was a washed out holiday camp with a few scattered here and there and Haven well lets say it wasn’t great. How times have changed.

I used to love those holiday camps when I was a kid. There was so much to do. We used to go off in the morning and not come back till it was Lunch or Dinner. All paid for of course as we sat in the restaurant on the site with other people all having a laugh. Dad used to joke it was mum’s break from cooking so he’d treat her to full board for the week. I had some of my first ever experiences on holiday camps as well. First kiss; first feel of a girl’s bra, those were the days. First pint of beer as well I might add.

There was the Prince and Princess of the camp, the singing competition, fancy dress, chasing the poor blue/green and yellow stripped coat, depending on what camp you were at, dressed up as a pirate and chased around the camp by a load of screaming kids until he reached the pool and we all chucked him in. Happy days. Week in week out whatever the weather I wonder how they got chosen?.

One year there was 30 of us. We descended onto a camp on the Isle of Wight and won everything, and I mean everything. The darts, football, swimming, snooker, fancy dress ( me and my sister went as Adam and Eve and Nicky ate the apple before we got there, my cousin went as the Incredible Hulk and it took 3 weeks to get the green paint off of him), we won so much that they asked us to not enter anymore. Apparently we was upsetting everyone else. My dad said if my Nan won the glamorous Nan competition he would get up on a table in front of everyone and sing to her. She did and so did he. In a ballroom full of about a thousand people, there he was belting it out whilst the parents laughed and the kids died of embarrassment.

There was the time also a few years ago when we went to a caravan park in Weymouth. Couple of blokes got up and started doing their act and asked for a volunteer from the audience. Guess who got picked? Yep me. I had to dress up in a gold sequined dress, no mean feat I might add, and mime to the Supremes song 'When Will I See You Again?' It bought the house down but more importantly it gave my kids so much fun and laughter that my daughter still tries to get me to do it now. I tell I cant because I haven't shaved my legs. But one day when she is a moody teenager with all her mates crashing in my house I might susprise her.

These are some of my fondest memories as a child. That sense of family, that sense of belonging. Ill cherish them forever and a day. We still use holiday camps now with my kids and they love them. Normally Haven more than any other. I hope when my kids get older they will continue on with this family tradition. We may not be able to guarantee the weather but there is something very British about holiday camps.
I like going abroad don’t get me wrong but if I had the choice Id spend my holidays with my kids whilst they are still young enough in this country making memories that I hope last them a lifetime. Who knows one day if my mum wins glamorous granny it’ll me be up on a table signing to her.

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