Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Summers of Yore
Why is it that summers seemed to last for ages when I was a child?
Maybe I'm donning rose-tinted specs, but as well as days stretching endlessly off into the horizon, the weather seemed so much better. Days of sunshine and playful laughter, nights of camping in the back garden and midnight feasts. Holidays taken in caravans, day trips to the seaside to ride the Big Dipper and get splashed from head to toe by the Water Chute. This was before places like Oakwood Park or Alton Towers.
Innocent times when a Mr. Whippy ice-cream embedded with a Cadbury's chocolate flake was a special treat. Times when sitting watching the tide come in whilst eating fish and chips was somehow so much nicer than sitting in a cafe.
Golden tans on equally golden sands. Deeply ingrained freckled faces in the days when we didn't worry about skin cancers and fried ourselves with lashings of Ambre Solaire sun oil, or if you weren't so lucky to acquire a tan, you applied the fake version, which at that time was very orange and streaky.
When we weren't on our holidays or on day trips often run by the Sunday school, we played outside on tyre swings, climbed trees or created dens to play house in. Often we spent all day outside, only going back home for lunch or supper, or when our mothers called us in as dusk descended.
We read The Bunty Summer Special or if you were a boy the Dandy or Beano versions.
School seemed a long way off and we thought we were living it up in a caravan in Porthcawl for factory fortnight.
Perhaps we were happy enough building sandcastles, paddling in the sea and asking our parents for handfuls of old pennies to spend in the arcade. Of course, there were no mobile phones back then [many of us didn't even own a landline], so if your mother wanted you back, she either called loud and hard or she came to look for you!
All too soon though, there'd be an announcement that you'd be going back to school next week and it was time to buy new shoes as your feet had grown!
I hope today's children still enjoy their summer holidays. Of course, these days they are more likely to head off to Florida or somewhere in the Med, somehow, I wonder if they have the freedom we did.