Wednesday, 23 June 2010


My memories of holidays in Cornwall:

Scraping globules of crude oil from our little feet - the Torrey Canyon had just spilled 120000 tons of crude oil into the atlantic to be washed up on the sand of north Cornwall.

Saffron cake for tea.

Surfing- down the dunes on wooden surfboards with candle wax on the bottom.

Ignoring the mist rolling in off the horizon and keeping warm by digging sandcastles in a thick arran. My mother doing her needlework under a plastic mac.

Catching sight of myself in the mirror and being astonished at my blonded hair and freckles.

Going upstairs to bed leaving my mother (who was alone for most of the holiday as my father was away at sea) to her holiday treat- a packet of crisps and a can of beer.

My mother telling us that she was going to the bus stop that night to meet my father off the bus from Penzance. He'd been away at sea and we hadn't seen him for ages. I was so scared of her leaving us alone in the cottage that I curled up on the window ledge of our bedroom and pressed my face against the window peering into the black with my heart racing until I heard her come back with him.

My mother using the car keys to weight down our kite and them getting lost somewhere in the dunes and us searching for hours till we found them.

My mother making us write a scrapbook about churches in Cornwall -for holiday fun! And, after three days of constant rain, cooped up in the cottage actually thinking a trip to a church was well, quite fun.

Being made to put on socks and shoes to visit relatives and our shoes feeling as if they belonged to someone else with different shaped feet.

My sister refusing to walk down the beach with me because she said I stared at everyone.

Eating fried sandworms for breakfast -the bait my brother and father dug up for fishing. We had to eat the bait as they never caught anything else.

My brother being washed off the end of the Sennen Cove jetty by a wave when he was fishing-but luckily my father had tied him to the iron pole at the end.

The flares going up and the life boat going out at regular intervals to rescue children on lilo's in Atlantic storms.

Finding a copy of a magazine called Penthouse in the damp cupboard of the little cottage we rented.

My friends mum -who had been on a package holiday to Majorca- having breasts like little raisins in a gingham cupcake bikini.

The outside loo that had toads in it.

Being allowed to walk to the shop to buy a newspaper in the morning.

I've not really ever taken X on a proper seaside holiday yet- I hope I manage to give her as many memories. Not having money wasn't an excuse then and my job hunting would probably be just as profitable on an empty rainy beach as in London.....

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