Monday, 24 June 2019

Neverending Top Ten #2.5: Holiday '19

Going on holiday with a 5 year old is an exercise in endurance. Relaxation is not on the agenda. Up at 7 every morning, staggering (and often failing) to stay awake past his bedtime at the end of each long day. Good fun, but as the old cliche goes... now I need a holiday to recover.

We spent the week on the east coast: Scarborough, Whitby, Filey & Robin Hood's Bay. Some nice walks, delicious (if unhealthy!) food, lots of slot machine arcades, even a day at Flamingo Land, on which daddy carried the bags while Sam, Mummy and Grandad braved the rides.

We also took a boat trip on a "replica" of Captain Cook's ship and raced round the Dracula exhibition, which daddy had more nerves for than Sam. On exiting, I reassured the boy by saying, "See, that wasn't scary at all, was it?" The man in front of us grunted: "Only thing scary about that was the price!"

On the last day, I took my son to Reighton Gap, the holiday camp my parents always took me to as a child. It's changed a lot in the last 30-40 years. The pebble-dash cottage we stayed in has long since been knocked down and now it's all fancy caravans. The concrete path to the beach that was breaking up when I was a lad has now completely eroded. It was a bit of a death trap back then, to be honest, and would be condemned by Health & Safety these days, but back in the early 80s we gleefully took our lives in our hands and clambered down the post-earthquake concrete without even a thought of litigation. Residents take a different road to the beach these days. There's even a tractor ride to take them up and down. Lazy buggers.

The WWII battlements on the beach that I played on and around as a child are still there, but greatly diminished. The slot machines I used to play in all night, back when 10 pence would last ten minutes, emptied my wallet in the same amount of time... nowadays, apart from the rigged 2p push games, the minimum you pay is a quid, and the game's over in a flash. Could it be that things actually were better when we were kids?

Musical accompaniment for the holiday came via a couple of summer compilations I made, featuring the tracks in My Top Ten Change The Weather Songs (which was mostly a success: although we didn't really have beach weather, and the one day we tried it blew a gale) plus other typical holiday faves: The Boys of Summer, Lovely Day, Summer In The City, and this, which given that we took Sam out of school for a week to save money (although we're awaiting a fine from the local council for doing so!), it was cheering to hear him singing along at the top of his voice almost every day...


  1. Yes, things really were better when we were kids.

    1. It was always sunny and summer seemed to last for ever

  2. Welcome back! Life wasn't too wonderful when I was a kid. We didn't have a fridge until I was about 10, so milk going lumpy was a problem (same with the free school milk which sat about in a crate during warmer months until we were let loose on it).
    We didn't have a TV until I was almost 14, so I spent a lot of time outdoors. During the school holidays I played football from about 9 a.m. until early evening with only a short break at dinner time (Scots version of lunchtime). Why I didn't become one of the greatest footballers of all time is still a mystery.
    Back to your holiday. I've often wondered why there was a Robin Hood Bay. Didn't he live in a forest? Did he go to a bay on his holidays?

  3. Sounds as if you had a real break from work which is always important and you will remember these happy times with Sam when he's a sullen teen and doesn't want to go on holiday at all with you.

    Never wise to go back to places you had family holidays in as a child as a generation on things change and it can be a bit sad looking. Both myself and Mr WIAA went to the same beach as children (but not sure if we ever met) when it was all touring caravans and tents. We took DD back there but it had changed so much and it was all static caravans owned by retirees who were never there so very different. (Churchill barriers still there though.)

    When we went to Whitby and the infamous castle it was shrouded in mist so very spooky indeed.

    Hope you don't get a fine - Sam's education will not have suffered one iota.

  4. I've never been to Whitby, I've heard of its sandy beaches and Captain Cook Memorial Museum. Sounds like you enjoyed yourselves and a trip down memory lane as well.


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