The first holiday I can remember was when I was four, when my mum and I drove to Devon in our little silver Datsun. Well, I didn’t drive. I was four.
That Datsun was a thing of wonder. The engine can’t have had more than 1 horsepower, given that we were consistently overtaken by people on horseback. One of the first memories I have was trying to get that piece of crap up a hill on the way to Devon, the car revving as hard as it could (which is to say, not at all), my mum screaming encouragement to it as it struggled with the gentle incline, a queue of cars lining up behind us, smashing on their horns in frustration.
It was night before we actually reached Devon. This was unavoidable in that car. We could have left 3 weeks earlier and still been unable to arrive there during the day.
Without a yet-to-be-invented sat nav, and the navigator a four-year-old child, we inevitably got lost. My mother frantically tried to read the map under the blanket of darkness, as I looked out of the window to inspect the nothingness. No-one around. No-one to help.
Thinking she had found where we were on the map, we took a wild swerve to the left to join another country road. An almighty roar accompanied this movement. We had driven on to a pebble beach, and immediately became lodged.
This was obviously a time way before mobile phones, so we had to vacate the car and walk until we found a payphone. We told the RAC we were somewhere on the beach, and would leave our lights on so they could find us (I say “we”, I actually did very little to help with this). We then waited on the beach, praying the car battery wouldn’t die before we were dragged to safety, and that the tide wasn’t anywhere close.
My next memory of this holiday was coming home at the end (it must have been a great holiday). I didn’t feel right. At that age I didn’t know why, but I wasn’t happy. My mum pulled over to a Little Chef for lunch, but I didn’t want to eat anything. Unsure of why I felt this way and without the lingual skills to explain my predicament, I chose to stay silent. My mum read this as me sulking, possibly because of being scarred by the beach incident. I was told off for sulking, and we headed home, in silence.
The next day I awoke to incredibly itchy skin. I walked down to the kitchen where my mum was stood, and her face dropped as I walked in. I had chicken pox.
That holiday was better than this series of the X Factor.
X Factor Grand Finale Rating: Chicken Pox, but without the pleasant, itching side effects.
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