Thursday 26 June 2014

The First Week Of The Summer Holidays

The boys broke up for the summer yesterday. I can just about remember that feeling of excitement of having nearly two whole months without having to listen to a teacher and being confined to a classroom for five days out of seven. Well that statement was only half true,  for me anyway.

The reminiscing below was first posted in June of the first year of the blog, 2009 and last night I couldn't think of anything better than to repeat it. I know, what a lazy arse!

When I was growing up I spent the first week of every summer holiday in a caravan with my mother and younger brother in North Berwick. I used to wonder why my father's mood would lighten as the last week of school approached, I now realise he was looking forward to his week of peace. As he didn't really drink, he was obviously looking forward to a week going from work straight to the golf course and not having to referee the battles between my brother and I.

We were not alone in this , there was always at least 4 or 5 other vans with my mother's friends and their kids.

This was where the problems stemmed from, my mother's friends like my mother were teachers and teachers when they get together they like to organise. Even holidays must be structured and have an itinerary. You would have thought that after planning lessons  and teaching children all year long they would like to lighten up, chill out,  have a kit-kat. Not this lot, if it wasn't rounders, it was long walks, crazy golf and if it was raining (and it did frequently) it was cards. Once in order to stop my brother and I from killing each other it was a walk in the pouring rain to Tantallon Castle, a ruin 3 miles from North Berwick, although it felt like twenty.

If I'm painting a rather bleak picture, I don't mean to as I had some of the best times of my life there I just didn't know it at the time.

As I grew older I started to resent going away for this week.

Could I not stay at home? I asked when I was 16, after all I was old enough to be on my own. No! stated my father, a little too quickly for my mother's liking I think. So once again I was on my way to Mrs Craig's caravan park.

Things started to look up from the moment we arrived. G had brought a friend with her. K was possibly the loveliest girl I had seen since the day before when I had last seen my girlfriend. I made any excuse I could to hang around G's caravan and connived of ways in which G and K could be incorporated in anything that was going on with us. As the week progressed we spent a lot of time together but nothing happened and at the end of the week I went home faithful to I but rather pissed off about it.

A couple of month's later, with that week in North Berwick a distant memory, my girlfriend introduced me to a new girl in her class. I was stunned when I saw that it was K, I think that she was a little surprised too. At that moment I was rather glad that that week a while back had ended in failure.

One of the best things about North Berwick was it had a record shop. Not just a record shop but a record shop that stocked records other than the stuff in the charts. I got some great records there, the only problem being that I bought them all on the Saturday we arrived and could not play them until the following Sunday when we returned home.

Come Back by The Mighty Wah is one of the records that I got in that record shop. Here it is in its full ten and a half minute,12" overblown bombastic glory.

Oh, and the hill in the picture, that's Berwick Law, a hill that we had to climb every bloody year, one year carrying a diabetic poodle (for another day)! Still the view from the top was pretty impressive.

The Mighty Wah! - Come Back (The Story Of The Reds/The Devil In Miss Jones)


Scott said...

Great post Drew, brings back many wonderful childhood memories for me of going to North Berwick and Dunbar. I remember the record store well. Last year I went to see John Osbourne's "On the Beach" at The Fringe and this post reminded me of that. And the full ten and a half minute version of "Come Back" to finish it off. This post has really cheered me up today.

Dirk said...

A great tale, Drew, and 'Come Back' is such a wonderful record: can't wait to get home and listen to the 12" version, which I think I don't know yet.

Charity Chic said...

I thought for a moment that we were going to get Caravan of Love!