Friday, July 17, 2009

School's Out For Summer



Can it really have been a year? Again home come the masks they have made and the pictures they have painted, the pots they have fired and the papier-mâché they have, er, mâchéd. Tears in the playground from the leavers and the teachers who are being left, and flowers and chocolates and things the kids have made for their favourites and six weeks (six weeks!) of holidays begin.

With classic timing, the heatwave has crumbled and the skies are grey.

When I was little I knew we wouldn't be going anywhere exotic, it'd probably be Mid Wales again, and a long journey up the motorway in a Hillman Minx that rattled when it hit speeds above 60mph; for the most part though we'd be at home bombing about on our bikes, wishing the sun would come out so we could go to the beach, waiting for Something To Happen that never did. In the Famous Five they'd be off to Kirrin Island and caught up in a smugglers plot with gypsies, but we had Why Don't You Turn Off Your TV And Do Something Less Boring Instead, Belle & Sebastian and Flash Gordon films from the 30s (in 1975!). The summer holidays never really lived up to the hype, and a week in Tenby or Minehead hardly compensated.

Unless there was crazy golf, of course. Or we went to Butlins and rode the monorail (in the future we would travel everywhere on one of those....).

Happy holidays children.

Alessi Brothers - 'Oh Lori' (1977)

23 comments:

  1. My little darlings don't finish school til Tuesday. What with their hundreds of kids channels try telling them we had to watch Daktari and Robinson Crusoe repeats. We went to Minehead a few times (in a Hillman Minx too) but I don't recall seeing any kids who looked like Michael Caine.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have just broken up for the summer, sent the pupils on their way, driven home, stashed my school bag in the under the stairs cupboard... and feel completely knackered. But happy. 6 weeks. Aaaah

    ReplyDelete
  3. While you were going to Wales we were heading to Devon, where it was always sunny - they even had palm trees in streets. (I got my Dinky Interceptor from a toy shop on Teignmouth High St as consolation prize for falling down the caravan steps and skinning something)

    Champion The Wonder Horse, Star Trek and Laurel and Hardy (who plain irritated me) were also summer viewing

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, so you got your dinky interceptor as the result of a nasty accident Mondo? *wince*

    I liked Clarence the cross-eyed lion in Daktari, but I don't suppose it would be politically correct to laugh at him now.

    swissadam, I hope you find something constructive to do with yourself because the devil makes work for idle hands.

    ReplyDelete
  5. PS: What colour was your Dad's Hillman Minx Mick? Mine's was sky blue.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It was two colours. White and a sort of maroon colour I think.

    Like PM we also went to your neck of the woods for holiday some years (where I wore marvelous shirts while playing crazy golf).

    p.s. We also got Banana Splits and The Monkees if we were lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ah, delicious colour after Robinson Crusoe. And I don't mean the car.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i loved Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers. What was that badly dubbed French programme, The Dashing Blade or something?
    We were either in Devon/Cornwall or Wales. By the time we got there my brother and I were black and blue from battering each other in the back seat (without seatbelts) and my father was ready to explode.

    Happy Days

    ReplyDelete
  9. It was The Flashing Blade I think. DavyH I'm sure plenty will be found to keep me from being idle.

    ReplyDelete
  10. South west Scotland was our destination, Dumfires and Galloway every year. My Dad usually looked forward to going back to work by the time we got to the M6

    ReplyDelete
  11. Swissadam we probably passed you going the opposite direction.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Did you have Murray Mints?

    No Dad-driving family holiday was complete for mine without a plentiful supply of them, plus the AA Book Of The Road, of course.

    Good job he was a member though, because that bastard Hillman overheated all the time. Hours spent waiting on the hardshoulder for the Man to arrive.

    Happy Days, as Drew most sagaciuosly indicates.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Er....that's 'sagaciously', spelling bees...

    Humbugs would serve, also.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Here's a picture of Minehead Butlins taken from the cable car in Nineteen Sixty Something. Note monorail at top right of picture.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fabulous!

    I like the grumpy fat boy bottom left walking along in his (I imagine, wet) swimming trunks.

    Terrific, terrific.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think we all know there was no happy ending there...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Grumpy fat boy if you're out there, get in touch.

    ReplyDelete
  18. ...and what is the bald man and his wife looking at? Is it the body that Pugsley has just dumped in the bushes? I'm coming over all David Hemmings..

    ReplyDelete
  19. It being Minehead I imagine they are admiring the herbaceous borders.

    OR ARE THEY??

    ReplyDelete
  20. It was spanish, the flashing blade, I think. 'You've got to fight for what you want, for all that you believe... it's right to fight for what you want, to live the life you lead... as long as you have done your best, then no-one can do more...then life and love and happiness are all worth fighting for... dur DURRRRRR dur dur dur, dur DURRRRRR dur dur dur...'

    THe kiddies have finished (and my eldest has had her last day as a primary school pupil, yikes) but i have to go in for a couple of day next week to generally have a sort out and get ready for september, which is fine.

    It was north norfolk for me, sheringham, although on the train all the way, being the nondriving child of nondriving parrnets. Although Eddie the taxi driver who lived next door would get us to liverpool street to start us off.

    ReplyDelete
  21. How could a simple barley sugar sweetie ward off travel nausea?

    Answer: It couldn't.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Our Hillman Minx never made it as far as our chosen summer holiday destination (which was great aunt Bertha's bungalow in Bournemouth). It's replacement, the pooh brown Hillman Avenger estate, got us there, although our legs used to stick to the plastic seats when it got hot, which it did in August 1976.

    Steve M

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ah yes, the slow tearing of flesh as you rose from a hot plastic seat.

    Hillman Avenger eh? Posh.

    ReplyDelete