As I look out of my office window, I see a steady stream of drizzle. It is dark enough to have the lights on and if the truth be told, cold enough to put on the heating. It’s also august 27th and it has been like this for much of August. What happened to summer this year? From time to time some strange golden ball does appear in the sky emitting something that passes for heat but it is a pale washed out version of those seen in previous summers. If I hadn’t spent 12-days on Kos, I would swear summer was yet to arrive this year.
I guess I shouldn’t moan too much. Maybe I simply betraying my English upbringing with my weather obsession?
I remember as a small child we used to holiday each year in Cornwall or south Wales. I remember it perhaps with the rose tinted glasses of childhood but I swear those were long, hot summers for the most otherwise, how could I be swimming in the sea? Back then, Cornwall was a mysterious place full of small single track tree-lined lanes and small villages. Huge piles of kaolin soil littered the area like white pyramids. We camped and I also remember laying at night in agony from sunburn. Back then, you just stripped off and ran about and then lived with the consequences which invariably was a few nights of discomfort until the skin turned brown. I do not recall the sea feeling cold either. To me, it was simply an amazing time in an amazing place.
The trip down to Newquay took a long time. There were few, if any motorways in the beginning and getting away from Hull was quite difficult. It was amazingly isolated in the 60’s. The drive would take all of one evening and much of the next day down the A1 and through places with amazing and improbable names. We knew we were getting close when you saw those piles of kaolin standing erect like guardians of holiday land. I also recall how the roadside Cafes were better in those days. They were interesting places with big old jukeboxes serving beans on toast and piping hot tea.
We were really lucky kids. Back to school in September and I would tell friends about two-weeks in Cornwall and they would look at me rather like people do now if you tell them you had three-weeks in Aruba! Most of my school pals had been to Scarboro, Bridlington, Hornsea or somewhere equally exotic – if anywhere at all.
Yep – they were the days!