Sunday, 28 February 2016

holidays then and now

So..as a child growing up in Cornwall, we rarely went away for a holiday..why would we? We had the best beaches, clotted cream and pasties, after all!! My mother was from the North...she was born in County Durham but spent most of her life in Middlesbrough.(Interestingly, her brother also married someone from Cornwall and ended up living not too far away from us in Cornwall). Mum met dad in the war, in Blackpool as it happens, and, when they were married she, went to live in Cornwall , with dad's parents and some of his younger brothers, while dad carried on being in the services.  I think it was quite hard for her actually. She was a northerner, a townie, used to wearing high heels and lipstick, and suddenly here she was, in the middle of Cornwall, rural and far from shops, amenities and all other townie things, speaking differently, thinking differently and acting differently. She must have found it very difficult. When I was growing up, we would spend a few weeks in Middlesbrough during the summer, just my mum and I, with her sister. We used to go by train which took hours and hours and hours. I clearly remember the trains...they were the trains which are now seen only on really old films ..individual carriages with  sliding doors. prickly seats and tiny windows. I took my teddy, Edwina, and a little blue and white suitcase, containing all my important things..paper, pens and books. My aunt and uncle lived in a bungalow in a pleasant street in a suburb of Middlesbrough. There were two bedrooms so I had to share with mum which we both coped with remarkably well. My aunt was not a well person and was on a whole load of medications so I was always being told to be quiet, or still. Bearing in mind, I was a pretty bookish child who liked nothing better than a trip to a library or bookshop, being quiet and still was never a problem.  Life on holiday in the North was obviously very ,very different from life in our little Cornish village...the air was different, the people were different, it smelled different, it sounded different...when we went into the town to shop (or actually LOOK at shops), there were SO many and some of them were big enough to have upstairs too..and even had moving stairs. My favourite shop was called Binns, with its several floors, its escalators and lifts. I was entranced by the shop itself, never mind anything it was selling.  The clothes were so different even...much more formal than I was used to. My mum loved being back and trying on all the hats, heavy coats and stiff skirts that she could never wear in Cornwall. My special treat was always one of those paper dolls with paper clothes that had little tabs to attach them to the doll. I managed to build up quite a collection over the years. They kept me entertained for many a fine hour. I loved visiting my aunt and my grown up cousins but I was always pleased to be home again,back to my dolls waiting for me on the windowsill, back to the freedom of being allowed to roam, make mud pies and play with my friends. Sadly this particular Aunt died when I was about 10 so I don't remember going back North after that....

Holidays were always a highlight. One year my mum took me with another Aunt and cousin(Rita..) to a caravan at the Perranporth, just to have a holiday. I remember it being quite 'cosy' aka a bit of a squash in the caravan but most enjoyable.
For Jboy, though, holidays are a thing of terror. He cannot predict what will happen or where we will go or what we will do or who will be there or what we will expect of him...so he hates holidays and as a result, the last few we took him on, being determined to do everything together as a family, were disastrous and stressful..until it dawned on us that this was the case! Bit slow on the uptake! We had one holiday without him. He was in the Most Marvellous Respite Centre but for the last few years we haven't had a holiday at all....and if/when we have one again, I won't be able to go too far away in case we need to get to Jboy quickly. So, no weekends in Paris, or trips to Italy or holidays in Spain (even if we could afford these things) and I shall be content with the odd visit to Norfolk or Suffolk...probably.Although to be absolutely honest, I might not be completely content but such is our life! We aren't the only ones..many families with children of OtherAbilities are in the same situation or sometimes the parents take holidays separately so that the child/young person is stressed as little as possible..One learns to adapt. It isn't always easy but it is necessary.
So, I watch the travel programmes on the TV and read the travel bits of the newspapers, knowing that I won't go....but I can dream!!!

The End
PS forgive my incoherence..I was up with Jboy at 12.45am and have been basically awake ever since (it is 2.42pm)..so words are jumbling and thoughts tumbling. My point above was that holidays used to be fun and exciting, then with Jboy became points of stress and upset and now we don't have them at all really! Did you get that?????? I am very tired!!!