Summer holidays and lifelong happy memories

July 28, 2017 Opinion , OTHER , UK


Hazel Speed


That special time of the year is upon us, where families embark on different forms of (hopefully) joyous holidays. Although they may only last for a week, or two, in actual time, the memories they create will last a lifetime.

Each family has their own set of circumstances and available funds, but even for those who actually do not go away anywhere, one can still have special moments of fun and enjoy different activities each day wherever they are.

Some people will go abroad – to far away places, holidays with unusual criteria, Disneyland, or a dude ranch, etc. Visiting the Egyptian Pyramids must be wonderful from other perspectives.

Most people, wherever they can find such locations, near or far, enjoy days at the beach. I think back with fond memories of various beaches that have a significance in my life, especially so when we once lived in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands.

This all came back to mind recently when a friend sent me a photograph from there, and we exchanged emails about the beaches generally.

I always love shops which sell beach balls (usually they are hung outside the premises to catch the eye of passing shoppers). Beach balls still look wonderful to me even as an older person, as they invite me to return to my youth, and I consider if I were to buy one which choice would I make, as the colours are so glorious and somehow uplift one’s soul.

Then, such beach shops sell other exciting items, e.g. flippers, snorkels, full masks, spectacle style masks, half or full surfboards etc. The smell of this particular style of rubber is most memorable. I adored snorkelling, and would love to consider what it must be like to dive for pearls if in Japan.

Our favourite beach in Guernsey was called Ladies Bay. It had glorious high and low tides and faced a pier across the water, another venue where my friends and I all played as children, or swam and then went crabbing.

We would have wonderful full days at Ladies Bay however, and as a family would pack sandwiches, take tea and coffee in thermos flasks, and of course towels and swimming suits.

Nothing tastes better after a morning swim than a lunch of cheese and tomato sandwiches which, by then, inevitably acquired grains of sand therein. It seemed to enhance the sandwich.

There was always a glorious climate, not too hot or cold, but with a cooling breeze to aid a sun tan. Even that had a memorable aroma all of its own.

When the afternoon tide had receded a little, there was a section of firm, but podgy wet sand, ideal to set up cricket stumps and choose one’s team from a mix of improbables or unsuitables but all of which, played brave and impressive games.

Then we may switch to football or rounders. Strangers would walk by and end up on the team for a while. There was a cluster of inviting rocks on the left of the beach and we all loved climbing them.

After some rest and sunbathing, in those days there was a nearby kiosk which sold trays of hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Although early morning swims were wonderful at high tide, the ones at dusk, in the early evening were almost reverential, and by the time we were packing up all the beachware we had brought with us, we had had so much fun, and everyone took away with them such happy memories, thinking of someone who tried, but failed, to ride a wave with a half surfboard upside down, or a few of us who had been snorkelling, comparing notes on how deep we had dived down and if shoe flippers we wore were better than toe ones (which we thought they were).

It didn’t all end upon arriving home, we had a hearty cooked meal then went into town, as the shops stayed open until late – very unusual for that day and age. Samples of the latest perfumes were given away, and of course delightful quality gifts of every kind were available to purchase, suitable for both tourists and residents.

We lived in many other places, far away from a beach, but summer seemed to have its own way of providing outdoor fun and entertainment, visiting farms to pick fruit and climb trees, play games of tracking along winding country lanes (one person has a head start and leaves chalked arrows enroute taunting the ‘trackers’ to find them by following the signs).

Then often a fair would visit one’s town and that provided its own special memories – pink candyfloss, rifle range – throw a hoop over an object and win a goldfish or soft toy. Go on the ghost train or drive a dodgem car in an allotted arena. Lots of food and drink stalls – hot dogs, with English mustard, onions and tomato sauce (I can smell them now), then also fish and chips with salt, pepper and vinegar. A man on stilts would walk by looking down on us all and raising his top hat whilst saying hello then perhaps blowing into a balloon which he gave to young children and their families.

Swimming pools or lido outlets were often nearby most geographical areas in former years, and are making a great comeback. One can spend a whole day of fun at those venues too. Horse riding is always enjoyable across country fields or lanes.

I loved the ad hoc official photos where people could put their heads through a cardboard hole within a large painted board, and from the front it represented people in a humorous situation – and then one could buy a copy of the photo, money paid in advance. The image was mailed to the individuals, so we were all most trusting in those days, but the photo always arrived in the post about a week or two later. I have one or two of these photos to this day and they still always make me laugh.

What I am trying to portray herein, is that whatever we do for our holidays, regardless of financial or other restrictions, when we enjoy a holiday, it is like putting a potential happy memory on record, and something upon which we can always draw in the future, and then we can revisit the same in our minds and smile again at the fun and joy obtained from the original event.

I wish you all a wonderful, joyous summer holiday. Have fun whatever you do and wherever you are.





Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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