I posted this little tale a while ago, only to take it down because at that particular time I thought it was a little inappropriate. I’m not sure why because it’s pretty harmless, nevertheless, I wasn’t comfortable… Anyway, pop your imagination into gear and make the best of what I’ve recalled.
A break from the usual trip and week in Cullercoats, our summer holidays found our family at a Caravan Park near St. Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay, called ‘Feathers’ as I recall; a sun-soaked balmy summer week in 1973. I remember this week distinctly because one of the boys my sister met kicked me hard under a table (he was much older than me, I was just a nipper) or that my other sister met a really lovely boy who doted on me; we had so much fun banging on caravan doors and running away, pinching the litter-man’s cart – he would sit me in the bin and whisk me around the park – he was much older too and should really have had more sense, however, he thought I was great and I thought he was brilliant! And not for the fact that I made another super friend. Her name was Nicola, sadly, she was a bit scruffy and swore all the time but she was fun – apart from when she sat on me and made me eat sand! Another distinct occurrence which locked itself to memory was as follows…
I spent the whole week flushed with excitement and over-awed with all things seaside! I could have been a million miles away from anywhere, and more than ecstatic to be so! This was my first time ever in a caravan – dad assured me it wouldn’t roll into the sea if the wind got up in the night… Well, there was a field about a half mile long until you could reach the cliff edge. Safe we were. To my amazement though, the caravan had everything a home would, albeit in miniature, it was a little surreal – it even had a tv! This would suit me well for the late night, last night, Friday night Hammer House of Horror movie that I’m constantly rattling on about! Which was for me a staple diet – those old black and white spookies transported and fascinated me.
We had extra company that year on holiday, it’s only right and proper that she remain anonymous here, (God help me if she ever comes across this tale but that’s a risk I’m willing to take; though I know she would more than appreciate the humour) and so she will… A towering (to me anyway), well-built, incredibly jolly and fun, almost adopted sister, whose smile was the broadest and laugh the deepest and the happiest I was ever likely to see and hear! Always lively, always fun to be around and kindest of the kind. She was off every day with my sisters, hunting and gathering boyfriends where they could and simply having the fun that care-free teens revel in.
For us younger ones there were shows to take part in, in the site club. There were play areas, sand pits and nooks and crannies to explore – and more than once I’d banged on the door of the caravan, locked out and worried, only to realise I was at the wrong van! So confusing when they all virtually look the same, and the narrow driveways and paths are more akin to the most complicated maze! Nevertheless there was fun to be had and we were having it. We gathered up lots of new friends over the week, sad when we said goodbye, although only for mere minutes before our attentions turned back to something else.
One evening my brother summoned me into the van, where he gestured very quietly toward a partition, a kind of privacy screen, behind where the sofas doubled up as small beds. He was gesturing and whispering to me to look through a tiny half-moon shaped hole in the partition. Something had stirred his humour and he was fitting with stifled giggles, almost unable to breathe! Small squeaks of laughter only just made it past his lips, covered by the music coming from a scratchy radio behind the partition. I brought my inquisitive eye to the peephole and saw nothing, “keep looking!” he insisted, so I did. Vision was limited and squinting through this tiny hole made it more difficult, however, first, a white boob floated by and then a huge black one! I’d been looking for all of about five minutes, not noticing my brother had grown silent and absent from his position just behind me. I turned away from the hole, half in shock and half in shameless, childish fascination…to see dad stood behind me, arms folded, eyes ablaze! Erm….