Thursday, 28 November 2013

My Hero : Part Three - My Dad and Holidays

My Dad loves his holidays and so does my Mum even though she finds the build up and organisation rather stressful. As a kid all our family holidays were in a caravan.

My earliest memory of being on holiday is in a static caravan in Rhyl. Spending the day time going for walks around the arcades and shops, going home for tea, then the evening at the funfair then back to the caravan and bedtime. I think i was maybe five or six years old.  Thinking back about that memory kinda gives me a feeling of excitement that is surreal in the fact that it almost makes me feel like an excited little boy again. It is a good memory, and its one I hope old age never steals from me.

By far the the happiest memories I have are of being on holiday with my parents and my sister and I don't believe I am special in that respect, but that doesn't make it any less true. I cant remember exactly how old I was when my parents bought our first tourer caravan. This would mark a long and happy period of holidaying for me and my family. My sister who is 7 years older than me used to come on holiday with us in the early days of the caravan, but she soon grew out of it. My sister started her family relatively young and had her own place.

The caravan holiday became the escape route for our family, any opportunity to drag the caravan off of the drive, hitch it up and tow it to a caravan park somewhere and we did. Yorkshire, Wales or the Forest View caravan park near Delamere Forest for the weekend. I remember some years my mum would say to me, we can either decorate my bedroom (formally my sisters room) and finally get rid of the wallpaper with the pink love hearts, or go to rhyl for a week in the caravan instead. I had that girly wallpaper in my bedroom for years, and it was my own choice.  As my sisters little girl got a little older my mum would bring her with us. On one little jaunt to Delamere Forest Stacy woke up at 2 in the morning and thought it was playtime, she was only about two years old and to her the caravan meant playtime. even at 2am. at about 4am we gave up trying to get her to sleep again, locked up the caravan, all went back home to the house and tried to get some sleep. We went back the next day and picked up the caravan.

Now we are all grown up, my Mum and Dad have not rested on their laurels.  My Dad finally took voluntary redundancy from the factory he used to work in to become a bus driver.  Aside from the shift pattern being really variable, being a bus driver offered something to my parents they hadn't known for quite some time which was job stability and a relative security.

As I said before, my parents make a good team when it comes to money. My Dad brings in the money, and my Mum puts it to work.  They paid off their mortgage a few years back, despite falling foul of the endowment mortgage failures meaning the endowment policy that they had on their mortgage that was supposed to pay off the balance after a fixed term and leave them with a nice lump sum too, actually left them with a substantial shortfall at the end of the mortgage term. After the initial shock and panic, they managed to sort it out.

Since I left home holidays have taken a much warmer turn for my parents and they have had a good dollop of well deserved Spanish Sunshine and Balearic Bronzing, all of which both have worked damned hard for.

Me and my Mum at the static caravan
Mum and Dad

Me in the Tourer Caravan ready for bed :)

Dad, my sister Julie and Me

Me and Dad at Swallow Falls
Me and Dad at Towyn Beach

My Dad in his late 20's

Me in my Late 20's

Final Word...

I could go on for another 10 posts telling you my memories about my Dad both good and bad, but I will keep it short. 

Dad, you are my hero.