Monday, 13 January 2014


It's the second week in January and I don't think I'm the only person whose thoughts are turning to getting away. As is common in the British Isles the weather has been one of the main topics of conversation. Flood warnings are rife and the fields in so many parts of the country are sodden. At time of writing the sky over Merseyside is blue and there is not a cloud to be seen but freezing conditions are forecast and the sodden ground will soon be extremely icy. No wonder most of us need to have a holiday to look forward to. I'll be going to the Isle of Rhodes with John to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary in June.

     When I was a girl in the forties and early fifties, the most I could hope for was a trip on the ferry to New Brighton, or if we were lucky then we could take a train to Formby with my brother, sister and kids from our street. More often than not we spent time playing in the street or visited one of Liverpool's parks with a picnic lunch of jam butties and watered down National Health orange juice. It was not until I was twelve that my parents could afford to take us on holiday which consisted of a week camping in North Wales. We loved it despite the rain and having to sleep on straw filled pallIasses and one never forgotten summer us cousins and our mums stayed for a whole four weeks.

    What lucky ducks we were. Why? Because we so appreciated those family camping holidays. They forged memories never to be forgotten, which as a writer I've yet to make proper use of in a book. But now I'm hoping to remedy that by using some of what I can remember in the novel I'm working on at the moment. LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND is its title and naturally my thoughts turn to beaches. I have several to choose from but I'll say no more about that now as my plot still needs more thought.

     Most of our ancestors, of course, could not afford to go away. They worked long hours and there was no such thing as paid holidays. When I discovered my grandfather Milburn had married on Christmas Day, I was astonished, until I remembered that Saturday was a working day and what with him being a mariner, probably Christmas Day was the only day he and my future grandmother could get married. Maybe it was also the only time relatives could attend the occasion from home and away. Of course, once paid holidays became the norm, then there was no stopping some of my kin and those close to them from heading out of the city be it north, south, east and west and making the most of their time off. In our house when I was a kid, we knew that Dad's one week's holiday would be either the last week in July or the first week in August. Thankfully holidays are longer now and workers have more choice of when they can take them.  Below is a photo of my aunt, mother and cousins and my brother, Don, and me and my sister Irene.


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