I woke up this morning to the sound of rain outside my open bedroom window. Not the Cornish mizzle that we usually get at this time of year but big splotty, splatty drops of rain that plip-plop loudly onto the window sills and remind me instantly of when I was a child. In particular, of the lovely holidays we had every year. It's the kind of rain I associate with our holidays to Anglesey in our little Sprite Musketeer caravan, playing card games or colouring pictures in our colouring books while listening to the rain drumming onto the metal roof. It got me thinking ..... there are loads of things that remind me of those holidays. Sounds and smells mostly, that instantly transport me back there.
Sadly I don't have any pictures of our old caravan but I found this one the internet.
When I had my market stall, I could never figure out why the flapping of the marquee made me sleepy until I remembered that I used to fall asleep to the sound of the caravan awning flapping in the breeze, a soothing, reassuring sound, guaranteed to give you the best night sleep ever. When I worked at a holiday park near Looe, I would walk around the site doing my rounds in the morning and the smell of bacon frying would bring back such a flood of nostalgia that I instantly craved a big juicy bacon butty, cooked in the cute little frying pan on the cute little Calor gas cooker in the caravan. Even the smell of early mornings reminds me of my childhood holidays. Before all the new roads and bypasses were built, the trip from Sheffield to Anglesey took about 4-5 hours and in order to miss all the traffic, we would get up and 4am. Even now, if I have to get up early to go anywhere, it always brings back that feeling of excitement and adventure that I used associate with going on my holidays.
I still love Anglesey, it still feels like going home, a familiar place that has hardly changed at all. I would love to go and spend some time there re-discovering the places I used to go as a child. To catch that tantalising first glimpse of the sea on the journey to Wales, usually around the Colwny Bay area and to feel the thrill of finally crossing the Menai Bridge, knowing that the holiday has almost begun. To hear the seagulls that hopped on top of the caravan every morning as if to say "come on, it's time to get up" and walking to the camp shop, a tiny little building that sold pretty much everything you could need, feet wet from the morning dew slipping and sliding in my flip flops. Imperial leather soap, the Old Spice that my dad used to wear, freezing cold showers in the shower block, freshly cooked doughnuts from the cafe on Benllech beach, beach towels blowing in the breeze pegged onto the guy ropes of the awning, playing in our rubber dinghy on Lligwy beach, attached to my dad with a huge piece of rope to stop us drifting out to sea but secretly, thinking how cool it would be to be rescued by the life boat. In fact even after my parents upgraded our little touring caravan to a big static van, still on the same camp site that we always went to, I continued the tradition and took my own daughters there.
I often think that if I were to leave Cornwall, Anglesey would be somewhere I could see myself settling and who knows, maybe one day I might just do it :-)