Tag Archive | Holidays

Ninth October Blog

My interpretation of Elsa.

My interpretation of Elsa.

Ninth October Blog. – 22-10-14

A Strange Journey.

Sometimes a journey starts with few small steps. Not those ones they always talk about, with feet, but those small steps in your mind, the ones that lead to the others. It can be thinking about holidays/vacations/trips! You want to plan ahead, get things straight in your mind. Where to go? How long for? When? Seemingly easy questions to answer.

Dscuss it with the family, or if you are alone, then it may be a decision that is decided by what spots are available in the office rota. In smaller Companies there may be less people that have to be worked in, but on the other hand, there may be more work coming in so, holidays just when you want, may not be feasible.

Horses for courses, yet again. There may be a financial problem, so you may have to choose something cheaper than perhaps you would like. A caravan say, instead of a hotel. Camping instead of a caravan. Do you see where i am headed here? It all comes down to what you settle for.

I no longer go on holiday. I have had my time. Been over to Ontario, Canada five times. Three trips back in the 1960s and two in the 1990s. Every single trip had wonderful memories for me. I flew to other countries inbetween, but In Canada I got good rates flying and with a friend to stay with, it was not so expensive. I might go into those on another future blog.

For now, I am speaking in general terms and availability to those around in England, and I suppose it affects other Western Countries too, here and now. And even if you can afford the holiday you want, it just depends on the kind of person you are, what interests you. Back in the day, the majority of ordinary English people flocked to the seaside for a day, a week. Walking on the sands, sitting in deckchairs, paddling in the waves, eating fish and chips, cockles and whelks in the south east, something different in other quarters of the country. People had few expectations then, unlike these days. A walk along the Prom. ( Promenade ) , simple pleasures for simpler times, I guess.

There was a time, of course, when only the rich or upper classes had holidays. I think that all changed after the First World War, or was the start of the change. Again, do not hold me to it, it is only my opinion. But there were more opportunities in the Twenties and after the Depression, the Thirties. The Depression hit hard in the United States but I know times were also hard here, remembering what dad and mum used to tell me of those times.

Anyway, we have television. We can go anywhere in the world, provided we do not leave the comfort of our armchairs/sofas etc. . even Space is not beyond our imaginings when programmes take us into the Space Station, far above our heads. Mongolia, The Sands of Egypt, Peru, West Indies, China, one could euloguise forever over where to spend our armchair vacation. So again, it all boils down to ….where are we going for our holidays? Another trip to Beijing? Malta? The Rockies? Nah! We’ll just go and stay with Aunt Florrie, she lives down in Brighton or Grimsby or ………… Sussex or …….the list goes on.

Some may take writing holidays, painting vacations or weekends where murders occur. Not real ones but play acting. You may want to take a cookery course for a week or learn dancing or, tell you what, a cruise, just the two of us, The Med., Norwegian Fjiords or hiking, or sailing. Each to his/her/their own. I am too old to climb Macchu Picchu, a cruise -I cannot swim. Writing holiday sounds good to me but I am also too old for that. So t.v. holidays for me from now on.

Take good care of each other,

Evelyn

Seventh September Blog

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Seventh September Blog.

Holidays Remembered.

Getting away from writing for the moment, I want to tell you about an old holiday. It was to Spain. Nothing new in that, some of you might say! Well no, not these days but when I decided on a Spanish holiday, it was not quite the norm. Early days in the Spanish (and other European getaway sites), holidays before the flood gates opened and it become the favourite, certainly of British holidaymakers.

The reason I am bringing this up when I have just posted about writing new things, is that never discount previous holidays, events, places you have visited, use them as research for your current and future projects. There may be anecdotes that can be used, in some form or another, to highlight parts of your novel. Something that may make it sound more real. In that regard, you take it from a memory and use it, however much you might change it to fit in with characters and settings. So, never discount these memories, images. They will all disappear when you get very old and leave this world, so if you want to leave lasting impressions for others to enjoy, be a part of, imagine, this could be a way to do it.

So, this was only a Ten day hoiday. Starting off in an aeroplane possibly only used as crop dusting these days. The tail was much closer to the ground, so, in boarding, you walked uphill to your seat. Not only that, but the flight never exceeded much more than eight thousnd feet above sea level. You can see the waves on the Channel, (English Channel , for those not of these islands). Luckily, the weather was good so, I was quite happy to look out of the window. Only about an hour and the aircraft was winging its way towards Southern France. Toulouse, to be precise, in the Languedoc region; Cathar country.

Our hotel was on one of the outer walls that surrounded this part if the town. My bedroom looked out over a steep precipice, overlooking the countryside beyond. The town here had tiny winding streets and was an interesting diversion, exploring the petite shops. We were only there overnight.

The next day we travelled further south into the Pyrenees, staying at another hotel in Perpignan, whose rooms were named after famous cars. Lovely hotel, lovely place. After breakfast, we drove down to the coast. I was glad to get down off the mountains, as the roads were narrow and steep. Finally we arrived at our hotel in the small Spanish town of Lloret de Mar.

Here we were to spend about six days. The beach was golden. But it was not so much sand as a kind of silica. Quite large particles that made it a bit unpleasant to walk on barefoot. The hotel was at the top of the town on a hill that overlooked the town and beach. The sun shone every day and about halfway down the hill was a church, its domed roof was tiled in several colours and a half circle pattern that glinted in the sun.

I had teamed up with another lady and we shared a hotel room where the room floor level was about four feet below the outside ground level facing the sea. This allowed geckos/lizards to enter the room or sunbathe on the wall surrounding our small patio.

I do not remember much about the quisine at the hotel,

One night, there was such a storm over the Mediterranean. A group of us had been to a bar where they had Flamenco dancing. Lots of vino, we enjoyed ourselves so much, it was four a.m. by the time we climbed the hill back to the hotel. This is when the storm came closer to the coast. One of the waiters opened up the small Spanish Bar and we continued drinking. The furniture was classic Spanish, like going back in time. Here we sat, the large doors were open, watching the tremendous lightning arcing over the Med. A little rain, but then it passed on by the time we left the Bar.

I do not remember all I did during that week. A boat trip along the coast to a more famous town called Tossa de Mar. We had an evening meal one day in another hotel/restaurant . It was Spanish Paella. The real deal, not what is served up here as paella. There were mussels, full size langostines on the plate and baby octopus, never had that before or since. This trip was in 1961, and all new.

The big trip was to a bull fight. Yes, I know. Times were different then, I know the folly of it now so I will not go into details. Loved all the colours though.

After that, it was aboard the coach again and head towards Barcelona, arriving in the evening. Some went to see the Fountains. I was too late to catch everyone so stayed at the hotel. We moved on next morning going through a special place of houses built to represent homes all over Spain. Then up through the Pyrenees, crossing the high pass, oh how cold that was. On through Andorra la Vella and back down again. This was the longest, all in one journey, of the holiday, back to Toulouse, and a flight home.

One last ‘treat’. Though some may not think it now, but it was lauded to us travellers then as a treat from the area, French bread with Pate de Foie Gras. I liked it, but it was much later that I realised just how it comes to be. I am not a vegetarian but I am beginning to have doubts about us humans, and what we do to animals just to feed our stomachs.

So, that was that trip. Plenty of fare to use should I ever want to use any of this information as a backdrop, for characterisation or anything really, so search your own memories should you ever be in need.

I am posting the site of a friend here.

http://www.authorerikamszabo.com/links.

Do have a look in.

Be careful out there, people,

Evelyn

Holidays………Fifth July Blog. Holidays………..have you had yours? It is a long time since I went on a holiday/vacation of any kind. I suppose, if I think back hard enough, my last holiday was when my daughter was about ten or twelve. They were pretty unremarkable. Coastal caravans in various places, east coast, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, one week at a time. We took the dogs so we had to accomodate their needs. I liked the areas we stayed in, all different in their own way. All very English too. Mostly the time was early September and the weather is not always kind at that time of year. Our cat had to stay home, but do not worry folks, my father went to the house every single day and fed and watered him, played with him for a while. He was fine with that, and safe too. That was quite a few years back, like about 36 years. The East Coast was bracing and not my favourite. Kent was OK, and we went there more than once. I think, of this series of holidays, I preferred Hampshire, The New Forest, to be precise. It isn’t all forest, as you may assume, there is scrubland where low-growing yellow gorse dots the somewhat sandy soil. Lots of small creatures live in these areas, grass snakes, vipers ( England’s only venomous snake), lots of unusual butterflies, birds and othe insects. This is where the New Forest ponies live. Not wild, as one may assumre. They are owned by local farmers who round up the ponies at certain times of year, brand the new babies and set them loose again or sell some on. They have a legal right to graze their animals on common land. This is why there are often horses and cattle along the various roads in the area. I have seen small ponds surrounded by woodland too, very quiet, very still with May flies and dragonflies hovering above the water. Dotted with pond weed too. Birds in the treetops above are silent in the heat of the sun. There are lovely little towns in and around the New Forest. Pleasant little places that take you back in time. This wa all so many years ago. These holidays leave markings in the memory. My fondest memories though, are of when I was single. My first trip on my own, was to Canada. I have a friend who used to work for the same Company. Lunch times, we would take our sandwiches, walk across the road and sit on grassy lumps of earth ( the area used to be brick fields in its day). We would talk and eat and then go back to our respective departments. Good sunny days then in the late 1950s. Then her family decided to emmigrate to Canada. I became very ill, getting Meningitis. About a year later, i moved to another Company. After three years. I qualified to get special air rate reductions. This meant I could go and see my friend in Toronto, Ontario, where they had set up home. This was my very first holiday on my own, my first air flight, my first travelling across the Atlantic. Suffice it to say that due to an Olympic Games coinciding with my planned flight, I did not get a seat on this particular aircraft. I was not senior enough to get the only seat left. I managed to get a seat on a flight the following evening. London (Heathrow ) Airport, was quite small then, and I boarded from a comparatively small building on the North Side. Long since demolished to make way for better prmises. The aviailable seat was upin First Class, because that was where the space was. Believe me, it was the way to travel. However, it was a jet prop aircraft and there were lots of stops all the way to the north of England and finally, to Scotland before heading north west to Canada. It was magical, the dark skies, the lights on the ground far below where there were towns and cities, the dark spaces inbetween, where only countryside existed. I cannot remember the A la Carte meal, but I did have a wonderful starter, real caviar and little biscuits with champagne. I felt like a queen. The first stop on the other side of the Atlantic was Quebec. I had seen the sunrise behind the aircraft and it chased us ll the way to Quebec. The aircraft flew low over a suspension bridge, lit up like fairyland, or so it seemed. To my eye, it looked magical. We all had to disembark and go through customs. As I was going on to Toronto, I just had to hang around the airport until it was time to board again for the last leg of my flight.. I was worried because my friends thought I would arrive the previous day. But it was OK, they queried it with the airport and found that I would arrive 24 hrs later. They were there to greet me, I was so pleased to see them all. Thought I was going to have to try and find them myself. Much of what we did escapes me. But we did drive to Niagara Falls. Go on the Maid Of The Mist boat that took us all fairly close to the Falls, covered in heavy black rubber coats to the ground, to keep us dry. (The boats have different names now, I believe, and when I was there in 1997, we had short blue plastic covers which really did not keep one dry. My friend and I slept late, had enormous breakfasts of cereals, raspberries and canned squirty cream, which did not squirt very well. Then very thinly sliced belly bacon, fried crispy, lots of rashers and eggs etc. We went to High Park in Toronto, the Toronto Zoo and York castle where we saw the huts used by soldiers and saw their beds. Very short, as men were mosly short in the late 1700s. Another trip we made was 600 miles north to North Bay. We passed through Muskoka, a wonderful natural area of rocky outcrops along the side of the highway. We saw woods and streams that led to narrow but high waterfalls. We followed one to where it cascaded down the rocks into quite a large lake. There were people camping in the distance on a sandy spit of land. We could see a camp fire, its lazy tendils of smoke wending its way up into the sky. Another magical scene. We stopped at the house belonging to the Dionne Quins, then at relatives of my friend’s boyfriend and their farm. This meant a night time woodland bear hunt. Yes, I know. We never saw or heard a bear. Would have had trouble running away in the trees, in 60s clothes and heeled shoes. But it was fun, for the guys anyway. And something to write home about. I had many other holidays in the 1960s, but that is all for now. Do you have fond memories of special holidays/vacations. Why not mention them in the comments section? Be good to each other and to yourself, until my next blog. Evelyn