Holiday memories. I'm so glad we have so many to look back on. Though, being me, my holiday memories are not so much of sky-blue seas and sun-kissed sands - more of the Laugh Out Loud moments which somehow have earned
their place in Family Folklore.
Two memories today, both triggered by happenstance. The first came tumbling into my mind while watching Jo Clarke negotiate the white water rapids to win Gold for Team GB in
the Rio Olympics. Incidentally have you noticed how the presenters keep referring to competitors "medalling"? Yes, apparently there is a verb "to medal" though I have to say it sounds all wrong to me. So far, thank goodness, I haven't yet heard of a medal
winner having "podiumed" - but give them time.
"Do you remember when we did that?" I ask Mr B as we watch, awe-struck, Our Jo's Golden passageway. Now obviously regular readers may be scratching their heads
at my question, knowing - as you surely do by now - that I am about the least adventurous person in the world. If not, indeed, the Universe.
Once upon a long time ago, however, I participated in a Canoe Safari
out in Dubrovnik. I was persuaded into this recklessness by the thought that Our Boy, then aged sixteen and having just completed his O Levels (or GCSEs) was doubtless wishing that accompanying his Aged Parents on holiday was a little more exciting. I was
lulled into a false sense of security by the assurances that this expedition was for people of all ages and abilities. I started to doubt this when, as we neared the place where we were due to take to our canoes, the bespectacled among us were urged to tie
our glasses on for safe keeping...
Our Boy sensibly decided to partner another lad of a similar age, leaving Mr B and me to share a canoe. We only actually ended up in the water twice - once at the start of
a particularly tricky rapid, the second time at the end of the same rapid. We knew it was going to be difficult because dozens of locals could be seen, perched among the branches of overhanging trees, waiting to witness our downfall. Second time around, our
waterproof bag containing our money and the camera floated off in one direction, while Mr B's Spurs hat swirled off in a completely different direction. Guess which one I tried to save first? At least Jo didn't have to deal with such a dilemma as he medalled.
Then this morning, on my way to the shops, I paused to take a look in the window of the Samaritans charity shop. Of all the several charity shops in the neighbourhood, this one is the very best for pre-loved toys. Indeed
my friend Maree finds it virtually impossible to pass it by on her way to our fortnightly Nomination Whist sessions - she always arrives at our door with another toy garage, doll's pram or board game under one arm.
There in the window - bingo! No, I mean it - Bingo! The game, that is, the one with a blue plastic dispenser in which yellow, numbered balls are tossed and turned by the Bingo Caller until one at a time emerges to be announced in stentorian tone ("All
the sixes, clickety-click, sixty-six") and every player checks his / her score card to see if 66 is all present and correct.
One rainy holiday in a caravan in North Wales, we played Bingo every day with our
Foursome. Mr B was Bingo Caller and Dispenser of Largesse - 2p for a line, 10p for a full house. The children all returned home having trebled their holiday spending money while Mr B and I congratulated ourselves on (I) providing hours of fun and (ii) enjoying
our cheapest family holiday ever.
In an instant I decided that we would recreate that holiday memory with our (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys this weekend. Into the shop I went, clutching my £3, to enquire
if the game was definitely complete. The shop assistant showed me a label with the price and the letter "c" on it which stood, he affirmed, for complete.
Home I went, carrying my prize purchase aloft. It took
ages to put the dispenser together and there is, I fear, one number missing. There will be no call of "59 - the Brighton Line" for us - but I reckon we can live with that, so long as we remove from play the score card which includes that number. I mean, who
will be counting?
We may, of course, have to up the winning stakes slightly if we don't want to appear stingy. But how lovely it will be to recreate a Holiday Highlight with the next generation.
No, don't be silly, I'll be leaving the kayaking to Good Old Jo. You know it makes sense.