Caravan holiday

Away from the city

The town

It's 'nice' districts

And 'not so nice'

Is where I find you

And Dad

Even though you've been gone

For over a decade.

 

You'd rummage round the big market

in Fleetwood

Drink tea, coffee

Toasted teacakes

From a local cafe

Staffed by friendly ladies

With time on their hands

Got up to look like maids 

In an old Victorian country house

With names like Molly

Jean and Brenda

 

I remember you took a ferry ride

To Knott End

A journey that lasted just a couple of minutes

And we walked around for a bit

Sitting on a bench

Looking back across and down the coast

Me Dad saying something like

'Tha can smell that sea air May!'

Even though he has no sense of smell

 

I'd occupy myself meanwhile

Scratching Spider-Man or something similar

And the date

Into the bench

With a small multi purpose camping knife

Bought for a scouts type organisations trip

(It was The Woodcraft Folk actually, although I've yet to meet anyone who's ever heard of it)

 

A more notable day than most

As me Dad

Hilariously needed the toilet

When the ferry was back to collect us

Meaning a bus ride of two hours 

'All round the houses ' as Mum put it

For what was originally a two minute ferry ride

 

Plus, the revelation later in the day

That I'd taken off

And left my bomber jacket somewhere en route

Resplendent with hand stitched on patches

Of superheroes

And Mighty Mouse

If memory serves me correctly

 

Despite the happenings

time was still made for fish and chips

Eaten on the front

Near the bandstand

the ferry point

And the little souvenir shops

Selling intricate glass boats

Glass fishes

Glass clown ornaments

And sticks of saccharin loaded

Sickly sweet sticky sticks

Of toffee rock

 

I'd wolf down chips and fish cakes usually

Not tempted by a full fish

Not yet a fully formed Vegetarian

 

The short ride back to the site

Was punctuated by me Mum 

Scolding Dad for missing the ferry back

"You're bloody murder Joe!"

Whilst he tried to diffuse the situation 

And escape his guilt

By asking her for a Polo mint

Which she always kept 

In her omnipresent handbag

 

I laughed quietly on the backseat

Happy that I'd managed to get them to buy me 

A three pack of American comics

If not the Batman and Robin figures

I really wanted from the market

 

Down the long road 

Past the petrol station

Past the sad plastic rememberance flower

Twirling dustily in the grass

Where it was always

And still is

Firmly planted

 

Turning

Through the tree lined road 

Past mobile caravans

Static caravans

The little supermarket

The bike hire centre

And pulling up

By our mobile home for the week

These times were almost the closest to joy 

I've ever been

 

childhoodFamilyholidaysparents

◄ Age

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Comments

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keith jeffries

Mon 30th Oct 2017 22:36

Jon, Colin begins his comment by saying that there is a little bit of us all incoperated into this poem. How true. When I about twelve I went to Fleetwood with my Mum and Dad where we stayed in what was called a Flatlet, which was a self catering flat. We could not afford a hotel. The Flatlet was very close to the pier where it was my delight to play on the one arm bandits. This poem as with so many of your other poems is highly evocative of days past. What brings it to light is your vivid memory for detail. Thank you Keith

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Jeff Dawson

Tue 10th Oct 2017 19:23

Hi Jon, hope you're good mate, thanx for comment on 'In God we Trust' really enjoyed reading your caravan poem, some great images here I think we can all identify with at some stage, and a poignant personal thought at the end nice one, cheers Jeff

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 22nd May 2017 16:11

An absorbing trip - well worth the time and trouble of
going along! I think "has" can work...seeing it from a
lad's "then and there" viewpoint. Altogether, a very
enjoyable visit to the past.

<Deleted User> (13762)

Mon 22nd May 2017 08:35

I think there's a little bit of us all incorporated into this poem Jon, something we can all identify with and yes I have heard of the Woodcraft Folk but we haven't met so maybe it doesn't count!

In trying to pick out favourite lines I'm in danger of quoting almost the whole poem but.... 'sticks of saccharin loaded / Sickly sweet sticky sticks / Of toffee rock' really lays it on deliciously thick.

And I particularly like the following fish and vegetarian verse as if fish cakes aren't really fish, just a step towards full veggie status. All in all a well crafted and constructed poem.

Colin.

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Pauliegreg

Mon 22nd May 2017 07:17

Love this poem, especially like your dad asking for a polo to break the silence ?
Very well written.

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Jon

Mon 22nd May 2017 01:34

Thanks for the comment Ray. I know, I was undecided as to has instead of had. I put has cos me Dad is still alive but I think you may be right. Cheers !

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