Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Uncommonly British Days Out

My brother gave me a book for my birthday this weekend. He said he chose it because it reminded him of the 1970s when we were children and Family Holidays. When we were young our parents had a succession of small, and I mean small touring caravans. I think they must have been more of my Dad's idea than Mum's. As an adult I don't do caravans - not for me that packing and unpacking and having to cope in a micro version of a house, thank you. Anyway, we did lots of caravan holidays and covered great distances as Dad liked to drive fast, even towing a caravan, and clock up the mileage. Technically, most of the holiday would be spent in the car travelling between caravan parks. But we also notched up plenty of 'tourist attractions'. This is what the book is about. It's called:

It brought the memories flooding back (- nostalgia trips must be an increasing consequence of age, I'm doing it a lot lately). In fact, we actually have visited some of the places in the book.

Peasholm Park, in Scarborough, is one. As a child I loved Peasholm Park. During the day it had rowing boats on the circular lake, musicians playing on the bandstand, ducks to feed, ice cream, but it was in the evening that it really came into its own. At twilight there were (and still are)naval battles, enacted by models powered by people inside them, on the lake. When we were children they would be Britain vs Germany, but they have become politically sensitised , apparently, and now have two un-named naval powers.

The audience would sit around the lake in a concrete ampitheatre, on cushions and under rugs brought expressly for this.

After the battle, which would end with pyrotechnics and sinking of the enemy and much cheering, there was THE ISLAND! Yes, it needs block capitals. The island was the centre of the park, reached by oriental style bridges over the lake. To a small child it was magical and mysterious - lit by strings of lights with statues hidden among the trees and a succession of mechanical and musical tableaux on display. Ican't remember the specifics of any of them, but the overall magical thrill of the place remains with me to this day. Much better than Disneyland.


I managed quite a lot of knitting this weekend - am just about to complete the second shoulder shaping of the front of my Shapely Tank in a lavendar marl All Seasons Cotton, which is knitting up very quickly.

Wore the Calmer tank yesterday for work, under the jacket I knit it to match. A few compliments, including disbelief that it was a handknit. This passes for the ultimate compliment in some quarters :)

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