Sunday, 26 February 2012

Random Thoughts 3: Memories

My blog challenge for this week is to write about a holiday memory. When I got my email telling me what my topic was this week, I confess I thought - ya dancer, this will be a cracker. Which of my many amazing trips, sorry adventures would I write about? Would it be Spain, or Sicily? Wales, perhaps? Or Shetland? Or maybe my first solo foray to Bristol?

But then I thought I'd blogged enough about them already, and it woud be too easy. Or rather, too hard to pick out just one memory. So I thought I'd go a bit further back and think about my childhood holidays.

Again, it's not too easy to pick out just one memory. Rather it's a mix of all sorts of rememberings, sights, sounds, smells and just plain feelings.

Most of my childhood holidays were spent with my grandparents at their home in York, or  in some part of the UK in a cosy (and sometimes, not so cosy!) self catering cottage in the off-season. We never really took holidays in the summer because either my dad would be working or the garden would be in full bloom and needing a lot of attention. In any case, we were lucky enough to grow up in a seaside village and my sister and I were more than happy enough to spend our summer holidays running wild at home. We were never short of things to do and there were adventures aplenty from what I can remember.

When I was thinking about this blog post, one particular non-home, non-York holiday memory sprang to mind. I must have been very young, probably less than 4 years old. We were staying in a cottage next to a working farm. It was the summer and we were somewhere in the west of Scotland. It was a hot summer (for a change!) and the cottage was beautifully cool inside. I seem to remember us being cooled off after days at the beach with cool baths and the smell of calamine lotion springs to mind, so I'm guessing we probably got a touch of sunburn as well. I remember we played on the beach a lot. I think our grandparents were there, I seem to remember showing off my new pretty cotton nightdress to them and thinking I looked like a princess.

All of those are great memories but that's not the one that sprang to mind. This was.

One day we'd been out and got home later in the afternoon. The farmyard had piglets in it. We'd seen them a few times during our holiday. This particular day they were quite agitated and squealing a lot. And their bottoms looked sore. I can remember asking what was wrong, and my Dad (or my Mum) told me they were a bit sore because they'd just had their tails docked.

Now, to my little mind that was bad enough. Imagine having a bit of you cut off, that must really hurt. No wonder their bottoms were sore and red! Looking back on it now I realise, you don't dock piglets' tails. I think what had probably happened was a bit more painful and something that little boy piggies definitely wouldn't enjoy...

Oh, the innocence of youth!

(And I bet that's not the blog post you thought you'd get this week, Frances!)

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