Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Summer Holidays

I used to go away with my parents every summer until I was sixteen. That was when I didn’t want to go away with them any more. I wanted to go away with my friends. But, I used to go on wonderful European holidays with my family while I was a child. Paris, Venice, Switzerland, Italy and many times to Corfu before it was spoilt by package holiday tourism.

Before my parents decided to explore Europe, we went to Belgium every summer for years. My two sisters and I squeezed in the back of Mum and Dad’s tiny Austin 7 (the luggage was on the roof rack) and drove all the way to Belgium after getting off the ferry. Oh, how I hated that ferry. I used to spend the entire journey being sick over the ship’s rails. I used to pity those poor fishes in the sea.

We used to stay in a hotel in Le Coq. I don’t remember anything about the hotel but I do remember Belgium chips with mayonnaise, which were the most delicious thing I had ever devoured in my entire life. But, the beach was where it was at! All the kids on the beach used to make paper flowers and arrange them in pretty patterns on the sand. And, every day there was a competition to see who had the best arrangements. Some of the paper flowers were spectacular. That was because some of the kids had artistic parents who made them. Mum wasn't an artist, but worked very hard at making our paper flowers, but none of them ever came out quite right. They didn’t even look like flowers, but resembled clumps of messy lumps of coloured tissue.

My sisters and I couldn’t speak French, let alone Flemish, so we felt a bit out of it. Most of the other children on the beach were Belgium and couldn’t speak a word of English. However, when my cousins and their parents (my aunt and uncle) joined us on holiday, my sisters and I were suddenly part of the In crowd. For, my cousins lived in Brussels and could speak fluent French, so they acted as our translators. Even their parents, my aunt and uncle were bilingual which suited me fine. For my aunt used to manage to barter all of Mum’s home made paper flowers on the beach, not for shells, but for gigantic portions of chips and mayo.

It was the perfect holiday, especially when a gorgeous looking blond boy called Francois set up his flower patch next to ours. We immediately became best friends and I actually learned to speak French in order to communicate with him, my first crush. Also, his paper flowers on his patch were easily the best on the beach. He made them all, and created new ones every night. He had to, for his flowers always sold out during the day. I thought I would be friends with him for life, but when I returned to England, we didn’t write to each others as we promised. If we had met in the digital age, we undoubtedly would still be corresponding by Skpe, Chat or e-mail. However, whenever I see some paper flowers, they always remind me of him, and the purple paper water lily he used to wear in his long, blond hair.

Copyhright; Frances Lynn, 2006


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