17 August 2014

Childhood Memories

Whenever I go to the car boot sale on a Sunday morning and drive onto the field to park, I get the overwhelming feeling that I'm getting out of the car after travelling from Sheffield to Anglesey at the start of the summer holidays I had as a child. It has that same feeling of fresh sea air, warm sunshine and anticipation, I know that sounds odd but it's a really nice, nostalgic feeling and it always makes me smile. We went to the same place on holiday every year, a friendly little camping and caravan site in Pentraeth, Anglesey and while a lot of people might find that a bit dull, to me it was fabulous. As a child, the most exciting thing was getting up at 4am, whispering to each other in the cool night air as we packed everything into the car and set off on the long journey. Amazing to get all that just from driving onto a field in Cornwall.

It's strange how the most mundane things remind me of when I was a child. Recently, we had a new water treatment system installed and as a result, we aren't allowed to use a whole load of things like bleach and antibacterial liquids because it kills off the bacteria that digests the icky stuff in the system. One of the other changes I've had to make is my laundry powder. Apparently, powder can solidify and clog up the drain pipes and the system itself so I've had to change to a laundry liquid. In addition to this, I've had to change from a biological detergent to a non-bio one, again, to keep the little buggers alive. Anyway, just after the system was installed, I nipped off to the shop and grabbed the nearest bottle of non-bio liquid and dashed off home to do some laundry and the minute I opened the bottle, I was once again, instantly, transported back to my childhood. Back to that cute little caravan on Anglesey and to the smell of freshly washed laundry, sunshine, salty seaside air, bacon, frying in the morning and freshly cut grass. Those amazing holidays we had in our little Sprite Musketeer caravan were filled with long sunny days on Lligwy beach playing in our dinghy in the tidal pool left behind after the tide went out. Eating sandwiches on the beach while wrapped in a towel with salty hair and sandy hands which had gone all pruney from being in the sea so long. Playing cricket on the camp site with the friends who went there every year at the same time as we did and usually getting told off for spending more time upside down doing handstands than fielding the ball.

Lligwy Beach (Source)

As well as the obvious things that bring back holiday memories, such as candifloss and hotdogs and hot, freshly made doughnuts covered in sugar, sometimes, it's something completely out of the blue that triggers a memory. Like Imperial Leather soap. I know ..... weird! One whiff in the chemist the other day and I'm standing in the toilet block on the campsite, putting 10p in the hot water meter so I could have a shower first thing in the morning, always in the freezing cold because no matter how hot it was outside, the inside of the shower block was always freezing cold or having a quick wash before going out for an evening walk on the beach and stopping for fish and chips on the way back to the car.

Oh, and I think I have finally managed to figure out why I get so sleepy at the market when it's windy. I'm fairly certain it's because the flapping of the marquee canvas reminds me of falling asleep in the caravan listening to the awning flapping in the breeze!! Weird :-)

So, here are a few more things that remind me of my childhood,

Sweet peas, pickled cucumber, pipe tobacco, freshly baked bread, old spice aftershave, Imperial Leather soap, bilberry pie, frying bacon, the sound of the knitting machine zipping merrily along, 4am, Dandelion and Burdock and Mum's meat and potato pie cooking in the oven.

What sights, sounds and smells remind you of your childhood? 
I would love to know :-)


  1. MY parents had a chalet at Gwithian towans where we stayed every summer. My memories from then are also Dandelion and Burdock, taking the bottle back to the shop for the penny you got for them in those days. Cold tar soap, fried bread which mum made as holiday treat that we didn't have at home. The salty taste on my skin after I had been swimming. Coconut oil sun lotion that helped you 'cook' in the sun rather than protect you! Cowslips which were so plentiful then. Great memories.

  2. I think you and I have been thinking on similar lines the last couple of days! I've been into smells as well. I think smell is the most evocative of our senses.

  3. Brilliant times Kay. We all had great times on those holidays. I remember the time when you all went horse riding down to the beach. That was when dad could only have a week's holiday so he used to leave us there for the second week. Great fun xx

  4. Haha I remember when we went riding on the beach too Mum, my horse was none too keen on going in the sea and I almost ended up getting dumped in the water :-), and Chickpea, I remember my grandparents had their bottles of Dandelion and Burdock delivered every Saturday by a man in a lorry who also collected the empties as he went :-)

  5. Cream soda which they sell here in America always reminds me the 1950s and of Mum asking me to run to the corner shop for a bottle of R. Whites cream soda and a brick of Walls vanilla ice cream (wrapped in newspaper, of course), so we could have a proper cream soda in the garden in tall glasses with a straw and spoon. Sometimes I buy a small artisan bottle of it here, but now vanilla ice cream is just a step away in the freezer. No wonder I have a sweet tooth.

  6. Hi Lynn, yes, I remember bricks of ice cream wrapped in newspaper we used to cut them into mini blocks and sandwich them between two wafers I also remember going to the sweet shop just down the road from where we lived, a proper whole shop just for sweets with jars and jars of cola cubes and flying saucers and pear drops and aniseed balls and gobstoppers the size of golf balls ...... oh dear now all I can think of are white chocolate buttons with little round sprinkles on them..... they were my absolute favourite :-)

  7. I can tell you are from Yorkshire a lot of your memories coincide with mine - dandelion and burdock, meat and potato pie, pickled cucumber, my aunt using her knitting machine - ah sweet memories.

  8. Hi Elaine yes a Yorkshire lass through and through, born in Sheffield and proud of it :-) I love going back there to visit my mum and my eldest daughter who still live there.

  9. Well your post has stirred up some memories for me - Lligwy Beach for example! I too holidayed in Moelfre, Anglesey as a child. I remember seeing the signpost for Lligwy and we immediately (me, my Mum and Dad) almost collapsed from laughter. It's such a funny name - we thought it might mean seaweed in Welsh! Smells are so evocative - ink does it for me - straight back to being a child, and buddleia takes me back to the bridge at the bottom of Lynton hill in Lynmouth. If I close my eyes and sniff, I'm really there and about 7 years old! Thanks for a great post.