"Wheres me bloody quality street tin"? My Nana Ava yelled from the kitchen, there was a brief silence she waited to see if anybody would respond to her,
Then typical Nana Ava style she would talk to the pots and pans "Looks like it grew legs and walked"! Me and my older brother Paul was laughing upstairs we was packing our bags for yet another yearly family holiday to Pontins, It was 8 am on a bright sunny Sunday morning and my Nana was downstairs in the kitchen making a selection of salmon or ham sandwiches for the picnic in the car on the way to rhyl,
The quality street tin back then had many uses for my Nana, Each Christmas she would buy one in and come January it would have a big white label stating what its new purpose was, examples of what the tin can be used for according to Nana Ava, Hair curlers, Bits and bobs this tin normally had stamps that hadn't been franked in, to sewing needles still attached to bits of cotton,But the purpose of the tin she was looking for now was to put the sandwiches in, Nana Ava was all about saving money god help anybody that touched her tin foil!
Me and my brother Paul had lived with our grandparents for a very long time the reason for this was my dad was building up his business from scratch that today is a very successful one, I would never want to change this upbringing for the world because its the times i hold dearly to me, These were true happy times that any child could ask for,Anyway back to getting ready for our yearly trip! We had finished packing our bags and we wasn't due to set off until AMit was only 8.20.
"Fancy a game of kirby Anna"? Paul asked me, That was one of our favorite games we used to play for hours,Kept us entertained but always had my Nanaon the edge,you would see her stood in front of the living room window watching,waiting for a car to drive past so she could come out and give a Oscar winning piece"your going to end up squashed under a car, "what ya playing at ya daft beggars?!"Paul half the time had a death wish he would always have a answer for old Ava, "Nana are you blind or what" he said with that little cocky 12 year old charm,I didn't dare say a word or make eye contact with Paul cause i would only laugh, I didn't have to look at Paul i knew he would be looking at me to see if i was laughing!.Within seconds Nana Ava had Paul by his red thunder cats hoodie,she wasn't a lady to be messed with but Paul always pushed his luck, I followed on quietly behind bouncing the ball.
Back to the morning of our holiday as much as i wanted to go out and play i knew it would end in tears, "could go rec, for a bit"? i suggested that was a small park at the end of my Nanas drive, "yeah" Paul agreed, Paul had a habit of sliding down the banister it would send my Nana insane cause he always fell off at the bottom, I would always go down the stairs on my bum, Nana Ava appeared out of the kitchen stood in her best holiday marks and Spencer clobber, She still had her front rollers in and her face wasn't happy.
"Paul,"she yelled, "Do you want me to leave you with miss Cuddy"? You knew you were in the shit if she threatenedyou with Miss Cuddy, She was the really old lady who lived on the end of the drive always telling kids off for having fun, many knew her as the witch!""No way!" was Pauls responce, "well your on your last warning sunshine" Then i noticed Nana Ava had gone quite "excuse me lady Jane", Oh god its my turn for the Ava telling off what have i done this time, "You young lady your a girl so could you start dressing and acting as one, up the stairs now and change"! "Bloody hell" i said out aloud, Pauls face even dropped i had over stepped the mark you would have thought i had used the F word, I looked at Paul he stood with his mouth open, I knew i was well and truly in the shit now!.
"What did you bloody well say young lady"? my Nana yelled at me i was a confused 10 year old i was just copying words i heard on a daily basis!
Hours later we was at our chalet in Pontins, There was a massive thunderstorm outside me Paul and granddad sat at the small table playing card games waiting for the arrival of our dad, He was running late as usual, Nana was doing her usual routine of going thru cupboards and draws to make sure it was upto her high cleaning standards, The smallest dirt mark she would find and that was it, war! "Maurice" she yelled, that's the name of my granddad by the way, granddad rolled his eyes we all new what line was coming, "get me bloody cream cleaner from that car,its bloody dirty in this kitchen"
It was 5PMand my dad had just arrived in the car, it was like Christmas for me and Paul now cause this was the only time we spent a full week with Dad, "kids" he would shout from outside boom we was out the door regardless of the rain holding tight to our Dad, "I've got you two presents"! That first night we would always stay in, just me Paul and Dad, he would tell us stories of what he had been doing and places he had been that me and Paul could only dream of!
Dad always made mine and Paul's holidays special memories he worked very hard to get what he as achieved today but he sacrificed a lot, watching his children grow up, missing school plays, those all important life marks, but the week in Pontinswe had every year i still remember them,
During the evening entertainment there was always a talent show as soon as the compare said "come get your names down" Dad was straight there he put all our names down, starting with Nana Ava singing patsy clines crazy, she pretended to hate it when her name was called giving the old angry fist an shaking the head routine, but she was straight down there out of tune and out of time! the whole club clapped and she loved every minute, Some other acts would follow but we often missed them well we had to watch Nana sing again on the camcorder that Dad had brought,
Dad would get up to go to the bar to get us a drink "Al" Nana would shout, "get our drinks but leave the kids cause i have brought some"and then she would mime "pop",
Paul at this point would always throw a complete paddy cause he wanted a slush! Nana would reach into her kwick save bag and pull out limeade and fill our glasses from our previous drinks up,and gave us a pack of space raiders.
Then the compare introduced the next act "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls would you please give a warm welcome to our next act" there was a pause from the compare, "singing lady in red" shit i knew what was coming next, i looked at my Dad who was laughing and now pointing the camcorder at my face, "its anna from Manchester" the whole room was clapping my heart was doing star jumps and i was the colourof a beetroot!
That night my dad had nominated everybody in our family to do something apart from himself, Paul came up to my chair "Oi Anna, lets put dad down to sing" we walked to the side of the stage where the compare was stood smoking a fag and drinking a can of coke, after deciding what to do for about ten minutes we decided dad should sing Elvis moody blue,
These are one of my favorite memories of us as a happy family altogether there was plenty of laughter that we had altogether, My education from my Nana at this stage was the uses of quality street tins and how to save money in the bars of holiday parks!!
Hope you enjoyed one of my little memories!
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