Memoirs – The Family Vacation

These are the stories that shaped my life, these are my memoirs.

Joe Hoover is  the much-applauded author of the Canesten Duo Instruction leaflet.   His novels have been adapted into 1298 other languages aswell as into audiobook and into a glory hole version.

I grew up in the tail end of British people’s love affair with the English Coast, before package deals to sunnier climes took off.  We liked nothing better than chugging along motorways to spend a rainy week by the seaside.

What made this strange in our house is that we lived by the seaside and I rarely saw our coastline, instead opting to drive somewhere far away but which looked identical, if we had even driven a bit further we could have discovered a sandy beach so it was not until I was much older that I realised that the coastline was not just large uncomfortable pebbles.

Mostly we’d pull up at holiday camps seemingly adapted from former army barracks after the war, what else could explain the squalid chalets we stayed in where my bedroom would be a pull down sofa in the kitchen, and the park being surrounded by barbed wire.  Was this to keep people out or to stop us from leaving?

Our hosts wore a canary yellow blazer or a post-boxed red affair depending on whose chain of parks you were visiting.   These were where future homosexual TV entertainers would cut their teeth.

We’d spend our days eating candy floss, riding the waltzers or spending our allowance in the penny arcades.  It was in the penny arcade that an adult man came over and stroked by brothers face, my brother would have been about 8.

You are right to be alarmed, a holiday camp is as likely place as any for a paedophiles camouflage, they are probably the ones in a giant duck costume running the children’s club. But there was something about this man that was unusual.

My father immediately ran over pushing the man away and proceeding to high kick him.  My father is vertically challenged so everything appeared like a high kick.  The other man burst into tears and ran away, my father chest pumped and adrenaline filling his body having averted his son from being molested.

We never saw him again, but years later the mans actions made more sense when I learnt what Downs Syndrome was.

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11 Comments

  1. I just spat tea over the telly!

    Reply
  2. I laughed… I cried… I tried to do both at the same time, but I just ended up choking…
    And yet, somehow, I feel as if I know England a little better now…
    You, on the other hand, I am not so sure of… (ha)

    Reply
  3. I just love a twist ending.

    Reply
  4. So did this incident give you fear of or affection for penny arcades?

    Reply
  5. Oh dear.

    Reply
  6. Oh dear. That’s all I can say at this one, Joe.

    Reply
  1. British holidays « londonsurvival

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