Where was I? Oh yes, my girlfriend and I (very royal) were about to embark on our first adventure together. “Starways” fulfilled many tickboxes.
- My personal declaration of independence
- Our first unchaparoned holiday together
- The ‘lifelong’ dream of a boating holiday
Starways? Yes, Starways was a 27ft neat little cruiser from Beccles, in which we very precariously set off up the river Waveney for the first time, having no concept of distance, boat handling, rules of the river and to top it off my girlfriend couldn’t swim. But I digress from my point -I have already written a ‘boating on the broads’ post, you don’t need a repeat.
This marked our first non ‘east coast’ holiday, and I suppose set the scene for a preference for ‘non-standard’ holidays in the future.
And now Maslow kicks in. Work improved, wages improved, girlfriend-now-wife also gets promoted, and finances start to look healthier. Dad donates a car, and we contemplate holidays once more. We are moving up the layers of his triangle. Work improves again, finances improve once more, and we buy a ridiculously small and cheap caravan; encouraged by some friends we join the caravan club and set off on various boring weekends. But we enjoyed it. It was an exceedingly cheap way of staying in Skegness and we would often tow the van down on a Friday night after work and set off home late Sunday evening. Life was – well, good.
The cherry on the top, icing on the cake etc. was our trip to the Isle of Wight with the caravan and grandma / grandad Burch in tow for a holiday. It would be his last. And during that holiday, a special monumental mutually life changing decision was made. In a put up uncomfortable double bed, in a tiny caravan on the Orchards Caravan park just outside Newbridge on the Isle of Wight.
After the birth of our first born, we found ourselves desparately short of funds, and had to sell off the car and caravan, cutting our cloth to bare minimum, and the idea of holidays was not even discussed. I think we squeezed in a weekend in Blackpool with my parents.
Things continue to grow steadily at work, I worked on my quarry manager’s course, and after nearly two years of seriously locked down expenditure, we decided we needed a break. I can’t recall the exact facts but I’m fairly sure after looking around at UK destinations, and egged on by friends who were travelling regularly to Spain, we found that actually, with the baby still being under two and hence free, we could afford a holiday in Majorca cheaper than staying in the UK.
It was more a financial decision rather than a conscious decision to widen our horizons, but this holiday sowed an important seed. After years of being told by my Dad that there was nothing of interest in overseas holidays, we experienced one. And realised that actually, life outside of Skegness wasn’t at all bad… (To be continued)