Sunday, July 09, 2006

Our first real holiday (pt. 1 Arrival)

This will be a rather long account of our first holiday together. I make no apologies for this as it was such a very memorable and happy time.

I have explained previously that Iris had hardly been anywhere at all before we met. She had never been in a close relationship before and had been a rather solitary person. I think that this is why I took such a great delight in taking her places where she had never visited and showing her things of interest she had never seen.
Up to July 1973, I had taken her into Derbyshire for weekends, to Falmouth for a few days, to Felixstowe for a long weekend and to Berwick for another long weekend. She had loved all of these excursions. This holiday, however, was to be so very different and she was looking forward to it with great delight.
We had arranged to use a friend’s eight-berth caravan for two whole weeks in July. It was at Berwick-on-Tweed where we had recently spent a couple of days with some friends in May. This time, we were going on our own and for much longer.
Iris was so very excited about going away; she bustled around for several days before we were due to get off. She wanted to take a load of food with us but I explained that Berwick had shops there and the caravan had a large fridge!
I bought her a couple of summer dresses, some beachwear and a bikini. She’d never worn a bikini before although she had learned to swim at school. She tried it on the evening before we set off and she looked a picture! She had a small but very trim figure; just made for a bikini! I remember her asking the usual questions: “Do I look too skinny?” and “Does anything show that shouldn’t?” I told her she looked bloody gorgeous. She pulled a face and told me I was flattering her. That was Iris all over; she had never believed she could look attractive before we met.
On the Friday evening, I had a booking at a local club and my last spot finished at 10pm so we were home reasonably early around 11.30, after calling in at a pizzeria for supper. Iris was so excited, she wasn’t able to sleep; she kept waking up all through the night. Eventually, I decided on an early start and 5am saw us loading the car and setting off.
The sun was shining and the weather looked very promising. It was more or less a straight run up the A1 and we stopped a couple of times for a break. Once at a Little Chef, just south of Scotch Corner and again at Morpeth to pick the keys up for the caravan. That was where our friends lived. Iris was surprised when we went through the Tyne Tunnel; she’d never seen anything like it before, it was an entirely new sensation for her.
It was a leisurely drive up to Berwick, about 220 miles from home. We got there around 10 am and started to unpack our bags, etc. First job was to make a cup of tea. It’s surprising, isn’t it? A woman can be transported anywhere in the world and the first thing she wants to do is to make a cuppa! She was still very excited and marvelled at the thought of living here for a fortnight.
She wanted to look at the sea; she wanted to stroll on the beach; she was like a youngster on her first seaside holiday! I went over and gave her a great big hug! From that moment on, I knew we were going to have a wonderful time.

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