Well, it's Bank Holiday Monday, it's 7.27am and I am looking out of the window to see the rain falling from the sky!!! It's been fine and warm forever, but on the one day off from work - it's chucking it down. brings to mind all those endless Bank Holiday Mondays from childhood where the whole family would set off to go to Bakewell to go to market!!! It always took an age to get there because of the traffic (everyone within a 50 mile radius would have had the same good idea!), on the way we would have seen loads of people simply having a picnic on a blanket at the side of the road! (bizarre!!!) Then there was nowhere to park (yes even in the late 60's parking was an issue!) so my Dad would be driving round and round, my Mum would be getting stressed, and us 3 in the back knew enough about this kind of thing to stay absolutely quiet!!! ("I don't want to hear a peep out of you!, or I'll knock your bloody heads together" - social services would have had a field day!)
We would get out of the car - after being given a strict warning not to wander off, talk to strangers, or "show us up", and then set off for a walk around the market!!! Bakewell Market was a veritable treasure trove. You could get anything from a baby sheep to a new shovel!!!
We would then walk around the clothing stalls and my Mum (always on the look out for a bargain) would buy us all a new t-shirt, pair of shorts, or open toed sandals (we were never allowed to have jelly shoes - even though all the other kids at school had them, as my Mum thought they were common!). My Mum was all for buying in advance for our annual summer holiday!
We would go to see the animal section, the smell of farm animals always brings these memories flooding back!!! Can you imagine trying to tip-toe through an animal market trying sooo hard not to get anything on your new shoes!!! We would look in awe at all the farm animals that were for sale and try very hard to decipher what the auctioneer was actually saying, and then go for a walk by the river. My Mum would be, by now a nervous wreck, as my Dad encouraged us to walk as close to the edge as possible!!!! We would feed the ducks (aaaah!) and then get an ice cream. My Mum would always do that thing with the corner of her handkerchief (which was always cloth - never paper tissue!) that only Mums and Grandmas can do, where they spit on the hanky, grip your chin like a vice, then dig away at the corners of your mouth until it was clean!!! I'm sure my Mum used to take all her frustrations out on the corners of our mouths!!!!
In those days children were seen and not heard ( a great idea - I'm all for bringing that one back!) but by lunchtime we were squabbling!!! I was the only girl and the youngest, and my Dad's favourite, so the day would descend into spiteful nipping and punching when Mum and Dad weren't looking. I got away with murder and my two brothers were always getting it in the neck (I have since apologised to them both many times for my willingness as a child to take utmost advantage of that situation at every opportunity!)
After a few hours of this we would all get back in the car and struggle through the traffic for 2 hours to get home again. By now my parents would no longer be talking, we would still be squabbling over space on the back seat, and we would all be tired (ooooh they're tired!) and grumpy, and a little grubby!!
When I think back now on these childhood memories, long before the days of shopping centres, or 7 day cinemas, or play stations, or any of the things that kids today have to keep them occupied I realise that my parents were trying their hardest to give us a nice time, and do something together as a family!!! We laugh about it now - all those endless bloody Bank Holiday Mondays at Bakewell market - and I have to tell you that I have NEVER EVER taken Danielle to Bakewell on a Bank Holiday Monday!!!!, and whatsmore I never ever will!!!!