Column: Childhood seen from the back seat of the car

Carol Forster
Carol Forster

This week dear readers I include a further excerpt from my latest book ‘The Sixties in one day’.

I’m sure many of you will recall with great fondness those early memories of long trips with the family – perhaps on holiday or just to visit relatives.

Although much is the same these days, some things have definitely changed from the past. For example, how youngsters amuse each other in the car is quite different now.

These days they would be on their machinery or using social media, but back then was quite another matter.

Also, it has to be said, cars tended to render the occupants a little more queasy, as they were not built to modern day standards. However, what they lacked in suspension, they more than made up for in character.

Anyway, here is a further short extract from my book:

‘Perhaps I’d sleep awhile, wrapped in a woollen blanket looking up at the street lamps flashing past or the motorway signs, depending on our location.

‘The parents would do their best to entertain periodically with I Spy and other such word games. I Spy became boring when only the green fields could be seen. I wasn’t sophisticated enough to think of blade (of grass) yet or weed.

‘Colouring in was also fun. The black and white outlines could be coloured with waxy crayons as the felt tips were a bit tricky when the car rocked about. Felt tips were my favourite thing.

‘Long packets of the things in a variety of colours for little hands to create with. ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ I’d ask again after ten minutes. My parents must have despaired. They certainly remembered it later on.

I awoke on one such journey in a rainy car park in Wrexham. ‘Is this it?’ ‘No love, we’ve broken down’. How disappointing. Then, you would reach your caravan and it was all fascinating with its little washing up bowl and wee foldaway beds and tables.

The windows had screwtop openings. Mother always took a large plastic container for the waters from the tap. Then the whistler would go on the stove and we’d have some tea...’

I hope this brings back some good memories for readers of childhood past. My book is available on Amazon.

Enjoy!