Thursday, 12 July 2012

Monthly Challenge: Nostalgia.

As I went through my reader a couple of weeks ago I was surprised to see Storytelling Sunday over at Sian’s From High In The Sky. I’m know it is always the first Sunday in the month but still! I was feeling nostalgic as I read Uncle Dave’s post and started thinking about what I might write about.
My mind skitted upon the Run To The Sun we did to Newquay many moons ago-when it wasn’t all about the drinking! That immediately linked to The Verve and their Bittersweet Symphony. (I am listening to it now as I write this and still finding such emotion and joy in it). The album came out the day we drove down there which is why it resonates and is so tied up with that weekend.
We worked at sea for P&O European Ferries and five of us hired a VW Sharan when we disembarked–’The Bus’ we called it immediately and shouted at every car to get out of our way “We Have A Bus, We Go First!”. We were all used to driving Renault 5’s and Fiesta’s. It even had aircon, AirCon!!!!
Such silly, such happy 22 year olds we were. We stopped everywhere to see if they had it stocked. We finally tracked it down at Exeter Services and we didn’t stop listening to it for a week. I still listen to it regularly.
I also remember hysterical laughter as we drove through a sleepy part of Devon (yeah, I know most of it is quite sleepy, and still is, I love it) and seeing a tourist attraction sign, you know the brown ones, advertising ‘Barometer World’, well as we dissolved in helpless laughter (Matt was driving and he had to pull over) someone quipped, “What’s next, ‘Thermometer Kingdom’…?” That was it-just paralysed. Those are the things that you find hilarious. It still makes me smile now, and I drive past that same sign, now and again.
So what a co-incidence when I came across Sian’s post for Saturday (in the same Google Reader catch-up!) where she discusses nostalgia and the photo is of cassettes of music. So well done Uncle Dave you managed to make me nostalgic simply from your post and you sent me down a nice memory lane this morning.
Were there ever any photos? I don’t think so. It seems strange compared to now when I never leave the house without a piece of equipment that will take a decent photo ready to document our lives.
There are photos from that year though, this post drove me to find them. They were of a cabin party on board for my 22nd birthday.
Firstly, Paul & I sharing a moment. So many things to tell you about this photo.
Pride Of Portsmouth 1 001
Firstly I must tell you that however suggestive this photo might be, the reality is much more innocent. For some reason Paul’s nickname on board was fatheadI cannot remember why. But I do remember it used to wind him up. One of the entertainment crew had made the balloon man of Paul for me (with a fat head balloon for his head) and he wasn’t particularly happy but we teased him to vaguely smile and he was brandishing it at me here.
Paul and I were very fond of each other and had some nice times, he was a really sweet person and treated me so well. We also shared a weird experience. Our maternal grannies died within 24 hours of each other, I clearly remember comforting him as we travelled to Le Havre with him knowing that he couldn’t get off until we had turned the ship around “turnaround” and returned to Portsmouth, I then got the call from shore-side on our return journey to Portsmouth that my Granny had had a stroke and so I went to pack to get going too. I am sure that as we were an item there was scepticism about it, not for us though, we went our separate ways at the train station and my Granny died a few hours before I got there. Paul’s Granny had died when he heard.

On one of our watch weeks (for those that don’t know, and I know KathiJo does because of Zac at least.) we worked a five week system, one week at sea, one week off, two weeks at sea, one week off. This meant that we didn’t spend much for 3 weeks out of 5. Brilliant. I paid off my student overdraft in about 10 weeks. I remember being so relieved that the £1000 was gone. I know it wouldn’t be that easy for anyone today.
It also meant that those of us on the same watch or on a ‘good’ overlay watch could arrange breaks away. We went to many places of which Newquay, Dublin and Skegness were highlights Smile A few tales to be told from each!
So back to the birthday party Smile I so wish there were straighteners in those days and my hair wasn’t so fluffy Open-mouthed smile
Pride Of Portsmouth Jen & Balloon Paul edited
This was just before the previous photo when Paul discovered me dancing with his ‘fun balloon’ doppelganger.
Pride Of Portsmouth 3 22nd birthday party
And then later on when it all got so much more drunken and crazy. How many people can you get in one tiny cabin?
22nd Birthday final
I just had to make a layout of it so I used the monthly challenge sketch, a lovely one from Sue and stretched it to a double as the photos are so big. I used my fab new eclips to cut a doily big enough and cut it in half to use on both sides. I was also really happy to use up the final scraps of the Summer Days papers that I am sure you are fed-up of seeing on my layouts. What a lovely few hours I had reminiscing.
Thanks for looking it over Smile xxx
PS I have just noticed in the post that the hexagons have slipped on the bottom left of the pic, straightened them now, wish it would be so easy to do that to my hair!


  1. Drunken hexagons to match the shenanigans!! :)

  2. Another lovely story Jen, I bet you miss those days sometimes:)

  3. Love the story Jen - its good to look back!! Now looking at those photos, I can see your dress - I had that dress!!!! x x

  4. What a fantastic nostalgia-fest! It made perfect reading for me today as it isn't too long since I stepped off the ferry and you have done a fine job of prolonging my holiday mood..

  5. That's a lovely story and happy memories (a part from the Granny's that is!)
    Our friends live across the road from Barometer World, that's where we stay when we visit them! It's a small world.
    By the way, thanks for leaving a comment on my post the other day. I also thought I had your blog in my reader - obviously I hadn't so I have put that right. I have missed visiting, but have also been a bit quiet lately and trying to catch up with other things.


Aren't you lovely, you have made me smile =)