When I was a child, my parents couldn’t afford to take us on holiday. The closest we got to a summer holiday was watching Cliff Richard on his double decker bus at the cinema or a day trip on a coach to the seaside with my nan. However, when I was nine or ten, the school offered a five-day holiday on the Isle of Wight (dubbed the Izzle of Wiggot by our teacher), off the south coast of England. When Mum and Dad said they couldn’t afford it, my grandparents came to the rescue and paid in weekly instalments.
It was an educational trip, but for me it was a big adventure. We got a coach to Portsmouth, where we visited Nelson’s ship, the HMS Victory, and then got on a ferry. We stayed in a bed and breakfast that catered for school groups. I shared a room with three other girls and we slept two to a bed. I remember lining up for a bath and climbing into a huge old-fashioned tub with a couple of inches of water that another child had already bathed in!
I loved visiting Carisbrooke Castle, Shanklin Chine, St Catherine’s Lighthouse, and The Needles rocks and coloured sands of Alum Bay. We were amazed by Osborne House, the favourite home of Queen Victoria, where we saw a two-headed lamb (a stuffed one) in a small museum in the Swiss cottage, as well as toys that belonged to the royal children. There were fun and games too. We had races on the beach every day and sing-songs in the evenings. The only problem was, coming from London, I had never had so much fresh sea air and lost my voice.
croaking gulls circle
seaweed wafts a pungent whiff
breathing out summer
Kim M. Russell, 2017
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Monday Haibun: What Did You Do?
Toni’s our host once again on the Haibun Trail. She says her prompt today will hopefully make us smile and take us back to middle or high school, when teachers always gave you the assignment “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”. Toni would like us to write a classic haibun in our own words or as if we were children or high school or college students. We can even write about a vacation we took years ago. Images found on isleofwightattractions.co.uk.