A fine weekend in the country

Though I say it myself my memory is quite good, short-term and long-term.

The long-term memory, in particular, is normally excellent, even down to what I wore on a particular day.

There is one foggy area, however, and that deals with the weekend from Friday, 6 October, 1972, up to 8.30am on Monday, 9 0ctober, 1972.

I do know that at lunchtime on the Friday my colleagues at the Rhyl Journal took me to the nearby White Swan (affectionately known as The Dirty Duck) for a farewell drink.

The White Swan in Rhyl – a retreat for journalists

That evening was spent at the Rhyl Yacht Club where I had spent some happy times during the 60s and early 70s.

On the Saturday morning I spent time with friends and family before setting off for adventures new with my car packed full of cases, bedding and personal items.

This is where part of the fogginess occurs.

Over the decades I have had many cars – Morris Minor, Austin Cambridge, at least one Toyota, a Datsun, Volvos, couple of Meganes, even a Rover and a Chevrolet – but I cannot for the life of me remember the car which carried me off to a new life.

All I can remember is that it was a red hatchback with decent heating and a radio cassette player.

I took a cross country course towards Essex, intending to take my time and enjoy the drive.

I stopped overnight at a village pub (no point arriving on Saturday if the caravan wasn’t available), and to this day still cannot remember its name or the name of the village.

I was up with the lark after a refreshing night’s sleep and soon got back on the road for the final leg of my journey to a new life.

Even in October Burnham-on-Crouch was a pretty place and I soon found the home of the caravan and cottage owner.

The caravan was on a piece of land with three others next to the cottage which I would move into two weeks later.

It was better than the basic 1950s caravan I had expected although not quite up to the mark of a mobile home. The stove was on bottled gas and the caravan had been linked to the electricity. Quite cosy all round.

It didn’t take long to settle in, I didn’t have much with me and I intended going home for Christmas when I could fetch more stuff.

I popped into the local pub and had a traditional Sunday roast before heading back to the caravan for a nap.

Next morning I treated myself to a hearty breakfast and then headed for Basildon.

My new life had begun.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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