Opinion: My one and only day out with parent was ace!


I was once given a shilling from the headmistress of my primary school, a lot of money in the fifties.

It was for 100% attendance during the school year. I still regard it as one of my greatest achievements.

I mention this because lately there has been much debate about parents taking their children out of school for a holiday.

These children must be very tolerant and clever, I would have hated it.

All that catching up to do, missing friends and all the activities they’d been up to.

I tried to remember how many times I’d been on holiday with my parents and it came to zero.

We just never did, mainly because we were always hard up and also because my parents were always working. I never felt I’d missed out on anything.

There were so many things to do. Like, as cowboys getting a posse together, seeking out and shooting marauding Indians, as fighter pilots bombing the Germans from our Spitfires, or pirates plundering sailing ships on the high seas.

These imaginary adventures and violence would be regarded as deeply disturbing today and we would probably be sent to a therapist to ascertain whether we were turning into psychopaths.

Oh, and did I mention chopping heads off our enemies? ( I loved Tudor history).

Odd days out as a family never materialised either- except for one.

Dad was a huge cricket fan and on a rare Saturday off, he decided to watch Yorkshire play in Scarborough and take me along.

Being the youngest of three girls and a bit of a tomboy I suppose I was the nearest thing to a son.

Anyway I was thrilled, not only to be out with Dad, but also because Freddie Trueman was playing.

I’d heard of him, he was a celebrity in the cricketing world, and I thought it very exciting to see someone famous. Wearing shorts and a T- shirt, Dad and I set off on a scorching day, with no drinks, sunscreen or hats.

It wasn’t long before my head, arms and legs began to burn.

Dad, puffing away on his cigarettes, totally absorbed in the match never noticed any of this discomfort. It seemed like a lifetime before Freddie came out to bat.

With his usual flair he slogged two sixes, three fours, a couple of runs then he was out, I was so disappointed.

Eventually we went for tea in a restaurant. I’d never been in one before, all the tables had crisp white tablecloths, and glistening knives and forks, it was very posh.

We had fish and chips, bread and butter and tea – yum. Later we caught the bus home, weary but happy as Yorkshire had won.

That was my one and only day out with a parent – a treasured memory, even though I arrived home looking like a lobster, with mother reaching for the sunburn lotion as I walked through the door.