I wanted to share this picture with you today. No special reason, I’m just in one of those moods I guess!


This is a picture of me (oh boy, I don’t remember being that skinny!) and my Dad. We are stood in the gardens of Osborne House, which was the residence built on the Isle of Wight by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria and the children to live in when she wasn’t in London.

We went on holiday here in the summer of 1983/4 (my memory is terrible) and we drove from Manchester to the Isle of Wight in a transit van with my parent’s friends Frances and Dave and their 3 kids. You can imagine the journey – 6 kids and 2 adults in the back of the van with my Dad driving and Dave in the front. It wasn’t spectacularly comfortable but we got there in one piece. This was the early 80’s don’t forget when things like seat belt laws were brand new for cars and didn’t exist at all for vans and things. The modern day elf and safety experts would go mad if they could see us now!!

Anyway, the holiday was special for lots of reasons and the time we spent there was magical. We visited The Needles and saw the lighthouse, we went to Blackgang Chine with the dinosaurs and the coloured sands and we toured all over the countryside in that red transit van. We played in the sea and in the adventure park on the campsite we were on and we had a cracking time in the arcades and the clubhouse in the evenings. It was BRILLIANT!

This photo marks a moment in time for me. It was the last time we went on holiday as a family and it was the first time I felt I was becoming on adult terms with my parents. In the picture we both look miserable, but we were pulling our faces on purpose. It was one of those Dad-Daughter things! Dad shaved that moustache off a couple of years after this and it took about 15 years off him. He looks like Tom Selleck here…tsk Dad!

Looking at it now armed with nearly 30 years of hindsight, you can see how close we were then as we still are now. Our bodies are angled together and we are subconsciously mirroring each other’s pose. We still have that sort of connection – my Dad knows when things aren’t right and I don’t usually have to say much for him to understand what’s what with me.

We keep saying we’ll go back one day. I hope so. It will be nice to revisit the island and to take it all in with adult eyes. It would be great to share the experience with Mum and Dad as well. I just have to convince my Dad to tow the caravan all that way…. He refuses to drive to Cornwall because it’s “too far”, so the Isle of Wight may just have to be on the dream list for a while longer until we can convince him otherwise.



8 thoughts on “Memories”

  1. I understand your feeling of “Was I ever that skinny?” because at that age we do not feel it or appreciate it. Going to the Isle of Wight to see Osborne House is on my U.K. travel wish list. Thanks for sharing the photo & your memories. I’d say looking at it that your dad gave you nice long legs. It is wonderful to know that the two of you still have a special connection. I hope you get to make that trip together.


  2. Thanks for sharing this memory with us. It’s a wonder any of us survived without all the safety equipment available today! I know it was the grace of God that kept our daughter alive in those days before we got a child safety seat.


    1. I know what you mean Patti. I shuddered when I wrote that last night about being in the back of the van without seats OR belts, but I’m glad that we do have those laws nowadays. Not that we thought anything was dodgy back then, it was just the way it was.


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