Hang sangiches and sand: bring back traditional Irish summer holidays
Whether it was doing the Macarena in Mosney, a week's worth of water sliding in Trabolgan, the hurdy-gurdies in Bundoran, or a caravan in Lahinch... Let's bring back the traditional (crap) Irish summer holiday.
Two weeks on the Costa Blanca? Five star camping resorts with water skiing in the Dordogne? Sure Irish kids today don't even know they were born.
Here's 10 miserable-yet-fantastic fixtures of Irish holidays that modern children are totally missing out on:
1. Loading up the car
All well and good if you were fancy and had a roof box, otherwise packing up the car meant having your face squashed up against the car window (for a three hour drive) by the entire contents of the house.
2. Fights in the car
Get your leg off me. She touched me first. Mammmmmm he's doing it again. Hours of claustrophobic car-sick hell would invariably end with your Da threatening to pull the car over and roaring that he'd leave you all in a random field.
3. Queuing for the ferry
The initial excitement of waiting to get the car ferry from Cahersiveen to Valentia Island was a short-lived novelty. Queuing for a 'real' ferry to Wales or the Isle of Man meant breathing in noxious petrol fumes for hours while passing the time 'playing' spot the country bumper sticker. Grim.
Anyone who has ever slept in a caravan bunk bed is identifiable by a permanent dent in the top of their skull. There was no point in complaining to your mother who insisted that the 'mobile home' was fierce roomy altogether.
5. The picnic cool-box
Almost as much time was spent packing the cool-box as loading up the car. Mr Freeze pops that would saw the mouth off you, Capri Suns, and hang sangiches on batch that ended up with half the beach in them no matter how careful you were.
6. Digging a massive hole in the sand
Six or seven hours could be happily passed digging a massive hole in the sand to bury the youngest sibling in. They probably wouldn't get back out of it until they cried hysterically and when they eventually escaped they were destroyed by insect bites. Oh, how our parents laughed.
7. The pointless windbreaker
The American hurricane belt has nothing on Curracloe beach in August. Nothing. The windbreaker that your father spent about an hour putting up was halfway down the strand within minutes of the first gust. Everyone into the brace position!
8. Wet swimming togs
Your swimming togs were never dry for the next day, leaving you as cold as your mother's stare when you poured the sand out of your shoes in the car.
9. Basic games that went on for hours
While your parents played bridge, the real competition was happening elsewhere. Vicious games of go fish, uno, snap, monopoly, and table tennis only ever ended in cross words and mental exhaustion.
10. Coin pushers in the arcade
We hazard a guess that hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds worth of coppers were spent in the name of childhood gambling. Obviously a hefty price that our parents were willing to pay for some much needed peace and quiet.