Enjoying the blog? Support it on facebook
It had to be the long hot summer* of 1998, it is less poetic than Springsteens version but my efforts to change the lyrics and the fabric of space-time have eluded me so far. 1998 it is then, and as a family we were heading off into the wonderful world of caravanning. A sport typically reserved for the particularly content, it goes into the same bracket as bowls and knitting.
Or at least that was typically the case, until the emergence of the welfare state. This action transferred more wealth from the rich to the working classes and allowed them to holiday alongside the previously protected wealthy elite. So there they were pulling their Evernew E900s and their Regent Monarchs with their Jaguar XJ6s. Mean while we were buying their second-hand 1990 Swift Alouette Diamond Editions and cruising along at 7,000 revs in our 1.6 litre Vauxhall Cavalier Mark IIIs .
It was a true clash of the classes. Vivaldi and book reading over in one corner and trying to see how hard we could smash the Swing Ball set at each other in the opposing corner.
Before the battle though, we obviously had to get there. This usually involved an hour or two of driving – including the time needed to collect battle weapons. My weapon of choice was a cheap and not-very-sustainable plastic handheld windmill, my Dad would pick up Autotrader magazine, my brother got a Calypso and we my mum would get OK Magazine. We were stocked and ready to go.
On one such occasion I decided to test my handheld windmill… out the window of the Cavalier on a motorway going 70mph. I was surprised to find, when we made it to the campsite, that the windmill had broken what seemed like a long time ago and I had in actual fact just been waving a plastic sick out of the window for an hour.
And those 5 paragraphs exist to say that I was in happy spirits today, and feeling positive, ‘my windmill was out of the window’ shall we say*. Then out of no where, with unknown reasons at an unknown time my windmill broke – I was in a bad mood. I was in a bad mood but I didn’t even realise it for an hour or so – that is why the analogy is so good.
Unfortunately the head of the windmill was never recovered in the caravan universe, I was however, able to improve my mood in the real universe. I wasn’t sure what caused it but that was the basis of overcoming it. I left work as happy as I was going in, I repaired my figurative windmill and lived to spin another day.
*It was the North of England, it was in all likelihood not long and certainly not hot.
*A common phrase.