Childhood holidays were spent on an unexotic caravan site, but to the girl, it was paradise.
At the end of a bumpy road, with puddles like giant's footprints, the tiny van
was a door to a simple world. No electricity, gas lighting, an outside larder
and communal tap.
Oak apples bounced off the roof, molehills appeared overnight and crickets
chirped on warm evenings.
She picked blackberries, read comics and swam. On wet days, the rain hammered
down and ran like tears down the windows. After a storm, she'd go beachcombing,
discovering cuttlefish, driftwood and bottles from faraway places. Ships glided
by, their horns signalling their farewells as they sailed to somewhere warmer
and more exciting.
Summers came and went. The caravan was sold and the girl grew up and travelled
the world. Fourty years later, washed up and cashed up, she came back to the
and bought the biggest van with the best view.
She found the oak apple tree where the old van used to be, the blackberry
bushes and the giant's footprints. But where was the girl, full of hopes and
dreams, looking forward
to a lifetime of adventure. She was nowhere to be seen.