Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Memories - Oasis and ice cream drinks...

Oh, something was needed to kickstart a slacker-blogger out of inertia. Thank goodness for Sticky Fingers' weekly photo Gallery from the lovely Tara. It's now Week 23 and the theme for this week is A Memory. Beautiful. So simple and yet so challenging. I've had a difficult couple of months and still trying to find my feet again, but things seem to be on the up. I was driving home from work on Monday and thinking about my poor barren blog when the light went on and my 'memory' was there. I couldn't wait to get back home and post - it's been weeks since I felt like that.

So - the memory. The photo is of (from left to right) Track, me, Wee and M, on 4 August 1996, up at Loch Lomond watching Oasis in concert. The photo is old and a bit blurry as I was holding the camera and M looks a bit distracted, but the joy of that weekend all floods back for me when I see it.

A wonderful two days, filled with friendship, drinking (but not too much as poor Wee was recovering from salmonella) and the joy of seeing Oasis live and lairy and full of Mancunian swagger. We danced and sang ourselves hoarse, I swooned at Liam's ape-like charms and we marvelled at the amazing fireworks at the end of the concert. Sod Knebworth - this was where it was at...

But the trip up to Scotland wasn't just about the Oasis concert, although that was the main reason for going. My mum's side of the family used to live not far away from Loch Lomond up in Gourock and I'd spent happy summer holidays up there staying with the family at my great-grandad's house.

They were such happy holidays. Great Grandad was gruff and old, funny and sarcastic and often a bit scary, but how I loved visiting him and playing in his garden where the wild raspberrries grew.  The last time we were leaving after another holiday, I remember waving goodbye to him through the car back window and suddenly my gran was crying and saying "I'll not see my dad again" and I felt a grip of terror. Such a vivid memory - it is as clear as a bell. She was right too - he died in July 1981.

So, a pilgrimage to Gourock seemed like the right thing to do whilst we were up there in 1996 and so on the Saturday before the concert, M & I drove through Port Glasgow, through Greenock and along to Gourock, following the River Clyde all the way.

Memory - such a powerful thing. In all my life I have never felt the rush of buried memories returning like I did as we drove through the main road through Gourock. It had been 16 years since I'd been there and the torrent of emotion and remembrance took my breath away. It was visceral and strange, but somehow exhilarating at the same time. I have never experienced anything remotely like it since.

Mum and Dad used to take me and my little sister for ice cream drinks when we were up visiting Great Grandad in the summer. I never had such luxurious delights at home and the glamour and magical taste of fizzy lemonade mixed with vanilla ice cream was something to be savoured (come on, it was the late seventies - times were hard!).

So when M and I were in Skipton with O last week on our wet caravan week in the Dales, I was delighted to see that the cafe we had picked for much needed refreshments served ice cream sodas. Hurray - ice cream drinks! It was O's first time.

The look on his face in this picture is priceless and I can feel the passing down of a special tradition has begun. The memory of the fabulous ice cream drink of my childhood is something shared and special and I can confirm that the Skipton 2010 is just as good as the Gourock 1979 vintage...


  1. Writing about a wet Skipton brings memories out for me! As for ice cream in fizzy pop - you may have introduced me to a taste sensation...
    Great pics.

  2. Passing on traditions and seeing children love them as much as us is a fab part of being a parent isn't it

  3. Ah, my best friend went to Oasis at Lock Lomond. Can't remember why I didn't go with her to be honest! My "live" memory of them, was turning down tickets to see them at Wolverhampton Civic Hall as we could only get ones that included coach travel, which we didn't need. They'll play there again soon, we thought. No, they'd never play anywhere that small again. Never mind!

  4. Loved this. Loved hearing about your Great Granddad. That paragraph were you describe the torrent of emotions upon returning that was visceral and strange was very powerful. I've only felt like that about a handful of places in my life but it knocks you down doesn't it?

    And ice cream in fizzy pop - that brings back memories.

  5. What fabby pictures and great memories x

  6. Icecream floats are wonderful. My mum takes the boys to the seaside cafe that we used to visit as a child, it is where they had their first taste of ice cream and I had mine too. They now both adore Granny floats and they get monkey blood on their icecream too - rasberry sauce!

  7. oh! Ice cream floats - normally with Coke in our house... what a memory in itself! (Proust had madeleines - we children of the 70s have Coke floats....!)

  8. Cola floats - mm me to Planb, it is an art to get the icecream in without it erupting all over the table!

    Your concert picture looks brilliant, great photo's are made when people really want to be together somewhere :-D

  9. What great pictures and you describe your memories so well xx

  10. Fabulous memory!! I love the photos and the link between past and now. I love the idea of the beginning of a tradition...! My favourite thing from the States is a Root Beer Float. Practically grew up on them. Mmmmmm!

  11. Love ice cream floats. I love starting new "traditions" with my kids. :)

  12. blogupnorth - the taste sensation is delightful. Cheered up soggy Skipton no end!

    Elaine - it's lovely passing stuff down. Especially tasty stuff like ice cream drinks.

    Parklover - how gutting that you missed Oasis in a small venue. I bet they were fab back then. I always wish I'd at the Duchess in Leeds when approx two people were watching. But they were great at Loch Lomond.

    Deerbaby - thank you. Coming from you, those words mean so much. It was an amazing feeling when all those memories tumbled back. Says so much about how we remember and what is held in the brain. x

    New Mummy - thank you! The pic of O with his ice cream drink is a really happy one. I love it.

    Mum@MadHouse - monkey blood - that is inspired and horrid. Just right for little boys. I love that your boys had ice cream for the first time at the same place as you. That is truly special.

    Planb - I know! That and brown flares. Us 70s kids had it good.

    Kailexness - Concert was amazing and we had the best time together. One of many happy times with good mates.

    andthenallithoughtaboutwasyou - thank you. I am really pleased you enjoyed it and your comment has made me smile.

    Michelloui - thank you. Maybe you could start a root beer float tradition? The best traditions always taste good...

    kateab - it is so good to pass stuff on, isn't it? Like a thread running through the generations, no matter how small or semmingly insignificant.