Thursday, September 01, 2005

Summer memories

I stoleded this pic from someone else's website - sorry dude!  But I didn't have my own one of J-Bay
This one is for Undr. As living proof that nagging DOES work, I am finally posting my answer to one of his assignments on my own blog.

So here is my most memorable summer story.

OK first I have to remind myself that my mother reads this blog so it has to be a reasonably wholesome story because, you know, my mom still believes I am and always have been an innocent angel. My sisters were the naughty ones, not me.
[Hi Ma!]

As summers go I suppose those that stand out most were the ones we spent caravanning in Jeffreys Bay when I was a teenager, in the latter half of the 1980's. We'd always go around the same time - the first couple of weeks in January - Mom and us 3 girls in our little caravan, and Granny & Grandpa in their enormous one. They were older so deserved a bigger one, I guess. It was really fancy (so I thought) cos it even had it's own toilet inside, although we were never allowed to use it.
That's what the ablution blocks in the caravan park are for. Back then we didn't mind that they were always damp and a little smelly, and somehow it didn't matter that we had to brush our teeth in the mornings along with dozens of other campers.

We weren't the only regulars though. There were about 4 or 5 other families who made that their annual holiday too - people who lived and worked in Port Elizabeth, same as us, but who we only ever saw during our holidays in J-Bay, when we became the best of friends. There were dozens of us teenagers around and, like, it was J-Bay in the 80's man! No crime or bad stuff to worry about, so we had the freedom to pretty much roam around and do as we pleased.

For those of you heathens out there who aren't familiar with J-Bay, it is one of the foremost surfing spots on the planet. Surfers come from far and wide to ride the waves at "Supertubes".

Back in the 80's it was still really small - more like a village than a town - but during the summer months it would overflow with holiday-makers enjoying the sandy beaches and sunshine. And the wind. It gets quite windy there sometimes, if memory serves (which it doesn't always, but never mind that now)... but I guess that's what makes the waves so good. I remember the excitement amongst the guys when the wind changed direction - they'd suddenly desert us and take to the water on their boards, sitting like oversized ducks (I almost typed 'dicks' there - Freudian perhaps?) on the water, waiting for the perfect wave, while us beach-babes would lie on the beach talking... mostly about the guys in the water, of course... and spying out the, er, talent.

But the evenings are what I remember most. We'd go to a place called "Tubes" which is now a restaurant (if it's still there, mind you) but back then it was a little shop with a few basic tables and chairs, and a big room off to one side that contained a pool table, a foosball table and a jukebox that played mostly Brian Adams (Cuts like a knife) and Madonna (Holiday) all night. There must've been about 20 of us that used to congregate there most evenings, and we had a ball!

When we didn't go to Tubes, we'd have a 'beach braai' ('braai' = BBQ in SA) although I don't recall us actually having any food at these occasions. We'd trundle over the sand dunes from the caravan park and find a good, sheltered spot on the warm sand. The guys would go off hunting firewood, of which there was plenty because the bushes that grow on the sand dunes there get really dry in the hot South African summer, and they'd then pile these things as high as they could - higher than head-height - and set flame to the bottom branches and wait for it to go Whoof!
Which it would do (I'd always stand well back cos actually I'm terrified of fire for some reason) and then it would take the rest of the night to burn down, so we'd sit late into the night under the starry sky, with warm winds blowing, listening to the surf pounding onto the beach, and occasionally music if someone remembered to bring a radio (no CD's in those days) and just do what teenagers do.
Oh you know... do I have to spell it out (remember, my MOM reads this!) ?
Oh alright then... we'd talk, and laugh, and someone would have some beers that we'd share (sorry Ma!) and sometimes if we'd paired up there would be a certain amount of snogging... although I was what you might call a 'late bloomer', what with my braces and acne and frizzy hair and stick-legs, so I can't say I recall doing too much of the snogging myself.
At least not in the early years, hehe!

So that's it: my most memorable summer story. No one particular incident - although there were a few there - but those are probably some of the happiest memories I have.

Oh, sorry
Undr, were you looking for something to match your own experience (it had to do with Mickey Mouse and a pair of tight yellow shorts) ?

Well then, let me think...
Ah, got it! It has to be the time when I was about 12, when me and a friend of mine decided to suntan in the nude for the first time, and my backside got SOOOO burnt it felt like it was on fire, and then we had to go on stage in a play in front of the whole school, and... nope, that's not it.

Here's one that might fit the bill... and also really sums me up well:
Picture it: Sunny day, me in my early teens with my best friend, meeting up with some really cool boys we knew. They had a skateboard. We're standing in the road (quiet neighbourhood, don't panic), I want to look cool too so I'm standing on the skateboard even though I've never done so before in my life. I mean, just standing. Suddenly the thing takes on a life of its own and the obvious happens - gravity kicks in. And I land in the middle of the road on my head, SMACK! I also hit my elbow on the tar, and banged my hip, but only had 2 hands to hold 3 very sore places, so there's me, lying in the road, skateboard disappeared into the bushes, moaning, "Ooh, someone hold my head, I don't have enough hands!"
Not the coolest sight or best way to impress the lads.

Well, that's one of them anyway. One day I'll devote an entire post to my various self-inflicted injuries, but I think that's enough for one day.


Underachiever said...


Nagging? Huh? That's why woman do this, it actually works.

Awesome post. thank you for your patronage.



LiVEwiRe said...

Ok... I think perhaps I might be 'snogless' as I do not know what 'snogging' is. Although I will give myself a pat on the back as I knew what a braai was! =) I figure eventually I'll learn so much (vocabulary-wise) that one day I can visit SA and be somewhat fluent. Of course I'll still be grunting phrases like "Ooh, someone hold my head, I don't have enough hands!"... ha - you cracked me up! Seriously, that sounds just like me! =) I really enjoyed this post and the step back in time.

Terri said...

Undr: I know. I'm a woman. And it's my pleasure.
LiVEwiRe: 'Snogging' is kissing, or 'making out' (but no heavy petting). A.k.a. French kissing (dunno why), graunching (that was a favourite with us a teens), tonsil-tennis or 'getting off' (although this last has tended to take on other meanings since we got older).
I'm glad u enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

BUDDESS said...

You will never seize to amaze me. We also did the camping thing, but never got as far as JBay. Do you remember Gamtoos River? - we used to do our snogging there!!! You brought back so many beautiful memories. Thank you for writing this one!!!!

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

I'll trade you a pic of my tattoo for one of your sunburnt pics... hahaha.
Your post brings back many memories...
We always camped out in Mosselbay for the summer holidays. Great times. We used to "vry" on the beach and slept in sleeping bags with our "cherries". No funny business back then... hehe.
Oh man... I wanna go back in time.

kyknoord said...

Beer and snogging? You were a regular rebellious tearaway, weren't you? My friends never did anything like that when we were teens.

Bosbefok said...

Those were the good old days.... although my memories tended to have a LOT more beer in them interdispersed with Vin CoCo or some cheap suntan smelling liquor.... Please dont encourage her to publish the self inflicted injury list... could slow the whole internet down :-)

Terri said...

Buddess: I got lost trying to find Gamtoos once & ended up in a quarry. I still swear I was given bad directions!
Chitty: If only we knew then what we know now, eh ;-)
KN: Me, a rebel? Nooit! b.t.w. I notice you say "my friends" and not "I"... I'm wise to your wily ways, hehe!
Bosbefok: OMG I'd forgotten all about the Vincoco... and the Malibu & the Coco Rico, LOL!
PS I feel I owe an injury post to "CCBThud" just so he knows he's not the only klutz around.

DelBoy said...

Mmmmmmmmm, J-Bay! Do I miss the 'old' J-Bay! Just like I miss the 'old' Plett and 'old' Knysna before the 'Vaalies' took over and turned them all into money-hungry-tourist-trap-twenty-B&B-
per-square-kilometre places!

Plett was always my favourite, especially as a late teen when we used to hang out at Cave Rock (disco) or Formosa Inn (club, bar, pool tables, outdoor bar with pool). So many memories, so little time...