Europe · Travel

Small Beginnings

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I would love to say that my travel career began young, as I was whisked around the world on a series of crazy adventures, but that is someone else’s story. My small beginnings were a teeny tiny con.

Small Beginnings – France

My brothers were all taken to France when I was about 4 years old and I was furious at being left out. My Dad is cheeky sod. He decided to convince me I too was off on a French jaunt. The con artist! We hopped on a boat that headed across a river somewhere in the UK (Devon somewhere I think). He told me we were crossing the Channel. When we landed in “France” and made our way to very Parisian cafe, Dad struck lucky. Our waitress spoke French with the family and I ordered some clotted cream ice cream (in French, I’ll have you know). I was completely suckered in and extremely proud that my brilliance with languages allowed me to read the menu and signs in fluent French.

Read about our real travels in France

Rosie as a toddler and her dad sitting at a table
My devious Daddy and I
Rosie as a toddler, wearing a red coat and reins, held up by her dad, to a wooden boat wheel

Small Beginnings – The Holiday Park

My next big trip took me to a holiday park here in the UK. Knowing my Mum now, I am amazed we ever ended up in a caravan. The suggestion of a return trip would be met with a derisive snort and a flash of her India itinerary. Oh how easily we become travel snobs…….it must be hereditary.

I don’t have a huge collection of memories from this holiday, I think I was 5 or so, but a few have stuck with me.
– Eating sweet, vividly coloured puffs of rice called Rainbow Drops. I ate them in the rain and marvelled at the food colourings (usually off-limits) dribbling down my fingers.
– Burying my brother neck-deep in the sand at the beach and digging a moat around him in the hopes he would be stuck there forever. This was shortly followed by the immense panic he burst forth with when the sea began to fill up said moat.

Rosie as a girl held by her step dad, next to her brother at the coast

Read about our other travels around the UK

– Singing my heart out at the “Fun Factory” kids club, where I introduced myself on alternate days as Rosie or Amy Harper. Amy was my best friend at the time. My poor Step-Dad was utterly confused when the Fun Factory entertainer told him how confident and charming Amy was. He was picking up his little Rosie.

At the age of six I was finally spirited away on an exotic holiday to the Greek island of Crete. Read on to hear all about it…Read on to hear all about it…

What do you remember about your first holidays? I’d love to hear your small beginnings.

Rosie x

Rosie as a girl held by her step dad, next to her brother at the coast. Overlaid, white text reads 'Small Beginnings'
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19 thoughts on “Small Beginnings

  1. We haven’t changed a bit! Just both become a bit wiser 🙂

  2. Harri Clarke says:

    I love these old photos of you guys and your writing is beautiful as always! 😍

  3. Jonathan Dutton (aka wicked stepfather) says:

    Hi Rosie, Have you ever wondered how come we went to a holiday camp? It was like this. Chris and I had just started “courting”, and I suggested going on holiday together. Chris said “James and Rosie would love to go to a holiday camp….” she must have then been distracted. The next time I saw her, I told her I’d booked a holiday camp in Cornwall, and so she told me she’d forgotten to add “…but I’d hate it.” We went. It had its ups and downs. I think our return trip was funny: your mum and James were delegated to complete the satisfaction survey for the camp. The ratings were: “as expected”, “better than expected” and “worse than expected”. Both James and Chris agreed that everything has been “as expected” – but by that they meant absolutely opposite things.

    I look forward to your take on our trip to Dieppe the following year. Particularly the journey. “Pas Dieppe, then.”

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