Sounds of summer

Ahhhh….summer holidays. I’ve forgotten what day it is, there are naps taken of an afternoon, I seem to be rolling beers each day around 1pm, the kid’s hair hasn’t been brushed in a week and if I never see another piece of leg ham again it will be all too soon.

A week or so ago now we were lucky enough to spend a few days up at the beach side town where we took ALL of our summer holidays as a kid. Lucky for me, this is also where my Dad now lives and where my dear friend Mrs Woog has recently purchased a little house. HANDY!

Each year we would rent a different house from the town – sometimes close to the water, sometimes a few streets back, but always at the same beach. I still get that excited feeling today when we pass up around the headland and into the town that I got as a little girl. Knowing that we had a few weeks of doing something completely different to our normal life – a relaxed Mum and Dad, later nights, whole days at the beach, prawn sandwiches and board games. Knowing we had a few weeks ahead of us my Dad would make sure that NOTHING was forgotten. And I mean NOTHING. The falcon station wagon would be chocker a block full of stuff. The rented houses never had much so we’d need things like knives and kitchen utensils, we’d need a stereo so Dire Straits could be pumped out into the warm evening, we’d need a TV of course, so we could watch the cricket and the Australian Open and then of course beach chairs and umbrellas, towels, new Christmas presents and clothes. There would be sporting equipment, bikes of course, there would be food staples from the pantry, there would be beer and wine, yes, plenty of that. The kids would then be wedged in amongst all that stuff and if you could only look ahead of you 10cm for the couple of hours trip up there, well then you sucked it up and dealt with it, knowing that it would be worth every uncomfortable minute.

And then there are the soundtracks that went along with each holiday. One year the Cocktail sound track was the boss. Kokomo. Another year was Dire Straits Money for Nothing. Another Womack & Womack Teardrops – anytime I hear one of those tracks I am transported back through time to a few days in a year that we were at the beach.

My happiest childhood memories are from those holidays and those weeks. Learning to ride my bike, getting dumped for the first time, eating endless bowls of nutri grain, fish and chips on the beach, listening to my parents drink and laugh into the night, riding my bike myself down to the corner shop for lollies, games of Uno and boardgames that lasted for days. Simple pleasures that last a lifetime, that we are now trying to make a tradition for our own family.

How did you spend your holidays as a kid? Camping? Holiday house? Europe? And what song reminds you of a particular summer holiday?


  1. Funny you should mention summer holiday soundtracks. This morning, after dealing with tantrums, Lego being thrown, and trying to get kids in the car to make it to swimming lessons on time, I chucked on Dire Straits, cranked up the volume & disappeared to my happy place for the 10 minute drive, and felt much better.
    We are of the same generation, so I know you will appreciate me adding Madonna’s “papa don’t preach” to the summer anthem list…I can smell the sea at Narooma just thinking about it…

  2. We didn’t really have many holiday trips growing up as my mum gets panicky when she knows there’s a long drive ahead of her.
    My dad bought me a tent one Christmas and set it up in the backyard and we would have pretend camping trips 🙂

  3. Nelson Bay, Shoal bay, Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour. A week or two depending on Mum’s finances that year. I remember one year we had just one present for Christmas so we could still afford to go. It was always just lovely. Packing and driving and then the change of scenery and new surroundings and often a pool and the beach so close. Water slides and mini putt. Memories indeed! I can’t remember the tunes sadly….although that one present was a casette player and I think I got the Nolan Sisters on casette along with it so that must of been…..special….special indeed;).

  4. I have to say ditto to it all! We had the same holidays growing up and now my sister and I are continuing the tradition with our own families. This year was our first holiday at the beach as parents. I look forward to my son enjoying long summer holidays spent at the beach. Like you say, long days at the beach and late nights with ham and eggs for breaky, ham sandwiches for lunch and BBQ for dinner. We’ve just come home from our holiday. Summer is my favourite time of year.

  5. Loved this post.

    My summer holidays have always revolved around the beach and getting a tan! And reading like a demon…

    I have the sun damage to prove it.

    As we drove le child and his sisters to their summer holidays at the beach I was conscious that I am creating memories for them. I want them to remember the beach, swimming, sand castles and Happy Times (which is also coincidentally the FF family toast of choice).

    My garden is a Mess. I know. Sad. xx

    • Sorry about the garden….I am ready to focus on mine when I get back…I have been fretting about it in this heat. YES! The reading. So much reading. My passion for a Jackie Collins began at one holiday house rental I think…

  6. When I was growing up we packed up and headed off the the Gold Coast in our packed to it’s brim Jackaroo. We were taking the same route my Dad took when he was a kid and our soundtrack was my Dad belting out “On the holiday road…” as we set off on our journey. We used to whine and carry on but it really would not have been holidays without him doing it. Good times.

  7. We used to do a variety of things in our summer hols, for years the week before Christmas would be camping down the coast, then a week in January would be spend at “our” (rented, with another family with 4 kids as well) beach house, right on the beach at Bundeena. Yes, out the door, across the lawn and On The Beach!! The summer soundtracks came in at a later date for me – more dancefloor related! No europe for us as kids – and now my English husband cannot abide the idea of going there in our Summer time. Glad you had a great time up the coast! Yamba has become “our” beachside town of choice, a long haul but worth it!

  8. Your summer holiday sounds wonderful now and then. We were the same. Always the same beach at the same time of year with the sound of the rolling surf, the smell of layers of sunscreen and that gritty feeling of sand between the sheets at night. I remember excitedly getting given my whopping pocket money of about $2.50 and walking to the nearest corner store to get my stash of lollies in the good old days when they were like 5c for 10: milk bottles, raspberries, snakes, wizzfizz, chocolate buttons, sherbets, and the highlight was a can of raspberry coke!(We were never aloud our own can of soft drink except on holidays.) Sigh – they were good times. Song or theme really was always:”Come on Aussie come on”. The cricket was always on the box and that dial was never changed.

  9. Yes! Cocktail. We alternated that with the Big Chill soundtrack.

    And there was the one five hour car trip through the snow to get to the mountain when my sister and I made my mother listen to The Monkees on repeat.
    That tape mysteriously disappeared before we drove home.

    • We had a driving holiday up to Brisbane & Surfers for World Expo 88 and The big Chill was THE soundtrack to that trip. That and Good Morning Vietnam. Great memories!

  10. We now live where we usedto holiday as kids Maroochydore Sunshine Coast, I actually took the girls to the beach today and showed them the little holiday shacks some of which are still there that we stayed in. My mum and dad were clever enough to plan retirement here and I winged home from London to call this place home from Brisbane for the last 24 years ! We swam today on my dad’s favourite break at Cotton Tree where he swam every morning at 6 am until he passed away 9 years ago. Its a special place ever changing but somethings and the memories like i told my girls are the best to hang onto. Happy Holiday

  11. I love how music can take us back to good times. The Dirty Dancing soundtrack takes me back to one of my best summer holidays. We didn’t actually go anywhere but my cousins from Sydney came down for two weeks, being an only child this was just awesome. We spent every day in the pool, under the sprinkler, watching the cricket, bushwalking, and dancing to the whole soundtrack.

  12. Love it lady, sounds like perfect childhood memories to me. Dire Straits is a classic sound of yesteryear for me also. Sadly, I was a little deprived in the Summer holiday department as a kid, we never went away as Dad was always working.

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