The candy floss man can

Carrying on with my holiday theme, and before we all go back to our chimney sweeping jobs in September, I’ve been reminded of the singularly unhealthy foods we’d have all eaten on holiday.

I think, looking back, that the stall holders must have been in league with (in my experience) all south London dentists.  

I’m talking initially about ‘rock’.   

Only a struggling dentist could have thought this confection up.   A mint-flavoured sweet and 99% guaranteed to break a tooth or at least loosen a filling.  The type I would buy, if you cut it two, would have ‘root canal treatment’ running through the middle.

Also, candy floss – more addictive than crack cocaine, but slightly more sticky and certainly enough ingredients to make you even more susceptible to gingivitis.  The best bit for me was watching being made – a bit like seeing how a spider spins its web using a time-lapse camera.  Actually, I lied, the best bit was eating it and still having most of it round your face several hours later.

But the one thing we eat in the open, only during our holidays, is fish and chips.  But if you’d have known the seagulls were going to have such an absence of fear, you’d have bought two portions!

So, tooth decay, diabetes and high cholesterol – highlights from summer holidays gone by – and that’s before you’ve bought the mandatory postcards.  

Are we nearly at the pub which sells Double Diamond yet? 

Pier group pressure

I’ve been lucky and for many years I’ve holidayed abroad, the past few years, however, have been spent in this country.

It was 1968, as an eleven-year-old, when I travelled abroad for the first time, taking that famous 18th European travellers’journey from Balham to the Balearics.  

But since the last time I was in the UK for a holiday, I noticed many of the things were no longer there.

Try as I might, I could not find a single knobbly knee, glamourous grandad or best pub singer competition to enter (I was never going try out in a beauty contest – I haven’t got the legs).

Many of the piers, in existence in the early ‘60s, had either caught fire, hit by the storm in 1987 or had sunk.

There were restrictions should have wanted to see an “end of the pier” show – many of the venues required you to bring either your own snorkel, wind-cheater or extinguisher.  And if you have a full deep-sea diver’s kit on, then it really would be a slow stroll down the promenade.

This year, the only show on offer was “The Little Mermaid”, but you had to produce a swimming certificate to gain entrance. It was worth it, as Jacques Cousteau was playing Ariel. Red Adair was the prompt.

I was quite skint but fruitlessly scoured the beaches with my Daily Mirror looking for Chalky White to claim my £5.

The weather was good, especially if you were either a duck or trying to improve your Gene Kelly impression.