Friday, August 18, 2006

AW blog chain

In a moment of madness (and with only minutes to spare) I put my hand up for the Absolute Write blog chain.

Each participant blogs about something pinched from the previous person's post, then links back. Simran is just before me in the chain, and she blogged about some of the indian items in her apartment, turning the post into a story. Then she challenged me, a science fiction writer, to take something out of it for my own effort. Hmm, tricky. Then I realised she finished her story with the words 'lost in another world', and it all became clear.

I've been lost in another world twice in my life. Once when we moved to Spain, the second time when we moved from Spain to Australia. In this post I'll cover the first, because I was younger and it was a much bigger culture shock.

At age seven, I was settled at the local school and had several very good friends. This was the early 70's, in England, and we lived in a comfortable two storey house with central heating and nice gurgling radiators in every room. Dr Who and the Goodies were on TV and we had a huge garden - everything a kid could want. It was a quiet street, fairly close to the train station and local school, and all the neighbours were happy and friendly.

Then, with a few months notice, our family moved to the south of Spain. (The Costa Blanca was known as a hotbed of british criminals hiding from justice, but we didn't go for anything as exotic as that. My dad suffered a serious accident, and moving from damp English weather to the sunny, hot climate of Spain was going to be a big help with his recovery.)

My dad flew down first to scout the place out, while my mother, my brother and I remained in England. Then we got the call - time to move. I don't remember the flight but I DO remember Alicante airport, which was a sea of cool marble flooring and signs I couldn't read.

My dad met us there, and as soon as my mum was out of earshot he told my younger brother and I the gag he'd come up with. He was going to drive us to the local campsite, show us a tatty old tent, and tell us it was our new home. We, my brother and I, were to play along, ecstatic at the chance to live outdoors. My mum, presumably, would enjoy a good laugh afterwards.

So, with my brother Mat and I hunched up and fairly snorting in anticipation, we drove an hour or so to the fishing town of Altea. Main road turned to minor road, minor road quickly became dirt track, and there it was: Camping Miami! A field with a few derelict caravans melting in the heat and an office that wouldn't have looked out of place in The Great Escape - as the solitary confinement cooler.

We drove through the gates and dad pointed out a tent, saying it was quite nice inside, while Mat and I enthused volubly. My mum looked a little uncertain, to say the least.

Then dad said he'd made some good friends nearby, and they'd invited us to lunch. We drove to this lovely place with masses of flowering bougainvillea outside, a wrought iron fence and those ubiquitous marble floors. Once inside there was no sign of any friends, but my dad turned to us with a huge grin and said 'This is our new home.'

(30 years later they're still happily married, although they've never been camping since.)

Now, the next stop on your blog chain is Organised Chaos, so I'm passing on the baton. Enjoy!

Would you trick someone this cute? (My mum, age 6)

Technorati Tags: awchain

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Pass The Torch said...

Very funny! I can't believe you all did that to your poor mother;) Wicked men!

Gillian said...

So is Perth exactly halfway culturally between England and Spain?

Simon Haynes said...

It's a hot climate and they speak English, so you have the best of both worlds ;-)

bk30 said...

That was mean..funny..but mean :)
Poor woman, left to pack the house alone, travel for hours with children alone, shoved into a hot car, driven to a rustic campsite, and smile bravely at her loving husband..LOL. I think my family took tips from your dad

Brian said...

The blog chain seems very international indeed. Makes me want to some place else.

I love the reference to the "floor was a sea of marble," it conjures up memories of the swimming pool at Hearst Castle.

Simran said...

LOL That trick was too good. Sounds like your dad and mine could have been brothers.

Great post Simon. I was worried at first how you were going to do it but then I remembered the last line too and said I bet that's what he's going to go with for his post.

Although I thought it was going to be another world out in space.

Simon Haynes said...

Simran - so did I! I have trouble sticking to the plot when I'm writing fiction too.

Cath Smith said...

LOL - rotten trick!

Lovely part of Spain, though. You're lucky to have lived in three such diverse areas!

Wendy said...

Your parents sound like fun people. The heritage photo of your mom is a wonderful addition.

Kristine said...

Great post ! I'm so jealous of everyone who's lived in such exotic places, and yet I'm too chicken to travel that far.

Simon Haynes said...

Re: the photo - that (and others) prompted my post. You see, I just borrowed half my parents' old photos to scan and touch up. Some are of our early days in Spain.

Laurie said...

Kristine - I'm right with ya on being too scared to travel. By myself, anyway. And yet, sometimes, it just happens anyway, despite protestations.

Simon, funny entry, but you, your brother, and your dad should have been flogged for that. :D Funny, but still... :D

-Kelly M. said...

I'm a sucker for a good practical joke. Very funny!

Mad Scientist Matt said...

That's quite some prank! It must have been enough of a shock to pack up and move to another country where they speak a different language, even without the house switch.

Matt D. said...

That's hilarious. If my dad tried that on my mom, he would be murdered on the spot.