One of my favourite memories of holidays in my youth was choosing the holiday T-shirt. Each year, my mum would let me and my brother choose a new T-shirt for the holiday ahead. I remember one in particular, featuring Mighty Dyno. It came from the Kay’s catalogue or possible C&A in Norwich. Although exactly where it was bought is now lost to my fading memory, one thing does stick in my mind -the T-shirt was made from a material that gave you the zing of static every time you put it on. It was the Seventies after all. I suspect that fire regulations these days would not allow such a T-shirt to be made.
As luck would have it my mum has recently been rummaging through the attic and found a picture of me in it (see below). When I showed my daughter, it was not the T-shirt that attracted her attention. “Why are you wearing girls’ trousers?” she demanded. So much to learn, so much. When I showed the same T-shirt to my wife she said her brother also had the same one. Lots less selection back then it seems.
We still like to have the tradition of the holiday T-shirt in our household but my how things have changed in the last 35 years. These days, rather than having to decide from a limited selection in C&A (may it rest in peace), there is now the option to design your own.
Thanks to Moonpig.com (and I challenge you to read that without thinking of the jingle), the recent parent blogger trip I took to Costa Brava was furnished with personalised T-shirts. There were more than a hundred designs to choose from but my daughter chose to do her own thing, uploading some of her favourite photos and customising the text.
She had a great time choosing from the thousands of pictures we have taken over the years and ended up with six photos showing her doing various holiday activities with her two brothers. “The bets bit was being able to choose the font and the words on it,” she says to me as I write this. “Time to party!” the T-shirt declared.
Others on the blog trip had chosen a different approach but all seemed to have fun exercising their creativity.
As it happened, this was not the only T-shirt my daughter made. There are always occasional days when you are on holiday that the weather turns against you and the people at our “camping” in Costa Brava had the perfect answer for a rainy afternoon – painting some T-shirts.
We sat inside the warm and dry Mini Club and watched a torrential cloudburst outside as we had a fun couple of hours designing and painting T-shirts. Amazingly, given the weather, we had the place to ourselves so we spread ourselves out.
My daughter, inspired by a morning surveying the Iles Medes from a glass-bottomed boat, went for an underwater theme with air bubbles containing the letters of her name. My seven-year-old son, predicatably given his current obsession, went for a Lego Chima design. I always love doing arts and crafts with the kids. It feels like good, quality time (assuaging some of my guilt for working too long hours) and it also means they are doing something other than watching the nth repeat of Johnny Test.
Just as the kids put the last dashes of paint to their T-shirts, the rain stopped and the horizon miraculously cleared of clouds. Tomorrow would be another day, a sunny one, a day on which newly printed and painted T-shirts could be worn.
Having now studied the picture of me as a seven year old wearing my Mighty Dyno T-shirt, I now rather fancy one again. I might try to recreate it in paint but on something less flammable.
We stayed at Camping La Ballena Alegre as guests of the Costa Brava and Catalan tourist boards. The site is by a long sandy beach around 45 minutes’ drive from Girona airport.