Monday 4 August 2008

No sirens but fun all the same

Posted this just so everyone reading the blog can have a laugh at my expense!

The picture taken by my Dad shows the old Bedford CA ambulance we used to have. In the picture, you can see my sister Claire, my brother Mark, me - and in the background, my Mum in the ambulance itself. The dog laying down on the grass is our Pyrenean mountain dog called Belle. Anyone my age will easily remember the legendary children's TV programme "Belle and Sebastian" on BBC2. Hence the dog's name.

My Dad purchased the ambulance from a garage in Clapham (or Clarm if you're posh) and set about converting it by putting in beds etc. One of our major adventures was touring Europe in the early 70's and getting as far as Denmark! How wild and crazy is that? Some of my earliest memories include:

  • Sleeping overnight in Antwerp and watching car transporters
  • Eating chips with mayonnaise somewhere in Holland
  • Meeting up with a friend of Mum's called Elke, in Munster - Germany
  • Eating rhubarb with a liberal coating of sucrose somewhere after I complained about the taste, and my Mum duly tipping the sugar bowl all over my red stringy dessert
  • Teefing some sugar beet from a local farmer's field ;-)
  • And the best - visiting the original Legoland in Billund, Denmark - complete with a trip up in an aeroplane. Very exciting for a young Johnnyboy I can assure you!

We were the local celebrities when we turned up to school in that Bedford. I feel a wave of nostalgic British pride as I look back at that photo to see the Union flag above the windscreen. Ingenious idea by my Dad to replace the previous AMBULANCE lettering!

The picture doesn't show that the Bedford was actually painted two-tone purple and white, very 70's I feel. I loved that vehicle.

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