Our family used to go to Crete every year. We’d stay in the same set of villas that a man owned and rented for holiday-goers. Each villa was named after his children and one after his wife. Often we had our own short pool – too short for brother and I to train in, but nice enough for Uncle J to run in.
We used to go to this one karaoke bar every evening after dinner, owned by Scottish people, serving plenty of cocktails. Every time we went, Dad would request that we duetted to Summer Nights, and although as a teenager I was put off enough already, he felt that he had to demonstrate his case by singing the first line. Badly. Ha. And we never did it.
One night, when we went to this bar, one (extremely!) drunk gentleman had decided to try his hand at karaoke. The guy could not see the screen and was stumbling all over the place. He’d chosen “Dance The Night Away” by the Mavericks. Because he was so bad at it, at our table, Dad and I decided to help him out, singing at the top of our lungs. A very embarrassed younger brother hid behind his Nintendo DS screen and Mum joined in too. I continue to have this memory flash back. The 3 of us, shouting “I just wannaaaaa daaaaance the niiiiight awaaaaaaaaay…” If you haven’t heard this song already, YouTube it. It’s a classic. It’s what they made YouTube for.
Another memory of Crete was when we’d come back from an aforementioned night out. Uncle J was on holiday with us too. We came back and decided to play a round of cards. So Mum put her iPod speakers on shuffle and we started playing. About halfway through, ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ by Gladys Knight and the Pips came through. We were all quiet, planning out our next move… And then, as the chorus rolled around, Dad and I started singing the backing vocals in unison. It was slightly confusing, but we all fell about laughing when both of us sang the “Woo woo!” bit, actioning the sign of pulling a train horn (Is it a horn?).
They love their big trucks in Crete and every time we were out to dinner by a road and one would drive past, Dad would shout “LUNCHIIIIIE!!!” at the top of his lungs…
I got a bit upset again last night with Dad not being here. Yesterday, the pool I work at weekends covering shifts offered me a Saturday morning teaching job. He would have been so proud of that. Earning extra money to go towards my season ticket. And at £15 an hour, he’d be even happier, haha. He’d be happy that I’m supporting myself – I know that’s one of the things he was most proud of when I was at university: the fact that I was putting myself through there, I was working enough to afford my nights out, my food, anything else that I wanted. I think he’d definitely be happy with me, working at the pool alongside my full time job. He wouldn’t be happy with the tax man who’s gonna take some of it though!!