16 things that perfectly sum up summer holidays in the nineties

As I sit here on 31 August wrapped in my blanket on the sofa (why is it so cold?), mourning what feels like the last day of summer, I started reminiscing about what an amazing summer it's been. Yes, the weather hasn't been ideal, but so much else has. I went on a dream holiday to South Africa for two weeks, drank lots of gin and prosecco, got to march in the parade at Manchester Pride and just had a thoroughly lovely time.

I then started to remember how awesome summer holidays were as a kid in the nineties, which presumably contributed to that dreaded back to school feeling that used to consume me at this time of year. And I really liked school! So in homage to those halcyon summer days may I present...16 things that perfectly sum up summer holidays in the nineties.




  1. Water fights with water bombs made from poor quality balloons bought from the corner shop and paddling pools so green they put the 2016 Rio Olympics diving pool to shame.
  2. Slip n' slide competitions and grass burn when you went flying off the end. Ouch.
  3. Running full-pelt at the sound of the Ice-cream van (usually The Teddy Bears' Picnic) to be the first in the queue to agonise over whether you wanted a 99 with a flake (they're at least £2 now, bloody inflation) or a Screwball because they had bubblegum at the bottom.
  4. Mistakenly settling on a Calippo that shot out of the cardboard after only four mouthfuls and ended up on the floor to melt into a puddle of sickly-sweet orange sadness. Devastating.
  5. Daisy Chains.
  6. Multicoloured sun cream (your parents' attempt to make lathering yourself in sun cream fun) arranged in tribal stripes across your face in homage to Pocohontas. This lead to interesting tan lines. Or burns if you were me.
  7. Upgraded military-style water fights when someone got a Supersoaker from Toys 'R' Us.
  8. Rope swings, dens and planning to "run away" with your friends to live in the field behind your house. Your parents would never find you there.
  9. Making tie-dye shirts.
  10. Hot and sticky summer rides in the back of a car, pre-air conditioning, head sticking out of the window like an overheated dog.
  11. Trying to be cool by standing up through the sun roof like Tom Hanks did in Big before getting bollocked by your parents who tell you you'd be decapitated (and die, go figure) if they had to stop or had a crash. Sobering, but scare tactics work.
  12. Staying out super-late because of long, light summer nights.
  13. Cycling EVERYWHERE on your super-cool BMX bike you could give people "backies" on or one with suspension, the point of which was completely wasted on you.
  14. Begging your parents to let you camp out in the back garden so you could sleep under the stars. Giving up a about 9pm because it's too cold and actually sleeping outside is kind of scary with all the unrecognisable noises and the bugs.
  15. Wishing you could go on on holiday somewhere amazing instead of "rubbish Centerparcs" (ungrateful much) like the Olsen Twins  did. Passport to Paris or When In Rome anyone?
  16. Getting so sick of spending all that time with your siblings that you actually couldn't wait to go back to school.
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