1971: May 31, Camp Marina di Venezia

Rained all night, and awoke to rather dubious weather – overcast skies, but not cold. In Innsbruck the same kind of weather would have been several degrees colder and much more uncomfortable… Had a bracing cold shower (unintentionally) and then we all enjoyed a nice bacon breakfast – Gareth especially pleased about this, he’s not really a fan of the continental breakfast. Decided to have a lazy day with no driving at all, and did various odd jobs. Children made a start on their holiday diaries – Gareth included, his looks like a special kind of shorthand. Some people from Barry and Bridgend camped near us, with several children, their Welsh accents coming over loud and clear. Most campers seem to be Germans, they’re all around us. Size of many of them staggering, these vast women stroll around in tight trousers, bikinis and other unbecoming garments. Why did I ever worry about my weight? The men are often obese, not just fat, and many of the children are already well on the way. Had our lunch outside – very nice tin of corned beef, with rolls, tomato and onion salad and fresh fruit and cheap sparkling Moscato. Rained on and off during the afternoon, and Gareth kept up a steady stream of hints about some little plastic lorries he’d seen at the shops, in the end we gave in and he had them… Played happily with them in front of the tent, making camps and garages.

We opened a tin of coq au vin we had brought with us – very tasty and plenty for 2 (for once, most of these tins and packets seem designed for minute appetites). Had some boiled new potatoes, then some enormous pears. After Andrew, Sarah and Gareth went to sleep, went for a coffee and contemplated the delicious array of gelati – about 8 kinds, choose what you like.

NB Did a vast line of washing, all blew merrily on my line between two trees behind our tent. There are some things you just can’t escape from, even on holiday, and some you can. I’ve no intention of looking for an iron.


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