The four poems that shelter under the umbrella title of CARAVAN AT BREAN (with the grandchildren) are basically four different aspects of a wonderful holiday in Somerset.


4. A WORKING CLASS SNOB IS NOTHING TO BE (Thoughts on a caravan holiday)

“Not so much caravanserai as caravans ‘r’ us” said I.
No-one else to blame; I may have even suggested it.
“Les enfer, c’est les autres.” “Hell is other people”
Said Jean Paul Sartre, probably while
On a caravan break at Les Sables-d’Olonne.

On site, my rolled eyes pop like bingo balls
At the poster for the clubhouse karaoke.
“ I will survive” I sing…by not attending.
Despite secretly thinking I’d be quite good at it.
The catering menu is cheap’n’cheerful.
Burger’n’fries, fish’n’chips, food’n’other food –
All perfectly punctuated (not a misplaced apostrophe)
On a constellation of day-glo stars rising like
A cardboard milky way above a display of chocolate ones.
Dressed in best bib and tucking into
My perfectly-cooked scampi’n’chips
I hanker for the ketchup to be in plastic tomatoes
But sulkily make do with fiddly individual sachets
(These 5 star hygiene ratings are not slovenly won ).

We visit the nearby pleasure park where,
Despite my best intentions to dodg’em,
I am forewarned that ‘here be others’.
My assumption that Shopacheck and Wonga
Have been provident and Sports Direct ram-raided
To supply trainers that will be out of date
Before the rollercoaster has slowed to a stop,
Is unfounded and dumbfounded by families
Who are as fun-filled as Krispy Kreme donuts and
Rise above my expectations and pass with ease
The height qualification for the ride of their lives.

For one week in this so-called oasis of calm
I expect to hear the Gallagher brothers quarrelling nightly
But looking back, the one voice raised in anger
Loud enough to be heard across the camp
Was shame-facedly my own…irritated by,
And ludicrously aping, a child’s tantrum.

With vowels more flat than their bygone caps,                                                                      Their accent (like my own) betrays them.
Where once it was indicative of a working class
Now the assumption is workshy and shameless;
Their comical tones guaranteed to raise a laugh
At a chattering class dinner table despite
The glaring inaccuracies of piss-poor performances
(Provincial language has standards, you know?).

Parvenu…there’s another French word
For the educated leftie hoping to despair;
Who once aspired to rise above them is now
Brought crashing down to earth by their decency.

©gray lightfoot