Hidden Rebel

By Sorbus Green

Fifty one years ago I had a memorable holiday with my parents, sisters and cousin when we went to Port Seaton in East Lothian. We were staying on a campsite in a converted railway carriage that my grandfather and his friend had built in sections, then transported to the campsite and assembled piece by piece. They added a small kitchen, along with gas lighting and bedrooms complete with camp beds. Staying in that carriage, which my late grandfather had built with his own hands, made the holiday very special. We also had an Alsatian called Rex who came along on our summer of adventure. We played on the beach making sandcastles, building forts and exploring rock pools. It was here that my cousin found an eel which he put in a small bucket; we had a closer look and then released it back into the sea. From where our carriage sat we had a good view of the Bass Rock early in the morning, when the sun rose across the water.


One day, my mum called out as we were playing on the beach as usual, ''C'mon your dad and I are taking you all to Portbella to the shows''.


We all piled into dad's Ford Anglia car and headed toward Portbella. We left Rex behind with my father's friend at the campsite. I was excited at the prospect of going on another adventure with my sister's and cousin. When we arrived the music and lights from the stalls and rides were mesmerizing. I noticed my siblings had headed toward The Jungle Ride. I tugged mum's arm as I wanted a closer look. There were motorbikes with pink and silver swirly patterns and long handlebars. I watched my mum reach into her bag to retrieve three coins for each child to give to the vendor. My stomach churned when I realised that I was being left out. Little did mum know my rebellious streak was about to surface. The ride began to move slowly and I decided to claim an empty bike for myself.


“Mum, Mum! Sandra's on a bike. You'll have to come and take her off!” My sister, Maggie, yelled.


The ride began to move a little faster as my mum heard my sister’s plea. It was too late for it to be stopped. I wasn’t tall enough to grip the handlebars let alone sit by myself on the saddle. With seconds to spare my mum leaped aboard the spinning ride and pulled me onto her knee. I felt her arms move tightly around my waist just as the ride was hitting full speed. Completely oblivious to the trouble I had caused, all I felt was adrenaline.  


“What did you think you were doing?! You could've been hurt pulling a stunt like that, Sandra!” Mum yelled after the ride stopped and she had lifted me off.


My little rebellion could have been fatal if it hadn’t been for my mother's quick action. All I saw was my siblings on the motorbikes having fun and I just wanted to have some too. Thankfully the rest of the holiday passed without further drama. I was sorry for my rebellious behaviour and realised it had been a foolish thing to do.


family holiday, childhood rebellion, accidental rebellion