Camping – Rock N Roll Style - Al Fresco Holidays

IF you’re anything like me, your memories of holidays past will be punctuated by a heady soundtrack of the songs which were playing around you at the time.

I remember back in the early 1980s, when I had a long mane of naturally blonde hair and was prone to embroidering the names of my musical icons on a cut-off denim jacket, music was fundamental to my summer jaunts around the campsites of Southern France, Italy and Spain.

Back in those days, as a teenage would-be rock-star, I refused to wear shorts unless they were cut down from an impossibly tight pair of bleached Levi jeans. And my cassette collection included mix-tapes featuring obscure French Heavy Metal bands like Trust and American AOR experts Boston.

‘Anti-social’ and ‘More Than A Feeling’ were pretty much on loop for the whole holiday – God knows how my parents coped. If that wasn’t bad enough, I insisted on wearing a single Motorhead t-shirt for the entire five-week duration of our annual trip to the Camargue in 1981.

It was so smelly that by the half-way point of the holiday it even scared off the bulls at Aigues-Mortes’ weekly Jeux de Toro.

I made absolutely no apologies for polluting every inch of foreign air I occupied with these extreme examples of rock music when I was 14.

And today, 30 years later, I have found myself downloading the very same songs on my iPod.


Maybe I want to relive those carefree, heady summers days of my youth. Recapture that incredible feeling of being bulletproof, like nothing in the world could touch me.

The reality is not quite as hedonistic. My memories of those incredible days under the Provencale sun – eating squid for the first time, watching my mum swallow whole oysters fresh out of the sea at Le Grau de Roi, sneaking a guzzle of my dad’s Gris de Gris – are tied up in the my personal holiday soundtrack.

I want to remember the trip vividly – in true three-dimensional technicolour. It needs music to complete the memory. That’s why you have to choose your holiday music with caution – you may not appreciate the musical memories years later.

This year, I’m heading to Pra Delle Torri on the Venetian Riviera. I hope to God no-one plays Celine Dion while I’m there.

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