Viva La Espana - 80s edition

With summer close at hand our guest blogger Adora reminisces about her trip to Spain in the 1980's; we're certain Time Junkies fans will also share those same memories ...

retro air cabin costumeAs a youngster, many of my summer holidays included a trip abroad, usually to Spain and booked either through Lunn Poly or Teletext. I was 6 when I first boarded a British Caledonian Airways plane in 1987 on our first family trip to Majorca.  I still remember the tartan uniforms of the hostesses and the sucking sweets they used to hand out before take off and landing. But mostly I remember feeling terrified. Luckily I didn’t need the flimsy paper sick bag, but I was invited to sit in the cockpit to chat to the pilots in an effort to reassure me, it didn’t work, but it is reassuring to know that cockpits aren’t open access anymore.


Caledonian merged with British Airways in 1988, and it would be a decade until an airline came along that had a better logo.  It was on Peach Air in 1997, that Princess Margaret joined my family and a plane full of budget holidaymakers on a flight home from Turkey.  I can only imagine she was desperate. Peach Air closed the following year.

jelly shoesAs soon as we arrived in Spain and unpacked we were ready to hit the beach. Whilst my Sister was busy listening to Bana-rama on her yellow sony  Walkman, I loved burying her jelly shoes in the sand and pretending I hadn’t seen them. She even carried them in a special jelly shoe bag, and naturally that got buried too.  But nothing was as much fun as the Streaker. No, not Dad after too many Sangrias, but the iconic outdoor game. streaker gameThis is best described as two long pieces of string with a rugby ball in the middle, and two handles at each end.  The idea was that you used the force of pulling your arms apart at speed to move the ball between each player. Victory was sweet, even if the winner usually walked away with a bad case of friction burn and sore knuckles.






I was always given some pocket money for the holidays and whilst my sister chose to wear a bum bag, I had a plastic money holder that I used to wear around my neck on a string.  It held a load of pesetas that weighed a tonne, but those money holders were all the rage, and I felt like the bee’s knees. I mostly spent my money on spanish sweets, but occasionally I would save up for something special.  

I remember one year buying a flamenco doll and taking ages to choose the one with the biggest dress and the most lace.  But my favourite purchase was a small music keyboard 80selectronic keyboard. These were available everywhere, but the beauty of getting one on holiday was not having to worry about having it confiscated by a teacher.  The keyboards came with ten buttons and some overly complex sheet music. It took a lot of practice to learn one song, but the batteries lasted ages, long enough to ruin everyone else’s holiday.


At the end of a long day, mum would inspect me for signs of sunburn and heat rash, and then dab me with Calamine lotion before getting us ready for the hotel’s evening entertainment.  Generally this involved tapas and live Flamenco dancing, with an oversized sombrero doing the rounds for souvenir photos. Late into the night The Gypsy Kings echoed across the resort, a band I still love to this day and whose 1989 self-titled album stayed in the UK top 40 for most of that year.

adora Passing through the airport again on our way home, we always stopped off at Duty Free to pick up a box of duty free cigarettes for Nan, and a bottle of citrus cologne for Dad, which was worn enthusiastically for a few days before being left to evaporate at the back of the bathroom cabinet. The only thing left to do then, was to wait for Kodak to develop the photos ...

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Brilliant, thanks Adora for another great trip down memory lane. We look forward to your next nostalgic installment. 

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