Holidaying in the 70s

Catching up for a coffee in a trendy cafe in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, I was  excited to see dessert bowls that we’d had as children being used as sugar bowls. Some of you may remember them…

I excitedly told the young waitress that I had not seen such bowls for years and that we had them as dessert bowls when I was young.

“I know – they are antiques,” she responded, quickly deflating my excitement in one foul swoop as I muttered to myself, “retro, not antique. THEY ARE RETRO.”

Is this the first-time you feel old as an adult? When suddenly what you grew up with and remember quite well is considered retro, vintage, or even worse – antique.

There is no doubt that the 70s/80s are currently in vogue.  Television shows like Puberty Blues and Howzat and the wonderful Paper Giants have resonated with Generation X. Many commentators say it because we yearn for a freer time when we were not ruled by a nanny state.

I am not one to reason why, but as a child of the 70s who is now a parent, I remember it as a time when life was simple and safe – apart from Jaws which made an indelible in-print on my brain. All these years later I still imagine a giant shark is lurking near me and much prefer a swimming pool to the sea. But that is another story.However, it got me thinking about family holidays. Before my dad bought the 6-berth Franklin caravan, we spent a couple of years renting a beach-house at Torquay, on Victoria’s Surf Coast. Our days were spent at the beach or in the park opposite the house. There were no nintendos or Ipods to occupy our time. Maybe I actually had to talk to my brothers (to be frank, I can’t remember how we did fill into our time without these gadgets our own kids can’t do without, but we did).

We would chase each other around the back garden and run under the sprinkler (a simple pleasure my children have not got to experience due to years of water restrictions).

Sadly, the house is now gone, as is the caravan park we also stayed in It has been replaced by a resort. Sand dunes we once walked through are built out residential areas. This is the same story in coastal towns all around Australia – so many old fashioned Aussie beach homes have been replaced by modern houses and apartments – yes, they are beautiful, but sometimes I just crave a bit of “retro, vintage, antique” character.

So, I started a Google search and for those of you with a yearning to relive your childhood holidays and step back into your own 70s set, I have found some great options for you.

Broulee: Hattie’s Beach House

Byron Bay: Banaba holiday house

Have you stayed in a holiday house full of retro appeal? Let me know and I will add it to the list.

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