Before I begin this brief tale, I would like to stress that my title does not imply any criticism of Wales. Being an eighth-generation Welsh person who takes frequent holidays in Wales, I am an avid supporter of the country.
When I was a kid, I was on a camping holiday in Wales, when my family visited Cardiff for the day. When we got there, my mother nipped to the shops while my father took my sister and I to a Helter Skelter we had spotted.
At the top of the fairground attraction, my sister pointed out my father in the crowd and signed that he had bought ice-creams for us all. I nodded, although I could not see him in the masses of people on the ground.
I was so eager to have my ice-cream that I jumped onto the slide first. Having reached the bottom of the slide, in a wave of exhilaration I hurried towards where I thought my father was.
Running as fast as my little legs could carry me, I sprinted, worried that the ice-cream might melt (!).
Tearing into the crowd, I suddenly stopped. I could not see my father.
I veered to the right and left. I stopped again. I was lost.
The city was jammed with hordes of hearing shoppers. It dawned onto me that as a Deaf kid that I was lost in a strange place and I started to panic. Stamping my legs, I darted in all directions but there were no sign of my family.
There was nothing for it but to retreat into my ‘cave.’ I covered my eyes with my hands and cried. Soon a crowd gathered around me and faces swam past me, their mouths moving in funny patterns. I said nothing, as I knew communication would be impossible.
Moments later, a policeman appeared on the scene and gently tried to prise my hands off my face but I was defiant and hid behind my hands. The adults were baffled and did not know what to do with me!
It wasn’t until later my father finally found me and I recognised his hands and clung to him immediately.
And yes, I did have an ice-cream at the end!
Alison is thirtysomething. She was born and bred near the south coast and currently resides in the west midlands.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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