Earliest Memories

Who knows what your earliest memory is?  I have flashbacks of all sorts of things but they are jumbled up and confused.  How accurate can they be?  We rely on what other people have old us, photographs, bits of songs or books and if you have a slightly over-active imagination like mine it gets worse.

I remember being a teddy bear in the primary school play.  My sister was still at primary school with me – and also in the play, so I can’t have been more than 7.  We were four bears in bear suits singing the Teddy Bear’s Picnic.  It was put on in Newick Village Hall and Sam did an amazing routine with a light sabre – she was a wizard.  I remember that my sister was a messenger.  God knows what the play was!

I remember ballet lessons with my friend Nicola when we were very small – good toes naughty toes and galloping madly up and down the hall.  Miss Wendy was our teacher and Mrs Stone was the pianist.  This was before tape recorders were common.  Nicola moved when we were 8 I think so ballet must have been aged 5 or so.

I remember Dad coming home from work.  Mum would put us in our pyjamas and dressing gowns and we would drive to Haywards Heath station to pick him up.  I knew he worked in London but had no idea what he did.  When Dad did bath time he would play silly games – hiding us under the towel and saying “Where’s Christopher Robin?” and pulling the towel off.  Fits of giggles!  I am guessing that we were very young then.

Me and Catherine were always put in the bath together and we made cocktails out of all the lotions and potions around the bath topped off with bubble foam.  It was a bit more crowded when our friends came to stay and all four of us girls were put in the bath together.  I was probably made to stay at the tap end, being the youngest.

I remember my sister falling onto the green ceramic soap dish attached to the wall while we were in the bath and gashing her arm open.  She still has the scar.  She must have been taken to hospital but I don’t remember that part.  In fact I don’t remember very much else about that.

I have very vague recollections of Mum being horrified about turning 30 – she was very depressed.  I was only 3 though so I don’t know how accurate that would be.  She tells me that it is true – she didn’t want to be 30 at all, but then who does?

I also remember getting lost all over the place.  I remember I got lost on a cross channel ferry and got bought back by the purser with balloons for everyone.  I got lost in John Lewis on Oxford Street.  Ali and I went to the loo and I somehow got lost and picked up by the store detective.  I was taken to a very odd room and an announcement was made over the tannoy.  My poor mother – how embarrassing!

I also got lost in the Eastbourne Arndale Centre playing on the toy dinosaurs that they used to have and went back into the wrong shop.  Nobody there – I don’t remember how I was found then.

I remember weeping in Uckfield Picture House when we were taken to see The Fox & The Hound, Bambi and ET.  I remember that we used to collect the stickers and sticker albums for all these things.

I remember the sweet shop at the top of the estate after school when Mum gave us 10p to buy sweets.  Penny sweets, Dipdabs, quarters of cola cubes.  All in huge jars behind the counter like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

These are just some of my childhood memories – what are yours?

Shared in The Daily Post’s “Memoir Madness”- http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/memoir-madness/

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Childhood Memories

My childhood was relatively average.  I had a normal upbringing with loving parents and an older sister, four grandparents, two dogs and a house with a garden in suburban England.  I had little concept of the world outside and was lucky enough to grow up in a safe, warm and protected environment.  I went to ballet lessons, Brownies then Guides, drama classes and did averagely at school.

My friends from primary school were the same as me – mostly girls, no one’s parents were divorced and we all shared the school run and went to tea at each other’s houses.  The Mums shared out the duties.  We were all happy.  Some parents were a bit stricter than others; some let us have fishfingers and chips; some sat us down to traditional tea with egg & cress sandwiches and glasses of squash or milk.  Mum was always there when we got home from school.

My secondary school friends were still similar to me but the odd difference was starting to creep in.  The odd divorced parent started to appear on the scene.  It was an all girls school and I remember it fondly now, although at the time I’m sure it was torturous, evil and a waste of time.  We were lucky enough to be taught all kinds of subjects – a variety of languages, arts & crafts, music, drama.  The list goes on…We were privileged and protected until one day or rather one year we all learned to drive!  Freedom.

We all grew up in the beautiful British countryside which meant that we all lived miles apart from each other.  Rural bus services went once a week if you were lucky!  We spent 16 years relying on parents for lifts everywhere.  (My older sister suddenly became my friend, because she could drive 3 years before me, although she did have to put up with me tagging along everywhere!)  Being able to drive meant we could escape to the pub, into town, each others’ houses.  Life was good.  We were learing independence.

Feeling confident and sparky we were suddenly plunged into confusion – boys appeared into our lives for the first time.  Up until now boys had only been distant older or evil younger brothers of friends.  You may think that 16 is quite old to meet boys but remember the protection from the world – all girls school, home in a country town.  Boys just simply didn’t exist until the world opened up. [to be continued]

The Girl from the Sea by me

This is a bit of shameless promotion – please have a look at my story and download.  If you enjoy it please feel free to comment on the amazon pages to help promote. “The Girl from the Sea” is about a young girl who witnesses a murder, gets kidnapped, nearly drowned and survives, making some good friends along the way.  Set in any coastal village about 150 – 200 years ago (although the time is not specified deliberately).

The inspiration came from the kind of books that I read as a young girl – Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys and also from spending a holiday in West Wales which became the setting in my minds: jagged cliffs, hidden bays and lots of rock pools to explore in.  I hope you enjoy.

Enormous poppies!

These were taken on a stunning summer’s day in the Monk’s House gardens.  Poppies the size of dinner plates!