There are many memories I have which are not full stories but simple snapshots. This is especially true of my childhood – where the patchwork of memories is not numbered or dated, and sometimes one memory includes repeats of the same thing, or event. Or an object – I remember an object in many phases, but I could not place it on a chronological line.
I remember the huge kitchen table where we ate our meals; I also remember cutting up sponges there and making paintings, using the sponges as stamps. I remember making cards for my mother using tissue paper to make flowers.
I remember collecting warm eggs from the henhouse, and how the hens would let me stroke their backs.
I remember being fascinated by the gas mask in the loft room.
I remember clambering up staircases with Bonnie, our black Labrador, in tow – making believe I was scaling mountains and waterfalls in some amazing adventure.
I remember my dad finding a grass snake and putting it in a fish tank for a few moments so I could have a good look at it; I remember also catching sight of an adder as I played with the petals of a flower on a bush.
I remember the guinea pigs hollering with excitement when they heard any kind of bag rustling, thinking it was feeding time. I remember when Topsy, one of our rabbits, gave birth.
I remember lying on my tummy watching the ants march to and fro from their nest; I remember catching butterflies and the delight when they stayed briefly on my finger when they were free to go.
I remember turning out all the lights so I could play ‘spaceships’ with Bonnie, landing on a distant planet, going round with a torch and discovering the resident alien (aka the hamster).
I remember our cats, Twinkle and Tiptoes, curled on my lap and purring; I also remember the too-enthusiastic pummelling with their claws which came before hand as they got themselves comfortable.
I remember making a house out of an old television box and bringing a tolerant Twinkle inside with me.
I remember how my brother, sometimes my dad, would on my request pick me up by my ankles and swing me round in circles, while I squealed in delight.
I remember hurtling down a snow covered hill on a simple plastic sack.
I remember frequently asking to hear stories of my brothers and sisters when they were my age (I am the youngest by ten years).
I remember the smell of the Christmas tree and how I would make little piles out of the pine needles on the carpet.
I remember lying in the dark in front of the fire.
I remember having staring contests with my sister (she who laughs, loses).
I remember the view from our old house.
I remember feeling – elation, disappointment, joy, hurt, fascination, puzzlement.
I remember more than all this – but this will do for now…
Today: 4/10, high