Nothing to declare . . .

I don’t know why, but I’m feeling terribly guilty at not writing as regularly as usual on this blog – as if I’m playing truant from school! 


I don’t think that’s something that I ever actually did as a child, as I’ve always loved learning (mind you, school itself was always a trial to me, as I was such a bookworm, and a real loner).


Thinking back, as a child living in London, one of the few occasions when Mum sent us along to a summer school (I think she’d got thoroughly fed up of having so many energetic children underfoot that year! Lol), I did play hooky for the day, with my cousin Paul, and Mum knew, almost to the moment, when we had left the building, and where we had gone for the day!


As children, we believed her when she said that she had eyes at the back of her head, but what she did actually have, was an extremely efficient network of friends. 


Mum knew absolutely anyone worth knowing in our neck of the woods in Willesden, and we always seemed to have a huge amount of aunts and uncles – those deemed close enough friends that these honorifics were apt, as they were like real family to us.


Coming from a big family (6 girls & 1 boy, plus 2 who didn’t make it past babyhood), and with a father who was the baby of 16 children, we were used to always being surrounded by hordes of people, and I learned early on to be able to read, and do my homework, despite the noise and bustle. 


If it wasn’t people talking, laughing, joking, or playing about, then there was always music being played, either from our little transistor radios, (in rather garish colours and very much prized as our latest Christmas presents in the 70’s – mine was florescent orange! {grin}), or on my parent’s Grundig Radiogram, where mum would pile on all her favourite LP’s – normally Irish or Country & Western, and she and her best friend Eileen (Oh, I do miss you, dear lady!), would sit with teacups in one hand, and cigarettes in the other, and sing along at the top of their voices, or just reminisce about the dances they’d gone to, before all the children arrived.


At times the noise would get too much for me, especially if I’d just got back from yet another hospital visit, and I’d creep upstairs to the bedroom  I shared with my 3 older sisters, and I’d get into bed, and snuggle down under the covers with whichever book was gripping my attention at the time. I think I was the only one in my family who looked forward to bedtime and, at one point, would be in bed by 6 O’Clock on a lovely summer’s evening, just for the short space of peace and quiet I got! {grin}


It’s an interesting thing, to look back on your childhood, isn’t it? 
Very often, if I mentioned a particular incident in our shared childhood, each of my family would tell it from their own viewpoint – and, more often than not, their memories would bear only a slight resemblance to my own recollections. 
I’ve always understood why the police on TV had trouble getting witness statements straightened out. If a murder was committed in a locked room, with 10 people watching, you’d get 10 different viewpoints as to what actually happened!


Memory’s a strange thing, and mine’s gone from excellent recall, to muddled memories now, due to illness and medications – but the further I look back, the clearer my memories become – is that a sign of age, do you think? {grin}





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Filed under Childhood, Memories, Reading

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