Thursday, 12 December 2013

Memory Games


This needlepoint has been on the the wall of the cottage for years. Only today, did I realize that it was one of those prayers that we learnt and recited at length at primary school when we were six or so.
My memory of my childhood has always been sketchy and I have always wondered if that is a pretty normal situation for a 51 year old in moderately robust health.
As I walked the dogs this morning, I tried to put together a sort of film screenplay  of different times of my early childhood but it was like remembering a film plot from a movie I had never seen....
Tiny  snapshots popped into my head for sure......a tennis racquet in a wooden stretch frame sitting on the Lino floor of my grandmother's house. A small handmade stool my grandfather made. my brother in law-to-be chasing his car down the road after the brake had slipped. But trying to remember any more than snapshots  felt like looking through frosted glass.
It's kind of bugged me today

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

35 comments:

  1. In your inimitable manner of recounting incidents, recent past or otherwise, I'd LOVE to hear what things you remember about your very first day at school, J.G..

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  2. That's the gist of the blog...I don't remember it ray

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    1. I find that hard to believe, J.G. I thought that just about everyone would remember SOMETHING about that traumatic day - but if you say so......

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  3. Reminds me of that great Kirsty Maccoll song: "Thank you for the days" and "Morning has broken" by Eleanor Farjeon. The old mental juke box is always playing some tune. Beautiful needle point.

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  4. Perhaps some things are best left forgotten.
    Jane x

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  5. I am in the 'same boat' John. I can remember a few little snippets of my childhood and that is all. Maybe that is just as well.

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  6. I remember loads from childhood - as early as about 2 1/2. It's the present I have a problem with.

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  7. I too used to recite that little prayer both at school and from my treasured picture prayer book at home, I can see the pages now and especially the last prayer in the book which was my favourite. "There are four angels at by bed......."

    I remember so much of my childhood ... from being a toddler stood in my cot, frustrated because my Nana had left my shiny red shoes on and I knew I wasn't supposed to wear my walking shoes in bed for my afternoon nap, to the first day at school and meeting my best friend. All through my life I have memories and almost photographically clear snapshots of time in my head. I guess I am very lucky.

    Try making some childhood favourite foods, things your mum would have cooking when you came in. Smell different soaps and perfumes to trigger memories and maybe visit antique fairs and exhibitions of childhood toys.

    I'm sure there's lots of pre-war stuff that would bring back memories of your childhood ;-)

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  8. I too only remember "snapshots" of my childhood.
    One of my earliest memory is of me, holding a teddy bear and light are popping.My Mum is telling me to sit still. Later my Mum tells me that a photographer wanted me to sit for this photo for his portfolio at his studio.
    My Mum gave me that photo when I was older, It was very charming and I look like I am just about to giggle. I am wear a dark dress with a small lace collar and cuffs. My hair is in small curls
    I am so upset that it was lost in the fire. I wanted to give it to my daughter.
    Lovely post today.

    cheers, parsnip

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  9. I don't remember shit, that is why I started my blog so I can remember the present.

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  10. Same here. Odd snips and then nothing about other things.

    Standing at the top of a flight of stairs and thinking orange squash.

    Being taken to see a very old man in bed. There was a German Shepard dog there and a can of open dog food. Turns out it was when I was taken to see my Great Grandfather on his death bed.

    My grandfather coming to the train station to say goodbye when my family emigrated to Canada. He wasn't supposed to be there, he'd left work to see us one last time. He handed my father a pound note (a good sum back then). I found the note in my father's belongings after he died.

    Being sea sick on the liner crossing the Atlantic.

    Swimming in the pool at Lumberman's Arch.

    Vague snips but no overwhelming feeling of loss of my childhood.

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  11. i remember everything. too much actually!

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  12. I don't remember all that much from my really younger days either....little things like Mom singing nursery rhymes when I was sick...things pick up memory wise from about age 6 on.

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  13. I can remember much of childhood, movies, conversations. That works well most of the time.

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  14. I'm sorry.....it must be a very strange thing not to remember ones childhood..but from what I have read and know from my own friends it is not uncommon and no one really knows why.
    there's the usual thoughts that you might be burying unpleasant things but there are people with very average childhoods that don't remember either....
    I have the exact opposite situation..I remember everything to the tiniest detail...food is a huge memory!! naturally I am a total foodie!!
    I feel like I had a happy childhood but my parents over drank at times( so did all their friends!) and so I am a terrible worrier..
    so I guess we all have our stuff....but I get it ...it would bug me too.....but things are good now and that is what really counts..!

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  15. I think that's totally normal, John, for anyone with a poor memory. I only remember little snippets of my own childhood, mainly the "defining moments" and particularly dramatic events. Everything else is irretrievable. My memory has always been pretty useless.

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  17. I 'm with Doc . . lol I started blogging so I don't have to remember. It is my external memory bank. its nice that others comment on it. lol if it was in my head it would be pretty worrying if I heard voices commenting! lol

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  19. My memories from childhood are still front and centre.
    It was a happy childhood maybe that's why I wouldn't let them slip away.
    I hope you can recall more of yours and share with us.
    Got your mince pies made yet ?

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  20. I one of the memories-are-kind-of-like-snapshots type person. And I had a happy childhood. I am always suspicious of people who say that they can remember full conversations. And I'm always suspicious of authors who write autobiographies, quoting (supposedly) word-for-word conversations they had 20 years ago. But then again, I guess there are people out there who do remember full movies from their lives; but I'm sure as heck not one of them.

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  21. That last quote is so true John - our memories are very selective and not always accurate (in fact rarely so).

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  22. You have far too much going on in your life now to worry about what's gone past. How's William's paw?

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  23. I only remember snippets of things from my childhood. I think our brain puts aside that which it know longer wants to remember. x

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  24. Snapshots are good enough as memory can play tricks on us x

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  25. Only snippets - and not many of them - here too. Probably just as well.

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  26. I remember my childhood very vividly, perhaps because so much of it was unhappy. Some people remember a lot, some very little. X did not remember much. Favorite Young Man doesn't remember much. The Hurricane remembers more than they do, but not as much as I do. We're all different.

    Love,
    Janie

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  27. I can't remember a thing. I also can't compose a sentence today.

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  28. So......was there a visit to George Clooney?? Is Mater William better?

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  29. Pity we didn't blog back then. But I sometimes read posts of mine from 4 years ago and I think "damn, that's good!" but I have no recollection of writing it.

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  30. I kept a diary for about a year when I was about 10..I think it was a Christmas gift. I still have it..I kept detailed notes of company we had, tv shows, games we played...it is fascinating as I really don't remember a lot of it..wish I had kept one other years! (Still don't but the road to Hell is....)
    My younger son tells me things he remembers from his childhood that we did and I cannot remember doing those things!

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  31. Now what was I talking about ?

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  32. Oh, I am just the same. I am embarrassed to confess I don't even remember the first time I met Miss Chef, and that was only 13 years ago! As long as you remember to feed the animals and get Chris from the station, you're doing fine.

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  33. I remember quite a bit of it, but there are other parts that i don't feel anymore. I had a really traumatic year when i was 19, and found that it grieved me to remember so vividly what i had lost, and in order to feel less pain, i let go of some memories. Many have resurfaced, though, some good, some bad.

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  34. And don't remember my first day at school. I doubt it was traumatic.
    I do remember that prayer, though. You wouldn't be allowed to say it in school here anymore in most places.

    Someone did a wonderful job making it.
    Have a great weekend, John.

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