Sunday, January 23, 2011

I remember....

That my paternal Grandmother had a strange scar on her thumb.....she had breadknife sliced down the top of it years before and left a deep cleft in the centre of her thumb and nail.....I hated to see it and wouldn't look at it at all....and she had a wart on her forehead that she covered with her fringe. Don't feel sorry for her though. From what I know she was not a very nice person, and even as a child I didn't have any emotional feeling for her. Obviously she had a story of her own, but her agenda was also always her own and scarred my pa, so no, no love lost there.

That at night, when we went to our shared bed, me and my sister would turn up side down on the top of the bed, place our feet on the wall behind the headboard and make up synchronised dance routines.

Hitchhiking to a festival down south (Reading?), and being picked up by some weirdo in a car who then proceeded to take us (me and my sister again) on a tour of his home area, and being scared, and feeling like he was keeping us prisoner....he took us on a really circuitous route and at one point took us to his house for a cup of tea....every time we said 'its ok we can take it from here' and tried to get away he, somehow, would get us back in the car and, strange as it sounds, I didn't want to spook my sister so I was keeping calm outwardly but panicking inside. Looking back, a journey that should have taken us an hour took about 3 and this person paraded us around for people to see. He could have been very sociable. He could have just meant to share a cup of tea with us. He could have been lonely. He could have been very dangerous. We were very very very lucky.
Stopped hitching after that.


My mom made two fruit flans one sunday afternoon. Not really cooking. Just a ready made flan case....a tin of fruit and some nestles cream on the top (and in those days we did say nestles...not nest..lay) for our Sunday afternoon tea. One was strawberry and one was mandarin orange. They looked so pretty. I watched as she arranged the orange segments and then boilt the kettle to add to the powder to make the jelly. I think now of all the chemicals involved in these puddings. The two flans sat on the kitchen table side by side. They looked like two big sparkly brooches in artificial colours, vivid red and vivid orange, with jelly glistening and the pure white of the cream.
Dad came back from the pub. After all this was Sunday. There was an argument. A flan was picked up and thrown. As the hand reached for the table I was wishing 'not the strawberry, please not the strawberry..'.
We had mandarin orange flan for tea.
I don't really like strawberries much as a grown up...I prefer raspberries.....and certainly never mandarin oranges from a tin.

Stealing mouthfuls of baby powder from a tin in my aunts larder...it was like the inside of maltesers.

Taking my turn with my brother and sisters at night sitting on the draining board of the sink in the kitchen, with my feet in the water, getting washed by mom, and then dried by dad, and then putting on pyjamas warmed by the oven.

Wallpapering a ceiling (Ha!) with my husband in our early years, as we stood on tables and chairs and any other thing to hand and had a go ourselves.  It was a mess.... but at one point, with both of us with our arms stretched up to try and hold the thing to the ceiling, we laughed and kissed. The two of us. In it together. Trying to save some money. Nothing changes. Only now we get someone in to do the decorating.

My mom getting me up from bed, making me get dressed and taking me into town, to make me go into a local disco and find my elder sister, who had climbed out of my brothers bedroom window. My mom waited outside. I was about 15 I think. I was so humiliated. I was too young for the disco. They let me in. I was where I wanted to be... sparkling lights and dark corners, music, cigarette smoke and the clinking of glasses.....and the palpable feeling of sex and excitement. I was wearing my pyjamas under my jeans and had no make up on and bedhair......I was mortified. My sister was hiding in the toilets.I felt like staying there with her.

Yearning, really yearning, and feeling that my heart would never mind, when I worried that I would never be able to have a baby. Years and years of looking at a group of people and only seeing the pregnant one. Every month being a disappointment. Wishing and hoping and making deals with God and trying every which way to get pregnant.
Giving birth. Both times. Being content and calm. The inner struggling rage and anxiety gone.


Getting very very very drunk with my friend Auntiegwen and throwing up ....lots and lots of red wine...practically projectile vomiting...and she held my hair and said lovely things .


Looking at my younger sisters hands, and lips, and jaw, and hair and legs and wanting them and not mine and wondering why I was the fat one. She eats more than me. She makes me laugh like no one else. She is cleverer than me. Why wasn't I her?
She was given to me to look after by my mom. I had to care for her.  I did, and do with all my heart.
She used to be my baby until I had my own.

I made more deals with God.

So far, we are all still here.



I remember........lots and lots of things.....and people and places and times and events and feelings and sights and sounds and smells.

I remember wondering why I was blogging.  Thinking that it was a strange endeavour...to tap out my thoughts onto a keyboard.

Still here, still tapping.

8 comments:

Steve said...

Such posts as this will be invaluable to you as life goes on...

Nana Go-Go said...

What a fantastic trip down Memory Lane! I can equate with such a lot of it. Especially the younger sister thing. I said the youngest (I have two younger sisters, both of whom are tall,thin and blonde!)`How come I`m the short,fat,ugly one` and she said.....`You`re not ugly`!!!!Have a great Sunday, Libs.

auntiegwen said...

I didn't know baby powder tasted like maltesers, you learn something new every day right enough xxx

ps went to see The Kings Speech, absolutely marvellous xx

Macy said...

My BFF (at the time) and I hitched a lift off a weirdo from Reading - when he stopped the car and suggested "Payment in Kind", we left him with a tin of spam and a packet of digestive biscuits.
Seriously...

muummmmeeeeee...... said...

What an evocative post...just lovely x

Marcheline said...

Great batch of memories, although I will admit to a nosy desire to know what the argument was about which caused the loss by toss of the strawberry flan!

libby said...

Steve..lets hope you're right.
Nana...isn't sister envy awful?...and I cannot for one moment imagine that you are anything but gorgeous..
Auntiegwen...you know me, I'll put most things in my mouth...and rusks were good too...glad you enjoyed the film xx
Macy...my God aren't we lucky? If I imagine my daughter hitching now I go cold...it's why we tax and insure a car for her!
mumeeee....welcome, thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Marcheline.....drink...it was and always was about drink sadly...

libby said...

ps and I meant to put 'boiled' the kettle.....