Day 10 on my challenge, and today I have to write to the subject, memory. This list of random words I’m using to challenge myself was generated by someone somewhere for some reason and I came across it on social media.
Can I really remember sitting in my pram? We were on Metcalf Road where we lived at number 18 (I didn’t know that then of course) and mum had pushed the pram up the road and we were outside the flat where veronica birch lived, which I think was next door to the Cobbolds – although of course I don’t know whether they were living there then. I was sitting up in my pram with my harness on and I think the hood was up – maybe it was very sunny, maybe it was windy. Mum was talking to someone, Mrs Birch, Mrs Cobbold, Mrs Frost who also lived nearby? A little face appeared at the side of the pram and a little blond boy looked at me. I reached out my hand to him, and he bit my finger! I was astonished as well as hurt and the memory ends there. Was he one of the Cobbold boys? Was he another little boy I don’t remember? I would have been less than one, I guess, and as I was sitting up not snuggled under blankets, I think it must have been summer or autumn. I don’t know how old he would have been!
I can remember being in my cot, looking through the bars, I can remember being in my playpen, can I remember being in my high chair? I don’t know, but I remember my bunny bowl; it had a lip so that when I was eating I wouldn’t accidently scoop the food out of the bowl. The design was called Bunnykins and it was made by Royal Doulton and must have been a gift to me, but I don’t know who from! I remember going for bike rides with mum and dad; I had a little seat which fixed to their bike frame so I sat safely between their knees as they cycled along, but I was older then, probably about two. I remember being in my pushchair when I was too big for my pram, I remember my first little trike, which I pushed myself long round the garden. I remember our garden before it had trees and bushes, just a long lawn and then a long dug over vegetable garden. We lived in that house until I was fourteen, so I have many memories of being there.
I remember going to the outdoor swimming pool on Jesus Green. I remember being there in the autumn when there were golden and brown leaves floating on the surface of the water, just as I was, on my back, with my arms and leg outstretched like a little starfish. I learned to swim when I was very young, but would happily float around (no doubt mum was very close by) just letting the water buoy me up. It probably was in the summer and autumn after my first birthday in January that Mum first took me swimming. She would have pushed me in my pushchair from our house, the mile or so to the swimming pool, crossing over the River Cam to get there. The river became part of my life when I was older, and I wonder how many thousand, tens of thousand times I crossed that river, in pram, in a push chair, on foot, on a bike, in a bus?
I have memories of when I was older, but those early memories when I was so little are very precious.