Thursday, February 07, 2008

TIF Feb - Memories - Early Years

Now here's an odd thing. I've noticed that this month's challenge is making a few of us set to and WRITE as well as design. Enjoying these little snippets from people's past lives made me think of some of my own. So, unusually for me, here goes; just a few disjointed and very personal memories for no particular reason:

Thunderbolts and lightning
When I was a toddler, we lived right on the top of a hill. One night there was a terrific thunderstorm. I was very excited and I wanted to go outside and watch the lightning. My Dad caught me as I was on my way out of the door. ‘You see that lightning?’ he said, ‘well, if that hits you, you will sizzle up just like a rasher of bacon.’ I’d seen my breakfast cooking lots of times. I knew all about this. I have been afraid of thunderstorms ever since and even now, fifty years on, whenever there is a thunderstorm I can smell frying bacon.

Robert Danahaugh and the dinner queue

Robert Danahaugh was in my class at school when I was about six. He was one of a family of seven or eight children (even more than me, we were six!) He was shabbily dressed, grubby, with warts on his knees and a runny nose. Each morning the teacher called him up to the front of the class. She tore a piece from one of the board cleaning rags and presented it to him, with an admonishment for ’not having a handkerchief at all never mind a clean one.’ To add to his humiliation, Robert, along with a handful of similarly afflicted children, was made to queue up on the opposite side of the dining room to me and be served last because he qualified for free school meals. I didn’t understand why the teacher was so horrid to Robert, but I did know that the other kids took notice of it and teased him and he didn’t have many friends. I knew that this was wrong when I was six, and I did not like that teacher. (I didn’t like Robert much either, but so what?) Now I know that such treatment can affect a child for life - causing low self esteem, anger, resentment, lack of achievement.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I enjoyed your rememberb'ring and I enjoyed watching you play with your TIF shapes last month...I am interested in seeing what you do this month....ginger