Today I spent the afternoon at my parents house helping my mother ice my nephew’s iPad birthday cake. I hadn’t been up for a while even though they’re only 11 miles away and today I felt homesick. Maybe it was that spring feeling in the air or the safety that I feel when I’m there. For someone who has a terrible memory (not when it comes to people or song lyrics though) I find myself remembering more from when I was a kid. Maybe it has something to do with Tabitha evoking the inner child in me and wanting her to have the same happy outside childhood I had.
We used to have gerbils. Inside the house (much to my mothers horror I imagine) and I remember being in my sister’s room making tunnels out of Bunty and Mandy annuals for them. I remember the big pink pigs we had, Ermentrude and Gertrude and going to the pig sty at the top of the garden to feed them. I remember Gloria and Pip the sheep (there were others too). I remember my sister “piercing” my ears with a stapler (she only pretended but I believed her!) I had a little camp in the woods (which was a little wooded area of about maybe 12 trees) and in it my dad had made me hammocks out of empty coal sacks. And then there was the tree house with the rope ladder. I remember going for adventures in the thicket and how my I thought my neighbour’s dog’s name was pretty awesome. And avoiding the dirt bombs my brother hurled at us!
It was really lovely watching Tabitha play with toys we all had. Vintage Little People with their camper van. Their faces worn away after being played with by me and my five brothers and sisters and now the eight (nearly nine) grandchildren.
And today my dad produced a little mint green envelope. Written on it ‘Isabell’s Curl 8-10-89’ (see even my dad spells my name differently from the way I do and from what I was christened) and inside was a tight blonde curl. I know there are photographs of me with white blonde curly hair but this was a little surreal.
I think I was just in a really nostalgic mood today and then announced i wanted to go through old photographs which delighted my father but unfortunately impossible to do with Tabitha and her sticky fingers. So we chatted over tea and cake instead. Mostly about London and holidays we had taken in Dartmoor and bits and pieces I remembered and how I thought kids today didn’t have what we had. It’s all computers and gimmicks and tv. I spoke of my love for the house we live in now and all its quirks and flaws but how it’s full of character.
As my nephew celebrates his 11th birthday tomorrow I’m sure more memories will creep into the back of my mind. I can’t wait to tell Tabitha all the stories from when she was small and the little adventures we’ll take together. I’m going to love sitting down with her and looking at pictures and her asking ‘who was that mum?’ or ‘is that really me?!’. While memories are good and make us smile it’s important to remember that thoughts and plans for our future can do the same.
iPad Birthday cake
Vintage Little People
My Vintage Little Curl