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Archive for May, 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother’s Day

Enjoying the late afternoon sunTo all the moms out there reading this today. I hope your day is filled with as much love, hapiness and sunshine as mine is. Not to mention flowers and baubles and balloons!! ;-)
14th May, 2006
more photos…

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Sunday, May 7, 2006


Recording all these moments from Oliver’s childhood is something for him, yes, but it’s also selfishly for me. Already when I think back to his birth, it’s a struggle to recall what music I was listening to, what my first thoughts were, what were the best moments and what were some of the most challenging. This is what makes me keep writing about our family now - as I realise that I remember precious little from my own childhood. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not - do we only remember the good times, and the painful moments become a blur? I suppose it depends if you recall your childhood as essentially a happy one, or not. So with that in mind I thought I’d see what I could conjur up from that distant time of play and innocence. A top five of the ealiest memories - defined as everthing from before when we moved house ( a seminal moment in and of itself), so before I was 11 or so.

Picnics - picnics for me were cherished outings when I got my parents all to myself. I don’t remember my brothers coming along to these outings - maybe they did - but I think they were probably too old - the eldest Simon is 10 years older than me, and Tim is 6 (or thereabouts). We’d find some picturesque spot, a field, by a stream maybe, and I’d gad about finding this or that, enjoying the sunshine and adventures in a new world for the day. Of course I also remember when we couldn’t go for picnics - family tensions - or Dad wanting to watch Formular One on the telly. How I wheedled and whined, and I’m sure sulked horribly when I didn’t get my way. Oh yes, door slamming now comes back to me as a prefered way of expressing my displeasure.

Decorating the living room - this was a huge undertaking - hanging wallpaper no less - guaranteed to put even the best relationship under pressure - and this was no exception. On this occasion it resulted in near WW3 breaking out as my folks’ differing techniques and patience levels were put painfully to the test (I think they divorced soon after - but this too, is hard to recall). Needless to say, this wasn’t one of my happiest moments, but when i think about it, it’s not with any pain per se, I just remember the day, the emotions, the scale of the undertaking itself. ON some level I like to think I’ve learnt from that to take the rough with the smooth a bit more - and not stress the mundane. But then it never really is about the mundane though really, those battles, there’s always more to it.

Planting in the backyard - this love of gardening continues with me to this day. My Dad and I planted forget-me-nots, potatoes, anything that would grow really - no true rhyme or reason to it. We also had white roses and a pear tree in the backyard. The pears I gorged on every year making myself sick many a time. There was a terrible lawnmower too - rusty old manual thing - that I’d try and fail to pish round the garden once in a while. Other garden memories - snail races, mud drinks (tried to sell them as cocoa) my brothers tortoise, honeysuckle, the massive hedge over 8 ft that never gor trimmed - but felt magical, throwing water on one of my brothers being locked out of the house from an upstairs window.

My brothers - these memories are varied, both happy and tortured. Playing with their train sets, sharing a room with Tim - he on the upper bunk - me on the lower. Tim’s eerie skull he made from clay - I think he put a light behind it or something - it was terrifying. Tim drawing, sketching. Simon’s room - tabooo - forbidden place. Simon’s punk phase - equally as taboo and equally as terrifying. Being locked in the loo where I couldn’t reach the light switch and being told the bogey man would get me… Not one of my favorites. Keeping bullies at bay. Playing rugby, me in my navy tights and matching polo neck on the big field in the early evening. Pyjamas.

Our neighbourhood - the van that would come by weekly selling fruit and vegetables. The coal man who delivered coal to the coalscuttle on the side of the house. The insurance man who came round - smarmy man who I knew my parents didn’t like. They told him (a white lie at the time) that we were planning to move house and I was devastated. The milkman, the clink of bottles in the morning. Sawdust on the floor of the butchers, buying sweets for 10p a qtr - “Oliver twists” “Bon bons” and “Lemon sherbets”. Fish and chips for 50p on a Friday night - always a treat.

Other moments - Mom’s jeans drying on top of the stove where the plates were supposed to warm. There were usually clothes of some description drying there - tights and undies - there being no such thing as a tumble dryer for us in those days. I seem to remember the jeans caught fire at one point, but perhaps I’m imagining it.

So some good times, some bad, a lot of muddling through and scrappy adventures. Did I feel loved, or did I feel alone? Having brothers, much older, I was left to fend for myself a fair bit, but they were always there. Someone was always there, at some point.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Moments to Remember

Oliver has been cruising around the house for a while now - thoroughly confident with crawling he’s now starting to experiment with the whole upright thing. Standing however - solo - has so far eluded him - he’s just not that interested. The only time we have seen him stand for a second is when semi-squatting and momentarily distracted. So this morning we had a new game, I held his hands, standing before me, I was sitting, he standing, And on the count of 3 I let go. He stood for like 5 seconds before plopping down. He was beside himself with excitement when we tried it again - whooping and screeching - so pleased with himself! A big moment, and one to treasure.

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