Today I am going back to the very beginning, my earliest memories. Obviously they aren’t all very clear but here they are none the less.
So my earliest ever memory is the tiniest snapshot of one of my first holidays. My mother was pregnant with my brother at the time so I must have been around three. My Mum and Dad took me to Devon and more specifically the towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, which are separate by a pretty cool cliff railway. My memory is just me being on a cliff railway and trying to reach for the handles but failing miserably. There is nothing more than that, just a snapshot in my head of the handle so out of reach. My parents have informed me that I spent much of my time on the cliff railway chatting away to the driver. It’s odd how things change really. Nowadays I avoid conversation with a stranger wherever possible!
At some point later in the same year I have a vague recollection of my younger brother being born. Where I was during the birth and all the events of my mum going into labour are completely lost on me. All I can remember is my granddad taking me to the hospital shop and choosing a toy for my new baby brother. I got a little penguin chick, which squeaked when squeezed. That was way back in 1995 and I think my brother still has the penguin somewhere. It’s kind of weird that I remember nothing about my brother as a newborn baby. As some psychologist or other said, children are egocentric, meaning they think only of themselves. I guess I was probably sort of worried about how the new baby would affect me and being giving the task of choosing the toy gave me something of importance to do. Maybe. Who knows, I was tiny.
There isn’t really a lot in my head between then and when I started going to nursery. Even then my memories of nursery, or “playgroup” as it was called, are quite narrow. I have a vague recollection of the layout of the hall, though this may have been disturbed by more recent visits. I can remember though another attendee of the playgroup who I always called “the boy who sucks his thumb”. I have recollections of being picked up and telling my Dad what various people had done that session, including the boy who sucks his thumb. Said boy is now by best mate Chris. He doesn’t suck his thumb anymore. I’m not sure when we really became friends but it must have been at some point in the early days of school. I love the fact that I have known my best friend for so long too, even if I didn’t really know him then. I was probably too young to forge friendships.
Perhaps in some ways my childhood was a little different from the norm. One thing was that I had to go once a week to “special playgroup”. This was because I had a lot of ear infections when I was young and because I couldn’t hear all the time I needed speech therapy. So that was what that was for. Looking at the picture I have from that group, almost all of the other children were those who left school several years before me. I’m not really sure what that says, but perhaps I outdid the expectations of me a little. The other unusual thing was that my Dad stayed at home to look after me and my Mum returned to work, simply because she was better qualified. This might not seem as unusual now but fifteen years ago it was pretty rare. My Dad caused the Mother and Baby group at nursery to be renamed “Parent and Baby” and he was always the only Dad amongst a crowd of Mum’s at school-picking up time. There’s probably all sorts of ways that this has affected me but I don’t think it really made much difference. I was brought up well.
Eventually I obviously started school and some of the stories from part one happened. A further story happened in my third year of school, when I was around five or six. One lunchtime I was playing on the fantastic play equipment the school had and was walking along the balance beam when a boy punched me. Now I don’t really remember what caused him to punch me. I must of said something and he can’t have been older than seven himself. The punch landed me in the medical room with a ice bag held up to my eye. I was sent home and had jam sandwiches when I got there. It’s funny the tiny details you remember. I’d quite like to see this guy now. Judging by the family he’s part of, I would think he’s probably in a rubbish low-paid job somewhere. I have probably achieved more than he ever will. That thought makes the punch seem less bad!
And one last story, on the day I had a taster day at the “big school”. I moved from Infant to Junior when I was seven. On this taster day we were playing in the playground when my tooth came out. This happens when you’re a kid. I took it to the school office and was shocked to find they already knew my name. How was that possible? To be honest I’m still not sure this day but the receptionist probably knew my Mum or something. The tooth was put into a brown envelope which was returned to me at the end of the day. It was put under my pillow and the tooth fairly/my Dad replaced it with a £1 coin. I’m not sure I ever believed in the tooth fairy though, I just went along with it because I got money!
Well there was another insight into the young me. Next Tuesday I shall tell some really good stories from the end of my time in Junior School and they shall all be Valentine’s Day themed. That will be a laugh. I’ll be back tomorrow with a BRAND NEW feature which I think some of you will love. See you then!