All posts tagged: childhood

In Search Of The View

You striped your shins raw and red spilling from an open window onto the porch roof outside.   Hands flat against the bitumen you brought yourself upwards, tall, bearing gravel bitten palms.   My hands will ache at the thought, of your smile through the lifted glass, half shadowed by the sunset.   Second, I was more careful in the going, kept my skin as it should be, clean, whole, unharmed. I did not spill.   Then we watched as clouds scudded east to west on slow, hidden winds.   Your slips always taught me lessons. Like how to pick old wounds clean.            


The ripples are gone when I look, searching the water for a slip of silver twisting back on itself leaping skyward in panic or ecstasy perhaps. I think about you and I, or at least the phantom of us that clings to my lungs on slow days, crawls onto my shoulders to press my face down, down, down, down where I deserve to be when my own body twisted back on itself, my mouth searching for a way to swallow the words I’d spoken, to return them to the saftey of unspoken rather than the spotlight of my glowing red cheeks as I fumbled to dress myself in what I thought was maturity. I can feel nails along my spine, when I think of how much I wanted to be loved.


When I was little I turned cardboard boxes into playhouses, stacked them one atop another until I’d built the tallest tower in the world or the biggest castle ever seen.   The settees in the living room were princess beds or safe land when the carpet turned to lava. Stepping stone cushions were employed to cross treacherous territory without risking loosing toe or limb to the fiery pits.   In the corner of the room was a cupboard where the toys and games were kept. We’d ransack the two shelves leaving them bare and empty ready for conversion into bunk beds.   Our garden was besieged by monsters that only my sister and I could defeat. Defending the keep at all costs we fought battles across the grass and through the orchard onto the desert planes.   When the games reached their end we’d hit the reset button. Go back to the beginning before the victory replace the villains anew and start over in our efforts.   If I’m honest, we never really stopped playing. …

Speed Bump

I always forgot that the bump was coming. The little humpback bridge on the road to The Wharf. The one that sent your stomach into your throat, that had my sister and I whooping in the back of the car, small hands clutching the seats, convinced we had momentarily left the ground. I could believe we were flying back then. When you’re small everything seems bigger, faster, brighter than life. Granddad’s driving was like that for us. Bug eyed at seventy on the speedometer. We thought that was the fastest that anyone could possibly ever go. He was wild and exciting, not like those fuddy-duddies crawling along at twenty down the A41. He doesn’t take the bridge as fast as he used to. Now that I’m older, I think he only sped up for my sister and I, to make us smile and shriek. A lot of what he did when we were small was to make us laugh. We were his princess, and he was out merrymaker. ‘Gone to see a man, about a …

Down By The Brook

The brook was our boundary marker, it belonged to my sister and I, and only us, becauseĀ it was only us that weren’t allowed across.   Grown ups could pass. They could come and go as they please. With their dogs and their bikes and their children of their own, who raced across our boundary like it didn’t exist.   It did exist.   On maps it marked a divide, the line between Ash and Higher Heath. But even our address forgot that.   And the bridge. It didn’t look like a bridge, all concreted in with the road. Squat, fat and grey, with weeds and grass on top!   It was a very unbridgey bridge.   But it was my bridge. My secret, hidden bridge across my very own moat that kept out the monsters lurking in the woods.   The first time I crossed I managed three or four steps. Then the knots in my stomach got too tight and the sky seemed too grey and the day too cold.   It wasn’t far, …

Deadpool and Minnie The Minx #FreeComicBookDay

Have you guys ever heard of Free Comic Book Day before? I haven’t. Recently it seems that quite a few national/international days have been popping up and I knew nothing about them at all. Of course it’s great for bloggers since we always have sometime to ramble about, but back to the topic at hand. According to the Twittersphere, today is Free Comic Book Day and it seems a heck of a lot of people are tweeting about it. I’ll admit that I’ve never been much of a comic book reader, aside from the Beano when I was a child, because hey! Who doesn’t love Beano? I used to keep my collection in an box I’d decorated with sticky back vinyl that had the world map printed on it. Minnie the Minx was my favourite character with Dennis the Menace a close second. I think the fact that Minnie had short hair like mine and liked scrambling around with the boys appealed to me. I spent most of my primary school days playing with lads …

Memories From The Playground

  At primary school I learnt how to skip. It was one of those games that didn’t require someone else to hold the rope, unless you wanted them to. It could be singular or plural and I could pretend playing by myself was a choice. Check out this monday’s prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub. Could you write a poem in just 44 words?

NaPoWriMo Day Eighteen

  Twemlows Cottage The sound of home is my father holding a blade of grass, between fingers and mouth, blowing long, sharp shrieks across the garden. The way sand and soil crunch beneath a spade and the long, drizzling slide of dirt, falling as it’s lifted out of a pit. The old creak of rusted trampoline springs, groaning on each take-off, each landing, snapping back with the crack, snap of static jumping jacks to small, flushed hands. It is the hum of rally-cars on Sundays down the old airfield runways, and the drone that vibrates my skull as the parachute club plane skims by low, doors thrown open, the blue behind paint splattered. It’s the heavy stillness over the nights and the low-level whisper of the A41, still muttering odd words at three am while I sleep, content. It is the sameness of it all, day after night after day after night. It is home.  


I have never liked the way rust feels against the skin. Shards of old paint curling and collapsing beneath the press of tiny, grubby fingers as the latch on the gate fights to remain shut, last weeks rain, too much for something so old to face without a little protest. The tiny flakes that stay behind, stuck into the sweat and the mud, too small and sharp to brush off all together no matter how many times hands are scrubbed against dirt stained jeans with patches at the knees or run across the grain of old fence posts that dot the garden paths and always lead back home.    


In the mornings we would bake. Scones, crust pastry fairy cakes. You’d whip round those edges, make them trim and leave the bits for leaves and berries from tiny fingertips. Chairs pushed against worktops one on either side, you showed us how to do this and that. … In the afternoons we shared apples. Jo and I sat together and you with that single strand peel turning always turning until it coiled around my childhood and tugged out an adult who will always miss you, pastries and apples.   Julia ‘Ba’ Farr – 2 April 1915 – 17 November 2015