Saturday, 27 February 2016

Early memories.

Sometimes I wonder just how accurate our memories are.   Funnily enough, the older I get, the more early memories seem to surface.   I think this happens to everyone - but to what degree are they accurate?   And why is it that we remember some things with what seems to be such clarity while other things have faded completely and only resurface after a jogging from someone else who shares the same memory?

For example, a few years ago I found out that a school friend with whom I had not had contact for fifty years, lived only about thirty miles away from where I live - and I also had her address.   So I wrote to her and we arranged to meet for lunch - and recognised one another immediately.  (forwarned is forarmed of course).   Needless to say, we reminisced - she remembered some things and I remembered others - but there were hardly any shared memories.   Things which had made enough impression on me to stick in the depths of my memory had passed her by - and vice versa.

So I have raked the corners of my mind to think of my earliest memories - perhaps you could do the same and we could all share them.

When I was about three I fell into the garden pond in my sister's garden.  A neighbour's daughter who was about eight years old was playing with me and she ran and got my sister and I was pulled out.   That night the pond was filled in.  Possibly my earliest memory I think.

I started school when I was just over four years old.  At the time I had a blue knitted teddy which I called 'Woolly'.   He came to bed with me every night.   One night when I looked for him he had gone and my mother said that now I was a big girl at school I didn't need him any more and she had given him to a neighbour's baby to play with. (when I think that my son, who is well into his fifties, still has the toys he used to line up in his bed at night, I suppose I should have been devastated - but I wasn't and seem to have accepted it.  )

Another very early memory is of seeing an airship go over our house very low in the sky.   I was always told it was the Hindenberg shortly before it crashed, but I have never looked into it - just presume it was either that or the R101.

Just three early memories from my store.  Have you any from your store?

**I should add that my son has the toys in a box in the loft - not still lined up along the foot of his bed every night!!

  

31 comments:

Mac n' Janet said...

I have very few early memories. I can remember being 8 and before that not much.

donna baker said...

I was a holy terror from the start Pat, so most would be pained. I do remember freezing after baths and getting my toenails clipped which scared me to death.

Heather said...

Lovely early memories. I can remember my grandfather playing 'Two Little Dicky Birds' with me when I was about four years old, and at about the same age coming downstairs from an afternoon nap to find my grandmother in the garden with a large sewing group making pyjamas for injured servicemen. I remember going to school for the first time a few months later, on a very full bus and having to change to another one. My mother worked so I imagine that first morning I went with a friend and her mother. I also remember my first teacher, Miss Moss, who was lovely. Her mother taught us to swim, in an outside pool with icy water and very draughty changing cubicles. I hated it.

hart said...

I have one memory while I was still sleeping in a crib, so under three, when I got a big bed. I was ill and my grandmother asked me what she could do for me to make me feel better. I said come in here and play with me. She did, I can see her sitting at the other end of the crib with her legs folded. My mother didn't believe me, but--we checked with my grandmother and she admitted that yes, it was true.

Lindsay said...

Not an early memory but a curious one. A neighbour friend and I used to commute into London to attend a secretarial college - we were 18 years old. One day the train came to an abrupt halt and remained stationary for over an hour until railwaymen walked along the line to us. The bridge at Clapham Junction had fallen down. We all had to get out onto the line and walk to Wimbledon. From there my friend and I worked out how to get home via buses - we did not attempt London. I remember distinctly the clothes I was wearing and everything. I met my friend about a year ago and she remembers nothing of the big event - how strange is that? By the way - the secretarial college took a dim view that we did not try to get to London!!!!

Colette said...

I have been reading and enjoying your blog for a while, but I have never commented before. Hard to resist commenting on this one! I remember my second birthday, the older kids must have been schooling me on how to hold up two fingers. My memory is standing in front of my father and him asking me how old I was that day, and I can see my two little fingers shoot up in front of my eyes.

Wilma said...

My first memory that I can date is when I was two and there was no room for me to sit on my mother's lap any longer because she was pregnant with my baby brother. Also memories of end-of-day walks through the garden to see how much the plants had grown when I was 2-5 years old. We could always count on measurable growth in young bamboo stalks.

Gwil W said...

I remember my sister hitting me over the head with a piece of brick because us boys wuldn't let girls play with our marbles. O if only we'd known what we know now :)

Pondside said...

Not long ago I asked my father about a lovely but persistent memory. I recall being on the ground and looking up to see a man in a fedora bending down to pat my head. What I remember most is the wonderful feeling at seeing the man. My father told me that it was my grandfather, who died before I was too much older. He would come by on his way home just to stop to see me in my playpen. I would have been two years old.
I love your memory posts. The always jog something in my memory.

Librarian said...

From all I've read about neuroscience, psychology and human memory, I'm afraid it's not very accurate - but still serves us well unless we are affected by a desease or have suffered a severe head injury at some stage.
Ask any police officer who has ever had to take a witness' statement after an accident!

My earliest memory is from when I was not yet 3 years old. I wanted to go out and play, but my Mum wasn't ready yet, still getting dressed (or dressing my sister or otherwise busy). I didn't want to wait any longer and somehow managed to get out of the house and to the road. I was in socks - couldn't put on my shoes by myself yet. A kind neighbour saw me, lifted me up and sat me on top of the garden wall to wait there for my Mum. I was perfectly safe up there, safer than if I had been on the road, and I remember how great it felt sitting on top there and having a good view, while my feet were a little wet and cold (it must have been raining before).

angryparsnip said...

What a wonderful post. I have some memories but will have to post them later.
I have to zoom out soon.

cheers, parsnip

Sue in Suffolk said...

My earliest memory is from when I was 2 years 11 months old. My mum was widowed when she was pregnant with me and just before I was 3 she married my dads older brother. I can remember walking down the hallway in the house to give her a silver horseshoe as they came in the front door after the wedding. ( I had been left at home with our next door neighbour as it just wasn't the done thing to have small children at weddings back in the early 50s)

Joanne Noragon said...

It was my second Christmas; which made me 21 months. My grandfather was alive; he died the following February. I picked up the locomotive from the track under the tree. It was so heavy I needed two hands. I walked, with it straight in front of me, to the other end of the room and presented it to my grandfather. "Put it back," he said. I went about face and carried a locomotive that weighed near ten pounds, I think, back and put it down, but not on the tracks.

Rachel said...

I remember Feb 25th 1958. I remember the day we were snowed in at school and all the roads out of Norwich were blocked. The reason I know the date are two fold. Firstly it was my brother's birthday, so never forgotten in the family as the day the snow came, and secondly the year because, although I could have guessed it, we recently found an old diary where my eldest brother had recorded the event. It is a long story, too long for here, of how we all got home, but I remember it all and my father taking us the last part of the journey on a tractor. As I have said here before, February is often the worst month for weather.

Maria said...

I remember I was three years old, my big brother was in hospital and small children were not allowed in the ward during visiting hours. I had to remain in the waiting room and not move from there until my mother's return. One day I desperately needed to go to the toilet, I peed in a pot plant in the corner of the room. Greetings Maria x

Bovey Belle said...

How the starting point of one's memories differ. I don't have much before 5 years old when I was at school. I can remember it snowed, and someone older through a snowball at a friend, only it had a stone in it and that made him bleed (very dramatic, blood on snow). I can remember having to take a jamjar into school for water for our painting lesson. Somehow I managed to knock MY jamjar on the floor where it broke of course. The nasty teacher (can't recall her name) shouted at me and told me I had to bring thruppence to pay for the broken jamjar (MY one!) My mum went down the school and shouted at the teacher! Now I shall own up to stealing a book! I wanted to learn to read more SO much and I can remember slipping the book up my jumper, and Mrs Williams noticed, but said nothing. I still LIVE for books.

Interesting how your memories and your friends differed so much. My best friend remembers things I don't, and vice versa, so memories are obviously very personal things.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I go back to about 3, being pushed around in a buggy in the rain in Manchester, and also getting the train into the city from Prestwich, going past a minuture digger, which I thought was very exciting.

Derek Faulkner said...

One of my earliest memories was from the very early 1950's when I was 5-6, something like that. I fell over in the back garden and apparently sliced the side of my left thigh open. I can remember my father wrapping a towel round my leg and carrying me in his arms to our doctors a couple of streets away, where the wound was stitched up.
Another memory from very early school days, was that awful thing that mothers did whereby a length of tape or elastic was fed up one sleeve of a raincoat or jacket, across the shoulders and down the other sleeve. To each end of the tape was sewn a glove so that you couldn't lose them. I hated having my gloves dangling from each sleeve and forever pulled them off.

Robin Mac said...

Fascinating memories everyone has. One of my earliest memories is when I was about two and a half, early in the war years, before my father had joined the army. There was a VAD unit which after practice, congregated on our front lawn for a beer or two. I can remember taking around a tin mug collecting donations towards the cost of the beer. What I cannot remember is that my mother swiftly put a stop to that when she discovered that the men were giving me sips of beer and I ended up drunk!!!
We had empty paddocks opposite our home and the Indian Horse Brigade(?) - army people and horses and Sikh Indians anyway, were camped there for some time. They had no running water and a wonderful Sikh soldier with his turban used to come over with a bucket to get water from our tap. I have no recollection of how long they were there or even why they were in our little country town well inland from the coast.

Midmarsh John said...

Some things do stick in the memory. I think my earliest memory was being woken up by loud thumps and feeling the floor bouncing. Wandering to a window I saw a crane using a steel ball to demolish the concrete air-raid shelter which was in the middle of the street. The ground in that area was an old marsh and we couldn't have the usual shelters dug in the garden. I guess I was near three years old. Later I can remember a journey looking from the top deck of a bus and seeing the bomb damage with gaps in rows of houses and cellars full of water.

Gwil W said...

I remember somebody in our street buying a TV set. All the neighbourhood children were invited to watch the great switch on. We sat round in a semi circle on the floor and waited for Muffin the Mule. Another early memory is the Coronation Party. I remember it was held outdoors at the end of the street on long decorated tables and I ate lots of jelly. Of course I remember Listen With Mother on the wireless. The wireless always took ages to warm up. It's the valves, my dad explained. There was a funny smell emitted by the radio as it warmed up and words like Hilversum glowed. I remember listening to episodes of Quatermass, but that must have been later. About the time I saw the strange ghost in the bathroom. Goodness, how the memory unfolds! My aunt had a boxer dog called Monty. As it grew older it went completely bald and it also gave off a funny smell. My very earliest memory could be of being born. A dark tunnel vortex of a dream. Had it many times. Frightening really. I remember starting school. I was 3. My brother asked where I'd been. I told him and he said he wanted to go with me. On the day he was 3 I took him to school without telling my parents. When he got there and saw the other children and the lady teacher he cried and cried. Mum eventually figured out where he must have gone and came to school and took him home.

The Weaver of Grass said...

What fascinating memories.
Bit of a naughty one from you Gwil!!!
Rachel - would love to hear about being snowed up in a bit more detail.
So manyof the memories brought back more of my memories. I remember Quatermass vividly Gwil - marvellous early sci-fi I suppose. Amd I remember all the family going to an aunt's to watch the coronation on a very small-screened TV.
Thanks everyone for stirring up bits of my brain which we lying pretty dormant.

Derek Faulkner said...

When I was a boy our wireless was powered by an accumalator (dodgy spelling). It was a glass square thing full of what looked liked water but was probably acid, and a couple of posts that stuck out the top. It was my job once a week to take it round to the battery man's back garden and exchange it for another one.

Jenny said...

I agree about more memories coming back the older you get, something I don't particularly enjoy as the ones that come back are not always of the best times. I can remember starting school, 62 years ago, like it was yesterday and having a grumbling appendix shortly after that. My mum prepared me for a possible operation saying how well the nurses would look after me and that I'd get cocoa every night, my cousin told me that I'd wake up after the op in a bed soaked with blood. Fortunately the appendix settled down and I didn't go into hospital, I haven't seen that cousin for many years.

Gwil W said...

Reading about Simon being pushed around in a buggy, I recalled a long dormant memory of being placed outside the front door in a pram to get some fresh air.

I think I have lots of very clear early memories because of the time my mum let me wait outside the post office if I promised to be really good and not move. I felt very grown up and went to see if there was anything interesting the corner. A large expensive car containing a man and a woman pulled up and the occupants tried to force me into the car. People hearing my cries and seeing my struggles came running and rescued me. I thought my rescuers would never come. It seemed ages but in reality it was only a minute or two. I think the area of my brain for my early life is basically hardwired.

Linda Metcalf said...

I remember being 4 years old and playing with a jumproap tied to my granny's banister and those little fuzzy Easter chicks with the wired feet hooked to it. I was an only child for 6 years then came the other 9. I have so many things I remember from early childhood but cannot tell you what happened a year or two ago.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I have kindergarten memories so I guess I would have been five (?) I remember a stack of blue blankets and pink blankets that we used for nap time, although I do not think we had naps every time we went to kindergarten. I remember the wooden kitchen set, pet day when we did not have to nap because Steven McKay's cat was sleeping on the aforementioned blankets, practising printing my name on a lined card with a fat red pencil, and the day of our trip to Storybook Gardens when Jeannie brought a glass bottle of pop which smashed on the cement and cut her knee before we left, so she wasn't able to come on the trip. Memories of home are also there, but I am not sure how old I was. Thanks for getting us thinking! -Jenn

jinxxxygirl said...

My goodness Pat you are getting quite the following. I'm the 28th comment!!! LOL! Gosh the earlies has to be my third birthday party.. My dad brought in a big cardboard box and i opened the lid and inside was a brown poodle that i named Cocoa..... I was riding the lawnmower in my dads lap and we were mowing the yard.. and he calmly set me down and told me to RUN ... and i ran all the way to the house .... he had run over a bees nest in the ground and got stung badly....and then my dad and i were on the porch( i was probably 6 or 7) bending down and petting our very pregnant cat when she started biting our fingers...then REALLY biting our fingers and she had her first kitten right there! Thanks for making me think Pat! Hugs! deb

Frances said...

I am wondering how many of my earliest memories might have been influenced ages ago by my being enthralled by old family photograph albums. All black and white photographs, of course.

My Mother has told me that my personality changed when I was almost four years old and my brother was born, ending my only child status. I don't remember that, but must rely on her memory!

xo

Dartford Warbler said...

My first memory is of sitting up in my pram , when a big black dog stood up on its hind legs and looked in. No fear - just a friendly but unexpected dog-face looking at me.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derek - I remember those gadgets on early radios (daren't attempt a spelling! Interesting that not all the memories of happy ones - and yet we have survived to tell of them in our old age. Thanks to every one of you for a very interesting and colourful comments page.