It’s my parents’ wedding anniversary today. As both have died they aren’t, at least to my knowledge, celebrating. Though maybe on some other plane they are toasting their years together with champagne or, most likely in my father’s case, tea. I’ll do my bit with a glass of wine.
Some of their anniversaries stand out in my memory; the one when the woman for whom my mother worked as her private nurse died. That meant immediate loss of income, so not a great day. Another was when I gave them a small table that had been restored and which they admired. But it’s funny how many I have forgotten. Memory is a strange thing. How is it we remember some things so clearly and yet the days months, years before and after those events have been erased from our minds? It’s not as though everything we remember is, or appears at a distance, to be highly significant, or is that just me?
I have so many snap shot memories of small events. My earliest memory is of receiving a pair of green dungarees with a picture of a rabbit in a motor car on the bib. I was eighteen months old, my second Christmas. The dungarees were from my godparents. I recall standing in the kitchen looking up at my mother. The kitchen surfaces were way above my head. Why that moment? Funnily enough another early memory, and by now I must have been two or three, was when my father got a new pair of corduroy trousers and I knew I would get a pair he made for me out of his old ones. I imagine I must already have been wearing a pair from his previous pair, but I don’t remember them.
I am glad I have been writing these diaries of this strange time as already my memories are jumbled and incomplete. I am not saying these posts will give the whole picture, obviously they won’t, but they will give me some idea, maybe nudge some memories back to life, or into the light.
Stay safe. Keep well. Be kind.
I’m impressed that you have a memory from eighteen months old. My earliest must be when I was at least two, as that’s when we moved to that house. Just snapshots, as you say. One of being in the bath, and the brown mark from where the tap dripped; the other of greater significance – rounding the corner by the postbox in my grandfather’s car when I was just three and sitting in the back with my mother holding my newborn baby brother coming from the nursing home where he was born.
Why the dungarees made such an impression I don’t know. I am guessing I didn’t have many brand new clothes (older sister and several older cousins nearby) so maybe it was an occasion for me and for my mother that I should be the first person to wear a particular item of clothing. Thinking about it I realise quite a few early memories involve being given something; bars of soap one Christmas with Noddy transfers on them. I also remember a visitor, name forgotten I just know he was male, who sat next to my high chair one dinner and I kept passing him my bits of sausage. An early indication of my rejection of meat perhaps rather than any generosity on my part.
I can’t remember anything before the age of 4 – lying in bed at midnight on New Year’s Eve thinking, Why are all those noisy people outside in the street being nice to each other? Tomorrow they’ll hate each other’s guts, again.
My goodness, I don’t think I was aware of midnight at that age, far less New Year’s Eve!