How lucky

How lucky to have glasses, to be able to see. I didn’t always wear glasses. My poor eyesight was only picked up in eye screening at school. I don’t remember things being blurred or hard to see. Did I sit at the front of the class? I don’t know. I remember my first glasses. They had beautiful blue frames. I learnt to be patient as the optician looked into the back of my eyes. Shining a light so I could see the blood vessels reflected somehow onto my retinas.

Rugby ball shaped eyes were the diagnosis. Short sighted. Suddenly I could see the world clearly. I felt freed from a struggle I did not know I had been going through. I only realised how bad my eyesight was when I learnt to swim. I couldn’t wear my glasses in the swimming pool and I could not recognise my friends unless they came close.

Now I understand why I got lost on a beach a few years before! I could not see my family when I wandered off. And why I got lost on a caravan site. I could not see the numbers on the vans…. Yes I am lucky. I wish others could be too…

Reading

A friend here, @stoneronarollercoaster just asked what book got people into reading as a child.

I remember reading Myths and Legends books from quite early on. The story of Pandora box for instance. I remember them when I was about eight or nine. And when I was older I liked the Nancy Drew Mysteries then Agatha Christie stories.

But the main book that got me was when I was about ten I read ‘Old Yeller’ a book that shocked me as it was about a dog that had caught rabies. I remember it was very sad and made me really aware of death. I’ve never read it again. Maybe I should. I’ve been a bibliophile ever since.

Seaside colours

Just drawing in these colours gives me memories of sunny days at the seaside. If the colours were greys and turq, with some white added I would think of wild stormy days.

I remember a seaside holiday in the summer that was very grey and wet. The rain started as we arrived and took a taxi from the station to the chalet we were staying in. I was about eleven and I remember staring out of single glazed windows down a steep hill. I can’t remember a beach? I do remember mom having to put coins in a box on the back of a TV so we could watch it.w

Eventually the weather cleared up m I remember a harbour with lots of sailing boats. I think we went mackerel fishing but all my family got seasick except for me. The fishing lines kept catching fish and I pulled them in. When we got back the fisherman tried to give mom all the old fish but she insisted we got the ones I had caught. I don’t know what happened to them.

I also remember a hovercraft trip on a very choppy sea and eating egg and chips in a rough cafe. Funny what comes back when you see an image..

Being polite

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘I was dragged up to be polite’?

But I think I was taught to be polite from an early age. Things like being told not to answer back, don’t speak until you’re spoken to, children should be seen and not heard. In some ways those are very old fashioned values, but then I was born decades ago. I was the child of parents born in the 1920’s a different era. Me before Thatchers children were born, my parents before Churchill.

Politeness is important to me. Caring about things, being or trying to be aware of things, but sometimes I don’t notice. I don’t always pick up on what has happened, but at least I have politeness to fall back on. Politeness and politics must be verbally linked. Police is to do with being of the people, perhaps polite has the same root?

F. R. O. G. Plane

FROG stands for ‘flies right of the ground’ this plane was just on the TV. The body was aluminium and the wings and tail were made of paper.

This was made in the 1930’s? You put the body of the plane in the box with the propellar attached. There is a handle on the front of the box and a mechanism that holds the propellar. You turn the handle and it winds up a rubber band. Then you peg the wings and tail on and let it loose to fly up off the ground.

Our forebears may not have had the Internet but they knew how to have fun!

Remembered scary tree

Oh I used to run past this tree. I was convinced as a child that it was inhabited by a ghost. As part of this terms college work we had to remember some landscape from our childhood and this was what I thought of.

I’ve probably missed out trees and I can’t remember if there were houses in the background. But it will remain with me forever!

Go back to the sea.

Along the pier

Walk out to Sea

Across the tide

My life to be?

An old man thinks

Of times gone by

Boyhood days

Of gulls and skies.

Of storms and fog

Waves rolling high.

A girl goes skipping

The length of the pier

In the arcades

Candy floss, she cheers.

A woman now

Looks back in time.

Worm eaten memories

Are lost in rhyme.

From young to old

Each person’s regrets

Are tied together

In their own nets.

Sea and sand

Cliffs and rock

All remembered

As the gulls flock.

I remember a tree

I remember a tree that seemed to have a face, and used to scare me when I was a child. There were knot holes where branches had broken off that looked like a face. I remember watching the Wizard of Oz and seeing the wicked witch. For some reason the tree and the witch were linked in my mind. I know I used to walk home through the park sometimes, but I wouldn’t go down that path if it was getting dark.. I also remember walking on the top of an old stone wall, balancing on the top of it, pretending to be a gymnast…. This was over forty years ago. When I look at photos of the park it has a lot more civilised appearance!

Marigold

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I think that’s what this is? It’s a photo I took a our six years ago. It makes me think of grassy banks and hot blue skies, fluttering butterflies and old black poplar trees in a line. Of little dusty paths with small oval pebbles that scatter as you walk. Of running through the fields around our school doing cross country running. Memories of the old rusty fences that enclosed the laying fields. The running track, the hockey fields, the tennis courts, the netball courts. When I think of my old comprehensive school I realise how lucky I was. Memories I haven’t delved into for forty years. I wouldn’t go back but it’s good to remember.