Cooking toast.

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When I was a child I used to cook toast-on the gas fire!

I would come home from school and warm up in front of the fire, warming my toes, feet, hands and face. We didn’t have central heating, so only the living room was warm. I was older than my siblings so this was my job. Slices of white bread hooked onto the bars on the front of the gas fire with a metal fork. A few seconds and you turn the bread over. Delicious hot toast and I guess margarine because we couldn’t afford butter. If it was a Sunday I sometimes cooked crumpets. They are like a savoury bread like a muffin but full of holes  through the middle of them and at the top of them so when they have butter or margarine spread on them it melts right through the middle of them.

I remember the lovely smells of toast and margarine, together with a hot cup of tea in small cups with orange and brown patterns on them.

This memory was prompted by a question on the Alchemists blog page which asked for memories of being cozy. It’s good to uncover old memories like this.

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Twins

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People seem to think there are only identical twin. Born on usually the same day, unless the Labour is long and continues into the next day. They are from one fertilised egg which splits in two and goes on to form two babies (or in the case of other multiple births, more, for instance triplets). Identical twins might not fully seperate in the womb and can end up being conjoined, that is joined together. Sometimes at the head or the body. It is possible to operate and seperate them if they are not sharing organs. This is not always possible though.

There is another form of twin. Non identical. These are two seperate eggs that are fertilised at the same, or almost the same time. Non identical twins are called fraternal twins. They can be a boy and a girl, a boy and a boy or a girl and a girl. They are brothers and sisters born at the same time, but not exact copies. As they grow up their differences become more apparent. They may be bought up wearing the same clothes…. But they are not necessarily the same shape or size. As with identical twins they may have similar interests or completely different ones.

Life can be interesting, a lot of how we live is often influenced by how we are bought up, not just from our genes. It’s the old nurture verses nature argument.

Red hair, green eyes

 

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Red hair and green eyed, pale skinned, she stood in the garden in the rain. She looked out over the countryside and remembered her old family farm.

Sadness overwhelmed her as she thought of her mother and father. It was ten years ago since they had died and she wished they were still here. She wanted to be able to pick up the phone and talk to them. She’d always called on Sunday nights. Then one day her father was ill, and in hospital, he passed away that night . Later in the same week her mother died of a heart attack, they said she had a broken heart.

All this was long ago, but the longing to be with them never ended. Her sister had stayed on the farm and inherited it. The problem was they didn’t get on anymore. She couldn’t face going home to the farm. She thought of her red hair, her green eyes, but she had no fire in her mind, no jealousy in her thoughts. The outside did not signify how she felt. She went in and closed the back door.

Gran

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It’s 23 years since she died and I still miss her. I miss the visits with my mother to see her. She had an open fire in her living room and when I was little I used to make spills of rolled up newspaper to light the fire with. I think my grandad used to use them to light his pipe. Infront of the fire was a big peg rug, made of pieces of rag cut into thin strips and pushed through a hessian sack backing. The chimney caught fire once because gran had put a board across it to draw the air in. The fire caught the soot in the chimney. The fire brigade arrived.

At one stage I remember the kitchen had a tin bath on a ledge at the end of the kitchen. They must have had it infront of the fire. The other downstairs room in the house was the front parlour. It had a big heavy suite in it and an aspedistera in a pot on a stand. The parlour was only ever used for formal occasions. I think I remember dusting it for gran sometimes.

At the back of the house was an alleyway but it was only narrow and beyond that was the gate into the back garden. Gran and grandad used to keep hens.

Once you start remembering it’s funny what comes back.

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First and last through the gates. #writephoto

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Image copyright Sue Vincent. From Sue’s #writephoto photo prompt.

This is my first ever ping back so I hope it works……

The stone gateway was imposing, the heavy gates looked too big to push open easily. The first time I walked through the gates I was 10 years old and very nervous. My grandma lived in the big house, but as we had only just moved back after several years abroad I had never met her. Seeing the gates and the stone gateposts made me think that someone very important lived there.

I remembered the long tree lined drive. The dappled sunlight warming the golden gravel. I wanted to know how far it was to the front door so I started counting steps, but lost track around 300. As I turned a bend in the path I saw  short, grey haired lady in horn rimmed glasses, she didn’t look as scary as I imagined her. She was waiting at the top of three steps made of grey stone. I wanted to run up to her, but mom had told me to be polite. So I walked up slowly and quietly said hello.

That had been 40 years ago. My gran must have been about 50 but I had thought she was very old. I remembered her putting a record on for me, a Beatles song. ” Help ” I think it was? From then on she would always play music when I arrived, some pop music, other times classical music like Stravinsky or Rachmaninov. Sometimes we danced together and laughed at each other.

Today was a sad day. The last time I would walk through those gates. I remembered all the happy times I had spent there. Afternoons after school always seemed sunny. Gran would give me a snack and Mom would pick me up when she finished work.

Now both of them were gone. Today I had to lock up grans house and hand over the keys to the estate agent. The funeral had been a week ago. I had her favourite music played at the ceremony.

As I left I shut the gates gently, knowing I would never walk there again…..

Wedding painting

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When we got married we stood on the steps of the local registry office and had a few group photos taken. I have the album somewhere (it was full of photos taken by friends as we didn’t have a photographer).

I decided to do a painting of the occasion. I used two photos, because faces and people were not posed I had to take figures off two photos to make a nice composition. (By the way my sister is that tall!)

I apologise for this photo, it’s not very good. I should really take better ones with lighting etc but I don’t have those resources.

I will say it was a good wedding. We only spent £300 and that was including our clothes, the food and our honeymoon!

How did we do it? Everyone bought food for a buffet at our house. We got a barrel of beer in. Friends made and iced the cake (shaped like a cat with a blue and pink cat on top). We held the reception at home. The honeymoon was two nights in a posh hotel, two in a bed and breakfast and the rest of the week in a caravan!

Clouds in Wales

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Bars of clouds ascend on high.

Coloured lights paint the sky

How I wish I could return,

to that land of woods and fern.

Mountains high

and valleys deep,

Singers from the Mines and Steel.

Workers with their hands and feet

Love their land through wake and sleep.

I can only look from far

Wishing always to be there.

Welsh by ancestors alone,

Looking cross the border land

Perhaps one day I will lie

Between the earth and cloud barred sky.