Who Am I?
Identity in crisis, I feel lost
Confusion reigns as childhood truths change form
Disintegrate as barriers are crossed
And old horizons, stretched, create new norms
Beliefs I’ve held for years emerge as lies
Distorted falsehoods firmly posed as fact
Still trouble me and need to be revised
To help me hold my mental health intact
But somehow I feel stronger in my soul
Perhaps I’m not as lost as first believed
More wounded needing healing to be whole
Than broken needing fixed – I feel relieved
No longer guilt-fed child who cannot cope
This careworn woman filled with future hope…
From my dad I’ve inherited my love of the outdoors, of spending time in nature, but from my mum I’ve inherited my love of reading. Now in my fifties, I have to say sitting outside in the fresh air and warm sunshine with a good book to lose myself in surely has to be one of my favourite pastimes in the world… ❤
The art of housewifery was learned, for me, from childhood onwards through an old-fashioned apprenticeship served at the knees of the closest adult women in my life; in particular my mother, my aunts, and my two beloved grandmothers.
I listened, I watched, I helped, I copied, and finally over the years I developed my own style of cooking, baking, cleaning, and home-making in general; a personal blend of the best of all, adapted and updated as necessary to suit my own familial needs and circumstances. It may have been a time when societal expectation meant that men went out to work and women kept the home-fires burning, but those traditional skills have proved invaluable nonetheless.
It is an inheritance I am forever grateful for, an oh-so-familiar ritual of home-making I have hopefully passed on in a similar simple fashion to my own children, both son and daughters. And in time, with luck my beautiful grandchildren too will find the same solace in absorbing those same familiar tasks by a kind of cultural osmosis, as already they watch and learn in their turn, the next generation of apprentices in the making…
As a tomboyish girl running wild
I just loved climbing trees as a child
On my way to the woods
I’d race fast as I could
With the promise of branches beguiled…
Long school day over
Swarming children running free
Joyful play begins 🙂
I love the quirky character of old cobbled streets – as a child in the 1960s many older city streets were still cobbled, and the sound of our family car tyres thrumming gently over the rounded level-set stones is firmly fixed in my memory, along with the distinctive warm smell of the worn leather car seats on which I sat.
This particular cobbled street was taken in London’s Soho a couple of weeks ago – I got several funny looks from people passing by who must have wondered just what the hell I was photographing! 🙂
Swings quiver unswung
Shackled by silvery chains
Suspended in wait…
This fun ceiling mobile of colourfully-framed film slides hanging above the camera department in John Lewis on Oxford Street certainly caught my eye. As few people even use camera film any more, and probably even less people still develop their images as transparencies, I was quite surprised to see so many modern variations of old-fashioned slides ‘repurposed’ as artistic decoration in a store, but they certainly brought back fond memories…
My grandfather was a keen photographer and had many multiples of little boxes (Kodak, yellow box with transparent plastic lid) of white-framed slides we used to view either through a small individual hand-held light-box, or projected onto the wall as a family via a rather cumbersome slide-projector. Slides were basically individual frames of transparent developed film – like a negative, except a positive image – and were quite popular when I was young!
When decimalisation was first introduced in the UK in 1971, I for one was delighted. Sadly I’m not the world’s most gifted mathematician, so for me, struggling to get my 7-year-old head around the apparent eccentricity of the ‘old’ tripartite currency system of lsd – libra, solidus, denarius, or pounds, shillings and pence – was seriously problematic when it came to doing (or more accurately failing to do) even the most straightforward of money-related sums at school.
There was just so much complicated stuff to remember – there were 12 pennies in a shilling, and 20 shillings in a pound, so 240 old pennies made a pound. That meant three columns, and lots of different complex (for me) calculations in order to find the correct answers when working out basic adding up. Then in early 1971 everything changed – everything began to be counted in multiples of ten, there were now only 100 new pence in a pound, and suddenly calculating sums made a modicum of sense at last.
Money finally started making sense – in the abstract as well as the concrete – and I found a whole new world opened out for me after that. I suppose it was the particular timing as much as anything, but the memory of the absolute enlightenment I felt in the delightful clarity of decimalisation has always remained a firm watershed moment in my mind… 🙂
Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News has really started something for me with his quest to post 51 songs from the past in 51 weeks. It’s such fun! I keep remembering so many old songs from my youth, but when I go back to listen to them again they no longer sound the way I thought. Or rather, they’ve remained exactly the same as they always were, but either I’ve changed too much, or the times have changed, and I’ve somehow just outgrown them.
But there are still plenty of old memories to be re-lived that still hit the spot for me, and this catchy sing-along tune from Mungo Jerry was a definite favourite at the time, and still works for me today, too. Honestly I must have driven everyone nuts singing it so often… so here’s ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’ from 1973, the year I turned 10… 🙂
P.S. One of Mungo Jerry’s songs has been used more recently (1992 – ok, so maybe not that recently!) in a UK anti-drink-driving ad, featuring ‘In the Summertime’ (from 1970) in an ironic ‘how not to’ kind of way… the hard-hitting ad was very successful, but sadly it really spoiled the intended feel-good factor of the original track for many…
And here’s the ad, if you’ve never seen it…