There’s always a lovely familiarity in still being able to recite things learned in childhood through the regularity of repetition, a satisfactory comfort in the cadence and conscious flow of the words.
At school early on I learned the Lord’s Prayer, and of course my times tables up to twelve. And I also remember with fondness my Brownie Guide Promise:
‘I promise that I’ll do my best to do my duty to God, to serve the Queen and help other people, and to keep the Brownie Guide Law’.
In order to remember how many days were in each month we’d always recite:
‘Thirty days hath September, April June and November. All the rest have thirty-one except February alone which has twenty-eight days clear, and twenty-nine on each leap year.’
From maths class in my teens I particularly remember the Pythagoras Theorem, for some obscure reason:
‘The square of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the opposite two sides’
And from English class, as well as being still able to recite simple rules of spelling like ‘i after e except after c’, snippets of Shakespeare’s ”Hamlet’ that resonated at the time and have stuck with me throughout the years:
‘To be, or not to be – that is the question? Whether tis nobler in mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them.’
Turned out to be the story of my life, that one! 🙂
Daily Prompt: Recite
I may be a 53-year-old grandmother, but the intense satisfaction of colouring-in pre-printed generic outlines I’ve enjoyed since childhood has never left me. The current trend for producing adult colouring books has been brilliant for me – I have three A4 sized books, all slightly different, and alternate them depending on my mood. Some pages have full-page abstract designs, some with only central circular mandala-style shapes; some with recognisable subjects, some no more than doodles.
Colouring-in for me nowadays is a completely harmless way of creating some semblance of control over my actions in what can sometimes feel like an otherwise uncontrollable adult world – I can choose which colour to put next, one after another, finally building up a complete picture that is uniquely mine. Even someone else with the same book will no doubt choose to colour the same image very differently – perhaps using felt-tipped pens instead of coloured pencils, or pressing lightly and shading larger areas rather than pressing more heavily, concentrating on smaller sections.
Personally I prefer applying relatively dense colour by using the same kind of coloured pencils I used as a child – I first lay them all out on a tray to locate each colour more easily, before becoming completely engrossed in the rhythmic patterns of small movments, simply letting my imagination run free going with the flow of colour in whichever direction suits me best at the time. Some pages I work from edge to edge, and others I begin somewhere in the middle and radiate out. And I don’t tend to plan each design in advance – I simply move on playfully from one colour, one shape, to the next until I’m done.
Colouring-in soothes me in a way I can’t quite describe – it connects me in the simplest and most inclusive of ways with the immersive joy of creative artistic expression. Perhaps not everyone can draw or paint, but everyone can colour in – it’s not as daunting as facing a completely blank page as the outlines are already there in principle, providing the perfect framework to entice you in. When life feels drab and grey, it really does help me put a little colour into my world… 🙂
Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction
Beatrix Potter features heavily in my memories of childhood – I loved not only her stories but also the delicate watercolour illustrations sitting alongside the words on each page. The little hardback books I remember so fondly still sit in the bookcase of children’s books at my parents house, grubby and worn but oh-so-well-loved through the generations in our family. The Tailor of Gloucester, Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and the Flopsy Bunnies were always my favourites – for some reason Mrs Tiggywinkle and Squirrel Nutkin just didn’t resonate with me in the same way… 🙂
Daily Prompt: Tailor
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… ❤
Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage
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…
Daily Prompt: Apprentice
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! 🙂
Daily Prompt: Sound