For the last two years I’ve joined in the #atozchallenge, namely to post every weekday in April using each letter of the alphabet in turn. In 2015 it was places I’d been to, in 2016 it was London themed. This year it is a dictionary of my family, recounting incidents small and large that have taught me lessons down the years, caused me consternation or generally seared themselves into my memory. I hope you enjoy them. To find other bloggers doing the challenge and maybe be inspired yourself, check out the A to Z Blogging Challenge Blog, here.
Today I’m combining with Irene Waters Times Past memoir prompt which this month is ‘weather’. I’m a late blooming Baby Boomer for Irene’s categories…
It wasn’t always sunny when I was a kid that’s for sure. Yes, I remember sunny days – one especially sticks out when I sat down in some long grass and found a broken milk bottle – by the expedient of lacerating my bum. I was maybe 6. It was horrendous but my parent always told me I was very brave. Whatever, it hurt to all buggery and started me on my collection of stitches that down the years have easily topped 100.
No, the two climatic conditions that really stick out are the winter of 1962/63 and especially the period around February when we had snow for a month or more. School shut regularly and mum pulled us to the shops on a toboggan. I think that was the first, maybe only time, when I really really didn’t want any more snow. Now it is so rare it’s a treat to see, even with the chaos that ensues. Or it means skiing.
The other is rain. I loved downpours. Not drizzle or brief pulses of rain but proper old-fashioned ‘it’s set in for the day’ rain. One memory especially sticks out. We lived in a cul-de-sac called Anne’s Walk. Number 5 – was it oh brother of mine? I’ve gone a blank. Anyhow, the houses started at the top of a short but steepish slope and when it rained – this being the highest point around, the water ran off, down the gutters at a fair old rate. One day – I’d have been 7-9 ish and I was on my own which probably meant the Archaeologist was at Scouts or something and I wasn’t – I was already soaked by the time I reached the bus stop down in the town, maybe half a mile from school. It was still hosing down when I got off, about a quarter-mile from home and, turning into Anne’s walk, with no one around, the world utterly drenched and a small tsunami racing down the guttering I danced up through the deepest water and back down and up again, three or four times. It was bliss.
My school sandals – so this was the summer term and a summer storm – were drenched and my socks so full of water that they had wrapped themselves round my shoes. My raincoat – ha! – blazer, shirt and vest plus shorts and pants were saturated and I was in heaven. It was only as I approached our front door that I wondered if Mum would appreciate how wet I was. Probably not.
So I knocked and waited to be let in, somewhat tremulous.
She took one look at me and laughed fit to bust. She said after that I looked so happy she couldn’t be cross. Mind you she made me strip off every stitch of clothing in the hall was which was embarrassing so she had some retribution.
The Lawyer it turns out is the same as me, utterly in love with rain. Nowadays, I’m more reticent but, you know, there’s still a part of me that on warm sultry days when a storm breaks, wants to head outside…