Distant Memories (2)

Here are some more of these childhood memories from when I was very young. They are still appearing randomly, as brief flashbacks in my mind.

A young woman, or perhaps a girl, is dangling a thick plait or pigtail close to my face. I think I am in a pram, looking up. Her hair is very dark, and this feels like a memory I have had previously. But this time, I reach up and grab the thick hair. I can sense how big it is in my tiny hand, and actually feel the weave of the plait in my fingers.

I am sitting on a floor. It is simple wooden floorboards, painted black. I can see the heads of old nails in the corners of the wood. I move across to a threadbare rug, to retrieve a wooden toy car. As I grab it, it moves further away, and I have to follow it until it is stopped by the leg of a chair.

My dad is watching television. Something happens to make him jump up and shout out loud. That startles me as I am playing, but then I smile because he is happy.
(I think this must have been a football match, but can’t be sure. My dad bought a TV in 1953, when I was one year old.)

Walking awkwardly toward my mum. Her arms are outstreched, as if to catch me. She is kneeling on the floor, and wearing her glasses. I feel myself falling, and then she scoops me up into her arms.

An older female friend or relative arrives in the room. She is wearing a fur coat, and smells very strongly of perfume. She reaches down, picks me up easily, and kisses me. The softness of the fur is the first sensation, then I sneeze because of the perfume, and everyone laughs.

In an unfamiliar bed, and feeling incredibly, unbearably hot. I look to my right and see my mum sitting in a chair next to the bed. Her eyes are red and swollen, and she looks different. She turns to someone I can’t see and says, “He’s awake”.

62 thoughts on “Distant Memories (2)

  1. These detailed recollections are so immersive. I am really enjoying these posts. Your writing encapsulates the moments so perfectly that a reader really feels that your memory is being replayed for them on big screen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your nice comment. These are very new to me, something I have not previously experienced. I can only think it might be my age, but whatever the reason, I am finding those brief moments really fascinating. They play in my mind like seconds of an old newsreel. At first, I was concerned that they might be something medical, or the onset of dementia. Then I decided to stop worrying.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wishing you all the good health, Pete. Hopefully, it is nothing. I think writers jog and explore their thoughts so much that they end up digging up detailed memories. What with the pandemic, self-exploration is hitting new levels. Just a theory! Have a nice day!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such detailed and intimate memories Pete. I have none of these in my possession. Sometimes I remember a random detail from my youth but I have a sister who can help me process the memory in the larger context. Warmly, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mum told me years ago that I was ‘given up for dead’ with Scarlet Fever. I told her I had no recollection of it at all. Then last month, this. I could feel the heat, albeit momentarily.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. It is fascinating to read the various comments re people’s memories. I am puzzled about why now. And I read that you were puzzled and briefly worried too. What has triggered these memories? Why now? I have almost always had memories of the past as I’ve moved through life. Just different memories at different times. I think I repress some events I don’t want to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What mainly puzzled me is that before last month, all my ‘real’ memories seemed to only start after the age of five. Starting school appeared to be the beginning of childhood memories for me. Then last month, I started to experience these much earlier ‘flashbacks’. They are momentary, but unforgettable, and to some extent, they are also overwhelming. They include the sense of touch and smell, so seem remarkable to me, Janet.
      I can only think it is something to do with my age. (I will be 70 next March) It is as if my brain has released a ‘time-lock’, and allowed those memories to come flooding out.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Wow, that last memory! He’s awake! My earliest memory is at the age of 2, riding in the back of a police car, seeing the gun through the crack from the backseat and wondering if I was going to be shot. My 3 yr old friend and I had gone for a walk downtown and gotten lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an early memory for you, Susanne. I can imagine that a ride in a police car at that age is something never forgotten.
      (I am sure the last one relates to when I was critically ill in hospital with Scarlet Fever. My mum had told me about that many years ago, but I couldn’t recall any of it until last month.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Before this started recently, I didn’t have much recall of anything before the age of five. I wasn’t even thinking of anything similar, when these ‘flashbacks’ began to happen.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was never able to remember this far back until this year, Cindy. It has come as something of a shock, though a pleasant one. I think I was possibly two years old when I had scarlet fever. I remember my mum telling me about how I nearly died. I was in my twenties then, and told her I had no memory of it. She said I was too young to remember.
      Until last month, she was right.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  5. I can hardly remember anything at all from my early childhood. Sometimes it’s difficult to know because most of the things I seem to remember are related to pictures from that time, so I’m never sure if I’m truly remembering or it is something I’ve been told. Yours sound very vivid. Thanks, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is all new to me, Olga. It only started recently, appearing like very short film clips from my time as a baby/toddler. I find it fascinating, and really relish the strangeness of the experience.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I am sure this must relate to when I was in hospital with Scarlet Fever, Janet. I was told about that years ago by my mother, but this was the first-ever memory of it. I could feel the heat. I remember telling her I had no recollection of it, and she was sure I was too young at the time to remember it. I think I was only around two years old when it happened, so remembering it now is fascinating to me.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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