GreenishLady

Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sunday Scribblings.

Time to post something for Sunday Scribblings. I wrote without stopping, and almost went back to prettify it a bit, and then decided No. I'll let it sit as it is. I enjoyed wandering back through those days, and am looking forward to reading the memories of other Sunday Scribbling participants.



When we were little, we were part of a tribe. Children of the Eaton girls, we were welcome in any one of five other houses in our neighbourhood, and three that lay along the route from school to home. Bread and jam would be dispensed, and a visit to the toilet was fine. Just call in – pull the key on the thread through the letterbox, and let yourself into Phyllis’s house, or go down the side of Esther’s to see is she in her workroom. If not, let yourself in the back door, and make yourself at home. Well, we were at home. And through Esther’s back-garden, out into the back-field, a direct line across the field, through the fence of another garden, and we were in Nana’s. Up through the long-grass part of her garden, then past the apple, pear, and plum trees and the blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes, and up the steep concrete steps and in Nana’s back-door. Welcome here could include cocoa, and in winter, bread toasted on the long knife in front of the fire. I’d sit on the blue and grey leather pouffe on one side of the fireplace, Nana on the other, turning the bread this way and that, to get it just right. If it was a piano-lesson day, then I’d have to delay that treat until Auntie Imelda had put me through my paces with scales and arpeggios, piano and forte.

Summer was a long, long stretch of days based in the back-field. Building dens and hide-outs, exploring the culinary delights of sour sallies and pink clover, watching for trains in the high field, and always watchful against incursions by the Wardies, the gang of boys against whom the cousins had waged a long and multi-rumoured war. Jam jars full of red-arsed bees, daisy-chains, knees skinned and fingers cut with grass-blades, we’d return home at evening ready to launch into another day’s adventures tomorrow – because, in those days, we knew it would never rain, and summer would last forever.

30 Comments:

At 15/4/06 6:27 pm, Blogger Jennifer said...

I just love this. I can feel myself there. I love the final line in particular :)

 
At 15/4/06 6:58 pm, Blogger Terri /Tinker said...

I enjoyed reading this so much, Imelda! I could almost taste the 'culinary delights of sour sallies and pink clover' when reading it! And yes, your last line was so eloquent...I remember that feeling of endless summer days, myself. This was lovely; no 'prettifying' needed, my dear!

 
At 15/4/06 7:08 pm, Blogger Jessie said...

your childhood world sprung up around me as i read--the details had me there...right there with you. i feel like you welcomed me in through the back door too.

wonderful!

 
At 15/4/06 9:51 pm, Blogger megg said...

this was just exactly how to write about childhood - all together as one long summer memory - wonderful.

 
At 15/4/06 10:13 pm, Blogger paris parfait said...

Such a lovely description of lazy summer days! Reminds me of similar times in my own childhood. Great post.

 
At 15/4/06 11:34 pm, Blogger Laini said...

Lovely. Something out of a book! I love the names, too, Phyllis and Esther and Imelda... sounds like an idyllic childhood.

 
At 16/4/06 12:23 am, Blogger Cate said...

I'm there, I'm there! You've transported me! The richness of your details, the story behind your words! My mother is from Northern Ireland and you made me think about her and when she was "wee!"

So, when are you gonna write a book? I'd be knocking people out of my way to be the first to buy it!

 
At 16/4/06 1:17 am, Blogger deirdre said...

Great piece! I love the bit about bread and jam. It reminded me of living in Dublin and having bread and butter and jam with hot sweet tea after school. It's still good comfort food.

 
At 16/4/06 8:40 am, Blogger AnnieElf said...

My family, growing up, was so small. My created family is also small. I married a man with a mon and dad. That was about it. Now it looks like my two children will marry into very LARGE families. I couldn't be happier. How blessed you are.

 
At 16/4/06 10:46 am, Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

the life of a child in freedom and happiness, what a wonderful way to grow up...loved!

 
At 16/4/06 11:04 am, Blogger Jennifer said...

These lines:
we were part of a tribe...
Up through the long-grass part of her garden, then past the apple, pear, and plum trees and the blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes...Summer was a long, long stretch of days based in the back-field.

The details (which are everywhere & I'd have to copy your whole post to show you all of the places that touch me) make me feel rich and like a little kid again. I love thinking about what it might have been like to spend a day doing what you show us here. Thank you so so much! (the blog attached to this post is not one I use - I just needed an account to post...i'm at www.jenniferwells.typepad.com)

 
At 16/4/06 12:34 pm, Blogger Marilyn said...

Lovely. So evocative.

 
At 16/4/06 1:15 pm, Blogger Joy Eliz said...

Oh this is lovely! How wonderful to have such a close knit neighborhood family.

 
At 16/4/06 1:31 pm, Blogger GoGo said...

Nice read. I appreciated your travel down memory lane. Sounds like you had comfort and trust between neighbors. How wonderful

 
At 16/4/06 2:19 pm, Blogger eliza said...

ooh, so rich. when i wrote about a happy memory for this prompt, i realized as i went back there in my mind how no sensual stimulus was lost on me in those days. every sight and smell and texture was absolutely alive and shimmering in my little consciousness. this reminds me of that sense of richness all around. it makes me want to let myself take it all in again like that, as if it was new. i bet time would slow down again if we did...

 
At 16/4/06 3:09 pm, Blogger bella said...

loved this! the summers did last forever didn't they!

http://deelovelee.typepad.com/mamamuses/

 
At 16/4/06 5:10 pm, Blogger GreenishLady said...

Everybody - I want to say how much I've appreciated your responses here - and how I've been enjoying reading the other Sunday Scribbles posts. What a great adventure!

And GoGo - those weren't just neighbours (we were allowed in neighbours gardens, but seldom invaded their houses) These were all aunts and my grandmother!

 
At 16/4/06 9:48 pm, Blogger Endment said...

You have made your memories come alive!

 
At 16/4/06 10:10 pm, Blogger Kara said...

Thank you greenishlady - loved this picture you painted for us with your lovely words.

 
At 16/4/06 11:26 pm, Blogger gkgirl said...

i love the freedom
and fun
in what you have
remininced about...

i miss that.

 
At 16/4/06 11:37 pm, Blogger Shannon E. said...

This was beautiful and took me to that time and place. It is sad our world can't be more like this today. Growing up I had a similiar tribe but I am sad my daughters will likely never know that freedom and friendship in the way I did.

Shannon
http://sentimentalbutcrazy.typepad.com/mommas_on_the_edge/

 
At 17/4/06 4:01 am, Blogger JourneyThroughLIfe said...

Such a warm and welcoming piece. The warmth of the neighbourhood made me long to have grown up in a small close knit community. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful childhood journey.
JTL
xxx

 
At 17/4/06 12:41 pm, Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Daisy-chains, skinned-knees, and fingers cut with grass blades...yes, you have absolutely nailed such tangible fragments of childhood I am transported there. It makes me grateful already for the advancing summer days!

 
At 17/4/06 1:15 pm, Blogger kerrdelune said...

Magnificent, I felt as though I was right there with you, making the summer journeys here and there through fields and trees and various doorways (isn't everything a kind of doorway?). I could see and sniff and taste everything - so glad you left this writing the way it emerged - it is perfect just as it is!

 
At 17/4/06 10:29 pm, Blogger vicci said...

Oh Yes...made me feel as if I was there...lovely!

 
At 17/4/06 10:52 pm, Blogger Cee said...

This is fantastic - such vivid images. It reminds me of my own childhood.

 
At 17/4/06 10:59 pm, Blogger Kim G. said...

"Jam jars full of red-arsed bees . . ." My English grandmother and auntie taught me this trick. I can hear them buzzing in your wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your special memories! I can't wait to read more of your writing!

 
At 18/4/06 1:48 am, Blogger Jamie said...

How wonderful to grow up with a tribe, to feel at home in so many places, to feel safe and welcome and home.

 
At 18/4/06 3:40 pm, Blogger liz elayne said...

i love all these details...the little snacks, the paths to get to these homes, the invitation to make yourself at home.
i want to know more...

 
At 19/4/06 3:46 pm, Blogger HoBess said...

What a picture your words have painted. What is it about being a kid that makes summer seem so lusciously long?

 

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