Thursday, 6 May 2010

Childhood memories - touch

This is the fifth in a five-part occasional series focused on my memories of childhood – more specifically what each of my senses recalls from more than 60 years ago when I was around five years old. I’ve excluded the highly personal (such as the feel of my father’s unshaven cheek) and concentrated on instances of the sense that might strike a chord with readers.

1. Either the summers were hotter back then or else the roads, however unlikely, were more poorly repaired. I well remember the tackiness on shoe soles after spending a hot afternoon bursting tar bubbles in the road outside of our home.

2. I’m not a climate change doubter but I was never as badly sunburnt as I was on a seaside holiday. The pain and the peeling skin were vivid reminders to limit my exposure to the sun’s rays ever since.

3. Jelly (jello) was a staple dessert. It was as much fun to prod and balance on the tongue as it was to swallow.

4. A pair of ears was an obstacle for a T-shirt or sweater to be painfully overcome whenever being dressed or undressed by my mother.

5. Perhaps it’s too much information but I think I can remember one instance of bed-wetting.

6. I was a gifted Plasticine sausage maker. They could be rolled into shoelaces until they broke.

7. A pony/donkey ride at funfair/seaside was a strange experience as the animals’ skin chafed short-trousered legs as you were bounced around.

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