When I Was Small – 1

Sadly I don’t have childhood pictures with me here in Scotland.

I’d like to think I have a knack for telling stories. Hell, my songs are stories. And while I’m never likely to write a memoir, I am scared that meningitis has robbed me of so many memories already, and does it to me every week.

I don’t write this blog just as a way of expressing myself. It’s a way of keeping a record of this time in my life and looking back on it later if I want to.  Because so much of my life is already forgotten.

I’m worried I’ll forget people, moments, and stories. Stories from my childhood that I want to tell my children and grandchildren.

So I’m going to start writing them down. I can’t say they’ll be in chronological order, or that they’ll all be incredibly meaningful. But it’s so important for me not to forget where I’ve been.

Starting with what I first remember. Which isn’t a lot, so this won’t be an amazing tale.  The clearest memory I can get a handle on is my 3rd birthday.

I’ve never been sure if this is because there are so many videos and pictures of it, and a family-famous video of the below story in particular..

..but hey, it’s what I’ve got.

You see, I got a purple bike for my birthday. With training wheels, of course. But it was purple with white wheels, had purple streamers from the handlebars, and I remember that there were quite a few pictures of me wearing this purple jumper covered in white stars (I must have been really into purple), which I wore again on my 5th birthday. Big fan. Kinda wish I still had it.

The story/video that I was teased about for years centred around the moment I was given the bike. I was at my grandparents’ place (we were living there at the time) and seated in an armchair in the living room. My parents told me to close my eyes and cover them, and sit quietly while they brought me my present.  They wheeled the sparkly purple bike in front of me, and said, “Open your eyes!”

So I did. I looked left, I looked right, and I said, “What?”

It was right in front of me and it took me a good 5 minutes to look at it.  Looking back, I maybe realised what they were laughing at and hammed it up a little (as oddly enough, back then I was also the goofball I am today), but I genuinely remember not “seeing” my present. And it was amazing when I did. I clapped, I danced, I tried to ride it in the hallway. Dad took me down the side of my grandparents’ house and Dandan cheered him on as he pushed me forward and I learned to ride.

I’m sure I was rubbish at it. Hell, I was 3. But I can still remember riding that house on a loop. It had a path either side that connected the backyard to the driveway, so I would ride in a circle either way. At one stage in the backyard the bike was obstructed by a long droopy flax bush, but I biked right through it. It was my carwash.

I can remember nearly every inch of Nana and Dandan’s house. But that’s a story for another time.

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