Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Memories, part one

Watching Zeph learn so many new things and develop his memory has made me think about my memories, how they formed, why certain ones are so strong, and the things that trigger a particular memory.

Some colours have a very strong effect. For instance, for years a certain shade of bright turquoise made me queasy because I've always had a problem with travel sickness. On long car journeys when I was young my mum, sitting in front of me, used a pillow when sleeping in the car that was that colour. That colour and the feeling of nausea are always linked now. There's a shade of bright pink that is even worse. When I was little I got threadworms, as many kids do, and at that time the only medicine to get rid of them was this hideous vivid pink concoction. The taste was worse that anything else I've ever tried: it took ages for me to choke the whole horrid dose down a little bit at a time. Nothing took the taste away, and I spent the rest of the day at school finding excuses to leave the classroom so I could run to the water fountain. Now, when I see something that colour, I get the taste of the medicine in my mouth - in my family that shade is called 'worm-medicine pink'. I went off strawberry icecream for a couple of years because we got one that was that colour, and to me it tasted like the medicine.
It shows just how well linked memories like that can last - I had that medicine 26 years ago!

I can't think of any specific memories that are triggered by smells, although a couple of weeks ago I was walking in town and smelled something that made me feel strongly nostalgic, but I don't know why! I have no idea what the smell was - it was so fleeting - or what I was nostalgic for, but the sensation lasted quite a while.

I remember some strange associations I made as a child too. Each day of the week had a colour (and still does) but a few words had a kind of image that went with them, I'd imagine someone doing an action for each word. I can still remember what I saw, but the words don't have that effect any more.

Want some more random memories?

I remember being three or four years old and my mum being late picking me up from playgroup. I walked round the little playing field (it seemed like miles) then decided that since I knew the way home from there I would just walk back by myself. I got home fine, to a very surprised mother, followed shortly afterwards by a panicking playgroup worker who was desperately hoping I'd got there!
From the same day I remember how the trees all round the field just looked like a dark green blur, not individual trees. My severe short-sightedness wasn't discovered for another couple of years.

I remember catching the bus into town. It was quite a novelty! I loved looking out of the windows - everything looked so different from up there. Even more exciting was the day of my playgroup's summer trip to Edinburgh Zoo. My granny and grandad came along, as well as my mum, and Grandad and I went upstairs on the bus. It was the first time I'd ever done that, and it was amazing. I suppose this is what happens when you live in a small town!

Also from playgroup I remember the day a little girl locked herself in one of the toilet cubicles, and a play worker having to climb over to let her out. It was one of the most exciting things I'd ever seen. (Like I said - small-town girl!)

I remember when my sister was born. I woke up in the morning to find our next-door neighbour there. She took me to her house for breakfast, and I remember wondering if I should tell her that it wasn't the same as what we usually had*. My dad came to get me, and told me that I had a new baby sister called Flora. I thought (and said) that it was a strange name! We went back to my house and I got a new turntable for my train set. I thought that was more exciting than a baby, really...

*I can't now remember what I usually had, although I remember my mum having cornflakes one morning. The phone went, and while she was talking I ate all of my breakfast and finished hers too. I thought that was the funniest thing ever.

I remember my headmistress coming to find me in the dinner hall when my youngest brother was born. She told me that I had a new brother, and that my dad would be coming to pick me up after lunch. I also remember being really annoyed with a boy in my class who said "What, another one?"

This is fun, and I like the idea of writing my memories down. I'll write some more of these, I think.


At 11:56 pm, Blogger Acci said...

How odd, I don't remember any of that!


At 11:01 am, Anonymous DavePrime said...

Thanks for sharing you precious memories. And i certainly understand the downward slide into depression.

Just know that there are folks out here who DO care and like to listen to you 'chat' on your blog.

Please keep it up! ;-)

At 8:13 am, Blogger Nettie said...

I know exactly what you mean hun, I did a post similar to this one a while back but you articulated it so much better than me!

I remember as a kid that I always associated the colours green and orange together. I don't know why but to me, they were meant to be together!


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