The power of memories, and those best forgotten…

If you think of my blog as a life journey – as I’m sure you are, why wouldn’t you be? – then I am very much still in nappies. Less than two months in I am still finding my feet, toddling my way around the virtual world of blogging, gazing up in awe at the more established writers who all seem so much funnier and more interesting, hoping that when I grow up I will Be Like Them.

I was very excited this week then to be tagged in my first meme, especially once I realised what being ‘tagged in a meme’ actually means, as it appears to imply that other real live people are reading my outpourings, not just my mother and my closest friends,  who obviously feel obliged to support me. So thank you very much to Linda at You’ve Got Your Hands Full for helping me reach this milestone!

So, my childhood song memories…

I actually have a terrible long term memory. My sister, who is four years younger than me, is always trying and failing to get me to remember significant events from our childhood and I’m sure will never forgive the fact that I can’t even remember her being born. I do have snapshots though, isolated incidents rather than long swathes of memory, that have stuck with me so long I’m not sure any more whether I am remembering the event itself or just my memory of remembering it over and over.

A lot of my childhood memories are triggered by smell, particularly those to do with my grandparents, whose house always smelt of a comforting mix of Embassy No1 (my Grandad) and Gordon’s gin and tonic (My Gran). Even now if I pass someone in the street wearing Chanel No5 I am immediately a child again, sat on my Gran’s knee, catching a whiff of perfume from her handbag as she reached in for a handful of Anadin.

Songs don’t feature so prominently – my Mum only ever had ears for Neil Diamond and has never been a big music fan generally. Most of my song memories come from periods where I have spent chunks of time with my Dad. One that sticks in my mind was from a week we spent in a caravan in Durham – oh the glamour that was my childhood! My Mum was on an OU residential course and we had gone up to stay nearby in case she got scared and wanted to visit us. The soundtrack to that week will always be U2’s Joshua Tree, which I remember my Dad playing every evening as he cooked us dinner before we settled down to our daily dose of Monopoly.

While we were on holiday that week, I also remember sitting in a pub, hearing La Bamba and my dad offering me some kind of monetary reward if I could memorise all the words. At least I’m pretty sure that was the song. Memories for me have that dream like quality – you try to capture them and they seem to get further away and less clear, until you wonder whether they were ever there in the first place, or if you just made it all up.

Being a mother makes me think more about memory, and I am conscious of the fact that everything I do is creating memories for my children. I wonder which will stick out for them – the silliest of things probably – and I feel sad sometimes that lots of our happiest moments together will end up forgotten by us all. On the other hand, some things are probably best forgotten. When Belle was a baby, she would only tolerate car journeys without screaming if someone sang Agadoo to her over and over again. Try as I might, I just can’t wipe that memory…

Photo credit: Ben Dobson



  1. ethicalcompanies
    31 January, 2010 / 11:09 am

    It always amazes me that anybody bothers to read my blog, which is the reason I installed the web counter code. A web counter is a bit “old hat” these days but I was convinced nobody was looking at the blog so installed it to see. You shouldn’t be surprised that someone is reading your blog, after all, I saw your name on a Daily Mail article and being a nosey bugger decided to Google for you (do I sound like a mad axe wielding stalker yet ?) and found your blog.

  2. Lucy
    31 January, 2010 / 12:20 pm

    God I am so jealous, you’ve got a proper stalker and everything!

  3. 31 January, 2010 / 6:57 pm

    Ace! A stalker! I feel like I’ve definitely made it now :-)

    • 31 January, 2010 / 9:22 pm

      Cor blimey – I’m one of the cool kids! If only school had been like this…

  4. 31 January, 2010 / 11:28 pm

    Just shows you eh. I totally assumed you were an experienced and confident fancy lady writer. I was going to say old-pro but that would be plain rude. Take it as a compliment, I love reading your stuff and it has spurned me on to learn how to do smiley faces on a computer. It’s my task for this week.

    • 1 February, 2010 / 6:45 pm

      Damn, I shouldn’t have said anything. I like the image of me as ‘confident fancy lady writer’ :-)

  5. 1 February, 2010 / 3:53 pm

    Have only just found you and reading your first few posts would never of known you hadn’t been at it long. I’d say you were a definate cool kid, now can I join your gang and become a cool kid too ; )

    Beki xx

    • 1 February, 2010 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks Beki! You can definitely be in my gang! x

  6. 1 February, 2010 / 7:15 pm

    my god I had no idea you were such a blogging virgin…compared to you I am like the Pat Butcher of blogging….i’ve been at it for donkey’s years. I appreciate you asking me to write about the soundtrack of my life ….will put my thinking cap on

  7. 2 February, 2010 / 9:12 pm

    Oh you are naughty, tagging me, but you’re very nice! I love writing about my memories and whilst I was reading yours and about Neil Diamond, you made me recollect my brother’s favourite music when I was about 12, he would have been 15. He couldn’t get enough of Neil Diamond. I, could.

    CJ xx

    • 3 February, 2010 / 10:06 am

      Ah! Good old Neil.. If only I’d had a pound for every time I watched The Jazz Singer…

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