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Five posts to write right now – as one post, in the last fifteen minutes of the day… five topics in five minutes – what a dreadful piece of writing that’s likely to make!

(Ok, had to “cheat”, publish before finishing, edit and finish with a slight time extension…)

Childhood was definitely a mostly safe and happy place. You hear so much these days of unhappy and unsafe childhoods that I guess I was lucky. I grew up in a country town near the coast in the East of England in a conventional family environment, standard two parents, two kids. I was unaware for most of my childhood that I had half-siblings and that discovery shook me a bit as an adolescent but as an adult I’ve been glad to have extra family.

If any of us could time-travel back to childhood or younger days perhaps we would but if to do things differently the course of our lifetime’s would alter so dramatically we’d lose parts we’d never choose to alter. It’s probably best to re-live the magic in memories only than to ever accept a time machine ticket!

The antiquated item I’d love to own is a mangle, of all things! I remember my mum being considered fortunate among my schoolfriends for having one in the times before most households had a washing machine. I can still picture my mother outside in the garden running the clothes through the mangle, winding the handle, the water squelching from the clothes before being hung to dry on the line.

Baked potato, butter and beans reminds me of my youth because it was about the only thing I’d ever eat in the school canteen. If it had been a childhood food it would have been a banana sandwich on a soon after shopping day (half a banana for each of us kids, mashed), to a sugar sandwich the day before the next weeek’s shopping was possible and there wan’t anything left for in a sandwich- there wasn’t much sugar in it – not something I’ve ever chosen to eat since… I can still remember the usual meal plan for the week, same every week, a necessary routine to ensure household budget tallied and everyone getting fed well enough and before the days of there being so much availability of different foods and such wide choices.

My mind changed so often about what I wanted to be when I grew up – varying between joining the army, being a lorry driver to (for a short while) wanting to be a self-employed fashion designer, which is quite hilarious looking back! I haven’t ever done any of those things and still don’t really know what I want to be if ever I do actually grow up…

Television had a lot to answer for – something I’d seen on the telly while quite young left me with a fear of our hall mirror.  I could look in it fine to brush my hair but walking past it I’d be frightened of ghosts appearing in it – even though they never did! I think I was quite young but it kind of stuck that I’d have to make sure to only ever look straight into it and never allow it to enter my peripheral vision as I was walking past. For some reason I was petrified by Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men and I won’t have been the only kid young enough to have hid behind the sofa for fear of the Daleks in Doctor Who; I was afraid of umbrellas for having seen part of a Hammer House of Horrors on my way downstairs having woken late in the evening. I still don’t like umbrellas!

I had a  fear of the underpass beneath a very busy main road we had to walk through to get to infant and junior school but only because it featured in my bad dreams while quite young. I used to dread the car journey to my grandmother’s as we had to drive along quiet, unlit roads with wide deep ditches either side and I had nightmares about us skidding off the road, being trapped in the car and drowning.

So that’s six childhood fears, all of them while quite young and impressionable – all unfounded and based in the imaginary rather than actualities.

(Nostalgia for food’s made me hungry! suppertime…)

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