Yesterday we had a lovely session where we were encouraged to remember a time at home or in the garden, when we were about just five or six years old. This memory was instanteous for me and I can still feel the soil on my hands. Chapel-en-le-frith was hard to spell and once learned, lingered on in my memory!
Looking back I realised that I had no memory whatsoever of ‘Mrs Mellor’ and this highlights the way I felt the small ‘me’ experienced life at that age. I was not aware of family consequences then and even now I can’t find any face for the probably long suffering Mrs Mellor…but Mr Mellor? Oh, he is still around!
He must have been thrilled to have such children as neighbours and as I type I am sure that I can hear the music from my Godparents’ lounge, probably the Carpenters or The Seekers, as my mum and dad chatted away inside whilst outside in the garden, we hurled mud at the exhausted Mr Mellor’s window.
His tired white singlet made an enduring childhood impression. Stanley Kowalski without the famous lines and all that Southern heat!
Wendy Mellor’s dad always slept during the day and was very, very angry when anything woke him up. We found this exciting, especially during the long school holidays, when our parents came for the day and stayed indoors with Uncle Roger’s famous new record player.
Anthony and I used to dig up bits of his back garden for ammunition and then throw mud at Mr Mellor’s dark window downstairs, until he started to shout.
We laughed when his light bulb came on and would throw mud again, just to make sure.
Then we would hide in our tunnel just under Aunty Kathleen’s hedge, until we could start all over again.
Carol Ann Duffy 15 ideas!
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