A nearly merry Christmas to you all. Corfu is doing its usual so-you-think-you-have-the-weather-sussed thingie. Yesterday it was mild and probably in the 20's. Not quite festive mood weather but it beats freezing.My tree is up - thank goodness.I know some folk get a real kick out of decorating their tree but, while I do enjoy it,I do get stressed. It's the Virgo thing. I want perfection.
And so this is Christmas, as the wise and great but, sadly, late John Lennon said and what have we done? It got me thinking back to my childhood. After all, Christmas is about children and the birth of one very special child. As I lay in bed last night, I scrolled through my vast collection of childhood memories. Some happy, some sad but mostly zany. I was an eccentric child from the day I was born - or so my mother tells me. "You are a non-conformist" I heard this from her most of my life.
Now married, with two grown up kids of my own, I believe I still am. But that is for another time, another blog. Today I thought it would be fun to put together my top ten list of my childhood escapedes and dreams.
1}Reading UK. Age...not sure but I was still a baby. All I remember is waking up in my cot and seeing this huge plastic monster grinning down at me. She was called Bella. Bella my arse; more like Chukky. I have hated dolls ever since. From that day, my toy box was filled with guns, cowboy hats and airfix models.
2}Singapore. Age 3 Running away, with Gary and David, the five year old twins from down the street. At this time in my life, I was living in Singapore. My father was in the army and we had a Chinese maid called Pok. I remember hiding in the twins' room. We locked the door and threw the key out the window while Pok stood outside screaming Missie Missie!. My poor brother had to climb up on to the balcony.
3} Age 3. Still in Singapore. Going butterfly hunting with my elder brother in the jungle. I was barefoot and scantily clad in a pair of white undies that always managed to end up somewhere around my knees. I wasn't known as droopy draws for nothing. I love my big brother. He was my hero and partner in crime. His favourite trick was to wait until all of poor Pok's weekly wash was dry and then spray it down with the garden hose. But I digress. Back to the butterfly chase. He could never understand why his collection didn't grow. As fast as he put them in the tin, I let them go.I have remained a staunch animal rights activist ever since.
4}Age 4 Singapore. Jumping off the top diving board at Changi swimming pool only to find my rubber ring had burst. Luckily for me, older brother saw me floundering and saved me. Later on, when I pissed him off, he used to say it was the biggest mistake of his life.
5} Age 6 Glasgow. Climbing my first tree, much to my mother's great fear. She so desperately wanted me to be princess in a pink dress. I just wanted to be a boy. From there, I progressed to running along 12 foot high walls and jumping from buliding to building. When I think of it now, I feel sick at the thought of the danger I put myself in. Those back garden walls were Victorian and far from stable.
A word about Glasgow. I grew up in this wonderful city. I lived in an area called Hillhead. A place full of beautiful parks, museums and art galleries. It became my adventure play ground. 20 minute bus ride and you are in the countryside. Stunning scenery, lovely people and great food. I had the time of my life.
6}Age 8. Glasgow. Reading my first Enid Blyton Famous Five book. My world changed. I now KNEW I wanted to be a boy. I wanted to be George. I became George. Out went the frocks and in came the blue shorts, welly boots and t.shirts. I formed my own little gang and we lived out our own adventures in my back yard well into the long northern summer evenings. And yes - I got into a few scraps. I loved fisti cuff fighting, always trying to prove I was as good as any boy on the block. I did have one dilemna though. I was madly in love with Manilito from the High Chaperal. I was going to marry him but didn't I have to be a girl for that?
7}Glasgow. Age 9. Discovering Santa Claus did not exist. I was gutted and also furious with my parents for making a fool out of me for all those years.On the plus side, I received my first 'big' bike. It was blue and gold and I adored it. Again, I flirted with danger. Telling my mother I was just cycling around the corner to my friend's house, I would whizz off to the clyde tunnel and cycle under the river to the other side of the city.
8}Glasgow Age 9 .I discovered my passion for horses. Blame Champion the Wonder Horse. I was desperate for my own pony but I understood it was never going to happen. I did, however, save my pocket money and enrol for weekly riding lessons. First time I got on a horse, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. During the week I practised perfecting my mount and dismount. Resplendent in my Oxfam jodhpurs and hard hat, I tacked up the back yard railings and rose off into the sunset - much to the bewilderment of the neighbours who finally thought that 'mad, half-foreign girl from upstairs has lost the plot". Not content at this, I turned my spacehopper into a trusty steed named Thunder and set up spacehopper gymkhanas in the garden. Lucky my parents couldn't afford therapy because I am sure I would have been in it.
9}Glasgow. Age ten. Joined the Girl Guides and discovered the performing arts. Actually, I had always been a bit of an actress, a fact to which my long-suffering family will attest but under the inspiring guidence of our wonderful pack leader, our little troop put on numerous plays and pantomines for the local community. We were all crap at the usual friend to whatever badge stuff but we could all belt out a tune. Highlight of my career? Playing Buttons in our version of Cinderella, and so excited because Adrian Laine, the boy from school on who I'd had a major crush since year 4 was coming to watch me. Unfortunately, he feel instantly in love with the girl with long blonde hair who was playing the part of Cinderella. Teach me to cut off all my locks.
10}Glasgow. Age 11. My final year at Primary school. Encouraged by my teacher,I put myself in for the Glasgow High School for Girls entrance exam - and got in! This was the year when I truly did discover boys and thought, perhaps, it was time to ditch the George image. I think it was playing postman's knock in my living room closet that did it. Kissing boys was much more fun than punching their lights out.
To be continued.....
Next week... My ten top Teen moments.
Ok, your turn now. Would you like to share your top ten childhood moments?