A Backwards Look

If I’ve taken my eye off blogging in recent months, it’s because of my single-minded sorting through old stories and memories with a view to writing a first-person narration which uses actual experiences in a lightly-fictionalised form. I expect some of this to surface here in due course, but just for now let me share a little of my stimulus material.

If this nudges any nostalgic feelings in you, I’d love to hear about them!

Top 50 most common childhood memories

  1. Christmas dinner
  2. Going to the beach
  3. Going to your grandparent’s house
  4. Hearing the ice-cream van music
  5. Playing in the park
  6. Getting pocket money
  7. Buying penny sweets from the village shop
  8. Learning to ride a bike
  9. Playing playground games
  10. Getting a pet
  11. Pick n mix sweets
  12. Buying your first album/single
  13. Building sandcastles
  14. Counting down the days until the summer holidays
  15. Playing conkers
  16. Climbing a tree
  17. School dinners
  18. School sports days
  19. Your first crush
  20. Fish and chips on the beach
  21. Listening to your favourite song on repeat till you get bored
  22. Caravan family holidays
  23. Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake
  24. Skimming stones
  25. Swimming lessons
  26. Singing hymns
  27. Searching through rock pools
  28. Sitting cross-legged in assemblies
  29. Learning to read
  30. Going out with your friends for the first time without your parents
  31. Sleepovers at a friend’s house
  32. Being in the school play
  33. Catching frogs, newts, tadpoles in a pond
  34. First day of secondary school
  35. Family holidays abroad
  36. Spelling tests
  37. Flying a kite
  38. Watching films which were above your age rating
  39. Being read a bedtime story
  40. Winning an award
  41. Your first time on an aeroplane
  42. Painting / arts and crafts
  43. Bath time
  44. Jumping in puddles
  45. Finding a rope swing in the woods
  46. Buying a school uniform
  47. Going to theme parks
  48. Playing with leaves
  49. Going to church
  50. Handwriting lessons

26 thoughts on “A Backwards Look

    1. I did … unfortunately, at the time, though it gave me plenty of ammo for later! Still working on that secular hymnal, by the way, now intended for the piece I’m writing. I reckon it’s my last shot at something half decent and pressure is always good where writing is concerned! I’ve no shortage of passion, given the state of the world …

  1. Maybe half, Dave, but some certainly rang a bell. Like learning to read, for example. It opened up whole new worlds. Climbing trees, learning to ride a bike, discovering tide pools and nature in general, my dog, and first love/crush are all way up there as well. It will be fun to see what you do with this. –Curt

    1. Thanks for that encouragement, Curt, and your treasured memories certainly resemble mine. Nostalgia is a big incentive but I’m also provoked by anger. Oh, and a desire to be amusing. Should be interesting anyway …

  2. Well let’s see now… I relate to most of them, but I’ll list some favorites and some interesting UK US differences.

    Hearing the ice-cream van music — Yes! This was a thrill of summer. And we still have them 🙂

    Buying penny sweets from the village shop — Yes, we had them in the city. We have them now at specialty shops. .

    Playing playground games — Yes! Sadly, many of these such as monkey bars and see saws have been removed. because they are afraid kids will get hurt. Or probably someone would get sued.

    Getting a pet — Yes! Dogs, cats, birds, fish and turtles 🙂

    Buying your first album/single YES! Still dear to my heart.

    Playing conkers — Never heard of it! This must be a UK thing!

    Fish and chips on the beach — No, this is a UK thing! On our beaches we get corn the cob slathered with cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise 🙂

    Caravan family holidays — yes! Road trips, so much fun.

    1. Thanks very much for these personal responses, Christine, which in turn have stimulated my own ideas. Yes, conkers … threading string through a hole made in horse-chestnuts and then banging them against one another till the loser shatters.

          1. I looked them up! I see they do indeed look like big chestnuts. It seems they have a very interesting history — the seeds were used as a source of starch during WW I and II. I also see that Conkers is a very serious game! Wiki lists its origin in the Isle of Wight, way back in 1848. I also see that there are tournaments and championships held. The Canadians participate too. Who knew?? 🙂

  3. I remember a few. The biggest flashback was learning to ride a bike. It reminded me, not of the learning, but riding without brakes on a sand road.

    It earned me the name miss mercurochrome because I’d had to cover all my scratched skin in the red ointment.

    Thanks for the fun reminder.

  4. Love the film clip, and the list seems to suggest you’ve got plenty of material for future bloggings… Nice to see you’ve been busy.

    1. Thanks, Cath, there’s something very soothing about childhood memories – especially in our rather cynical and troubled times. I don’t just want to escape, however, but to face up to the present – though perhaps with renewed vigour.

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