I’m sorry I’ve been absent from my blog for so long.
Having made a good start on the sequel to The Legend of Aranrhod, I was ambushed by a sudden and urgent desire to create a record, in words and photographs, of my childhood years. I foolishly thought this wouldn’t take me long, since I don’t have a lot of memories.
However, I kept a daily diary for five whole months when I was eleven (such persistence!), and that brought back a lot of feelings and atmosphere, if only a few actual memories. In addition, I recorded daily entries for the last 21 months of secondary school, which gave me a lot of material.
Both my parents are dead, and so I’ve been plagued with the common regret that I didn’t quiz them a lot more about my childhood – and, indeed, about their childhood. My elder brother was a great help, mostly by confirming my own memories, which was important. I am also still in touch with my closest secondary school friend.
I’m about seven in the above photo. I could have wished for more photographs, but a roll of 8 for a Brownie box camera was quite an investment in the 1950s, so I’m grateful for what I’ve got. Their rarity elevates them, in all their blurred, black and white crudity, to the status of precious jewels; whereas now family photos are too numerous even to stick in albums, becoming instead an e-blur stashed away in countless computer files, rarely pruned and rarely looked at. That has ever been the fate of photos but more so as their quantity has increased. Pity family biographers of future generations, having to cope with such a large and repetitive photo store as well as probably boxfuls of camcorder cassettes and hours and hours of video stored online.
Anyway, this simple task has taken me all year. The account has ended up being 50% longer than my novel, which has surprised me, since I didn’t think there’d be much to say. I have no illusions that my children will rush to read it – yet. But when they’re my age and intimations of mortality begin to make them reflect on their own lives, I suspect they’ll dig out my Autobiography Vol #1 and find it interests them.
Meanwhile, even as I recorded my early life, the latest pages in my life story have continued to be written by the invisible hand of destiny – I had a week in hospital in May; our 5th grandchild, Ruth, arrived in June; our daughter got married in July; and, sadly, my brother passed away in August.
I am looking forward to getting back to the sequel. I wonder what I will think of what I’ve written when I read it after a gap of seven or eight months? I’ll let you know!