Best childhood memory – Blog prompt day 25

The 25th prompt was to share our best childhood memory.

Nanna, the rose garden, and the apple trees

Many of my strongest childhood memories are just snippets really, and most are triggered by smells.  One place that smells keep taking me back to is the house where I was born.  My paternal Grandparents rented the house from friends who owned a farm in Silver End in Essex.  It had the most wonderful garden (almost an acre), with chestnut trees, grape vines, a huge pampas grass and apple trees – a brilliant place for playing hide and seek!  Nanna had a rose garden at one side, which used to fill the air with a gorgeous heady scent, and the smell of roses always transports me there.  Grandad’s passion was for cacti, and I found his collection fascinating.  The smell of warm compost, cactus and wooden greenhouse is just as evocative for me as that of the roses.  Grandad’s study had a very particular feel too.  I was only allowed in there sometimes, so it seemed quite exotic, but it also seemed outside of time, the only movement being the dust motes that danced in the sunbeams and the heavy ticking of a big clock on the mantlepiece.  I felt the same feeling in our dining room the day we first viewed the house, and it was one of the reasons I wanted to live here.

There are so many little details about that house that I remember fondly – the pebbledashing (I used to pick the pebbles out), the bubble pattern on the kitchen door glass, the feel of conkers underfoot, the squiggly black pattern on the yellow table in the kitchen, the special drawer in the sideboard that contained Christmas cake decorations…  The house came up for sale about 10 years ago, but it’s been extended so much that, even if I could have afforded it, it wouldn’t have been the house I remember. Although that house is irretrievably gone, it will always be a source of very happy memories for me.

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10 things about me and 5 things I love – Blog Prompt Days 29 and 30

The blog prompt is officially over, but I thought I’d spend the next couple of weeks catching up on the topics I’d missed. I’ve had a very busy week this week, but days 29 and 30 are nice and short, so I thought I’d catch them up together. Here goes: 10 things about me: I wasn’t sure if this should be the 10 most important things, or the 10 most surprising, or some other criteria, so I did 10 random things.

  1. I met my husband almost 26 years ago at our college motorbike club.
  2. I became a mum for the first time in 2011. I’m not sure how I imagined it would be, but it’s not like that so far 🙂
  3. I love to craft and have a teensy weensy problem resisting buying patterned paper, rubber stamps and embossing folders.
  4. For the past 6 years I’ve funded my craft addiction and explored my hobby by doing demos and magazine work for do crafts. Seeing my work in print makes me stupidly happy.
  5. When I was 21 I graduated in physics, started working as a trainee engineer for a missile company, and wouldn’t have believed points 2, 3 or 4 🙂
  6. My grandmother’s sudden death 10 years ago prompted me to downshift so that I could break out of a work-eat-sleep lifestyle, spend less time at airports, and spend more time with my family and friends.
  7. I spent a year volunteering part time in the fabric workshop at the Shuttleworth Collection, where I helped to re-cover their Tiger Moth – stitching the fabric to the wings was my favourite job.
  8. I love mountains and the sea, but live in one of the flattest and most inland counties in England. I’m not sure how this happened.
  9. My favourite colours are yellow and purple. The first time I was asked what colour room I wanted as a little girl, I chose really dark purple. It was *brilliant*.
  10. I’m a keen geocacher. For those of you who are not familiar with the hobby, it involves using a GPS to hide (typically) bits of tupperware in the countryside and to look for the tupperware other people hid before you. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds 😉

Shelacking the SE5a wings

I rubbed all the fabric down at least once – that’s a lot of rubbing!

With Tiny Tears in my purple palace

5 things I love:

  1. My family, of course, and creative pursuits. These are both so obvious, I bagsy they can be doubled up so I only use one of my 5 🙂
  2. Spitfires, the flying kind. Well, I love anything with a Merlin engine really, but the Spitfire is so beautiful and elegant, and was so important in winning the Battle of Britain that it will always be extra special to me. When the oil runs out, I hope they save the last bit for one last Spitfire display.
  3. The great outdoors. I’ve always loved walking in the countryside, but barely did any of it towards the end of when I worked full time – I really didn’t feel like me. Now I’m fortunate to be able to walk several miles every day – according to my GPS I managed 1300 miles while pregnant.
  4. Food! I’m always very sad when people say they’re not interested in food. We all have to eat, most of us do it 3 times a day, and our bodies have to replace 10-50 trillion cells a day using only what we eat and breathe in. It makes sense to make our food both pleasurable to eat and as good for us (or at least as un-bad) as possible. For me, this manifests itself as an interest in cooking and what’s in food that borders on obsession!
  5. Photographs. I say photos rather than photography because the mechanics of taking a good photo only interests me in as much as I have to know it to end up with a good photo. If I could just click a button on the side of my head and save how I see a scene, or if I could have a super-intelligent camera that I could just talk to, I’d be much happier than having to muck around with aperture sizes and exposure times. I feel so lucky to live in an age when we can record so much of our lives for posterity. I’ve only dabbled in scrapbooking so far, but I’m really looking forward to getting properly stuck in!

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