I’m from a favourite cousin’s hand-me-down sailor dress, and from a family of women who each in turn convinced themselves that they never suited a hat, even for weddings.
I’m from flat open countryside less than half a mile from home. From bicycle rides and mud pies and potatoes burned on campfires.
I’m from long-abandoned industrial yards broken into to provide us with the most dangerous of playgrounds, and from new houses that sprung up eventually and brought strangers into the town.
I’m from a girl next door who scared me by telling me that unfolded sticks of chewing gum would cause sudden and certain death, and from a girl two doors down who made me feel brave when I realised how frightened she was of thunder.
I’m from travelling the two hour journey to the beach at Scarborough in the middle of winter just to watch people dodging the waves. I’m from sheltering from the rain on Cornish beaches in high summer when it ought to have been roasting.
I’m from the sounds of laughter and the smell of cigarette smoke drifting through to my bedroom when Aunty Margaret visited on Christmas Eve.
I’m from gambling with pennies at Boxing Day card games, and from fights with my sister after rainy-day rounds of Monopoly had gone on too long.
I’m from “because I said so” and “we don’t do that in this house”.
I’m from from Battenburg cake, Yorkshire puddings and a grandmother who indulged us with Heinz baked beans instead of vegetables on Saturday lunchtimes.
I’m from blackberries and rhubarb being free and freshly picked, and from salmon and peaches coming only in tins.
I’m from from Live Aid and Blue Peter Appeals.
I’m from showtunes and brass bands and learning to play the piano by ploughing through the Beatles Complete.
I’m from Adrian Mole and Bridget Jones and Nick Carraway, and from my grandmother’s month-old passed-on Woman’s Weekly magazines.
I’m from a scrapbook made in the last year of my teens, and from the yellowing clippings of childhood achievements carefully cut from the local newspaper.
I’m from a box of my memories kept on top of the wardrobe, and from a suitcase of my mum’s dreams tucked away in a corner of my spare room that holds the blonde curls of my first haircut and every Mothers Day card I’ll ever send.
Now featured at Mama Kat’s writing workshop – there are some great versions over there too.