Saturday 18 May 2013

The Tyres

We're over halfway with this challenge, so let's carry on Blogging Every Day In May.

Day 18, Saturday: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

I don't really have any specific stories from my childhood, as I tend to collect memories together and remember times rather than things (if that makes sense).

When I was little, my parents owned and worked in a village shop.  It was open 364 days per year (365 in a leap year), and we couldn't afford to shut the shop or pay someone to look after it.  This meant we didn't have holidays, or day trips.  Now, you might think that I was denied a 'normal' childhood, full of exotic experiences, jetting off to Disneyland.  Some might even think that I missed out on a lot.  But I look back on my childhood and realise that I had so much more than others.  By having the shop, my parents were always at home.  I never had to have a babysitter, or be picked up from school by a family friend or relative.  I grew up with my parents, and I wouldn't trade that for a hundred holidays to America!

The general daily routine at home would be Mum driving into town to pick up the newspapers from the train station while Dad opened the shop.  Dad would work in the shop in the morning, and Mum would take care of me, get me off to school, do the housework.  And then in the afternoon Mum would take over in the shop, and Dad would take care of me.  (This routine was subject to change).  

I loved my afternoons with Dad.  We'd go for walks, we'd paint, we'd make things, we'd play, and above all, we'd have fun.

Across the road from my house was a play area.  It wasn't fancy, but it had an assault course, swings, a climbing frame, and a tower made of tractor tyres.  My dad and I would climb to the top of these tyres and look out across the fields.  We'd watch the combine harvester making hay bales.  We'd see people walking their dogs.  We felt like we were on top of the world.  My favourite part of this was playing i-spy, and there were a lot of things to spy up there, where we sat, right up there in the sky.  We could even wave at Mum if she ever stood in the shop's doorway.

The tyres had a very strong rubbery smell, which would stay on your fingers for hours afterwards, and if you happened to slide down them, you'd walk home with a lovely, black mark across your bottom.  Not that it mattered.  Some days it would be sunny, some days it would be cold; I think we sat up there through most weather.

I loved this time we spent together.  I'm glad we had the opportunity to get to know each other and form a close relationship.  I couldn't wait to get home from school so that I could go out with my Dad, and see where our afternoons would take us.  One thing that my dad and I share is the love of conversation, discussion, and debate, and from a very young age I was exposed to all of this through the time we spent together.  He also taught me how to use my imagination and to see the world through the eyes of a child for as long as possible.  And I'm so grateful that he was around when I needed him the most.

I'm sad that I don't have a picture of me and Dad sitting on the tyres, but I grew up in a time before people took 'selfies'.  At least I've got the memory in my brainbox.  So here's a picture of me walking, with determination, across the play area, from the swings (made of tyres), to the tractor tyre tower.

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