Plinky.com asked me what is my earliest memory.
It’s difficult to answer this one. I have snapshot impressions from photographs, but I don’t know that they are memories. That said, I’ll often have sense memory triggered by something in the every day – which will feel like deja vue or dreaming.
Like the smell of the sawdust they used to put down on the floor at infant school when some kid had been sick.
Like the touch of my hand running through my hair, only to find a bee was there and it stinging me.
Like the sun shining through the trees in the back garden of my first childhood house.
Like the smell of my Dad’s aftershave.
Like sitting with my Mum while the grown-ups played cards for pennies, and how she’d let me have a sip of her drink every now and then.
Like my Gramps working in his garden, his strong hands and infinite patience – the quiet he gathered around him while all around traffic roared.
Like my Nan’s apple crumble in glass dishes, with home-made custard.
Like the smell of my Mum’s first car, an Austin A40.
Like Glenn Campbell and Charlie Rich records.
Like Mum lighting a cigarette using the car lighter when Dad was driving us to our summer holiday destination.
Are these memories? I guess. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes of childhood that come to me in dreams and colour the space between the words whenever I write.
There are more specific memories that I’ve used as jumping off points for the main character in my latest novel, Family Rules. Though none of them are quite the same as what really happened, it’d be interesting to see if you can spot them: http://familyrules.wordpress.com