i read this a little while ago at meet me at mikes and it made me think of the memories i have from living here when i was little.
i'm living in my grandparents house at the moment, i lived here when from about 6 to 9 years old. sharing a bed room with my little sister emma. most of the time we hated each other. this little house where i live all by myself used to be filled with people; nanny and dindan (my grandparents - i couldn't say grandad so he became known as dindan for ever more), my mum, emma and i, my uncle who lived in a caravan in the back yard and on weekends my cousins stacey and reece would join us.
i remember the night before my seventh birthday, laying in bed with my pink fluffy elephant elly. "it doesn't matter what i get tomorrow elly, nothing could ever replace you" i told her. i got a pound puppy for my seventh birthday, who i called mishka. 22 years later mishka is sitting on the end of my bed (and may or may not have come to bali with me). i don't know where elly is.
i remember that mazz and i used to fight, and fight and fight. but for some reason getting in trouble and being sent to our room miraculously turned us into the best of friends. with the door shut our beds became the only places to escape the burning acid that the floor had become and we'd jump from bed to bed trying to push each other into the acid. losing an arm or a foot from a slip here or there we'd get a stich from laughing so hard. until the day that mazz, the little ball of energy, did a rad somersault from my bed, over hers, and through the window!
i remember my eighth birthday party and after playing what's the time mr wolf, i felt like i wasn't getting enough attention, so i hid in my wardrobe, waiting for the party to come to an abrupt stop with screams of "where's jandy!" and the whole party coming to find me and showering me with attention. i remember walking back out 15 minutes (which felt like 15 hours) later and no one had even noticed i had gone. i also remember that i was wearing burgundy velvet knick-a-bockers with a matching vest. perhaps thats why no one wanted to play with me.
my favorite memories are of sunday nights. nannys much loved roast. usually beef. nothing fancy, just meat, some frozen veg, with the best roast potatoes you've ever tasted, gravy and always some yorkshire pudding. and a glass of one of those home delivered soft drinks.
we'd all sit around the fake wood laminex table and wait till didndan had sopped up all his gravy with a piece of bread before we could have some vanilla ice cream with wafers. after finishing every last bit we'd ask "may i leave the table?" (always "may"... of course you can, you know how, do you mean may?" ). after a bath there would be four little wet bodies wrapped in towels trying to get over a duct to get warm and dry, trying not to miss a second of young talent time. and if we were really good nanny might give us a piece or two of cadburys dairy milk before tucking us into bed. always saying "good night, god bless, see you in the morning i love you" with a kiss on the forehead.
such simple happy times. i feel that here still. it's still decorated in exactly the same way. seriously, the only thing that has changed is the carpet. it was pulled up and the floor boards beneath were polished. everything else remains the same. nothing fancy. just simple. and it works for me right now.
*despite uncle colin promising me that nanny doesn't live here anymore, she did get some mail a few days ago!