What is your earliest memory? This question was posed to me recently by a friend. I thought she was joking. We have known each other for years. She knows that I struggle to remember what I did yesterday. I endeavored to think back. Encouragement was hardly forthcoming. She insisted she could remember getting a puppy at the age of two and a half. If that weren't pressure enough, she went on to regale me with one of those friend-of-a-friend tales, a.k.a Urban Myths. This Person "X" apparently had undergone some kind of regressive hypnotherapy whatnot and had "re-experienced" his own birth. He or she will no doubt now be doling out for some other kind of therapy!
Sadly I did have a horribly vivid memory of standing fixed to the spot in fear as my Chieftan Tank like primary school teacher ran towards me, unable to stop after completing a rounder. The inevitable happened. She managed to swerve her not inconsiderable bulk at the last minute but I had, by then, peed myself. The shame. I must have been about eight or nine.
Distinctly unimpressed and decidedly dissatisfied, my friend pressed on. I had fond memories of family holidays in Wales but I honestly couldn't come up with an age.
It was my fault. The whole conversation was the result of an incident which I decided would unfortunately turn out, in years to come, to be Finje's first outstanding childhood recall. Probably whilst reclining on a leather couch.
As mentioned in a previous blog (Coitus interruptus German style), our village, like many in rural Germany, has a voluntary fire service. It's competent and reliable but for obvious reasons is not fitted out with all mod-cons. At least not when it comes to communications. If the chaps are required to spring into action, in order to get their attention we have two World War 2 air raid sirens. Really.
Cycling to Kindergarten, at some unearthly time in the morning, one of these horrendous things went off as we were directly underneath it. A truly gruesome and chilling sound. The mighty power of Hollywood had me looking for the nearest Anderson Shelter and feeling for my gas mask despite being born 25 years after the war ended!
As for Finje, she was gone. She looked to me, in the distance as if she would have an excellent chance of beating the small person on a bike land speed record!
She still gives the siren a wary glance when she goes past.
So what's your first memory?
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