First Memory

I remember the day. We were lying on the carpet under the bay window in the ‘Sitting room’. Nowadays you would call it a lounge. I liked the feel of the carpet on my legs and arms. It was late morning and the light was switched on.

I have the evidence.

In the middle of things as usual, with my brothers.

We were a family of three at the time. ‘1949’ was all that was written on the back of the photo. There are other photos taken that day, but there is no sign of brother No.3 anywhere in any of them, so it must have been before he was born in the month of February 1949. We three had birthdays all within two weeks, brother No 2 on the left was at the end of February and brother No 1 and I two days apart of each other in March. That would have me approaching my second birthday and the boys their fourth and sixth.

Although I do not remember the name of the photographer, I can still in my mind’s eye see his face and the camera on what I now know was a tripod. He played games with us like a magician. I remember oranges he did tricks with.

The boys are dressed as I always remember them until their teenage years – shirts that had starched collars, ties, grey short tailored trousers and knee socks with turn down tops and finished off with well polished shoes. The only variation in my wardrobe in 1949 was the daily change of colour for my smocked dress and matching ribbon in my hair. Did you notice my hair?  There was a little bunch on the top of my head and practically none at the sides. Thankfully mammy’s constant cutting when it appeared, helped to thicken it up.

While searching through my photographs I found this one from 1950.

Mammy in 1950

The car was a black Hillman Minx saloon and the reg was Z J 1717. I remember that summer dress with short sleeves. The fabric was a very soft muslin in a pale green pattern. I loved the feel of it and the style. If it was still about I would love to wear it. The collar was detachable for laundering and starching – we were a well starched family back then! 😆

If mammy was wearing a summer dress without a cardigan it must have been August. It had to be. She gave birth to sibling No 4 in July.

The topic My first memory was chosen for us this week by Conrad. Time now to join me as I make my way through memory lane accompanied by: Anu, Delirious, Maxi, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Shackman speaks, The Old Fossil, Will Knott..

15 thoughts on “First Memory

  1. shackman

    NIce. I have many vivid memories but what’s missing is an effective timeline. From say 3-5 there are many memories butthe specific time references are a bit fuzzy. Must be that age thing.

  2. Big John

    “shirts that had starched collars, ties, grey short tailored trousers and knee socks with turn down tops and finished off with well polished shoes.” That was me at that time.
    Starch” … Does anyone still use it ? I’m pretty certain that most people today don’t iron their clothes. I’m not even sure that some wash them ! 🙂

  3. Rummuser

    Fascinating that you were able to locate photographic proof! I am sure that had my brother Arvind been writing an LBC post, he would have added a photograph of my earliest memory about going to school with him.

    The Hillman was a funny car because it had the gears shifting the wrong way! If I recollect right, what would have been the first gear was the reverse gear and so on.

  4. Alice

    G’mar, that is so you! Except for stretching out a bit, mostly in height, you’re so recognizable. You all look so spiffy. The old photos of me show a me most often with a snotty-nose, and dirty clothes, no shoes. You mother looked so pretty and I too liked the dress. She seems to have got her post-baby figure back so quickly.

  5. Mayo

    @ Big John–I ironed a pair of slacks for my wife just this morning and a couple of articles of clothes for her at the beginning of the week.
    What does that make me–out of touch??

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Shackman – Don’t ask me what I was doing five minutes ago, but recalling the past is no problem for me at all.

    Big John – I doubt if starch is used very much these days and when it is, I sure it comes out of a spray can.

    Ramana – I am fortunate to have hundreds of photographs all saved to my computer but none of them are from my early school days, stories from that time have all been retold to me.

    Alice – I am sure we had our moments of scruff especially after playing in the field.

    Mayo – Good for you. I hope you ironed out the creases and not in.

  7. Grannymar Post author

    Delirious – It must have been about the only time when I would have been described as ‘looking like me’, since then – even yesterday – I was told that I looked like my mother! 😆

    WWW – That photographer was very clever, we never wanted to take our eyes off him in case we missed a trick!

  8. Anu

    Stopping by after what feels like ages!

    That was such a pleasant read. Its not very often that the ‘feel of something’ forms a part of our memory. I understand the ‘feel of the carpet’ bit. I still love lying on the carpet face down especially when it is cold outside =)

  9. Grannymar Post author

    Tilly – Texture was always something that fascinated me and it still does. The games with the oranges were also a very strong memory.

    Anu – The roughness of wool carpet, the rustle of taffeta or the softness of silk fabric were all part of the ‘feel factor’ for me.

    BWT – We were beautiful babies but unfortunately we grew up.

  10. The Old Fossil

    What beautiful detail in that memory! I find probing back to the earliest memories always brings a rush of pure feelings coupled with a curiosity that resharpens!


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