Sunday, 27 July 2014
My life as a tapestry - 2 (the first hurdle)
I was part of the post-war baby boom. Being a child in those years meant receiving all the determined postwar care of a society breathless with relief and obsessed with minding everyone's business. Those 'Demmit Cynthia' accents concealed a steely resolve to vaccinate and educate.
My Auntie Doreen looms large in my pre-school memory - she was an overworked housewife, with both her children and her own parents to care for, not to mention a sick husband.
Amongst the kids in the picture are my extended family of cousins: Stephen and Sheila, Andrew and Christopher, Wendy and Jane. Three of these families had later additions who will get mentions in this tapestry in their proper time and place.
..and the chronology is all over the place as Susan is still in the pram here while the others are shown as children. However - who's to say that the Bayeux tapestry shows everyone exactly as they were when the events depicted took place? I think I can take a few liberties with my own memories!
My childhood self loved his little sister but also developed an unaccountable hatred of prams.
All childhoods have their dark side. For the polio kids at my school it was pain and being left out, and sometimes, all too sadly, mockery. For me, it was the wordless terror of the moon and the sensation of my head gradually turning to stone.
In the subtext, the Labour government, the NHS and the BBC administer to the daily needs of our bodies, minds and sense of nationhood.