Friday, 17 April 2009

Fisher Price Memories

Well, here I am starting my new blog and it feels quite good. I just want to get everything down while I remember and then I can start playing with the formats later. You also may have noticed that it is in fact early afternoon and not midnight - I generally think about things around or after midnight while trying to get to sleep and type them up later. This probably has something to do with the fact that the computer is in the shed in the garden (or the Bat Cave as it is affectionately known) and I don't very much like the idea of being sat here on my own at that hour. Which is why I need a new laptop. This is what has been going through my head over the last couple of nights - apologies if it seems like I am typing the new Magna Carta.

I was recently made redundant from my job of 3 years and while I think I am coping brilliantly, there are certain side effects I wasn't counting on. For example, although this has happened to me and no-one else, I have the distinct feeling that there are people out there who know more about it than me, other than the bosses who dealt with it of course. This has left me with a horrible distrust of people as I don't think I know the whole story. I know that I don't have the right to know everything about a single person, but when it comes to things that affect me I think I have a certain right in finding out more. Throughout this whole thing and the six or seven weeks I've had at home looking for work I have found out who my real friends are and unfortunately for me it is far fewer than I first imagined.

So, as this was churning through my head, I began to think of happier times in the good old days - when the sun was always shining and there were more than enough hours in the day even if you did go to bed at 8pm. And I suddenly thought, how cool would it be to meet the 5/6 year old Laura? Not to sit her down and give her a right talking to and tell her who to avoid later in life. It's a bit of a cliché, but I wouldn't be the person I am today if I didn't make the same mistakes, and since I am essentially happy apart from the not-having-a-job situation I wouldn't want to change anything. No, I would just like to meet her and see if she is the same person I remember her being or if my memory has played tricks on me. Initially, I thought the 20 years since had made me into a totally different person, but as I got thinking I realised that I am pretty much the same just with a wider vocabulary (and arse). In the immortal words of Lloyd Grossman, let's look at the evidence:

- The main difference between Laura and me is that she was a very serious, quiet child who seemed to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. For those of you who know me, this can come as quite a shock. This is the only thing I can think of that I haven't carried with me to some extent into my adult years - I definitely came out of my shell and although I am still a sensitive soul, I don't burst into tears at the sight of a blind man and his guide dog. The other big difference is that I don't want to be a ballet dancer anymore.

- I preferred my own company and thought of many ingenious ways to keep myself occupied (see below for examples). Please understand, this was not because of any social difficulties I may have had, in fact I was very polite in company, it was just the way I liked it. Now, I would say that I would prefer company over none any day; especially since being made redundant, the only people I see are Darren (my fiancé), recruitment consultants, bus drivers and shop assistants. But I am more than happy to sit on my own and entertain myself (not in that way).

- So, how did I entertain myself? Well, I read an awful lot - which I still do. The difference being that for me, reading had to be done out loud. With all the voices. And I used to have one of those brown (who thought it would be a good idea to be brown?) Fisher Price recorders where I used to tape my 'performances.' You know the one - it came with a cheap yellow tape which was blank on one side and had some of that non-offensive, bland electric guitar music that toy manufacturers thought was cool on the other side. Not only did I tape me reading - I came up with game show formats and stories that were also recorded over the same side of tape. However, my crowning glory was when I taped my Gran having an argument with one of my brothers and if my mother hasn't thrown it away, it should still be in the loft somewhere.

The whole point of this is that I thought I was different; a more practical and logical person than the creative one I have become. But all this shows that in fact I am pretty much the same person which has made me feel happier throughout this tough time - I still retain some of that childhood innocence and wonder even though I've had some crap things happen to me. I don't tend to read out loud anymore, but reading is probably still my number one past time, I have recorded sketches and stories for a friend of mine who sadly has since passed away, I love the theatre and although I am going stir crazy at times, I still enjoy my own company. I don't dislike people who are not Catholic anymore - a horrible side effect of being brought up Catholic, going to a Catholic school and attending church every Sunday (bor-ring). I have thankfully managed to grow out of that and I view all religion now with a sort of fascinated cynicism.

So in a roundabout way while lying in bed at night, my mind has succeeded in easing my heavy load in that subconcious way it does. And in a roundabout way, I suppose I'm saying that despite things life throws at me, I am essentially a happy person. Who loves to read.


  1. It's funny, I think we might have been quite similar as children; I spent virtually my whole childhood with my nose in a book or drawing. Have to admit I never read anything out loud, but when I went for a ride on my bike I used to stick a teddy in the basket and tell him stories I made up. :) Kids are weird.

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  3. I think if I could meet my younger self I would say "Don't get a credit card. Ever." It's advice that even today I manage to ignore...

    (I deleted my earlier comment by mistake when I meant to edit it. So that's another piece of advice. Proof read first.)