Daily Archives: May 3, 2016

Early memories.

For most of us, recallable memory begins with speech. Few of us can recall anything before we are able to speak and verbalize our experience. This is obvious really because otherwise we have no way of telling ourselves what we’ve seen. Images, cloudy and unformed, may appear but without words to describe what we see, they can’t be understood.

I have no firm memories of my time in Bartlett Street. I’ve seen a photo of my sister and I standing outside our house where an itinerant photogtapher took a picture.

As an aside, my mother hated that photo. My sister’s underwear was hanging down on one side and neither of us was dressed for success. Still, she’d paid for it so she kept it.  🙂

Oddly I *do* have a cloudy memory of having the photo taken but it’s not firm enough for me to claim it as a first.

The first time I’m sure I actually remember an event was standing outside the old Cooperative Butchers shop opposite the castle (for anyone unaware, Caerffili has a huge castle in the centre of the town). The run of Coop shops has long gone but they were a valuable profit sharing resource for families for many years!! Anyway, my mother had been shopping and had met a friend outside and was chatting. I was examining a Belisha Beacon (now there’s a subject for another post) and ignoring the world as was then and is now my usual modus operandi  My mother called, I paid no attention, she called again as mothers do and said if you aren’t coming I’m going without you… and started to walk off. Being me, and stubborn, I both refused to move *and* had a meltdown that I was being left behind. I’ve no idea who bent, or how the situation resolved itself but it did. There’s nothing special about this memory other than it neing the earliest. Having said that, in retrospect it set the scene for many repetitions of odd behaviour through my life.

Memories – issues.

There a few things to bear in mind concerning ‘memory’. To begin with they are for the most part flawed. Apart from the annoying human habit or reconstructing memories, even that reconstruction can be compromised by the insertion of foreign material. This may come from other people’s reminiscences, old photos, and even from media!!

Also those twin bugbears of perspective and bias (unconscious or otherwise) intrude without preamble on our mental records meaning we have to be extremely careful deciding what is actual fact, and what we’d wish was fact.

Pretty much I’m suggesting that my ‘memories’ may not be as accurate as I’d like, but with that caveat… and as that’s all I really have to be going on with… we’ll set off again. 🙂

I was born at a very early age.

I always wanted to start my biography that way, but as it seems it’s never going to be written I thought it would do as the first post in this ongoing series of reminiscences… i.e. self indulgent ramblings.

So as usual , where to start? The beginning seems as good a place as any.

I’m told I was born in Glossop Terrace Maternity Hospital in Cardiff, Wales. Clearly I have no memory of that so I just accept it.

I’m also led to believe that in my early years, until I was five or so, we lived in a liitle house in Caerffili on Bartlett Street to be exact but without checking I couldn’t tell you the number. All I really remember of the place is that we lived next door to a cobbler called Cyril Grono who used the front room of his house as a business premises and the remainder as a home for himself and his sister.

Around the corner, on White Street, lived my grandparents, William and Sarah Emily Knight. That’ll do for background and context for now. No doubt more will emerge later as we move forwards.