Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Where did I come from?

Our friend Tom  has posted some great blog posts in recent days on some of his childhood memories. Our childhoods are all different but they have this habit of staying with us regardless. 
I had a really weird dream the other night. Do you dream?  It's not usual for me to dream at all or at least I don't remember anything about it. Anyway, this other night I met up with this funny little girl.  She looked a bit unkempt and mucky just on her own with seemingly no-one else around. We got talking and I asked her who she was with.
'I'm with you.'
' You can't be.'
'Where do you live?'
'I live in Llanidloes.'
'Come on I'll take you home'.
'But I want to stay with you.'
I gently persuaded her to sit beside me in my Focus. I turned the ignition key. Wouldn't start and I just couldn't get that car to start.
And then it all dawned on me. She WAS me, my own little inner child from way back. I was the one who had pushed her out of the way and ignored her. But she didn't want to go away.
How strange was that! Yes of course I let her stay with me, well she had to. She was part of my life, just as  everybody has a little inner child claiming part of their lives too.

In my early years I lived on a small farm known locally as the Coppy House. My dad used to have a milk round around Four Crosses where he used to collect all the neighbouring farms' milk in 17 gallon churns and deliver it in an old Commer lorry to the creamery at Four Crosses. We had a neighbour called John from The Maerdy who often used to help dad out with the farm work. During the school summer holidays all my cousins would descend on the Coppy House and stay for the whole six weeks to give their mams a rest. I remember this one day we decided to play hide & seek. I had a super brilliant idea of hiding in an old 17 gallon milk churn in the lorry shed. It was a blooming good  hiding place because nobody did find me - got fed up and all went for their tea. When I'd had enough I made a move to haul myself out but found my bottom firmly wedged against one side of the churn and my knees jammed solid against the other. I was absolutely welded. I couldn't move and yelled my head off. Eventually discovered, I was transported in the churn out into the open air. It was getting mighty hot and stuffy by then. The adults stood around, pondering and peering in, offering opinions on the best course of action. Calling the fire brigade was one of the options on the agenda. Luckily, Old John, bless him, was the one who managed to get me out. I don't know how he did it but I didn't try that again I can tell you! My beloved dad passed away twenty four years ago but one of the things he gave me was the actual 17 gallon milk churn. I've still got it  but there would be no chance of climbing into it now - even if I wanted to.
Do you have a memory, light or dark - would love to hear it.


  1. How fantastic! what a hiding place,so lucky they got you out...I loved this blog,it was a joy to read and yes I have dreams too and remembering them is the hardest...I was imagining this all happening as you were telling your story,I am going to tell my grandkids about this at the weekend they will laugh and laugh as we always play hide and seek.

  2. What a great keepsake. I think it's a good idea to record our childhood memories. Kids now don't get to do the things we took for granted. Our childhoods sound like something out of a fairy tale. Maybe it was.

  3. Lovely story, Moll. It reminded me a bit of a country house I know which has a large, 17th century oak chest in it, which hadn't been opened for generations. When they did open it, they found the skeleton of a child. Looking up the records of the house, they found a child had disappeared about 400 years ago, whilst playing a game of 'hide and seek'...

  4. I remember very clearly waiting outside the bedrom door with my Dad, while my Brother was being born. I was 4 1/2 and wasnt sure why my dad was so excited. When they let us in I remember being rather dissapointed- it was only a baby!

  5. That's so cool you've still got the churn.

    We used to play hide and seek in my friends coal 'bunker' until he got himself trapped in it. I can still hear him screaming (the rats!)...

  6. Oh and btw, is it you - 6th from the right on the second row down?

  7. I'm going for second child from the left, second row down!

    That's a great story, and a fabulous milk churn. The idea of confined spaces makes me a bit queezy, so I can sympathise.

  8. Third row down, first girl on the left?

  9. Thanks for all your comments - will answer them later on tonight.
    Tom - nope. (I'm sitting in the infants chairs right in the front - the one with the shoulder bag :0)

  10. now that was on a par with one of Tom's stories!

  11. I did pick you out corretly in the picture Molly. I loved your story. We did get into some trouble when we were younger, didn't we? It was a time before helicopter parents who track their children's every movement. I went out to play at 9 AM, came in for lunch, and out again till about 5. I had adventures, made decisions (not always wise), and had a good time being a child.

  12. Life was a lot different then than it is now. Arleen, like you say - it was the time before helicopter parents but it was good fun. Well done you for getting it right. The prize is - putting a School photo up and letting us guess which little girl is you :0)
    Chris - the little girl you picked out was called Margaret. My sister is standing next to her (4th one across)
    The one you picked, Tom, is called Kathleen
    Cro, the little girl you picked is called Anne. She was my best friend in our early teen years.
    wonder where they are now.

  13. I was looking at a school photo of my Mum's weeks ago that was so similar I had to double take at your photo (my Mum and her family grew up in Abercarn).

    Even had a ribbon in her hair...

  14. Would love to see that school photo, Chris. I can't remember when this one was taken, must have been sometime in the early 50's. We (girls that is) were all ribbons and plaits then. Not sure where Abercarn is. The photo I'm in was taken at Llandrinio Primary School. It was closed during the 80's but I can still picture the classrooms every time I go past there. The old buildings still look very much the same on the outside

  15. oh Molly. this is a beautiful story. and I was unkempt as a child too. see all that we have in common? happy day to you!

  16. Another lovely post. How scary being stuck in the churn.

  17. are such a darling. You tell these stories (that hollywood could make into a best seller in a heartbeat) with such casual ease.
    Afraid all of my childhood memories are dark...interestingly V.'s are totally's like we grew up in different houses!
    Whatever the outcome...we CAN and should walk away from all the negatives. Let's not let our past define us? Right?

  18. Thank goodness they found you Molly, how scary to be trapped in a milk churn, lovely story. The cousins and family all used to descend on this farm for the same reason, the happy farmer has so many lovely childhood memories of long summers with all of his cousins bedding down in every available corner.

  19. J - I feel as though I want to put my arms around and love and comfort that little girl who was you. Perhaps this was the reason for writing this blog.

  20. Posie - Oh yes, I'm very happy about that too :0)

  21. OH Molly, you do tell the best stories. Sounds like you had quite a fun childhood, fancy all your cousins staying for the whole six weeks. Must have got up to a lot of high jinx......

    I love the dream about the little girl. Dreams are very interesting, I dream alot to the point of not sleeping well I dream so much, but I don't think I've ever had a dream like yours or one that I could interpret as such.

    Looking at that milk churn must bring back such alot of memories.

    Claire :}

  22. What a great story, I'm so glad you were found!

    I grew up living in a cottage on my uncle's farm, so had my brother and cousins to play with all day long in the summer. I remember a cat that had kittens and we followed her and found they were in the hay shed. We had to crawl through gaps between the bales to find them. When I think about it now I shudder to think if the bales had collapsed.