Describe/Fictionalise a childhood memory.
Only a short piece today, I struggle with non-fiction, think I like to lie too much (is that why I love storytelling, lol). So just like trying poetry and possibly mushrooms I’m continuing my quest to try something I don’t like every day, or possibly every other…..
I spent my childhood in the town I still live. A small little market town that nestles in the Pennine hills, between the Lancashire & Yorkshire border. Where Bronte Country meets the Yorkshire Dales and where green leafed bridleways snake around the outskirts and a stretch of canal meanders past the edges. A place where the quirky and the quaint swallow you in and call you a friend.
I remember the characters that I saw as a child. Some we were scared of, others we would watch and laugh or admire. They all had names, never their own, but a name everyone knew. Whenever you went home and told tales of who you’d seen you nearly always got a “Don’t be rude” frown, but as they turned to walk away you could just spot the signs of a knowing grin.
‘Rag Albert’ walked round town with a rope as a belt. His pant legs always tucked-in to boots that never had laces. He looked through the bins, for cast offs and scraps and waved a bony hand at everyone who passed. ‘Gladys’ wore black and had hairs on her chin. She only had 3 fingers on one of her hands and we were always told that her mother had cut them off when she stole from her purse. ‘Benny Bicycle’ was short and round, he sat on a tricycle and wore a jaunty beret. He would launch a spit straight at you if you wouldn’t push him up the hill. There was also ‘German Anna’ who wasn’t from Germany. She would stop you in the street and read your palm for a few pence, if you didn’t pay enough she would just hold you firm, not saying a word till you paid up some more.
When I think back now, through adult eyes, it’s hard to believe that we thought this was normal and nobody cared or batted an eye lid. Today there are still a few that are quirky, new names have taken over the old ones. Times change and faces too, but thank god there will always be the quirky.