Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Earliest Memory Meme

The lovely lad with the sobriquet of Lad Litter has been charming enough to tag me. Although this is not as exciting as being tagged in a game of kiss chasey (shame) it does mean a meme and I'm sure a fun time shall be had by all!

So, the rules:

1. Describe your earliest memory where the memory is clear, and where "clear" means you can depict at least three details;
2. Give an estimate of your age at the time;
3. Tag five other bloggers with this meme.

This is a good meme for me as I haven't given a lot of thought to my earliest memories. I've wracked my brain and left it deflated and exhausted by my efforts, but it has generously given me my earliest memory with "at least three details" as specified. Those three being: me and my twin cousins.

I am close to 3 and my female cousins only a few months younger.

We are playing in the backyard at my house. Our mothers have obviously figured it's a very safe backyard as they left us there with minimal supervision - there was only lawn and plants, and the goldfish pond has recently been replaced by a sand pit (I believe dad achieved this by a quick drive to the beach at the end of our street where he filled a trailer with lovely white beach sand; the '70s were kinda relaxed like that...).

We were just toddlers really and had minimal vocab but I recall a discussion taking place. I don't know whether I had told them of the ladder-type stairs going up to the roof or if they just saw them next to the house.

(I must share with you that years after this we had a dog that would climb the stairs up to the pitched roof of our single storey house, walk across it and lie on the front where she could see the street and anyone approaching the house. We had a very large tree smack dab in the middle of our front yard so when people walking past were startled by the sound of a dog barking... coming from somewhere above their heads... they had no idea where it was coming from. This gave us, and our dog, years of entertainment.)

Anyway, my twin cousins were balls of energy and could climb anything like little hairless monkeys. Also like little monkeys they were very cheeky and always getting into mischief. As soon as they knew of the stairs they were determined to go up there. Somehow we discussed this. Recalling such a discussion makes me wonder if we're telepathic or something as kids cause we couldn't really talk that well. Although, I suppose "go roof" would have sufficed.

I remember thinking they really shouldn't go up there.
a) because it was 'wrong' (pick the single child here; well-behaved and never egged on by siblings) and our mothers would be cross; and,
b) because I thought it was dangerous.

They may have tried getting me to go up there too. Regardless, I told them not to do it... they went ahead anyway.

It was an old timber stair-ladder thingamee with no hand railings, so an easy fall off either side onto the dirt below. My memories of the stairs may be from a bit later so perhaps the step that was later missing was still attached at this time, as the gaps between the steps were already pretty large. Plus it was quite steep and even when I was a 'big kid' I would need to climb it more like a ladder.

Apart from the 'argument' in which I was firmly told not to tell on them, my next vivid recollection is of them crawling around on the roof. Now this roof was steep and tiled, not easy even for an adult to tackle. These guys were having a great adventure and I was looking up at them from the lawn scared out of my wits - which in retrospect I believe was quite sensible. I was trying really hard not to go in and tell my mum, but then they started crawling down the steep slope of the back down toward the timber pergola and they wouldn't stop. I was really scared they would get to the pergola and fall through one of the large gaps between the timber beams 'splat' onto the brick pavers below.

I frantically ran inside, trying to get help before they got to the edge of the roof. Now I don't remember anything else after this but I don't want to leave you hanging so I'll tell you what mum has told me. Apparently I ran, or really toddled, inside to my mum and my aunty and was very stressed out and pointing at the roof, my eyes wide. I think I said 'roof!' or something helpful like that. Regardless they saw I was really scared and so ran into action. Lord knows what they thought when they saw the girls on the roof. I think if I saw my 2 year olds crawling around the edge of a roof with a sheer drop onto pavers below I would have a minor heart attack.

Fortunately I can't recall how pissed off my cousins were with me for dobbing on them though.


So... now we get to play tag!

I'm going to tag Mai, cause her childhood memories so far sound pretty amazing; Davey, cause whatever he writes is amusing; same goes for The Man at the Pub (let's see if your earliest memory involves a few bevvies eh?); The Blakkat, so she can be yet again distracted from the rewrites of her novel; and Ariel, to give her some distraction from annoying school Nazis teachers.