Monday, 9 January 2012

January the 9th

Photo taken night of 8th after having be shorn !

I am 69 years young today and was born in Loveday Street Children's Hospital, Birmingham on January 9th at 5.20 a.m. in1943. Memories of that achievement no longer remain - that's if they ever existed.

My earliest memory is of sitting in my pram and a young girl asking my mother if she could push it, my mother said "no" but she could assist her by holding on to the side.

A very distinct and perhaps dark memory is of being carried past the walls of a bombed out building, which I believe was the Prince of Wales Theatre which was destroyed in April 1941. Another is of seeing a tin helmet with a khaki gas mask bag hanging on the newel post at the foot of my parents stairs, on the floor adjacent to the post was a large canvas bag full of rosy red apples and next to them stood an army rifle. I also remember sitting on my mother's lap at the children's street party that celebrated the end of the war.

Strangely, after all those years, there is one noise at night that wakens me in seconds: that of a propeller driven aircraft flying overhead.

As a child the bomb sites were one of our favourite places to play as long as they were out of our parents' sight . Each and every site seemed to be covered in Buddleia, so much so that the plant & place became associated; in my mind and I thought that the authorities had deliberately planted them there. A great surprise awaited me some years later, to find the plant growing profusely on the banks of a river in a country that had not been in the war.

We departed from the Birmingham area in 1946 and moved to live in Somerset. That move heralded a whole host of further moves in which we lived in different places and many houses, some only for a few weeks and some for a few years; I did a count up and found I had lived in 14 houses and six places between the time I was born and fourteen years of age, I often wonder if one of my parents had gypsy blood.

It was hardly any wonder therefore that roaming became a way of life for me too later in life. Even today I get the urge to go off in the car and travel to somewhere different, the journey itself is as much part of the cure as arriving at a destination.

Today I shall celebrate this special occasion by having lunch with Mrs H and a friend, in one of our favourite restaurants by driving across the countryside to a near by town.


  1. Happy Birthday:)
    Have a great time!
    Bright Blessings

  2. TRISTRAM said
    The Lady Moon does shine full illumines all below
    then this date is for gifting YOU as friend we know
    then beneath yon faery tree
    there be Blessings for Mel to see
    Our own fine Merlyn with beard neatly shorn
    so many so glad O' the day YOU are borne

    Thanks to you for teaching shared
    and just to tell;The Ravens cared....

    Tristram with a merry Happy Birthday

  3. Happy Birthday good health.

  4. Happy Birthday - I would never have believed from the picture that you were 69, you look more like 60. I hope you are aging disgracefully! Enjoy your day xxx

  5. Happy Birthday! Roaming is good for the soul.

  6. Happy Birthday! You certainly have the gift of story and of being able to share thoughts and memories in ways poignant and real to a reader. Thank you for this. Happy celebrations of your birth.

  7. I enjoyed this story, more please!
    Hapy birthday and many more to come.

  8. Happy Birthday Heron. Great photo and story too.

  9. Happiest Birthday! You look amazing!! so not fair that the guys age so fine ..while we gals get more wrinkles lol Hope you had a terrific lunch :) Debs

  10. I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Mel! I enjoyed reading about your early memories and especially about the Buddleia on the omb sites, for I too remember that, even though I was born in the 50's, there were still plenty of bomb sites for us to play on in London when I was a child. Buddleia and foxgloves were the predominant flowers. As for the roaming instinct, you and me both :) That's why I've been living on a barge these past 12 years! Enjoy the coming year and we'll look forward to celebrating the next birthday with you on blog!!

  11. And PS: You look great in your photo!

  12. I think when you travel about like you have Mel it adds to the wonderful collection of memories we have as children. I am like you, I do love to travel to differnet places and the journey for me also, is a huge part of the adventure.
    May you have many more woderful journeys.
    Margaret x

  13. I greatly appreciate all of your wonderful comments which massaged my modest ego enormously !

    Deborah: Get the lighting right before taking the photo helps to lessen the wrinkles, otherwise all would see a very lived face :)

  14. Wow, look younger than ever! Happy Birthday. I was just thinking about you and Oliver today on my ride home from work. We must try skyping again since I have a new laptop. Happy Birthday, again!

  15. A belated happy birthday. I enjoyed reading about your life and earliest memories. The 'new look' is great and suits you. I am finally, at 63, letting my grey hair grow out. I know it will age me but I'm fed up with colouring it! Great to have found your blog.