What are your earliest memories?
How far back can you go? I sometimes talk to people who can remember doing things when
they were 2 or 3 years old. I can't go back that far.
Smells and sounds stick in my mind more than actions do; freshly cut grass and the laughter
of children playing in the street; the pain of falling over and grazing the skin off my knees and
my mum cleaning the wound and covering it with a plaster; the feel of carpet under my feet
and leaning against hot central heating while peering through cold glass at grey London weather.
Some of the most vivid memories, though, are of long summer days playing with friends in the
garden, eating ice cream, climbing trees and riding bikes. I remember being happy.
I had one best friend, Graham, and most of the time was spent with him. We used to play games
indoors if the weather was bad, or go to the park with a football or tennis rackets. He loved cricket,
a sport I've never liked despite having been forced to play it at school. Sometimes I'd humour
Graham and play for a few hours. He always beat me; his dogs barking and chasing the ball.
We used to attach playing cards to the back wheels of our bikes with clothes pegs so that they made
a noise as we rode along. It sounded like a motor or an engine. Cycling was fun, especially in the
park where we could annoy the park keeper and get him to chase us on his bike. He never caught us.
Eventually we discovered girls and my memories become more vivid, and life more complicated.
However, perhaps that is a subject better left for another day.

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