As I’m trying to ‘get back’ into my writing, I thought I would experiment by using autobiographical snippets of my childhood. Format wise, I opted out of the normal chronological order and instead flip backwards, then forwards and so on. Please read the beginning of this project below; I’d appreciate any feedback on style, format, language, flow, content. I’m really open to advice from a fresh perspective. Please feel free to leave comments at the end of this ‘preview’.
Casting my mind back to the long hot summer months of the mid-eighties always fills my heart with warmth and fond memories. Big burning golden afternoons followed by pink sunset skies as the unforgivable heat gave way to a relieving cool breeze which seemed to drape over our bare arms and shoulders. I replay those thoughts in my head and it’s like a viewing of an old VHS tape or Camcorder video, the images are ever so slightly tainted and distorted, but the colours and sounds as vivid as ever. I can still hear the laughter and joyful screams of child’s play, while the smell of the trees we used to climb and the warmth of the grass we used to lay on are as clear as yesterday.
It was the 28th of November and apparently a cold and late winter’s evening. The North of England, a small industrial town set some miles outside of Manchester, was where I was to be born. Amongst the backdrop of run-down cotton mills, factories and the large bleak barren moors, my Mother was preparing to give birth to her second child. A boy. The labour was long and drawn out and not without its complications. So much so, that immediately after my dramatic arrival, my Mother was in a critical condition and there was a very real risk that Death was to all too quickly follow Life. The irony was certainly not lost when I discovered that day was a Wednesday.
During my early to mid teenage years, divorce was somewhat of a rarity amongst those that I knew and associated with. It just seemed to be that all my friends had a Mum and a Dad and they were together and happy. My childish naivety allowed me to continue through my high school years believing that my own parents were immune to this curse. Our family was solid as a rock and although as the months went by and things started to feel a little strained at home, I was at least comforted by the fact that I had my Mum, and I had my Dad, my big Sister was there and we were all together. It was one early morning before school, as I was getting ready that I had noticed while walking past the living-room doorway, an alarm clock set on the floor. With an obvious curiosity and unassuming approach I proceeded to ask my Mum why it was there. In no more than a sentence, I had learnt that my Dad had slept on the settee the previous night. Within a couple of weeks, he had moved out.