Wednesday, 8 August 2007

First memory

I don't naturally veer towards believing in fate. I wear my seatbelt because I believe it keeps me a little safer. I know that I have control over much of what happens to me. I see that others also have an impact on me. I do not think there is a mapped out destiny for individuals. But considering I was brought up in a London suburb my first memory although not startling, was not perhaps what might be expected, and I can't help but wonder if it set some unconscious seed that has brought me to my particular here and now.
I was still at pre-toddler stage. I was taken about in a large perambulator, second hand I think, and of a size that suggests a nanny in control, but there was no nanny. My Father would take me out in the pram, wrapped up like a pudding, round faced, cosy against the elements. He pushed the pram to the end of the street and turned away from the centre of things and up the hill to the few acres of green belt that sat surprisingly just a few streets away.
The transition from concrete, pavements and brick was abrupt. Behind the run of rectangular gardens was farmland. I never saw a farmhouse or a farmer. I don't know if there ever was anything other than grass, and in my teenage years when I was bolder in exploring, there were no longer signs of farming and no fences. But my first memory is of a short journey, of being taken up the hill to see the cows. Black and white cows. Cows that lifted their head over the wire fence, curious and unafraid of a proud man with a young child in a pram, picking her up from underneath the blankets to show off her red cheeked beam to the animal audience.
I can recall the scene so clearly. Nothing in my childhood or that of my parents would have suggested farming as a way of life; it was an urban existence with urban ambitions and interests. And yet, those cows snuck in early and made, surely, some important impression.

8 comments:

Eurodog said...

Oddly enough one of first vivid childhood memories is of a cow. We were in Switzerland in my parents' Ford Anglia. We were driving a night and I was asleep on the back seat ( no seat belts in those days! )and my father had to break hard which made me slip between the seats and there in front of us stood a nice Swiss cow. I must have been four.
We still live in a city and have not opted for the country live. Not yet, anyway.

@themill said...

Mine were all pushed around in an ancient (circa 1920) jallopy of a pram. And the youngest is only 15!

Flowerpot said...

good for those cows, Mopsa! Amazing what we remember, isn't it? Sadly I have no cow memories though.

mountainear said...

It's taken a while and an urban interlude but I'm back amongst the cows - where I feel I belong. Sigh of relief.

KAZ said...

Conversely, I was brought up in a house where we looked at cows from the front window and cows from the back window.
And, though I loved it, I now live in the city by choice.

But - I would never choose the suburbs.

The thinker said...

Hi there Mopsa - hope the pigs are happy.
I've just nominated you for the Thoughtful Blogger award. perhaps yu'll collect it when you next leave the farm for a trip east. Hugs. x

Mopsa said...

Early memories - enough to make you stop doing the dishes. Nice to know that others have cows in their recollections.
And thank you for the award Thinker.

Dick Madeley said...

And I've just given you a thoughtful blogger award too. I'd go back and remove your nomination but I'm not that thoughtful.