This week’s theme was Once I was 7 years old, though on my advance notice I accidentally put weeks instead of years which, as it turned out, suited a couple of us better. It is always optional anyway, but our present incarceration seems to be encouraging nearly everyone to write on subject, and this week was almost a social document in its diverse depictions of 20th century childhoods. Many were obviously truthful reminiscences, and just to add to the mix, this was also our 500 word challenge so brevity was the order of the day, as well.
An early memory of moving from the bomb sites of Woolwich to greener Eltham was fascinating in its description of kids playing among the rubble and the half destroyed houses of post war London. They were fascinated by what was left of the houses, sometimes just one remaining ghostly wall with a picture on it. Too young to understand the tragedy of war, it was just a great playground. Riveting stuff, this.
Then came a memory of being a child in a 50’s school playground. Bit too much information here, as the writer vividly remembers falling on that horrid gavel that was compulsory in those days and inflicted nasty injured knees. The description of the removal of the torturous plasters, nearly more painful than the original wound, made my toes curl up as well as making me laugh out loud.
An early longing for a bike led us through the writer’s life in seven year bites – and she still hasn’t got one! There were several references to the 60’s, mostly recalling them swinging, of course, perhaps especially the one set in 1964 which reminded me of some long forgotten stuff. And there was a wonderful, touching tribute to a much loved but recently lost grandmother.
So many happy childhoods, you could almost see the smile on the writers face. Not all, of course. There were a couple of very poignant poems, a heart wrenching one of a family riven by the loss of all its men, another of the disillusion of the Windrush generation, by one who was part of it..
There was an intriguing and quite extraordinary piece imagining the musing of a six week old foetus. Then a poem, perhaps not as completely comic as you might think, on the nurturing parental responsibilities that are mostly impossible to achieve. Add in a reproduced article from1875 about child chimney sweeps and you begin to appreciate the diversity of this week’s writing. Oh- I must mention the cat called Murdoch who fought with a toad – no Shorelink week is complete without a cat reference, and a couple of nonsense poems for no purpose but to make the readers smile.
I fell in love with a beautiful, lyrical story, told in the first person, of a seven hundred year old oak tree. I loved it and shall now look at the ancient oaks in our village with quite different eyes.
All this work and all in less than 500 words- you are a clever lot. Thank you – as always.
Ana, whose work shop it should have been, has chosen next week’s theme which is below:
‘Thank You Letter’: Write a letter to someone – past, present, or future – to thank them for their positive contribution to your life and the outcome (could be a family/friend, role model, invention, etc). Sarcastic/humorous versions also welcome! Fiction or non-fiction.
Thanks, Ana – looks good to me. Keep them coming, everyone! Sally xxxxx