Ok here it is.
Let’s go back to my earliest memories, Brighton really. Although my mum and dad would tell of a little manse in Coventry, that had running water inside. Wallpaper coming off the walls and mould. Not a great environment to bring a child into the world. But even so my mum especially liked to make life fun for us.
I especially remember a little blue portable gas stove that seemed to go everywhere with us. My mum (Heather) came into the room where I and my baby brother were at the time, with a sound of excitement in her voice. 5am, I am not a morning person these days but loved adventures as a child. “Come on boys she cried up you get” I must have opened my brown eyes with a look of excitement. Everything was ready the bacon sausages, eggs. She bundled us into the car (given as a gift I believe from their friends Peter and Margret) we were not rich although we had more than most kids because we looked forward to the days our mum would make exciting for us.
We arrived at Brighton’s pebbly beach at around 5.45 am I distantly remember it being quiet apart from the crashing waves. We pitched up near a breaker so the wind would not put out the flames on our little blue busun burner. Mum then cooked breakfast in the beach I can remember eating it, I just remember the smells as it cooked mixed with the salty air. It’s a smell I think everyone should be able to smell but not something that can be sent through paper or a word document.
The carpets were made out of a string type material and really hurt if you fell on them. On the stairs and landing anyway. We had a b&w telly which I remember seeing my dad on which was amazing. My dad was a minister at that time in a place called Southern Cross, in ports lade Brighton. We didn’t spend that much time with my dad unless it involved going to church, visiting people (which was boring) or sitting through a prayer meeting which was worse than boring. What little time we did get was made as fun as possible, running across the park as a 5 year old and beating your dad to the swings made me feel 6 feet tall, when you’re not even 2 feet tall, that’s really really big.
I remember my dad spending days in the study where I was not allowed to go; it was coming up to my 6th birthday. Even so it really got on my wick how the door was always locked to me. Finally the day came and I was allowed in there only to be greeted by a real strong smell of oil based paint. Up on the table that I could just about see up to was a massive yellow car park (set of shelves really with ramps) it even had black lines to simulate a road. I loved it and had hours of fun with it. Its little things like that that you do with very little money that makes life so much fun.
The next house we had was for 1 year in Charlton near Greenwich. We lived about 5 or 6 streets away from the ground. My walk to cherry orchard was a rough one, walking through a council estate with flats either side. Cars on bricks, a friend called Freddy lived there he was an Asian boy and lived up 2 flights of stairs to a poky little flat. I remember how sorry I felt for the lad having to climb those concrete stairs everyday with those cold iron railings painted black and all chipped. I guess I remember his house the most as I passed it every day on the way to school.