Inexplicably, I thought about Milly-Molly-Mandy this morning. I was a distracted kid and didn’t like reading much, but I loved Milly-Molly-Mandy.
That thought led me to revisit her life. She was busy, independent and interested in lots of things. My life at her age was similar—I lived in a seaside suburb of Newcastle that may well have been an English village; I had a loving, relatively uncomplicated family; I liked making things; I had enormous freedom and loved exploring outside; I was always finding and scoffing mulberries, loquats, mushrooms, honey suckles and even wild onion grass; I tolerated fishing and adored swimming; I collaborated with friends to make up games and songs; I had to do ‘chores’; I learnt to cook; I looked after and loved my pets; I valued and saved my pennies. I was also bratty but that doesn’t fit into M-M-M’s story.
I’ve been going on for some time about how much I love my simple domestic life; musing about how different it is for me since I retired. Today I realised that this life isn’t new, and the child is why. That M-M-M child is just a sentimental version of my more constructive current self. That M-M-M child is also why I’m doing and making—doing and making up for lost time.
I remember when I was 5 I practiced writing my name in my books. Not just in my books, but also in as many books from the family bookshelf as I could, before getting caught and stopped (bratty kid!). Here’s an example:
It’s a pretty strong statement—a signature of considerable size. Practice made perfect!
Mmm…using my fingers to count that it is Day 984/17 📔😳