Primary school - I was in the playground one morning waiting to go into the classroom. I was so cold that I had to go into the toilets and throw up in the basin.
We were on the beach. Dad swam out to sea. He swam so far I couldn't see him anymore. I had hysterics at the edge of the water calling after him and sobbing, because I thought he was never coming back.
I was on holiday with my Nana in Riccione, Italy. One day we came back from the beach and there was a newspaper stuck in the rack by the reception desk - Marilyn Monroe's death was headline news.
I can remember all of these events as if they happened 10 minutes ago.I can feel the cold, see those little kiddies toilets, see a blob of vomit in the basin. I can smell the sea and taste my tears and my fears at never seeing my Dad again. I can see the trellis of the rack, the tiny space that the reception desk was in, the name Marilyn Monroe in huge black letters.
Yet. Surely I couldn't have been so cold that I threw up? I have the sense that I was crying or had been crying? Was it something else that made me sick? My Dad couldn't possibly have swum out of sight, he would have ended up in Southend! It wasn't until I was 8 years old that it was discovered that I was chronically short sighted - perhaps he just swam out of my sight ( not far at all then). I discovered only a few months ago that Marilyn Monroe actually died the year after I went to Riccione. I was in Riccione on August 5th 1961, so where was I on August 5th 1962? It must be Belgium. Really.
Childhood memories. Childhood mythologies.
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Which came into my possession I'm not sure how and that I remember just enough of to know that I loved it, but not enough of to spoil another visit.