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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tales from our childhood: an experiment in collective memories

My sisters Jan and Lyn have been reading my blog posts about events in my childhood and obviously these quickly generated memory on memory for us all, as my childhood was theirs as well. 

There was one phenomenon which resonated vividly with us as children. That was the events that revolved round the annual pilgrimage near Christmas time to Aunty Daisy’s and Uncle Siv’s.

So I had an idea: why not take the same vivid experience and have each of us write about it from our own perceptions? They agreed. Lyn wrote first, and Jan and I read hers, and then Jan wrote next. We didn’t discuss anything at all about how we’d do this, except Jan and I would have been conscious not to replicate too closely anything Lyn wrote. Oddly enough, I doubt if any one of us reading the others’ narratives would have made a huge difference. Jan wrote hers and then I wrote mine.

Jan is 5 years older than I, and Lyn is 3 years younger than she is. Kay was 4 years younger than I, and nothing would give me greater pleasure than for Kay to have been able to write about what she remembered. These of course are not recollections from one precise year but varied across time, up to five years or more, but just to create a point of reference, our ages at one time, say about 1956, would have been roughly Jan [14], Lyn [11] and I [9], but please don’t assume that when one of us is talking of a memory, it would have come from that year. I suspect many of Jan's, for example, come from when she was much younger than 14.

So here they are, in order of seniority! One per day for the next three days. I hope you enjoy them.

[Jan's story][Back to Index]

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