Saturday, March 11, 2017

Collecting Dandelions

In the summer of 1985 my Mum and I went for a walk through the country lanes close to our house.

It was warm and dry and we had an idea that if we collected flowers from the side of the road we could later press them into a notebook.

I say 'we' but it must have been her idea really. Perhaps it was something she had done as a child.

I would have been four years old.

I remember the fields being yellow.

In the banks of grass beside the roads we found dandelions, buttercups, and bright blue flowers that I don't know the name of.


We must have walked in a loop. Perhaps we cut across fields, although we would have a pushchair with us so that seems unlikely.

I think I remember the fields being quiet though I'm sure cars passed at intervals, becoming louder as they approached and then quickly dying away.

The idea of silent yellow fields and cars mixes in my mind with a kind of early summer morning smell and the sound of blackbirds.

But these must be from later summers. The smell of the shade behind the house with the sun baking down and cutting the garden in two. Blackbirds outside a bedroom window in the early evening.

Did I sellotape the flowers into the Transformers notebook? I think so; look at the way the tape has been torn.

Also, the flowers were fixed into position with the book upside down and back to front. I recognise my own work here.

Did we walk back together or did I sleep in the pushchair? Were the flowers carried in my mum's handbag or did I want to hold onto them?

We must have stuck them down after lunch, placing a heavy object on top of the book to press the flowers into position.

We would have shown them to my Dad that evening.


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