Monday, 6 October 2014

Endeavors of a wild nonconformist kid - The pinwheel lolipop

The day started with the acknowledgment that my mother was still not home from her night out. Around then, I thought this was incredible! In fact it was not yet 8am and I was protected with my grandma so it wasn't generally stunning conduct. Nonetheless, I was just 3 1/2, not able to read a clock and still extremely egocentric. Presently, in my late 30's (or early 40's relying upon when you tally from), I can comprehend why she needed a night out! She was a young person, single and lucky enough to be some piece of the era striving for peace and free love. 

I had dozed snug in my den, settled amongst such a large number of toys that there was barely any sleeping cushion space for me. I wouldn't fret as I wanted to lie on top of my delicate toys, neck underpinned by a teddy's gut, head padded on a grinning sunflower, outstretched arm covering a cushy doggy, hand gripping my Chewie doll and other hand's thumb connected to my mouth. 

After awakening had stood searching for my mother's resting structure on the metal surrounded couch next to my snuggled up home. Level cot covers and unfilled pads equalled no mother and I started to squall, unnerving my grandma into rushing from her quiet morning espresso into my room. 

'Wavy girlie! There no compelling reason to holler! What ever is the matter with you? Did you have a terrible dream?' She remained before me, arms on her hips, surveying the circumstances, searching for harm to my body. 

"Muuumeeee....?" Pointing past my grandma towards the open entryway, restlessly cheerful. 

'She won't be long! Presently quit worrying and come have some breakfast with your grammie.' Her manner of speaking inferring that my mother would be wise to be home soon in the event that she ever needed an alternate kid free night out. She took a gander at my wild, wavy and sort of tangled hair; tsk'd and brought down the hairbrush. 

'I can do it without anyone's help grammie... mama gives me a chance to!' I flinched far from the hair brush which I knew would damage, bringing my hands up in an endeavor to bat hers away. 

Lifting up a segment at the back she said despairingly; 'On the off chance that you can do it then why is your hair all tangled here?' 

'Mother gives me a chance to gives me a chance to do it without anyone else's help!' (I immovably accepted that the best answer for unanswerable inquiries lay in avoiding them with redundancy of an announcement until the examiner conceded thrashing!) I was exceptionally glad for brushing my hair and invested respectable time slicking the brush over the top surface till it shined, tricking both myself and my mother into accepting I had made an exhaustive showing of it. 

My hypothesis didn't deal with grammie and I inauspiciously persisted through a brushing which made my eyes water. She completed the employment by attaching my hair into a style which she felt more suitable than my common 'bunk head' look. (See previously, then after the fact photographs underneath.) 

We consumed together at her table in the kitchen; the hair holds made my hair feel tight. Foul, marginally salty tasting porridge with full raisins for me, custom made English biscuits for her. From my seat I had a perspective of her lounge, the sun shone in through the window blanching her cover. Dust bits coasted buzzing around as though reluctant to land on the shinny surfaces of grammie's glimmering woodwork. 

Her fledgling, Artie, bounced from roost to confine bottom and move down once more. He then again pulled at the bars of his confine with his mouth and pecked at the plastic feathered creature attached to his roost, an uninvited and unwelcome vicinity which he didn't need in his officially smaller than expected region. Forcefully he would player the minor ringer fixing to his stepping stool, here and there and then here again, over and over again his bill would swipe over the gleaming surface. Appearing irate when the ringer swung in cadence with its clapper so no sound developed, he would toss his winged animal seed onto the floor covering beneath before culling a couple of quills from his shoulders which would coast delicately down to join the others. 

It made me feel dismal to watch him however watch I did with the natural interest people have for watching others in emergency. Survival of the fittest; watch these activities, gain from them, don't do this etc... Showing the somewhat crazy, disturbed wanderings of a wild soul unnaturally confined. I was simply starting to make cognizant endeavors at defense and seeing the pain her fledgling was in, I chose that my grandma did not adore him! My mother regularly let me know (normally when I was attempting to catch one of my current fixations, ladybirds and butterflies), that all living things had a right to be free, even ones that we truly adored and needed to keep near us. I realized that if mother said as much then this must be genuine yet I did wonder why she had not yet told my grammie. Possibly if grammie knew then she would release her winged animal free. 

Amid our breakfast, I continually wound round in my seat to gaze at the front entryway, willing it to open, until my grandma surrendered any desire for me completing my overlooked, coagulated vessel of nourishment. 

'Down you get, you can take a vitamin rather to supplant the decency you passed up a great opportunity for.' 

I remained by the sink viewing her bring down the jug, expecting the fluid I was utilized to however rather being given a bit red pill. Befuddled, I held it in my grasp and glared. My grandma "tsk"d" to herself, took the pill back from me and putting it in a teaspoon, squashed it with the weight of an alternate spoon on top. At that point she blended it with a spot of nectar and offered it to me to consume off the spoon. 

Not a saying was talked amid this arrangement and in that brief time, my faculties tipped into over incitement, elevating my familiarity with everything. I could hear the fluorescent lights buzzing, smell the espresso on the stove, smell the sanitizer that the dish fabric was absorbing, and hear her flying creature stirring around in its pen however above all I could smell the bitingness of the vitamin not exactly covered by the sweetness of the nectar camouflage. Held my breath, opened my mouth, tipped the spoon upside down, pulled it off the spoon with my tongue nestled into itself (most ideal approach to abstain from tasting yucky things) and gulped. 

'Great young lady! Tomorr

Friday, 1 March 2013

Zaftig to Aspie

Zaftig to Aspie is a remarkable memoir of a remarkable life. The richly evocative descriptions of an ostensibly idyllic, hippy childhood slowly succumbing to the vagaries of lust, greed, and jealousy are gripping from the start; when you realise they are mirrored by the author's own struggles first at school, then with her family and finally with the realisation of her own autism they become both poignant and significant. 

Growing up 'indulged' and 'showered with loving attention', enjoying a gentle innocence in which the smell of marijuana evokes memories of 'peaceful happy childhood moments', the young D.J. Kirkby is nevertheless overwhelmed by such simple things as the antics of skunk kittens, so much so that 'tears welled in my eyes until they

brimmed and ran down my cheeks'; she finds herself unable to cope with the playground noise of the children at her new school; she is a girl who weeps uncontrollably at her father's wedding not out of any sense of sorrow, but in response to the deep sensory overload of the emotions invoked by such an occasion.

At times, the confusion of her over-sensitive perceptions seems almost akin to synaesthesia. The writing style is flowing and engaging, punctuated intermittently with poetry and with a neat line in understatement and self-deprecation. I can recommend this book unreservedly - it is a personal story with important echoes for society general. As the author herself says: "Everyone struggles sometimes but what matters is the attitude you have about it. If you want to get on and do things and are willing to work at it, then you will succeed."

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

From Zaftig To Aspie

Denyse Kirkby's vivid memoir about her childhood experiences not only gave me an enthralling insight to her fascinating lifestyle and of those around her, but also took me back to those carefree days of my own youth. Despite having enjoyed a completely different childhood to hers, that didn’t even inhabit the same continent, reading this book evoked long-forgotten feelings, of fears and hopes that we have as young children.

This book is beautifully written. Each chapter covers a different memory, with every story as fascinating as the next. She describes her surroundings with such clarity that I felt sure I was there with her, so much so that it was almost like watching a film I didn’t want to end.

I couldn’t bear to put this wonderful book down, and longed to keep reading and learning more about how it was to grow up with a hippy mother, in Canada in the early seventies. Learning about the various places they lived, how she coped with experiences, both wonderful and tragic, whilst being able to almost smell the heat and the scent of the air around her.

Denyse describes how it felt to be different, not only in the way that her mother chose to live, and the friends and relatives that shared their lives, but also with her understanding of her surroundings and contemporaries.

She explains what it was like, and her reaction to being diagnosed at the age of forty with Aspergers Syndrome. My nephew has Aspergers, which made reading the book, and seeing her childhood through her eyes, even more riveting. I should think that anyone hoping to be transported into someone else’s colourful and beautifully depicted childhood couldn’t ask for a better and more fascinating read.

This is a book that I shall keep to read again.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Adventures of a wild hippie child - The candy tree forest

I was snuggled down into my nest in the back seat of the car. I always made one up for long trips, placing my pillows against the right hand side door and my blanket puddled around my legs. From this vantage point I could see the side of my moms' face as she drove and I would fluctuate between constant chatter and sleep, thumb plugged in my mouth and my 'chewie' doll within arms reach. In those days it was easy to stretch out and get comfortable as seat belt laws hadn't been invented yet and that meant the whole seat was available for use as a bed.

It was mid February and cold outside, snow piled in high banks on top of the ditches that lined the bumpy gravel road. The breeze that seeped in from the open quarter panel window felt like icy fingers when it reached by my face. I turned to the window and watched the smoke from my mom's friend's spliff drift outside, dance around and disappear. He smoked it slowly, joint pinched between his forefinger and thumb, inhaling deeply, holding his breath for many heartbeats before exhaling. Occasionally he would tilt his hand to the left in case my mom felt like indulging. She would shake her head each time, never willing to take her hands from the steering wheel, carefully following the packed snow trail laid down by previous cars tires. I mimicked his actions, breathing in deeply and trying to draw some of its sweet scent back towards me.

I loved the smell of marijuana and everything that it signified to my 4 year old brain. It still evokes feelings of security for me, of peaceful happy childhood moments surrounded by clusters of chatting, smiling, dreamy adults. When I first encountered a group of drunk adults at the age of nine, I was terrified by their violent and aggressive manner and completely unprepared for the effect other intoxicants could have on people (and I am sure I will tell that tale when I reach that age in this series of stories).

That cold day we were driving my mom's friend to the sugar maple farm so he could help with tapping the trees in order to collect the sap that would soon start running. Maple sugar season was here and mom said we would stay for the weekend. I loved the farmhouse with its huge wood stove, the stew pot was always full of fragrant contents, big lumpy beds with thick handmade quilts and goofy working dogs who delighted in the attention I lavished on them. The owner of these dogs and the farm was a pleasant mixture of warm crinkly smiles and wild frizzy grey hair; her wide hips and an ample bosom adding to my impression of a stereotypical fairy godmother. I loved her dearly and called her my 'sugar plump fairy', but what I meant was that she was like the Christmas 'sugar plum fairy'. Except greyer...a lot greyer!

The next day we were up early, I was dressed in enough thick clothing that it was impossible to press my arms flat against my sides. This was not a problem as it meant I was warm and I had absolutely no intention of keeping my arms still anyway! We rode out to the maple forest on a sleigh which was drawn by a single huge Clydesdale horse. His hooves were the size of my head but he had the gentlest soul and was always willing to have me placed upon his back. He would walk gently around while I chirped in my shrill bird song pitched voice, exhilarated and running a constant commentary on all the things I could see from the great height I had attained.

On this day, the sleigh he pulled was loaded with taps and some drills. Up to three taps per tree would be inserted once the holes had been drilled. I spent the day playing with the goofy dogs, stroking the horse, his coarse hair making my hands grubby and also making a nuisance of myself. I would alternate between standing back and observing the work taking place while chattering away and getting way too close while the taps were pounded into the trees. Eventually the sugar plump fairy pulled me aside.

'Do you know where we are?', she filled my field of vision as she stood before me, hands shoved in her pockets.

I giggled and waved my hand over my head, gesturing at the trees all around us. 'The maple tree farm, silly!'

'Ah yes but I know a special secret about this place... I will whisper it to you...' She leaned towards me, her lips tickling my ear and her wiry hair pressed into the side of my face. 'This is the candy tree forest and the trees have asked me to give you something and to tell you it tastes best if you let it melt in your mouth with your eyes shut... She paused and drew her head back to look me in the eyes... Do you think you can do that?'

I nodded eagerly, climbing up onto the sleigh and shutting my eyes. I felt her press something with the texture of a sugar lump into my palm. I held it between my fingers, lifted my hand and took a bite. As it began to melt on my tongue, my mouth was flooded with the sweetness of maple sugar candy and my imagination thrilled with the magic of this gift from the candy trees.