Buying back my childhood

We moved around a lot when I was a child. Not as much as some army families but much more than the majority of ordinary people do. And things tended to go missing during these moves. I still remember a black haired doll called Lynsey who disappeared somewhere between our house in Northern Ireland and our new house in Aldershot. Then there were the books. We always had a lot of books. Even back then I loved reading and would sit all day working my way through a pile of books if the grown ups would only let me. There are so many books I remember owning back then that I now have no idea of the whereabouts of. Like my original copy of What Katy Did. My Grandma let me take it away from her house and I was convinced it must be really old because it had belonged to one of my aunts when she was a little girl. When you’re 8 or 9 aunts are ancient, therefore the book must have been too. The book disappeared at some point and I was devastated. Later I got another copy in one of those children’s classic collections but it’s just not the same. Then there were my Peter Rabbit books. My sister had the whole set in miniature. I only had two, big versions of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck. Gone. All gone. I had a puffin 50th anniversary collection of books as well, containing things like Ballet Shoes, Stig of the Dump and the Silver Sword. They came as a box set and when you stood them next to each other the sides of the covers made up the number 50. Three or four of those are missing now though, so that the 5 is missing part of its belly and the 0 looks weirdly deformed.

There are other books too. Ones I never owned, but remember reading during silent reading at school. Things like Ace (who was the sheep-pig’s great, great grandson) and The Way to Satin Shore. And books I borrowed from the library. I remember gradually taking out the entire Ramona Quimby series from our local library – the first one was chosen mainly because of the authors name. Beverly like me, except I have an extra e.

I’m slowly, slowly making a list of all the books I remember reading and adoring back then. Then once I’m earning a proper wage, I’ll start buying back my childhood. I just hope the world doesn’t go and end on us tomorrow as some people are predicting. I’d hate to be sucked into a black hole without having a chance to read When Marnie was there one last time…

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