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Ghosts of Christmas presence past! Blog no. 40.
Another memory trip back to my childhood years as it is getting really near chrimbo..
As I've said many times, life was hard for me and my family, me and my three brothers grew with not a lot! My family had to rely on my mother's wages, she worked in a factory as my dad could only do light duties because of the effects of double malaria during the war as a chindit in the horrors of the jungle of Burma.
So things at that time in the late fifties and early sixties were extremely rough for my family.
Of course, that hit the celebrations at Christmas because my parents couldn't afford to waste money on pressies especially in1962, when in early '63 of course the big freeze happened, not long after!
I think everyone who was around then would know how bad that winter was. I've never been so cold and the country shivered for two months. It was unbelievably cold. Stalagmites and staligtites all over the place, ice everywhere, six family living in a single heated room, was no fun! But needs must, nothing to do, no school, no playing out, just making sure, you kept warm by keeping the coal fire going and making sure the pipes didn't crack because of the cold. Lagging pipes was one of my jobs in the attic!
Going for coal at the nearby depots wasn't fun with no proper winter clothes either! Hated that year!
Well the reason, my parents had saved up enough, but I bet you they regretted it in March, because I just got a card for my birthday! Was because I got my bestest ever present as a kid that year!
It was a bike, so I really didn't mind not getting a birthday present that year, because I knew how broke we were!
This bike was the first two wheeler, I'd had. I got a second hand trike when I was four, a real bone shaker!
This was brand new, a Raleigh bike, dark blue and silver trim. The only other thing I found in my stocking was an orange (luxury item!) and a bar of chocolate! So, without breakfast, went out and duly fell over the front handlebars because I pulled on the front brake without the rear brake as well!
I got up, no worse for wear, lesson learned and nobody could get me off it most of the day!
I loved that bike, I toured the neighbourhood and beyond many times before the big freeze struck.
So, my bike was idle for a lot of days, as I couldn't get on the frozen roads!
There is nothing worse and frustrating that a thing you treasured, you couldn't use!
What got me thinking about was the fact that we have bought a bike for one of my grandsons, and I had fun building it today! That's the real fun at Christmas, building toys, wrapping toys and playing with them with the kids! And of course getting spoiled by my family.
No, the act of giving and buying is the one and only Christmas spirit anyone should need at this time of the year!
To all you blog readers, have a joyous, peaceful, and loving Christmas. Hope you have a good one!
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