Monday, May 2, 2016

A nostalgic trip into the past

I am reading a rather delightful book I picked up by chance in the library.  It is the diary by somebody called Kathleen Hey who was a shop assistant in Yorkshire during the Second World War.  It brings back very clear memories of my own childhood, particularly the four-year period we spent escaping the London Blitz to Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District.  Opposite the small house at the lakeside, a former café, into which we crammed our large family of relatives and friends who had escaped to England from Nazi-occupied Austria, was a small, derelict refreshment kiosk to which we as children would press our noses because, displayed on its dust-covered shelves, were cardboard replicas of the sweet and chocolates now no longer available in the wartime shops.

I was reminded of the feelings of longing I had each time I passed the kiosk by what I have just read in Kathleen Hey’s diary, as she describes a few days’ holiday in Blackpool:

“There were queues at all food shops, some serving customers (residents) at one counter and visitors at another.  By the time a woman on holiday has shopped for her family the morning will be gone.  There are no cigs, sweets or matches though many of the windows are attractively dressed with dummy boxes.”

I still have some of this longing for chocolate which must have been sparked by the dummy boxes in the empty kiosk all those years ago.  Give me a box of chocolates now and I am hard put not to finish it at one go. 

Thus are we all conditioned by what happens to us in our childhood.

No comments:

Post a Comment