Travel Back

I missed this month's deadline for the Silver Bloggers' BOM but decided I'd write a post anyhow.

It makes sense for me to do so. I'll just imagine it's not passed Tuesday, 18th of October and this Monday (24th) is in fact the 17th.

This will make sense when I tell you what this month's BOM is about. You can read the whole post here. But for convenience sake here is the lay low:



Now, I could feasibly end my post here, as I've already travelled back one week. But where would the fun in that be?

Nah! I'm going to play with my shiny red car, which also acts as a time machine, and go for a spin. It's a sporty little number, a bit like Noddy used to drive in his Toyland Adventures. But there's no yellow. It's all shiny and red.

What? You don't know who Noddy is? How about Big Ears or Mr Plod? Well, let me fill you in. I'll make it easy and link you to the magical domain of Wikipedia. There you can see an image of Noddy sitting in his shiny yellow and red car, and, if you choose to, read a little bit about Enid Blyton's creation.


Don't go yet. I haven't taken you on my time-travelling adventure yet. Or, if you feel like going over to see Noddy, will you pinky promise to come back? Pretty please with sprinkles on top.


Okay, then, if you're sitting comfortably, we'll begin.

In a far distant land where magic still existed, there lived a little girl who went by the name of Julia, no Julie, or maybe, perhaps Jules, but she was she and a happy little she she'd be.

Julie, or Julia, sometimes Jules loved stories. Noddy with his yellow red car, Rupert with his tartan scarf, Milly Molly Mandy (see she wasn't the only one with too many names!) and many, many others.

Each night just before sleep those stories were opened up to her by her mother's soft lilting voice and the pictures on the page. Her favourite was the big book of fairy tales that was full of adventures. She lost herself in her mother's voice and the images on the page and descended deep inside that magical part of herself, imagining everything with exquisite clarity.

And in that delightful place, she succumbed to sleep and dreams.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

A Tale of Two cities you might say, for Jules, Julie, Julia loved the world inside her. She also loved her outside world. But she didn't always understand everything that went on around her. Spongelike, as is the want of children, she nonetheless absorbed it all, and, played with it making stories for herself along the way.

One of those stories led her to believe that she was not allowed to be capable and happy at the same time. It most likely occurred when Julia, Jules, Julie was at school. And it went something like this...


What I knew when I was a child.

Life is easy.

Fun is fun!

I want to have more fun!

Why do I have to leave the Wendy house?

What's this new feeling?

I don't like it.

Did I really think about having that feeling?


What did I do then?

I gave this feeling a value.

A label.

It was BAD.

My little girl me didn't have a huge vocabulary at the time.

Huge might have been another word known.

It's kinda funny and I like its sound.

But other than that the repertoire of fancy words ends.

Bad is the value I gave this strange new feeling.

It was the feeling that took me away from fun.

I liked fun.

But bad was sitting in a seat.

Being told what to do.

Having to copy strange symbols onto paper.

Sounding them out.

Looking at them in books.

Memorising them.

But I can't memorise.

And that feeling becomes a little more intense.

There's a loss of something.

Fun. That's it.

This isn't fun. This is bad.

It's hard.

I can't do it.

How come Mandy knows what a double uu looks like?

What comes after the first u?

I hope it's playtime soon.

I need to run.

And jump!

Skip and play.

I hate those stinking letters.

Mandy, shall we play mums and dads.

Yeah, but only if I get to be the mum.

Screams and shouts erupt.

Manic hysteria takes place

and is seen as normal,

but too soon a ring is tolled

and the sitting down to symbols

begins again.

And in the midst of this my mum visits the school.

The memory's a blur. But the story inside me is quite vivid. Somehow, the track from A Wizard of Oz, where Mrs Gulch is riding her bicycle and then suddenly you see her on a broom, is playing.

I hear my mum's lilting voice. It's taken on an edge. She's talking to Mrs Hill, the Head Teacher, who I see in my mind's eye so very clearly with her brown skirt suit and neat little bun holding her grey hair in place. They are talking about me.

"But she can't read!" Mum says.
"Yes, but she's a very happy child." smiles back Mrs Hill.

Then the words. I locked those words inside of me and wrapped them up in brown paper packaging and tied them with string. Somehow they felt so concrete and weighed heavy on me. I hid them deeply. My secret.

"I don't care if she's happy. I want her to be able to read."

I don't quite remember the tone of my mother's voice at this point but I think the volume of this tale just went up a few decibels. Her Glaswegian coming out a lot thicker than was usual. The lilt had definitely gone.

So, yes, I took this scene and stored it inside believing that I couldn't be capable and happy at the same time. My mum didn't care if I was happy so I tried harder to be capable.

Every now and then fun would enter the mix and I'd laugh but, quickly feeling silly and foolish, I'd self-sabotage my efforts.

Not both. Not happiness and capability. Choose one only. That's the story. That's the belief. I held onto it for many years.


I get into my shiny red car, similar to Noddy's but not the same, and drive back to that magical time. I wave my wand and see the situation using my functional adult mind.

I hug my wounded child and tell her that's not what was meant at all. Of course, mum cared that she be happy. But mum was frustrated. That's all. It was important to mum that she could read. Her older brother couldn't read until he was eleven, and she didn't want that to happen again. She knew how horrible it could be.

After all, Julie-Julia-Jules was a little girl who loved stories, and reading, ah, well, reading was her passport to visit any realm of her choosing. Just by opening a book. I say these words with a loving and lilting voice. One not heard for twenty years, and two days.

Now Julia, aka the little voice, still loves to read. But more than that, she loves to take those pesky symbols and type them onto her screen and make up stories. It is, after all, something she's been doing inside herself for a very long time.

And now it's okay. She can do it well. She can do it and be happy.

Because in the realm of fairy tales, there's always a happy ending.

Thank you, @tengolotodo for inviting me to take part in this month's BOM. It really was de bomb!


Original Photo by Thales Silva and played about with by me in Canva. A place I love to play and have fun in and show myself I can be capable at the same time. 😊

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