I’ve talked about this with a friend recently, and the conclusion is that most times were so uneventful that there is nothing that the brain chooses to retain.
That said, I am in the room with the French windows that look out onto the garden. I am facing towards the door into the hall and my father is on his haunches facing towards me with his arms out towards me, smiling with a big encouraging smile. My mother is standing there and there is some minor tension between her worrying and he not worrying.
I walk, not very well because I am very young and it is my first time, but I move towards him.
How old would I have been? When do toddlers start to toddle?
That’s the earliest, and then there is another memory in that same room. We – my grandmother and I – have conspiratorially made liquor. It is not really liquor, but I don’t know that because I am very small.
It is liquorice wine in name only, We put the bottle deep in the back of the cupboard of the sideboard – the one that was behind my father when I first toddled towards him – and the plan is to leave the wine there to mature.
I don’t know whether we ever drank the ‘wine’, but looking back I thank my grandmother for making the effort and the time to spend some time with me in our conspiracy of fun.